NRL Fantasy player watch: Anthony Milford
Anthony Milford, HLF, $666,000
A super talent, Milford may need to take the step up from enigmatic attacking weapon to dominant playmaker in 2018 if the Broncos are to challenge for the title.
Scoring potential: 4/5
One of the most naturally brilliant playmakers in the game, Anthony Milford can nevertheless be a frustrating player to own in NRL Fantasy due to his ability to score 80 one week and 20 the next.
But Milford could produce more consistent numbers in 2018 following the departure of his old halves partner Ben Hunt.
When Milford started in the halves alongside Hunt last season he averaged 41 points a game, but when Hunt didn't start at halfback Milford's average shot up to 50.2.
The most reliable halves in NRL Fantasy tend to produce consistent big numbers in base stats – kick metres and tackles – while also adding a few run metres, try assists, tackle breaks and/or goals. Those guys can have a fairly quiet game and still notch 45 points.
Anthony Milford is almost the opposite of that. When Milford has a good game, you notice it. When he fires in attack he scores heavily through run metres, tackle breaks and try assists, but when the opposition keeps him quiet in attack his Fantasy numbers suffer.
That means there's no real way to predict what kind of score he'll produce from one week to the next. Last year he opened the season with great scores of 57 and 77 – encouraging several Fantasy coaches to snap him up – only to follow that up with returns of 7, 26 and 32 in the next three rounds.
Over the course of the season he'll have a solid average but week-to-week his scores are anyone's guess.
Milford has averaged 45 points a game for the past two seasons, and if history repeats he'll just hold his value in 2018. But if Hunt's absence means Milford needs to step up as his team's chief playmaker he could edge that average towards 50.
In a time when all the safe bests for Fantasy keepers in the halves cost upwards of $700,000, Milford could be a savvy buy if you're willing to ride the highs and lows throughout the year.