With two promising new recruits, one of the game's best ball-runners and a tackle machine in the middle of the park, the Dragons loom as a valuable source of Fantasy buys in 2017.
Jack de Belin (2RF, $561,000): In NRL Fantasy you always want to get reliable forwards who will give your team good stats week in, week out, and that's exactly what Jack de Belin does. He was the only player in entire league last season who averaged more than 40 tackles and 100 run metres per game – which meant he earned 54 points a game from those two statistics alone. His actual season average was 59, and presuming he plays big minutes at lock again this season that's unlikely to change too much.
Josh Dugan (WFB, $410,000): Any outside back in NRL Fantasy is generally a keeper in my book if they average more than 40 points a game – although the elite Fantasy players at centre or winger/fullback tend to average better than 45. Last year Dugan averaged 43, but that included three appearances at centre where he scored just 23 per game. Once he returned to his usual fullback role his scores jumped to an impressive 48 per game. Assuming he wears the No.1 all year this season, Dugan is again one of the top guns at the back.
Cameron McInnes (HOK, $473,000): Former Rabbitohs hooker McInnes joins the Dragons this season as the replacement for Mitch Rein, with South Sydney bringing in Robbie Farah. McInnes doesn't come cheap, but could still be undervalued if he becomes a regular 80-minute hooker for the Red V. Last season the Dragons used Rein as an 80-minute hooker eight times in 24 matches, with Rein playing at least 70 minutes 12 times. McInnes meanwhile averaged 50 points a game for the Rabbitohs – but averaged 60 when playing the full 80 minutes (and 59 when he played at least 70 minutes). That makes him a potential cut-price keeper if he gets a lot of game time at the Dragons.
Paul Vaughan (FRF, $388,000): A hard-working middle forward and a one-time World Cup standout player with Italy, Paul Vaughan joins the Dragons after seeing his minutes decline throughout 2016 for the new-look Raiders. Vaughan averaged less than 40 minutes a game and about 32 minutes a game from Round 12 onwards, with his Fantasy price dropping by $60,000 during the season. Now priced at $388,000, if Vaughan can keep a consistent spot in St George Illawarra's starting side this year he should prove to be an undervalued player.
2017 NRL Fantasy prices
Jack de Belin (2RF, $561,000)
Cameron McInnes (HOK, $473,000)
Tyson Frizell (2RF, $438,000)
Euan Aitken (CTR, $410,000)
Josh Dugan (WFB, $410,000)
Tariq Sims (2RF, $397,000)
Jason Nightingale (WFB, $393,000)
Paul Vaughan (FRF, $388,000)
Gareth Widdop (HLF, $380,000)
Joel Thompson (2RF, $376,000)
Russell Packer (FRF, $329,000)
Leeson Ah Mau (FRF, $317,000)
Drew Hutchison (HLF, $296,000)
Nene Macdonald (WFB, CTR, $289,000)
Taane Milne (CTR, $286,000)
Josh McCrone (HLF, HOK, $276,000)
Kurt Mann (WFB, $273,000)
Timoteo Lafai (CTR, $258,000)
Will Matthews (2RF, $253,000)
Jacob Host (FRF, 2RF, $241,000)
Kalifa Faifai Loa (WFB, $237,000)
Jake Marketo (2RF, $214,000)
Dunamis Lui (FRF, $177,000)
Mose Masoe (FRF, $166,000)
Luciano Leilua (2RF, $161,000)
Siliva Havili (HOK, $152,000)
Tyrone McCarthy (2RF, $143,000)
Kiti Glymin (WFB, $138,000)