The Wests Tigers are a team packed with NRL Fantasy potential.
With the departure of key playmakers Benji Marshall and Harry Grant and the arrival of a couple of recruits with something to prove, there are some tempting cut-price options.
Players to watch
Liddle's wait for the No.9 jersey has been a long time coming. He made his Tigers debut off the bench in 2016, was a back-up for the next three years and just when the starting hooker role looked set to be in his grasp, he copped a long-term injury.
That led to the Tigers recruiting Harry Grant on a one-year loan deal for 2020, with Liddle eventually getting his chance late in the season.
He scored 54 and 51 in his two starts at hooker (playing around 60 minutes in each game), but unfortunately for him – and fortunately for NRL Fantasy coaches – Liddle then spent four more games coming off the bench.
The result is he starts 2021 with the very affordable price of $304,000 and a break even in the low 20s, meaning he will be an absolute bargain if he starts in the No.9 jersey in round one and can stay fit for at least the first couple of months.
Two factors make Luke Brooks an intriguing NRL Fantasy option this season. The first is he's much cheaper than a year ago – he scored 52 points per game in 2019 but only averaged 40 last season, meaning he's priced at $544,000 rather than $700,000.
His 2019 results also show he's capable of producing big scores and earning a lot of price rises.
The second key factor is the departure of Benji Marshall. He played 16 matches last season and was the club's dominant playmaker in that time, taking 260 kick metres per game (compared to Brooks's 200).
With Benji no longer pulling the strings, Brooks is now the senior half and should improve his stats.
Brooks was also used off the interchange three times last year – spending the majority of those games sitting on the bench. He scored 45.5 points per game when playing the full 80 minutes despite finishing with just three try assists for the year, so if those numbers rise, combined with extra kick metres, he can make significant improvements.
For raw potential it's hard to go past Roberts, one of the few players in the NRL capable of matching Josh Addo-Carr for speed and someone who can score a try out of nothing from anywhere on the field.
Last season at the Rabbitohs, he played six games – including an error-prone cameo off the bench that included a sin-binning and an NRL Fantasy score of -2 – so he starts the new season at a discounted price of $336,000.
That equates to about 25 Fantasy points a game, well below his usual performances. He scored around 35 points a game in 2019 and 2018 and better than 40 points a game in the two seasons before that – but can he get back to his best?
After making the move south from Brisbane, Ofahengaue has the chance to take on a larger role at the Tigers and his Fantasy value could improve significantly.
Last year at the Broncos he didn't have a set role, splitting his time between the interchange, the second row, lock and prop. He averaged 31 points from 49 minutes, and is priced accordingly, but was significantly worse when playing off the bench (averaging 23 points a game).
In four games as a starting front-rower – the role he's a good chance of playing this year – Ofahengaue averaged 42 points from 54 minutes. More of those kinds of numbers this year would mean his starting price would increase by around $150,000 and make him a mid-range cash cow.
2021 NRL Fantasy Price announcement - David Nofoaluma
2021 NRL Fantasy player prices
Alex Twal MID $709,000
Luciano Leilua EDG $705,000
David Nofoaluma WFB $667,000
Luke Garner EDG $596,000
James Tamou MID $574,000
Luke Brooks HLF $544,000
Adam Doueihi WFB $532,000
Billy Walters HLF, HOK $448,000
Thomas Mikaele MID $448,000
Joey Leilua CTR $440,000
Moses Mbye CTR, WFB $422,000
Tommy Talau WFB, CTR $419,000
Joe Ofahengaue MID $417,000
Paul Momorivski CTR $368,000
Russell Packer MID $338,000
James Roberts CTR $336,000
Asu Kepaoa WFB $319,000
Jacob Liddle HOK $304,000
Zane Musgrove MID $265,000
Michael Chee-Kam EDG $246,000
Alex Seyfarth MID $246,000
Shawn Blore EDG $246,000
Stefano Utoikamanu MID $246,000
Zachary Cini CTR $228,000
Jock Madden HLF $228,000
Jake Simpkin HOK $228,000
Tukimihia Simpkins EDG $228,000