Welcome to Fast 5, an article where I give a quick summary on 5 interesting trade options for the round. This will include the top 4 most popular trade ins as of Thursday, plus my POD of the week for those looking to stray away from the pack.
Ezra Mam $386k (BE -6) Ownership: 18.0% (+2.12%)
Ezra was a very popular pickup last week, and rewarded coaches who jumped on him with 45 points against the Raiders which included a try. I spoke a little bit about Ezra’s base stats last week being solid despite the fact he doesn’t do any of the general play kicking. After a 3-game sample size, he has a base of 29 from purely run metres and tackles. When you add on top that he is a great ball runner, you can expect him to also maintain at least a few tackle breaks and offloads per game. At his current price and BE plus also playing in round 17, I still think he is a buy this week. He may even pick up a few kick metres this week if we are lucky, considering he is pairing Roberts in the halves. Also note that he is playing against Melbourne this week, so maybe consider looping him if you have a red dot available.
Final Decision: YES
Jason Taumalolo $573k (BE 27) Ownership: 10.6% (+1.25%)
Another player that was a popular trade in last week who had a huge game against the Dragons with 66 in 74 minutes. I said in my article last week that his high minute role over origin would continue with some of the origin players getting rested, in particular Reuben Cotter. I know it might seem crazy, but personally I would still be avoiding him at this stage. He is most likely going to keep up his 60+ average over the next few weeks, however, post round 18 I believe he will go back to his normal 50–55 minute role once the team is back to full strength. If you are high on trades, he may be worth a punt as he will continue his high output in the short term, but just be aware you may need to trade him out again before round 25.
Final Decision: NO – Unless you are high on trades
Grant Anderson $252k (BE -3) Ownership: 1.0% (+0.94%)
Grant made his debut last week for the Storm scoring two tries and putting up a score of 46. From what I can see, this is a trap in the making. First reason for this is that majority of his points came from the two try scoring plays, with him only making 84 run metres and 11 tackles (which is unusually high for a winger). If you are picking up a winger in fantasy, you usually want someone who is going to get through a heap of work with the ability to break tackles or offload, such as a Brian To’o or a Taylan May. From the eye test, I don’t see Anderson as one of these types of players. Another factor to consider is Ryan Papenhuyzen returning from injury in round 16 which could see Nick Meaney push back onto the wing in the place of Anderson.
Final Decision: NO
Matt Burton $814k (BE 31) Ownership: 26.5% (+0.8%)
Matt Burton has been in ridiculous form as of late averaging 68 over his past 5 games. This has seen his price go above the $800k mark and has cemented his spot as the best possible CTR option in NRL Fantasy. He is pretty much doing everything you want out of a fantasy player, getting a ton of kick metres, kicking goals, making tackles, and getting plenty of attacking stats, so I can’t see his scores dropping off anytime soon. If you are one of the poor souls that don’t own him (myself), I believe there is two routes you can go down. If you are focusing on H2H, I think you just need to cut your losses and get him, since you do not want your H2H opponent having him as a POD player against you. If you are focusing on overall however, you may want to have a look at some of the value round 17 centre options that I will discuss below.
Final Decision: YES
Jake’s POD/s of the week
Jesse Ramien $572k / Siosifa Talakai $565k / Ronaldo Mulitalo $590k BE: 48 / 44 / 37 Ownership: 0.7% / 15.8% / 5.2%
Now, I have lumped all three of these guys into the same category, since all three are outside backs with a high work rate playing for the Sharks. Looking at the Sharks run home, they only play four top eight sides in the remaining 11 games which includes the Storm during round 17 and the Cowboys during round 18, so you can assume that these outside backs are going to pick up a fair few attacking stats. The problem is, which one are you going to pick? I have dived into a few of their stats below, so chose whichever you see fit.
Ramien only averages 42.6 this year, however he is capable of going on a high scoring run like what he did at the back end of last year. In 2021 from round 18 onwards he averaged a massive 51 points when he was presented with a soft end of year draw. I think he is a chance of repeating this again this year.
When sorting Talakai’s scores this year at centre, he has an average of 50.8, which rivals Burton as the top average in the CTR position. The appealing thing about Talakai at the moment, is that his massive score of 107 has dropped out of his rolling average, which has brought his price back down to a reasonable value. On the flip side, his form hasn’t been that great of late averaging 36 in the past 5 games. This one could go either way.
Ronaldo is the wildcard out of this bunch, currently averaging 45 this season. He has had some great scores such as a 65 against the Knights and a 69 against the Storm, but also some terrible scores of 19 against the Roosters and 16 against the Broncos. I think out of the three, he is the player most reliant on tries to score well, but as previously mentioned, there is a high probability he’s going to keep scoring tries with the Sharks easy draw. His CTR/WFB dual position may incline some to jump on him if they already have the likes of Burton/Aitken/Tago in their centres.
As always, big shout out to footystatistics.com, which is where I do all my statistical research. Good luck to everyone for the week ahead! Catch TK, Corby and Kyle as they discuss round 15 teams on the podcast