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Ash Taylor and Jamal Fogarty.

Rugby league's chief playmakers are more important than ever in Fantasy following a rare year in which a halfback was the highest-scoring player in the game.

Top performers in 2020: Nathan Cleary (72.6 points per game), Daly Cherry-Evans (64.6 ppg), Mitchell Moses (57.2 ppg), Dylan Brown (55.1 ppg), Ben Hunt (55.1 ppg)

Average Fantasy score for a half in 2020: 42 points (2nd highest scoring position)

Biggest improvers in 2020: Jamal Fogarty (+$480k), Jarome Luai (+$419k), Kurt Mann (+$328k), Jai Field (+$218k), Adam Clune (+$195k)

Key scoring categories: Kick Metres, Run Metres, Tackles, Tackle Breaks, Try Assists, Goals

The lowdown

A crucial position for Fantasy, which featured the top overall scorer in the game last year – Panthers No.7 Nathan Cleary.

The best scorers are dominant playmakers in their team who do the bulk of the kicking in general play, ideally paired with a running five-eighth.

Manly's Daly Cherry-Evans and Parramatta's Mitch Moses also excelled last season. Rookie halves can also quickly become quality scorers.

On the other hand, be wary of cheap halves who rarely kick or break tackles, as those players tend to produce middling scores in the 20s or low 30s.

2021 NRL Fantasy point-scoring system

Popular buys

Jake Averillo (Bulldogs, $302k) – Cheap, dual-position player who can take up a spot in the difficult centre position and could be the starting five-eighth for Canterbury.

Nathan Cleary (Panthers, $973k) – The most expensive player in Fantasy and a safe bet for captain, even if he doesn't match last year's stunning 73-point average.

Everybody’s heading to Magic Round

Cameron Munster (Storm, $671k) – Significantly cheaper than Cleary but could be a big improver if he kicks goals and takes on more playmaking duties in Cameron Smith's absence.

Matt Moylan (Sharks, $310k) – Talented but injury-prone former NSW Origin star who is incredibly cheap after a forgettable 2020. Also available at winger/fullback.

Sam Walker (Roosters, $228k) – Rookie halfback with a lot of promise who could potentially take Kyle Flanagan's old No.7 jersey.

Lachlan Lam (Roosters, $446k) – Walker's rival for the Roosters halfback spot, likely to be the round one starter. Also great value, has scored well in the past.

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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