Cowboys playmaker Michael Morgan.

He's already an Origin and Kangaroos star and is Johnathan Thurston's natural successor as the Cowboys' chief playmaker and on-field leader in the coming years.

And yet Michael Morgan is so affordable in 2019 that it's worth considering him a cash cow – and a potential keeper – this season.

Positives

This may not sound like a positive, but 2018 was a disastrous year for the Cowboys. Expected to be among the premiership contenders, they were instead stuck in the bottom half of the ladder all season and finished 13th. It was a quiet year for Morgan too, with just eight try assists and a single try in 11 matches.

The upside to all that is that Morgan is priced as a 31-point Fantasy player in 2019, easily the best value he's been since 2014.

The real positive is we've already seen Morgan's Fantasy scoring skyrocket when he's running the ship at the Cowboys without Thurston. In 2017 he played the bulk of the season with JT on the sidelines and scored 51 points a game in those matches, with that average rising to 55 from round 16 onwards (and pushing 59 if you ignore an injury-affected 39-minute performance in round 23).

If Morgan scores more than 40 points a game in 2019 he'll be a quality cash cow. If he hits 50 or more he'll be an absolute must-have.

Negatives

You can't entirely discount last year's performances by Morgan, which resulted in Fantasy scores well below what he usually produced when playing alongside Thurston.

The Cowboys have Josh McGuire and a fully fit Jordan McLean this year but there's no guarantee that leads to a dramatic turnaround of their form, and if Morgan isn't scoring and setting up tries like he did in 2017 he won't be hitting big Fantasy scores.

To buy or not to buy?

Few players have the cash cow potential and proven pedigree of Morgan, making him one of my favourite early-season options for 2019.

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