Fantasy by the Numbers: Round 7
A closer look at some of the key Fantasy performances of the week, and what they mean for your planned trades for the upcoming round.
2016’s first centurion
Roosters skipper Jake Friend (HOK, $556,000) has been a rock for his side through a difficult patch early in 2016, his influence has increased with rookie playmakers Jackson Hastings and Jayden Nikorima in the side. Friend was averaging just over 61 prior to his Round 7 score, but his monster total of 107 against the Panthers made him the highest-scoring Fantasy player overall so far this season, as well as the first player to crack triple figures.
A tackle count just shy of 70 is always a solid base, but it was his involvement in attack that boosted his total, producing three try assists and four line-break assists. With Monday night’s game played in dreary conditions, it was perhaps the perfect storm for Friend, with a game contested predominately in the middle screaming out for creativity around the ruck as well as helping his tackle count.
He's now also the most expensive player in NRL Fantasy, $1,000 more than Cameron Smith (HOK, $555,000), meaning he's probably out of reach for most at this point, but with a BE of 29, will almost certainly continue to climb in value. Currently in just under 9,000 sides, Friend has proved to be a massive point of difference so far this season, and there's no reason why he won't continue to be a genuine Fantasy captaincy option for the rest of the season.
The RTS trade
Following a slow start Fantasy-wise, it looked as though Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (WFB, $356,000) was getting back to his best with scores of 56, 47 and 49 between Rounds 3-5. But 25 against Manly in Round 6 was followed by a season-ending ACL injury in Round 7, meaning it's time for the 15,589 coaches with RTS to consider their options elsewhere. Given his price, it's unlikely you're going to find a keeper at a similar value. But who are the prime trade targets?
Josh Dugan (WFB/CTR, $424,000): Has been explosive since returning to fullback. Scores of 37, 87, 30, 68 (when the Dragons were held to nil against the Broncos) and 55 indicate he's one of the better performers at the back, regardless of how the Red V are traveling.
James Tedesco (WFB, $512,000): Had his lowest score of the season with 32 against Melbourne, and with a BE of 73 should drop in value again, but has been stellar otherwise. If you can somehow manoeuvre this trade, do so, with Tedesco to face the Raiders in Canberra. His last score in the nation's capital? 80.
James Roberts (CTR/WFB, $382,000): Found some Fantasy form against the Cowboys in Round 4, and hasn't really looked back since. Scores of 38 and 44 in his last two without registering a try are promising signs as he prepares to face one of his former clubs South Sydney, who conceded 44 points to the Cowboys in Round 7.
Shaun Johnson (HLF, $476,000): The Warriors halfback will look to take on more responsibility in attack with Tuivasa-Sheck sidelined, and historically scores well against the Storm with an average of 62 against his Round 8 opponents. Also averages just under 62 at AAMI Park.
Adam Reynolds (HLF, $451,000): The Souths halfback returned in Round 7 and scored a try to finish with a handy score of 63 despite his side's big loss. His last two appearances at Suncorp Stadium have netted Reynolds scores of 80 and 78, with the Rabbitohs playmaker still slightly under-valued.
Ben Hunt (HLF, $489,000): While Anthony Milford is getting all the plaudits, Hunt shouldn't be overlooked as a more consistent option. Ignoring his 29 in Round 1, Hunt hasn’t scored below 52 since, hitting 85 against the Knights. Scored 98 against the Rabbitohs in Brisbane's big win at Allianz Stadium in Round 25 last season, his last meeting with South Sydney.
Tuimoala Lolohea (HLF/CTR, $283,000): Tuivasa-Sheck's direct replacement at fullback should also come into calculations as a downgrade option. After some up and down scores from the wing (as expected from that position), the New Zealand international hit 60 against the Bulldogs in Round 7, and should be a mid-30s/low-40s scorer at least. If you need someone to field in your 17 and also free up some cash, Lolohea could be your man.
Top scores in Round 7
Jake Friend (HOK, $556,000): 107
Anthony Milford (HLF, $492,000): 95
Ben Hunt (HLF, $489,000): 85
Ryan James (FRF/2RF, $472,000): 83
Gareth Widdop (HLF, $312,000): 77
Bottom scores in Round 7
Euan Aitken (CTR/WFB, $333,000): -5
Adam Elliott (2RF, $128,000): 0
Jarrod Mullen (HLF, $305,000): 1
Gerard Beale (CTR, $193,000): 1
Rory Kostjasyn (HOK, $231,000): 4
Top Round 7 price increases
Kerrod Holland (CTR, $246,000): +$58,000
Latrell Mitchell (WFB, $296,000): +$44,000
Jordan Rapana (WFB, $340,000): +$37,000
Jake Friend (HOK, $556,000): +$36,000
Tohu Harris (2RF, $438,000): +$36,000
Top Round 7 price decreases
Aidan Sezer (HLF, $365,000): -$41,000
Thomas Burgess (FRF, $268,000): -$38,000
Euan Aitken (CTR/WFB, $333,000): -$34,000
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (WFB, $356,000): -$33,000
Tyrone Peachey (2RF, $356,000): -$33,000