They may have had an underwhelming 2016 season but the Manly Sea Eagles have several intriguing Fantasy buys in their ranks this season, including several potential keepers and a cut-price former Kangaroos winger.
Jake Trbojevic (2RF, $492,000): His brother Tom may dominate the highlight reels but the elder Trbojevic's star has been on the rise in a big way in the past 12 months, with the prop-turned-lock earning a Kangaroos call-up for the 2016 Four Nations. He was one of Manly's best last season and contributed a tick under 52 points a game, with big tackle counts on a regular basis. As a leader of the club it's hard to see his impact going backwards anytime soon.
Daly Cherry-Evans (HLF, $471,000): DCE's first season under his bumper new contract wasn't one to remember but he still managed to be a strong performer in Fantasy, scoring just under 50 points a game. As a Fantasy half he gives you everything but goals – he sets up tries, dominates his team's kicking game, makes his fair share of tackles and can break the defensive line as well. If Manly get a few more wins this season expect to see Cherry-Evans' scores rise into the 50s.
Tom Trbrojevic (WFB, CTR, $391,000): He's the future Manly fullback but in terms of Fantasy scores, Tom Trbojevic's best position may actually be centre. He averaged 39 in 12 games at fullback in 2016, including five tries. He averaged 40 in seven games on the wing, including three tries, but averaged 49 in four games at centre, including two tries. To be fair, he looks like a Fantasy keeper wherever he lines up on the field.
Martin Taupau (2RF, $471,000): As a forward who makes more of an impression with his running game than his defensive work, Taupau can be an erratic Fantasy scorer – he can go big (see his massive 92-point effort in Round 2 last year) when he notches a lot of tackle busts, but can also go quiet at times (he scored just 27 in 80 minutes a month after that monster 92). The key for his Fantasy scores is his game time – when he played in the back row he scored 53 points a game last year, but when he played reduced minutes in the front row he averaged only 42.
Akuila Uate (WFB, $177,000): Not that long ago, Uate was a fixture on the wing for NSW and Australia. The Sea Eagles will be hoping to see more of that barnstorming speedster of old after signing him from Newcastle, where Uate scored just 18 points a game last year. Those scores included just a single try and two line breaks from 10 games – numbers that will surely improve if Uate gets anywhere near back to his best. At the very least the Sea Eagles are a stronger attacking outfit than Newcastle, so the winger should see a few more scoring chances come his way. At just $177,000, he could be worth a gamble.
2017 NRL Fantasy prices
Jake Trbojevic (2RF, $492,000)
Daly Cherry-Evans (HLF, $471,000)
Martin Taupau (2RF, $471,000)
Tom Trbojevic (WFB, CTR, $391,000)
Apisai Koroisau (HOK, HLF, $374,000)
Blake Green (HLF, $335,000)
Dylan Walker (CTR, $317,000)
Brenton Lawrence (FRF, $316,000)
Nate Myles (FRF, $302,000)
Pita Godinet (HOK, HLF, $295,000)
Darcy Lussick (FRF, $283,000)
Jorge Taufua (WFB, $268,000)
Addin Fonua-Blake (FRF, $253,000)
Cameron Cullen (HLF, $248,000)
Curtis Sironen (2RF, $244,000)
Jarrad Kennedy (2RF, $207,000)
Lewis Brown (2RF, CTR, $202,000)
Steve Matai (CTR, $202,000)
Jonathan Wright (WFB, $201,000)
Matthew Wright (WFB, CTR, $185,000)
Shaun Lane (2RF, $180,000)
Akuila Uate (WFB, $177,000)
Frank Winterstein (2RF, $175,000)
Brett Stewart (WFB, $148,000)
Lloyd Perrett (FRF, $143,000)
Brad Parker (WFB, $143,000)
Brian Kelly (CTR, $138,000)