The Parramatta Eels have got a team packed with talent and a bye schedule that die-hard Fantasy coaches will love in 2017.
Corey Norman (HLF, $460,000): After dominating the 2016 Auckland Nines Corey Norman was similarly brilliant for much of the Telstra Premiership campaign last year, producing 15 try assists in 16 games. Crucially for Fantasy he's the dominant playmaker for his team, ranking second in the league for kicks per game (behind Mitchell Pearce). He only crossed for a single try during the year so there's room for his scores to improve, especially if the Eels can cement their place as a top-eight side.
Semi Radradra (WFB, $373,000): Last season didn't come close to matching Radradra's incredible try-scoring run of 2015, and yet the Kangaroos winger still managed to go close to 40 Fantasy points a game. One of the few players capable of catching the ball flat-footed on his own 10-metre line then running the length of the field to score, Radradra is more than capable of notching enough run metres, tackle breaks and tries to dominate Fantasy again this season.
Clint Gutherson (WFB, HLF, $346,000): It was a whirlwind first season for Gutherson at the Eels after having played five games across three seasons at Manly. He's traditionally a specialist fullback but he played on the wing, at centre and finally at five-eighth for Parramatta – and he looks set to stay in the halves following Kieran Foran's exit. His Fantasy averages improved with each positional switch – from 33 points a game on the wing, to 35 at centre, to 43 at five-eighth. He's priced as a 36-point player so should be decent value if he can maintain those 40+ scores.
Manu Ma'u (2RF, $428,000): Ma'u is a solid all-round Fantasy scorer – he plays big minutes, is a strong defender and can be tough to stop with the ball in hand – but his 45-point Fantasy average doesn't really separate him from a lot of other second-rowers in NRL Fantasy. What does give him the edge in Fantasy terms is Parramatta's bye schedule – they're one of two teams, along with the Rabbitohs – who will play in all three major bye rounds in 2017, which makes any non-Origin players from those clubs extra valuable for Fantasy coaches chasing overall points. Still, unless Ma'u lifts his defensive output at the start of the season he is probably one to snap up around Round 12 rather than Round 1.
2017 NRL Fantasy prices
Corey Norman (HLF, $460,000)
Manu Ma'u (2RF, $428,000)
Nathan Brown (FRF, $376,000)
Semi Radradra (WFB, $373,000)
Kenny Edwards (2RF, $348,000)
Clinton Gutherson (WFB, HLF, $346,000)
Tepai Moeroa (2RF, $343,000)
Beau Scott (2RF, $340,000)
Daniel Alvaro (FRF, $331,000)
Tim Mannah (FRF, $327,000)
David Gower (FRF, $318,000)
Peni Terepo (FRF, $305,000)
Bevan French (WFB, $296,000)
Ryan Morgan (CTR, $294,000)
Michael Jennings (CTR, $293,000)
Isaac De Gois (HOK, $275,000)
Siosaia Vave (FRF, $274,000)
Josh Hoffman (WFB, CTR, $268,000)
Jeff Robson (HLF, $259,000)
Brad Takairangi (CTR, $252,000)
Vai Toutai (CTR, $215,000)
Suaia Matagi (FRF, $204,000)
Bureta Faraimo (WFB, $202,000)
Will Smith (HLF, WFB, $191,000)
Frank Pritchard (FRF, $190,000)
Kaysa Pritchard (HOK, $185,000)
Rory O'Brien (FRF, $177,000)
George Jennings (CTR, WFB, $175,000)
Kelepi Tanginoa (2RF, $170,000)
John Folau (CTR, $143,000)
Cody Nelson (2RF, $143,000)
Jamal Fogerty (WFB, HLF, $138,000)
James Hasson (2RF, $138,000)
Cameron King (HOK, $138,000)