NRL Fantasy winners & losers: Round 1
The success stories, flops and talking points to come out of the first round of the 2017 NRL Fantasy season.
In an opening round full of surprising results the surprising Fantasy top scorer was Dragons second-rower Joel Thompson – owned by less than 1 per cent of Fantasy coaches – who scored a hat-trick in his team's big win over the Panthers on the way to 96 Fantasy points. Considering he scored only three tries all season in 2016, don't expect that kind of score every week.
Established Fantasy guns Jack de Belin (92) and James Tedesco (91) were the next best in a high-scoring round, ahead of Tedesco's tackle-busting Tigers teammate David Nofoaluma (83), barnstorming Cowboys lock Jason Taumololo (78) and Raiders back-row star Josh Papalii (77).
Other notable scorers included Knights lock Mitch Barnett (71), new Dragons hooker Cameron McInnes (70, including a try), Eels halves Corey Norman (69) and Clint Gutherson (58), Roosters hat-trick scorer Latrell Mitchell (68), Dragons fullback Josh Dugan (63), Warriors half Shaun Johnson (62), new Souths rake Robbie Farah (57), new Titans prop Jarrod Wallace (56) and Warriors fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (55).
It was a great start to the season for cash cows as well, with a host of young guns not only getting strong price rises but also posting big scores to suggest they'll be worth running in your top 17. Moses Suli (52), Tautau Moga (44), Siosifa Talakai (44), Felise Kaufusi (43), Ryley Jacks (41), Jayden Brailey (38), Nick Cotric (36) and Luke Yates (33) all scored well and made nice early price rises.
The first "must-trade out" player of the season is star Melbourne prop Jesse Bromwich, who dislocated his thumb in Friday night's win over the Bulldogs. He scored 7 and will spend some time on the sidelines – but not as much time as Greg Inglis (25), who will miss six months after injuring his ACL in South Sydney's loss to Wests Tigers. Fantasy cash cow Dylan Phythian also suffered an ACL injury and like Inglis is likely to sit out the rest of the season.
Cameron Smith is the No.1-ranked player in Fantasy but he started slowly by his usual standards with "only" 47 points (still just eight less than the next most popular captaincy choice Andrew Fifita, and five more than No.3 captaincy choice Sam Burgess). Fantasy scoring was low across the board in the rain-affected Bulldogs v Storm game so expect Smith to bounce back this week.
They both starred at the Auckland Nines but Dragons rookie Jai Field only managed 2 points in 10 minutes off the bench and Kalyn Ponga didn't make the Cowboys 17, while Souths centre Hymel Hunt (1) and Broncos forward Alex Glenn (7) were among those who had injury-affected scores.
Jamal Idris came off the bench in his first game for the Tigers and managed only 18, but he has a lot of time to improve on that start.
Fantasy team of the week
1. James Tedesco (91)
2. David Nofoaluma (83)
3. Latrell Mitchell (68)
4. David Fusitua (65)
5. Michael Gordon (68)
6. Luke Keary (72)
7. Gareth Widdop (71)
8. Jarrod Wallace (56)
9. Cameron McInnes (70)
10. Andrew Fifita/Ryan James (55)
11. Joel Thompson (96)
12. Jason Taumalolo (78)
13. Jack de Belin (92)
14. Josh Papalii (77)
15. Mitchell Barnett (71)
16. Corey Norman (69)
17. Josh Dugan (63)