Updated: Jul 3, 2022
Welcome back to Falling Gun, a weekly article where I will analyse the form, output and price of current and former guns to determine the best time for you to pick them up on the run home. With some fantasy coaches struggling for consistent scores from their middle forwards, this week I will identify the top 6 options in this position and look at Isaiah Papali’i, Tohu Harris and Jason Taumalolo in depth.
Isaiah Papali’i (839k) (BE 88) (Owned by 75% in Top 100, 75.50% in Top 1000 and 70% in Top 5000)
Brad Arthur’s movement of I paps back to lock for the last three weeks was frustrating for owners. I paps has lost 85k during this time and enters Round 16 with a higher breakeven of 88. In 2022, I paps averages 65 points per game in the second row compared to 55 points per game at lock. In addition to playing the 80 minutes, a more consistent base stat output and the 10 point difference in scoring is seen through averaging an additional 46 run metres per game. These extra run metres give I paps greater opportunities to rack up tackle busts, offloads and involvements in attacking plays (line breaks, trys and assists).
Recommendation - Buy, captaincy option and a must have in everyone’s final 17.
Tohu Harris (607k) (BE 56) (Owned by 92% in Top 100, 89.70% in Top 1000 and 81.08% in Top 5000)
Coaches have not been rewarded who brought Harris before the first buy round based on his gun pedigree and thinking he has bottomed out at 695k. For someone whose season average is reduced by 24.7 points in 2022, Harris is making 9 fewer tackles, acquiring 1.5 less tackle busts and offloads each and down by 0.6 on involvement in attacking plays per game (line breaks, trys and assist). It is interesting to note that Harris has only played one 80 minute game this season. At a breakeven of 56 and with Josh Curran back as a ball playing lock in the Warriors’ middle rotation, opportunities on an edge look limited for Harris to register big base stats with a sprinkling of involvement in attacking plays.
Recommendation - Hold for 1 more week to see if he plays 80 minutes with increased output and Euan Aitken back in the centres, otherwise trade to a Round 17 player.
Jason Taumalolo (587k) (BE 31) (Owned by 31% in Top 100, 35.90% in Top 1000 and 37.20% in Top 5000)
Cotter’s recent and continued unavailability has meant Lolo is back to racking up big fantasy scores in a consistent 65+ minute role. With a three round average of 60, Lolo is back to consistent 200+ run metres efforts per game, allowing greater opportunities to bust tackles and offload the football. Having bottomed out at 573k and with current scores of 20 and 8 in his five game rolling average, Lolo is poised to make 60k in the next 2 weeks. For the short term with Cotter out until Round 20, Leilua coming into a new system and a favourable draw, there is the opportunity for big run metres and an influx in attacking stats and plays (linebreaks, trys and assists), however, Lolo may play reduced minutes if the Cowboys juggernaut dominants on the scoreboard.
Recommendation - Avoid unless you have 10+ trades, a trade out plan or need a quick cash grab.
My Top 6 Middle Forwards
Isaiah Papali’i (Mid/Edge Dual)
Ryan Matterson (Mid/Edge Dual)
That’s a wrap for Falling Gun in Round 16. Be sure to check out Talking League’s weekly podcasts as well as other published articles. Remember, strategy and planning for trading in guns at their lowest price is key to maximising your team’s value.