NRL Fantasy player watch: Bryce Cartwright
Bryce Cartwright, 2RF, $325,000
The talented but enigmatic Bryce Cartwright has burned plenty of Fantasy coaches in his young career already. After an injury-ruined and controversy-marred 2017, is a rejuvenated Cartwright ready to return to his merry offloading ways in the 2018 edition of NRL Fantasy, presented by Youi?
Scoring potential: 3/5
Averaging 50 minutes on the field for a season average of 22 points with almost three missed tackles per game was a horror return for Cartwright owners last year. Compare that to his 51 average in 2016 with 77 offloads, 60 tackle breaks, eight tries and double figures in try assists and line-break assists and it's clear his scoring potential is much higher that he showed last year.
Sadly for Fantasy coaches, much of that 2016 scoring came at five-eighth where he will not play this year. He is also likely to at least start the season from the bench, capping him at about 50 minutes per game. His 2016 Fantasy average of 51 looks well beyond his reach at this stage.
Cartwright's 14 appearances last year were spread across three stints with long breaks in between. He played just three at his best Fantasy spot of five-eighth, coming off the bench for limited minutes in all bar one of his other games. He's battled injury and off-field crises and now has heavy competition for back row spots. All that makes him a massive gamble in 2018.
The major upside to Cartwright for coaches is his price tag. Priced at a 22 break-even, any sort of consistent time on-field all but guarantees at least some sort of price rises. Whether that will be enough to be worth taking a punt for one of your precious 21 slots is the question.
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