All signs suggest the Bulldogs are about to turn the tide after a few seasons in the doldrums, with a new coach and key new signings arriving in 2021 and 2022.
They've got plenty of young talent in the backline and could feature some breakout performers this season.
Players to watch
With a 52-point average last season, Flanagan was one of the Fantasy success stories at the Roosters – even if the club showed him the door at season's end before the Bulldogs snapped up the young halfback.
It means there isn't actually too much room for improvement for him stats-wise this season, with the 22-year-old having already racked up plenty of goals and attacking stats at the defending champions last season.
Analysing the Bulldogs' 2021 draw
His scoring potential this year is probably most closely tied to his halves partner – if paired with Lachlan Lewis there's a chance his scoring declines slightly, with Lewis traditionally talking the bulk of long kicks at Canterbury. If he has another halves partner Flanagan's kick metres could rise slightly in 2021.
One potential five-eighth option for new coach Trent Barrett is Averillo, a young gun who impressed mostly from the centres last year.
Priced as a low-20s scorer, Averillo averaged 24 when playing at centre, 33 on the wing, 37 at five-eighth and eight when used as a backline utility off the bench.
The Bulldogs' 2020 season in review
So there's definite upside if he gets the nod at five-eighth but as a 20-year-old playing in just his second season there's also every reason to expect some general improvement regardless of where he plays this season.
He's a big-name signing for the Bulldogs and is expected to make a full-time switch from the wing to the centres, but Cotric has actually shown in the past he's a better Fantasy scorer when playing out wide.
One of the best tackle-breakers in the game, Cotric averages 36 when playing on the wing (38 last season) but only 29 when playing in the centres (19 in his only game at centre last season).
So, while most Fantasy scorers are better off the closer to the middle of the field they get, Cotric appears to be an exception so he may be one to steer clear of if he's wearing the No.3 or 4 jersey in round one.
A highly-rated English forward who followed in the footsteps of stars like John Bateman, James Graham and the Burgess brothers in making a switch to the NRL last season, Thompson didn't quite hit the heights of his countrymen in his debut campaign despite averaging a respectable 43.5 Fantasy points.
In fairness, joining a COVID-19-affected Telstra Premiership season mid-year wasn't the easiest way to transition to the new league, and he should take a step up a level with a full NRL pre-season under his belt in 2021.
Thompson already showed flashes of quality that could make him a cut-price keeper next season, with back-to-back scores of 53 after a fortnight in the NRL, and an impressive 66 points in 69 minutes in his last game of the year.
That final performance against minor premiers Penrith featured a season-high six tackle breaks and 173 metres, and if he can produce more of that sort of form next year he could prove to be a bargain.
Bulldogs 2021 NRL Fantasy player prices
Kyle Flanagan HLF $726,000
Lachlan Lewis HLF $666,000
Raymond Faitala-Mariner EDG $623,000
Adam Elliott MID $596,000
Luke Thompson MID $583,000
Jeremy Marshall-King HOK $565,000
Josh Jackson EDG $549,000
Dylan Napa MID $501,000
Nick Cotric WFB $484,000
Brandon Wakeham HLF $458,000
Sione Katoa HOK, MID $446,000
Corey Waddell EDG $430,000
Nick Meaney WFB $419,000
Corey Allan WFB $416,000
Will Hopoate CTR, WFB $395,000
Jayden Okunbor WFB $360,000
Dallin Watene-Zelezniak WFB $331,000
Jack Hetherington MID $322,000
Renouf (To'omaga) Atoni MID $307,000
Jake Averillo CTR, HLF $302,000
Chris Smith MID $299,000
Dean Britt MID $292,000
Ofahiki Ogden MID $284,000
Christian Crichton WFB $258,000
Joe Stimson EDG $246,000
Tuipolotu Katoa WFB $246,000
James Roumanos EDG $228,000
Tyrone Harding WFB $228,000