Panthers players celebrate a Trent Merrin try against Wests Tigers in Round 24.

One of the most exciting teams in the NRL, the Panthers are a team on the up and have uncovered a potential long-time Fantasy star in halfback Nathan Cleary.

Pre-register for the NRL Fantasy 2017 season now

Fantasy guns

Trent Merrin (2RF, $530,000): After a couple of low scores in his first few games as a Panther last season Merrin became one of Fantasy's most consistent performers, averaging an excellent 56 across the season. His 18 scores above 50 were the fifth most of any player in 2016, and there's no reason why those numbers should dip this year – although he's likely to be recalled to the NSW Origin side after missing last year's campaign.

 


Nathan Cleary (HLF, $502,000):
Cleary wasn't just a cash cow sensation in his rookie season – he was one of the best halves in Fantasy, full stop. Only Mitchell Pearce managed better than Cleary's 53 points a game, with the youngster's solid defensive game the most pleasing sign for his reliability as a Fantasy scorer. Alas, he won't start so cheap this season.

Wildcard

Bryce Cartwright (2RF, HLF, $483,000): Cartwright's an unusual player for a lot of reasons, one being that he's a back-row forward whose scores only increased once he was shifted to five-eighth. The best offloader in the NRL can be susceptible to lapses in defence but that makes him a target for opposition teams as well – meaning he tends to get through a lot of tackles to complement his output in attack. Averaged 51 last season. 

Cash cow

Dean Whare (CTR, $205,000): Injury restricted him to just one game in 2016, with Whare scoring 10 points in 56 minutes before leaving the field with a calf injury in Round 2. The New Zealand international suffered a knee injury at training later in the year to stay on the sidelines for the rest of the season. He averaged a tick under 33 points a game in 2015 so will start the 2017 well underpriced at $205,000, assuming he can stay fit and get back to his usual form.

2017 NRL Fantasy prices 

Trent Merrin (2RF, $530,000)
Nathan Cleary (HLF, $502,000)
Bryce Cartwright (2RF, HLF, $483,000)
Mitch Rein (HOK, $457,000)
Josh Mansour (WFB, $431,000)
Tyrone Peachey (2RF, CTR, $418,000)
James Tamou (FRF, $399,000)
Isaah Yeo (2RF, $386,000)
Peter Wallace (HOK, $372,000)
Matt Moylan (WFB, $371,000)
Leilani Latu (FRF, $329,000)
James Fisher-Harris (2RF, $294,000)
Te Maire Martin (HLF, $294,000)
Reagan Campbell-Gillard (FRF, $286,000)
Sam McKendry (FRF, $283,000)
Waqa Blake (CTR, $269,000)
Dallin Watene Zelezniak (WFB, $263,000)
Peta Hiku (CTR, $260,000)
Tim Browne (FRF, $228,000)
Dean Whare (CTR, $205,000)
Michael Oldfield (WFB, $149,000)
Sitaleki Akauola (2RF, $143,000)
Dylan Edwards (WFB, $143,000)
Moses Leota (FRF, $143,000)
Sione Katoa (HOK, 2RF, $138,000)
Viliame Kikau (FRF, $138,000)
Darren Nicholls (HLF, $138,000)

More NRL Fantasy guides for 2017
Pre-register for the NRL Fantasy 2017 season now