Welcome back to a new season of NRL Supercoach Draft! Hope you all were fortunate enough to start off the new season with a 1-0 record (unlike myself). Nevertheless, Chris and I are back to guide you through the season and (hopefully) assist you in your quest to unearth this year’s George Burgess off the waiver wire.
For all your start/sit or trade questions free to comment below or hit me up on Twitter @FantasyNRLDRAFT. – For the most accurate advice I encourage you to state your whole roster, how many teams are in your league and how many starters/bench you have on your roster.
*Note – For the purposes of my articles I will under the assumption that most leagues are 10 man, 17 Man Rosters (Starting 3 Front Rowers/Hookers; 3 Second-Row Forwards, 1 Halfback, 1 Five-Eighth, 4 Centres/Wingers, 1 Fullback and 4 Bench/Reserves).
Waiver Wire – Week 1.
*Waivers claims clear each Thursday Morning at 4am.
Must-Add (across all leagues):
Ben Hampton (5/8 & FLB) – MEL.
Gareth who?? If Hampton continues to string together performances like he did against the Sea Eagles this week then it won’t take Storm supporters long to move on from the departure of Widdop. Hampton appears to be another to conform to the Melbourne system of being a gun fullback in the 20’s who is forced to make the grade as a Five-Eighth due to the presence of one Billy Slater. Hampton compiled a try, a try assist, a linebreak, 21 tackles and 5 tackle busts on his way to an impressive 81. If this match was against anyone else other than Manly, the Roosters, or Souths I’d excuse those who would want to pass this off as just a ‘one-off’ good game; but the fact he did this against Manly at Brookvale leads me to believe he is the #1 waiver wire pickup this week.
Maybe-Add (10 teams or larger):
Dale Finucane (2RF & FRF) – CBY.
Starting at lock for the injured Greg Eastwood, Dale Finucane managed a very respectable 51 in ‘base’ stats (32 tackles, 12 runs [7 of which were 8m+]). Judging by past performances Finucane isn’t shy when it comes to a sneaky offload either. The only thing preventing Finucane being a ‘must add’ is that his 50mins he got last week is not sustainable once the Bulldogs start to get players back healthy in their pack (i.e. Sam Kasiano and Greg Eastwood in the main).
Semi Radradra (CTW) – PAR.
Semi-Trailer makes this list by default thanks to his week 1 hat-trick against the woeful Warriors. He has to be mentioned but I would advise most to not burn a claim on Semi and only pick him up if you can get him as a Free Agent once waivers have been processed on Thursday morning. The reason for this is, he only had 14 runs (10 over 8m). At that rate he would need to maintain his 10 tackle busts every week to average 44. I think he is like the majority of CTWs out there – they need the attacking stats to be relevant.
Tyson Frizell (2RF) – STG.
Big start to the year for the T-Friz…just a casual 103 to start off the year!! A bit of disagreement between Chris and I on this one. Chris is on board with the Jack De Belin injury meaning bigger and better things for Frizell, whereas I don’t think it will impact him much at all. Chris wants it to be known that the reasoning behind his stance (and a caveat to it being that) Frizell might sneak his way into some 2RF minutes along the way. Personally, I think that won’t happen and that De Belin getting hurt 16mins into the game was what caused Frizell to have such a big game. Basically what I am getting at is, don’t get carried away with Frizell’s big score. Remove the 2 tries and 2 linebreaks and look at his 51mins, 10 runs (6x8m+) and 26 tackles. Not amazing stats by any means.
Dale Copley (CTW) – BRI.
Copley started the year with a bang as he both scored and set up a try on his way to 89 fantasy points. Much like Semi Radradra, Copley makes this list by default but I wouldn’t advise burning a claim on him. Anyone who has seen Copley play before knows he isn’t a great fantasy player.
Matthew White (FRF) – GLD.
Big Matty White was a very surprising week 1 achiever. His 10 runs (6x8m+), 26 tackles, 3 tackle busts and 3 offloads netted him a very nice 57. I’m always a huge fan of guys who love to sneak an offload! White’s score was an example of what happens when someone manages to not get any negative points. Each and every stat White compiled kept his stats rising. Unfortunately, it is near impossible for anyone to maintain that type of output, but regardless, he is worth a look if he continues to offload a couple of times each week.
Tinirau Arona (2RF) – CRO.
The withdrawal of Todd Carney last week resulted in Wade Graham switching from second row to five-eighth and Tinirau Arona gaining the start alongside Matt Prior in the Sharks backrow. Arona made the most of his 60mins of game time scoring a try, making 30 tackles and having 10 hitups/runs (6x8m+). With the loss of Paul Gallen for 6-8 weeks Arona has been named to start at lock this week for the Sharks so there is an opportunity there for him to potentially improve on those 60mins get got last week.
Peta Hiku (CTW & FLB) – MAN.
With the oft-injured Brett Stewart once again succumbing to a hamstring injury an opportunity opens up for Hiku to play his preferred position at fullback. Stewart is said to be expected to miss the next 4-5 weeks so Hiku will have fantasy relevancy for at least the next 4 weeks.
Manu Ma’u (2RF) – PAR.
Supercoach classic week 1 MVP Manu Ma’u hit the ground running in his NRL debut managing to play 70mins on his way to 64 fantasy points. For the draft version I think Ma’u is probably a no-go at this early stage given that 20 of his 64 points came from linebreaks and a further 16 of them came from tackle busts. Any guy who plays 70mins and only base stats 35 raises a red flag, but given his youth and the fact he did get those 70 mins you can expect him to improve as he becomes more experienced and comfortable in the big league. If you have the roster space to pick him up and ‘stash’ him I think that is the best thing to do with Manu Ma’u.
Leeson Ah Mau (2RF) – STG.
Ah Mau was the surprising player in the Dragon’s backrow to get the full 80 on the weekend. He strung together a healthy score of 55 @ almost 0.7PPM. He is named to start again this week so as long as he maintains 80mins he presents consistent points in the 2RF.
Desperation Add (if you are desperate):
Travis Waddell (FRF) – NEW.
The injury to Darius Boyd sees regular Knights hooker Kurt Gidley move back to fullback with results in Waddell to gain the start at hooker for the Knights this week. The only reason I’d recommend Waddell is because there doesn’t appear to be a backup hooker named for the Knights (McKinnon, Houston, Fa’alogo, Cuthbertson) and given Waddell made 49 tackles in his 57mins last week he might be worth a go if you are desperate at FRF.
Kaysa Pritchard (FRF) – PAR
Much like Waddell, Pritchard has found himself as the starting hooker with no apparent backup named in the team. This alone makes Pritchard worth a look.
Vai Toutai (CTW) – PAR.
See Semi Radradra, one week doesn’t make a season.