Reed Mahoney was the first entrant into the 100-club for 2021, Nathan Cleary justified his monstrous price tag and a host of cheapies got their price rises started in the first round of NRL Fantasy for the year.
Mahoney started the year in fine style with a dynamic and match-winning 109 against Brisbane, with a try, try assist and 55 tackles.
Cleary's price will remarkably go up before it comes down after he was the major beneficiary of the new turn over rules, earning possession for his side three times (for a total of 12 points) along with stats in almost every category to finish with 96 – easily the best of the likely captaincy options.
It was a fantastic start for coaches who took a punt on an appealingly-priced Latrell Mitchell with a try, try assist and one of his biggest career run metre tallies of 180 for 84 points in the loss to Melbourne.
Get Caught Up: Round 1
Storm fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen is one of the most-owned players in Fantasy and lived up to that billing, adding 10 points worth of goals to his two tries in his 77.
There were eye-catching scores from lesser-owned players Daniel Saifiti (86), Brett Morris (85), Brian To'o (79) and Hudson Young (77) plus Fantasy regular James Tedesco (75).
There were some outstanding scores from popular and lower-priced players, with price rises inbound for the likes of Jayden Brailey (78), Daine Laurie (44), Connor Watson (54 after initially being benched then coming on at five-eighth for an injured Kurt Mann), Jacob Liddle (51) and Joe Ofahengaue (58).
Roberts with an early nomination for pass of the season
Spencer Leniu (41), Tyrell Fuimaono (44) and Daniel Alvaro (36) are also set to make some short-term cash while Jake Turpin (53), Anthony Milford (52), Matt Moylan (37), Chad Townsend (59), Luke Brooks (64) and Paul Momorivski (40, in the tricky centre position) are also set to rise in value with serviceable scores.
Tino Fa'asuamaleaui (41) is one of the most-owned players in Fantasy and while his 41 is a disappointment for his many owners, it was the result of a whopping 18 demerits; his 59 points racked up – largely in base stats – in a generous 65 minutes of game time is a great sign.
Not all the popular cheapies will be getting stuck into some price rises. Jordan Riki (23), Jake Averillo (20), Jack Hetherington (23), James Roberts (19), David Fusitu'a (13), Ben Murdoch-Masila (20), Jack Bird (11), Dylan Walker (14), Jack Gosiewski (19), Jason Saab (7) and Reimis Smith (8) had underwhelming scores to start the season. Matt Lodge (15) started well enough but went off with a hamstring injury and will miss a game or two.
Lachlan Croker (24) struggled at hooker with the added problem of his main rival for that spot Cade Cust scoring a hat-trick in reserve grade to place serious pressure on for next week.
Mahoney tries to spark the Eels
At the pricier end, Canberra's impressive win didn't help the scores of popular guns Josh Papalii (29) and Jack Wighton (27), Jason Taumalolo's (33) predicted drop in minutes had predictable results on his scoring, while Api Koroisau (33), AJ Brimson (34), Damien Cook (37) and Daly Cherry-Evans (42) will also be shedding value.
Round 1 team of the week
- Latrell Mitchell (84)
- Brett Morris (85)
- Josh Morris (51)
- Josh Dugan (51)
- Brian To'o (79)
- Ben Hunt (71)
- Nathan Cleary (96)
- Daniel Saifiti (86)
- Reed Mahoney (109)
- Jai Arrow (74)
- Hudson Young (78)
- Angus Crichton (67)
- Joseph Tapine (74)
- Jayden Brailey (78)
- Ryan Papenhuyzen (77)
- James Tedesco (75)
- Junior Paulo (73)