Sione Mata'utia made a successful transition to the back row against the Raiders in Round 17.

FANTASY

Knights 2017 NRL Fantasy guide

There is value on offer for NRL Fantasy coaches at the Knights this season, with a couple of savvy recruits and two young rising stars leading the way.

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Fantasy gun

Jamie Buhrer (2RF, $473,000): Buhrer goes from proud Sea Eagles clubman to relatively star signing for the Knights this season, a shift that could see him rise to gun status in NRL Fantasy. He averaged 50 points a game for Manly last season – a number that rises to 56 if you take out games in which he played less than 80 minutes. A player of Buhrer's experience is more likely than not to play the full 80 on a regular basis for the young Newcastle side – and that's not the only reason his scores could improve. The Knights made 384 more tackles than Manly last season, and had 182 more missed tackles. If that trend continues, Buhrer – generally a busy defender – should have more defensive work to do at Newcastle in 2017, suggesting his average could potentially push 60.

 


Wildcards

Sione Mata'utia (CTR, 2RF, $299,000): One of the few success stories at Newcastle last year was the surprise positional switch of Sione Mata'utia – an outside back who has played on the wing for Australia – to the second row. The move had an obvious impact on his Fantasy scores: by Round 16 he was averaging 27 points after playing every game at centre, but in the final five rounds he scored more than 40 points a game playing in the pack. He'll be underpriced if he starts in the forwards again in 2017.

Daniel Saifiti (FRF, $345,000): Daniel Saifiti was an NRL regular for the Knights from Round 6 last season, and from Round 9 onwards he played at least 40 minutes in all but one game. The rookie prop improved as the year went on – his average was 34 going into the final three rounds but in those last few matches he averaged an excellent 51 (scores built on base stats with a few tackle breaks). At $345,000, he'll start the new season with a break even of 36.

Cash cow

Rory Kostjasyn (HOK, $210,000): The Knights have signed Kostjasyn for his experience so presumably he'll get first shot at the starting hooker role after playing back-up to Jake Granville at the Cowboys. That in itself should see him improve on last year's 22-point average, making him a value buy in 2017. If Kostjasyn doesn't start, youngster Danny Levi would also be a cheap option at hooker after averaging 25 points a game last year.

2017 NRL Fantasy prices 

Jamie Buhrer (2RF, $473,000)
Mitchell Barnett (2RF, $460,000)
Sam Mataora (FRF, $371,000)
Korbin Sims (FRF, $349,000)
Daniel Saifiti (FRF, $345,000)
Nathan Ross (WFB, $340,000)
Jarrod Mullen (HLF, $331,000)
Dane Gagai (CTR, $321,000)
Jacob Saifiti (2RF, $302,000)
Sione Mata'utia (CTR, 2RF, $299,000)
Tyler Randell (HOK, $290,000)
Trent Hodkinson (HLF, $288,000)
Jack Cogger (HLF, $286,000)
Jack Stockwell (FRF, $286,000)
Brock Lamb (HLF, $282,000)
Pauli Pauli (2RF, $276,000)
Pat Mata'utia (CTR, $258,000)
Josh Starling (FRF, $247,000)
David Bhana (2RF, $238,000)
Danny Levi (HOK, $237,000)
Mickey Paea (FRF, $232,000)
Brendan Elliot (WFB, $229,000)
Peter Mata'utia (WFB, CTR, $220,000)
Rory Kostjasyn (HOK, $210,000)
Josh King (FRF, $206,000)
Joe Wardle (CTR, $194,000)
Ken Sio (WFB, $190,000)
Lachlan Fitzgibbon (2RF, $163,000)
Cory Denniss (WFB, $149,000)
Jaelen Feeney (HLF, $143,000)
Jacob Gagan (WFB, $143,000)
Chanel Mata'utia (WFB, $143,000)
Will Pearsall (HLF, $143,000)
Dylan Phythian (WFB, $143,000)

More NRL Fantasy guides for 2017
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