Big bad Nathan Brown isn’t the most glamorous SuperCoach option, but at only 25, and hopefully free of the injuries that ravaged his 2018 season, he could be in for a bounce-back year.
2018 – Games: 15, PPG: 62, BPPG: 55, PPM: 0.91
2017 – Games: 23, PPG: 65, BPPG: 55, PPM: 0.96
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It wasn’t too long ago that Nathan Brown was being spoken about in SuperCoach circles as a mini Paul Gallen following his 2017 breakout year.
Despite the above listed season average of 65 PPG in 2017, from about Round 6 he took ownership of the Eels #13 jersey and went on to average over 70 PPG for the remainder of the season. He played big minutes week after week as the Eels finished 4th.
Heading into 2018, Brown looked undervalued based on the previous year’s heroics. However, the first half of his season was plagued by a mysterious ankle injury. Every week from about Round 6 to 12 the reports were that he would return “next week”.
He did not.
The Eels were so diabolically bad that in their desperation they rushed him back for the Round 13 bye round. While Brown put in as much effort as he always does, his minutes were inconsistent for the next month and he never really passed the eye test.
He did manage to finish the season with a solid five round average of 66 before missing the last two rounds (which was probably a good thing as he got to avoid the round 25 Roosters rampage).
Several unanswerable questions will determine how you feel about him as a POD option in 2019:
- Will the Eels bench be 3 forwards and 1 utility? This would presumably lead to more minutes. If there is a utility on the bench, will he take a stint at #9 like he has done on the odd occasion? Would this hinder his output? It would seem an odd move by Arthur, but you never know.
- Can you justify Brown in a congested SuperCoach position? There are guns like Lolo, Jurbo, Arrow, Angus and undervalued mid rangers such as Murray, Sorenson and Stimson.
- Do you hold it against him that last year he was rumored to be back every week for six weeks, so you held him, tied up valuable cap space, watched your ranking plummet, eventually sold him in round 12, only to then see him return a week later in the crucial round 13 bye round and cost you a trade and playing number – does that matter? ….. asking for a friend.
- Will the Eels improve? Matches like last year’s round 2 Manly Massacre are not the most conducive for a base stat grinder like big old Brown. If the Eels improve that should provide Brown more runs, offloads, HU8s, and less time under the goal posts.
- Is he injury-free following a training injury that led to surgery late last year? Any inside knowledge would be great.)
In 2017 Brown and his comrade King Gutherson carried the Eels and emerged as elite SuperCoach options. As someone who enjoys his gritty, tireless efforts and a “take no prisoners” approach, I hope he can get back to his best. Priced at a 62 average but capable of a 72 average, the upside is there.
However, with the aforesaid uncertainty and competition for spots in the SC second row position, it is probably a NO for now. But, the little shoulder devil whispering into my ear will keep Brown in my thoughts until TLT.
All stats courtesy of the one and only, nrlsupercoachstats.com.
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