I trust everyone has enjoyed the off season break and been amazing to see the quality of posts getting better and better each year.
This time around I’m focusing in on one of the absolute premium halfbacks that only played a handful of games and has been severely under-priced SC wise but boasts an amazing record when he does take the field. He will surely be a future great for his club and should be in every team. Of course this could only be Johnat…KODI NIKORIMA EVERYBODY!
- 785 points
- 16 appearances
- 49.1 average
- 2018 price: $435,400
There is so much to like about this young gun that finally got his chance in the number 7 last year. On the surface his stats frame him as a mid-ranger when really he has every chance of becoming a genuine SuperCoach weapon of mass destruction.
The key factor that has him heavily under-priced is that he got shuffled around during stages of the 2017 season as a ‘Mr-fix-it’, subbing in at HOK or briefly at FB off the bench. This happened on five occasions where he was typically getting around 20- 30 mins in the wrong positions which killed his average.
Where it really gets interesting is the 11 matches he was allowed to play the full 80 mins combining with Anthony Milford while playing at HB. Given Wayne Bennett has publicly stated he will retain Niko as his permanent number 7 these are the games I’m focusing in on. To put it simply this is how those games turned out:
Scores: 73, 21, 71, 70, 61, 72, 96, 65, 40, 34, 81
Average base points: 25
This works out at an average of 62.2PPG, pricing him at approximately 555k, a 120k increase on his current starting price!!
While this alone should be a selling point, and would put his average slightly above Pearce, DCE and Hunt; there are plenty of other things to like about him:
- Great early draw – In a very unsurprising turn of events the Broncos have secured a relatively soft start to the 2018 year, with Kodi’s first 6 victims being the Dragons, Cowboys, Tigers, Titans, Knights and Warriors. You’d certainly expect a few high scoring games out of this bunch and by the end of this period you’ll know if he will be a long term keeper or it should be perfect timing to swap him out to a new cow (Adam Reynolds replacement??) or go to a falling gun.
- Winning nature – Out of the 11 games in question, Broncos went on to win 10 of them. Plenty has been published surrounding the partnership forming between Niko and the Milf which should only get stronger and also leads to the next point.
- Job security – As mentioned above, Bennet has plenty of faith in this 23-year-old to get the job done, and with very little depth in the halves department there isn’t anyone else bashing down the door to take the HB spot from him. I also love that he has gradually been blooded into the side and already has several seasons of experience in and around first grade.
- Potential VC – I always like getting in a Broncos outside back to serve as a VC loop candidate. While he hasn’t served up tons so far, given the wealth of 70+ scores it’s not a stretch to imagine him converting a few this year. Although the Broncos don’t have the Friday night dominance they used to they do play Thursday or Friday night games in 7/12 rounds before the round 13 bye including their first three matches.
- POD – As of writing this if you are after someone a bit different from the cookie cutter teams, Nikorima has a 1% ownership.
The biggest con against him is that like a lot of other halves he has lost his dual status, and in a massive turnaround from last year there are plenty of Halfback candidates and not many value picks at 5/8 unless you drop serious cash.
The fact that myself and another 48% of people have JT in their side who is also HB only plays against Nikorima, therefore you will have to mindful of balancing your team and likely playing one of them off your bench. Depending on TLT this could lead to playing the likes of Carty or Connor Watson as a cheaper starting 5/8 or spending big and taking three premium halves to start the season.
However, despite that slight issue it is definitely worth the risk to start with Kodi, I know I will be and will be chanting “Penalty Broncos” to kick off each and every week!