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Roosters prop Siosiua Taukeiaho.

After back-to-back premierships, the Roosters came up short last season and should be among the elite teams again this year.

They boast some of the best Fantasy scores in the league as well as a potential bargain or two in the halves.

Players to watch

James Tedesco

The best player in rugby league and the best winger/fullback in NRL Fantasy, Tedesco led the league in tackle breaks, run metres and line-break assists last year and will be a must-have player for your team at some stage this season.

The question is: buy him now, or buy him later? He averaged a huge 63.4 points a game last year – including three scores above 100 – but he's traditionally a bit of a slow starter in the early rounds.

In the last three years, Tedesco's round one scores have been 29, 18 and 30. That suggests you may get away with leaving him out of your initial squad and picking him up on the cheap later.

2021 NRL Fantasy Price announcement - James Tedesco

He did hit 94 in round three and 111 in round five last season, so his slow starts don't necessarily last for long, but like any fullback he is susceptible to a string of below-average scores.

Between round 11 and 16 last year Tedesco's price plummeted by more than $230,000 before he promptly smashed out back-to-back scores of 112 and 101.

If you time it just right you could get him for a steal later on, but the safer bet is to snap up the world's best No.1 in your initial team.

Lachlan Lam

The departure of Kyle Flanagan to the Bulldogs creates an opening in the Roosters halves and Lachlan Lam will likely be battling young gun Sam Walker for the No.7 jersey.

Lam scored 63 in his only 80-minute performance in the starting side last year (he also scored 26 in 28 minutes before leaving the field with an ankle injury in round 14), spending most of his NRL appearances coming off the bench.

Priced as a 35-point player there is potential for Lam to be a mid-range moneymaker in the early rounds if he can produce consistent scores in the mid 40s, which should be possible if he takes most of the long kicking duties as he did in his starts alongside Luke Keary last year.

If Walker gets the halfback spot he could be an even bigger bargain for Fantasy coaches, starting at the basement rookie price.

Analysing the Roosters' 2021 draw

Siosiua Taukeiaho

Flanagan's exit also means the Roosters need to find a new first-choice goal-kicker, and in Taukeiaho they have one of the best goal-kicking big men in recent years.

The middle forward's game took a leap last season, with 165 metres, 30 tackles and 50 Fantasy points per game. His offloads also doubled last year, and he's now one of the senior men in the Tricolours' forward pack.

Combine any further improvement as a player with the likely goal-kicking duties and Taukeiaho could be a great buy, even at his fairly lofty price.

Roosters big men turn it on through the middle

Angus Crichton

One of the key changes to Fantasy this season is the arrival of the new edge forward and middle forward positions – and Crichton goes into the new year as the premier edge forward in Fantasy.

A revelation at the Rabbitohs in 2017, Crichton had a mixed first year as a Rooster in 2019 with a series of games as an interchange player but he was back to his best last season to average 62 Fantasy points a game.

He did even better in the finals, scoring 65 and 75, and is one of only three players available as an edge forward to have averaged above 60 last year (along with the Eels' Ryan Matterson and the Warriors' Tohu Harris).

As with Tedesco, it's not really a case of if you want Crichton in your team, just when.

Tedesco hands Crichton a first half double

2021 NRL Fantasy player prices

James Tedesco WFB $850,000
Angus Crichton EDG, MID $833,000
Siosiua Taukeiaho MID $674,000
Jake Friend HOK $623,000
Daniel Tupou WFB $595,000
Luke Keary HLF $592,000
Brett Morris WFB $580,000
Jared Waerea-Haregreaves MID $571,000
Nat Butcher MID $570,000
Boyd Cordner EDG $567,000
Joseph Manu CTR $559,000
Victor Radley MID $524,000
Matt Ikuvalu WFB $513,000
Isaac Liu MID $507,000
Lindsay Collins MID $500,000
Sitili Tupouniua EDG $485,000
Josh Morris CTR $484,000
Lachlan Lam HLF $446,000
Drew Hutchison HLF $420,000
Adam Keighran HLF $292,000
Sam Verrills HOK $246,000
Daniel Suluka-Fifita MID $246,000
Billy Smith CTR $246,000
Egan Butcher EDG $228,000
Fletcher Baker EDG $228,000
Sam Walker HLF $228,000

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