Fantasy by the Numbers: Round 15
A closer look at some of the key recent Fantasy performances, and what they mean for your planned trades for the upcoming round.
On the back of another massive showing against the hapless Roosters in Round 14, Cameron Munster (WFB, $466,000) has rocketed into calculations for many coaches, particularly with a view to the weekend's bye-affected round.
Munster did it all against the Tricolours, with a try, three try assists, a try save, four line breaks, three line-break assists, six tackle breaks and 221 running metres resulting in a season-high 99. He's played every minute of every game this year, and had his lowest score (32) in Round 1 playing in the centres in Billy Slater's lone appearance of the year. Sits third overall in run metres (2247) in the NRL (behind James Graham and Jason Taumalolo), third for line breaks (12) and fourth for tackle breaks (68).
He might set you back $466,000, but with a last-five average of just under 60, that price is justified. Faces the Dragons, Wests Tigers and Broncos in Melbourne's next three before the bye in Round 18. With no Cameron Smith or Cooper Cronk this week, you'd expect Munster be even more pivotal to the Melbourne attack. If you're looking to bring the Storm No.1 into your back three at some point, this is the week to do so, particularly for overall players. If it was all about Roger Tuivasa-Sheck in 2015, you might need to be looking at partnering James Tedesco with the Storm custodian at WFB in 2016.
Bye round targets
While half the competition have the bye this weekend, there's still a few quality premium and downgrade options to consider from the eight teams in action.
Simon Mannering (2RF, $415,000): One the success stories of 2015, Mannering looks set to be returning to the form we know he's capable of. Played 80 minutes for the first time since Round 7 last week in Round 14 for his second highest score of the season (61), and has bottomed out after losing $120,000 since the start of the season. If you're bringing in Mannering for the run home, this is the week.
Jack de Belin (2RF/FRF, $496,000): The Red V workhorse returned last week to score 45 in 54 minutes via the interchange, and has again been named on the bench for his side's clash with the Storm. With a very achievable BE of 67, there shouldn't be too much movement in de Belin's price this week. If you've got enough cover for Round 18 (the Dragons' final bye), de Belin should figure somewhere in your plans.
Jake Trbojevic (2RF/FRF, $466,000): Back playing 80 minutes over the past three matches, Manly's young lock shapes as a slightly more affordable option to de Belin. Incredibly consistent with a last-three average of 56, Trbojevic should hover around his current price for the remainder of the season. If you weren't lucky to get in when he was more affordable, it could still be worth having Trbojevic somewhere in your 17.
Siosifa Talakai (2RF/CTR, $135,000): The injury to Bryson Goodwin presents Talakai with the opportunity for an extended run in first grade. Coming off the interchange in his first two starts, the dual position player hasn't set the world on fire with scores of 26 and 14, but you could do far worse than Talakai as a downgrade option who should play 80 minutes in Round 15 at the very least.
Bevan French (WFB, $149,000): Parramatta's Nines sensation has scored two tries in his two top grade appearances, but scores of 27 and 25 aren't that promising. Depending on how many Eels players you already have, French could be a nice downgrade option at the back covering the remaining two major bye rounds.
Rory O'Brien (FRF, $146,000): Made his first appearance for the season last week and scored 30 in just 21 minutes. That score did include a try save, two tackle breaks and an offload to go along with 15 tackles and 25 metres, hardly encouraging base stats in admittedly limited time on the field. Still, O'Brien could give you a handy point boost in Round 15 and free up some funds for further investment elsewhere in your squad.
Top scores in Round 14
Cameron Munster (WFB, $466,000): 99
Cameron Smith (HOK, $589,000): 80
Corey Parker (2RF, $428,000): 80
David Fusitu'a (WFB, $280,000): 79
Kevin Naiqama (WFB/CTR, $332,000): 78
Bottom scores in Round 14
Aaron Gray (WFB, $211,000): 0
Chris McQueen (2RF, $293,000): 2
Nathaniel Rocache (HOK, $128,000): 3
Jordan Kahu (WFB/CTR, $239,000): 6
Kodi Nikorima (HOK, $199,000): 6
Top Round 14 price increases
Nathan Cleary (HLF, $209,000): +$56,000
Dylan Walker (HLF/CTR, $275,000): +$44,000
David Fusitu'a (WFB, $280,000): +$32,000
Anthony Don (WFB, $170,000): +$29,000
Ryan James (FRF/2RF, $540,000): +$29,000
Top Round 14 price decreases
Sia Soliola (2RF, $345,000): -$33,000
Jake Friend (HOK, $530,000): -$32,000
Apisai Koroisau (HOK/HLF, $347,000): -$32,000
Corey Oates (WFB/2RF, $257,000): -$31,000
Mitchell Aubusson (2RF/CTR, $309,000): -$29,000