Lone Scout, NRL.com
The Cowboys bid farewell to a number of experienced heads at the end of the 2013 season, opening the door for several youngsters to make their mark in a side brimming with talent. Add new coach Paul Green into the mix, and there are suddenly several names that become Fantasy-relevant.
It's not surprising to see five-eighth Johnathan Thurston ($386,200) as the Cows' most expensive Holden NRL Fantasy proposition. On his day, JT can rack up a monster total, but his inconsistent scoring has put many coaches off in the past. With the departure of Matt Bowen, North Queensland will further rely on their representative co-captain, so expect a slight increase in his attacking numbers.
James Tamou ($303,200) didn't have a standout 2013, but if he returns to his best this season he could be one to consider up front given he is significantly cheaper than other premium FRF options. Fast becoming one of the Cowboys' more experienced players, the only real downside is Tamou's likely inclusion in the NSW side.
With veteran Fantasy workhorse Dallas Johnson hanging up the boots, Joel Riethmuller ($286,400) is primed to have first crack at the vacant No. 13 jersey. Having played there at points throughout 2013, if Riethmuller is handed 80 minutes each week he could be a unique pick at 2RF.
Lachlan Coote ($191,900) has the unenviable task of replacing Bowen at the back but presents tremendous value, even at just a touch under 200k. If the former Panther can hit the ground running at his new club he is likely to be one of the most popular players in the game.
Hooker was a persistent problem for the Cowboys in 2013, following the retirement of club legend Aaron Payne and James Segeyaro's move south of the border. Scott Moore has been released, and while Ray Thompson ($221,000) was effective in the role in the run to the finals last season, with a new coach comes new ideas. You'd expect Cameron King ($157,600) wasn't signed just to spend time in reserve grade, while Anthony Mitchell ($127,100) is another contender. Keep an eye out for the Round 1 team news before committing to either.
2014 is very much a fresh start for the North Queensland side. After the highs and lows of 2013, expect something different from this years' squad. If the Cowboys can start this season as they finished the last, there's value to be found here.
Cowboys 2014 NRL Fantasy prices
Johnathan Thurston (HLF) $386,200
James Tamou (FRF) $303,200
Robert Lui (HLF) $301,100
Gavin Cooper (2RF) $288,800
Joel Riethmuller (2RF) $286,400
Matthew Scott (FRF) $279,400
Kane Linnett (CTR) $259,000
Scott Bolton (2RF) $230,100
Jason Taumalolo (2RF) $222,500
Ray Thompson (HLF, HOK) $221,000
Brent Tate (CTR) $220,500
Antonio Winterstein (CTR, WFB) $216,600
Tariq Sims (2RF) $215,300
Glenn Hall (2RF) $209,100
Kyle Feldt (WFB, CTR) $207,900
Michael Morgan (HLF) $207,600
Lachlan Coote (WFB) $191,900
Rory Kostjasyn (HLF, HOK) $185,300
Wayne Ulugia (WFB) $172,900
Ashton Sims (FRF) $171,500
Ethan Lowe (2RF) $159,800
Cameron King (HOK) $157,600
Ricky Thorby (FRF, 2RF) $134,400
Anthony Mitchell (HOK) $127,100
Blake Leary (2RF) $107,000
Sam Hoare (FRF) $107,000
Curtis Rona (CTR (2RF) $107,000
Hezron Murgha (WFB) $107,000
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