2018 NRL Fantasy guide: Storm

2018 NRL Fantasy guide: Storm

The NRL's benchmark team begins a new era without superstar halfback Cooper Cronk, but they're still packed with talent and led by the best NRL Fantasy player in the business: Cameron Smith. Billy Slater is also playing on after exceeding expectations in his comeback season after practically two years on the sidelines, while a new-look forward pack will be looking to lift after a couple of big exits.

Fantasy gun: Cameron Smith

The Melbourne, Queensland and Australia captain had a near perfect season in 2017 and is the best NRL Fantasy scorer in history. He makes 40+ tackles a game, is a strong kicker, lays on tries, hits 40/20s and kicks goals to boot. He doesn't come cheap but the simplest way to start picking your squad is to bring in Smith, make him your captain, and leave him there.

Melbourne Storm prop Nelson Asofa-Solomona carries the ball.
Melbourne Storm prop Nelson Asofa-Solomona carries the ball. ©Mark Nolan/NRL Photos/NRL Photos

Value buy: Nelson Asofa-Solomona

The exit of Cooper Cronk from Melbourne has consumed the headlines but Jordan McLean and Tohu Harris are also big losses, and while Ryan Hoffman and Sam Kasiano have been recruited there's a good chance Asofa-Solomona moves up the pecking order in the front-row rotation. The hulking prop is now a New Zealand international and after scoring a point a minute in limited game time in 2017 could up his impact if he gets 40 minutes a game next year. Tim Glasby played that kind of role last season but is expected to become a starter next year, opening the door for Asofa-Solomona to become a handy mid-range scorer and potential money-maker.

Storm front-rower Jesse Bromwich in action against Newcastle.
Storm front-rower Jesse Bromwich in action against Newcastle. ©Jeff Crow/NRL Photos/NRL Photos

Wildcard: Jesse Bromwich

He's one of the best props in rugby league but Jesse Bromwich had a season to forget despite Melbourne's premiership win, losing his place in the Kiwis' World Cup squad and suffering a real slump in NRL Fantasy terms. In the previous three seasons Bromwich had scored better than 50 points a game – in 2017 he managed just 36. That makes him a risk going into the new campaign, but with Melbourne needing to make up for the departure of Jordan McLean, Browmich could get back to his old self which would make him excellent value at $534,000.

2018 NRL Fantasy player prices

Cameron Smith: HOK, $917,000

Cameron Munster: HLF, $714,000

Felise Kaufusi: 2RF, $666,000

Dale Finucane: 2RF, $643,000

Billy Slater: WFB, $641,000

Curtis Scott: CTR, $608,000

Suliasi Vunivalu: WFB, $571,000

Brodie Croft: HLF, $558,000

Ryan Hoffman: 2RF, $541,000

Tim Glasby: FRF, $540,000

Jesse Bromwich: FRF, $534,000

Josh Addo-Carr: WFB, $530,000

Will Chambers: CTR, $505,000

Nelson Asofa-Solomona: 2RF, FRF, $481,000

Cheyse Blair: CTR, $475,000

Kenneath Bromwich: 2RF, $472,000

Young Tonumaipea: WFB, CTR, $415,000

Ryley Jacks: HLF, $414,000

Jahrome Hughes: WFB, HLF, $403,000

Patrick Kaufusi: FRF, $382,000

Joe Stimson: 2RF, $365,000

Brandon Smith: HOK, $365,000

Sam Kasiano: FRF, $331,000

Christian Welch: FRF, $320,000

Vincent Leuluai: 2RF, $228,000

Tui Kamikamica: 2RF, $228,000

Sandor Earl: WFB, $228,000

Justin Olam: WFB, CTR, $212,000

Billy Walters: HLF, $212,000

*2018 salary cap: 9.4m. Fantasy squad size: 21