Kyle Flanagan headlines a stack of new signings as the Bulldogs continue their rebuild after many lean years. Incoming coach Trent Barrett worked wonders as the attacking coach at the Penrith Panthers and his influence was no doubt a key contributor to unlocking consistency in Nathan Cleary’s game. In speaking to Flanagan on the podcast he spoke about playing a dominant role which included playing both sides of the ruck and doing the majority of kicking. He spoke about a style that reminds him of playing as a junior and Flanagan has one of the most dominant junior records which includes a record-breaking 2017 NYC season which includes 20 tries and 140 goals (360 points) from his 26 games. Flanagan tasted a full year of first grade at the Roosters and in the process become a very relevant NRL fantasy player. Across the season he averaged 52 points. His key stats averages were 27 tackles, 2.3 miss tackles, 257 kick metres, 34 metres gained, 0.6 TA, 0.1 LB, 0.5 LBA, 4.3 goals. He opens 2021 at a price of $726k which is reflective of his performance from 2020. His breakeven in round 1 is 54 and has current ownership of only 3.6%. The Roosters averaged 27.6 points per game in 2020, while the Bulldogs only averaged 14.1. Based on last year you would expect Flanagan to get 2-3 shots at goal game but given an improvement in the roster and an attack-minded coach, this could easily hit 3-4. Goal kicking was a huge improvement which moved from 19/31 (61%) in 2019 to 91/113 (80%) in 2020. Given his first season in first grade, there was a considerable amount of traffic run his way. Flanagan average 27 tackles and 2 misses which is much higher than Luke Keary who averaged 17.5 tackles and 2 misses. Given he is the main playmaker expect this to continue if not increase next season. Kicking metres were a major part of his base stats. Flanagan averaging 257 kick metres with Keary averaging 168 kick metres. Who partner Flanagan in the halves is a big factor in his projection. If Jake Averillo nabs the number 6, expect an even higher kicking output which could be around 400 metres (20 fantasy points). To be a dominate half in a structure led by Barrett, Flanagan will need to improve on his 34 metres averaged per game and also only 0.6 try assists (only 11 in total for the season). Nathan Cleary in the Panthers structure averaged 90 metres per game but I’m sure Barrett is well aware of where his game needs to improve.
While it can be easily argued that the Roosters have the superior roster, take note that Flanagan wasn’t the final pass or kick in many of their scoring plays. As the Bulldogs chief playmaker you would expect him to collect more than 11 try assists over a 25 round season, particularly in the unrestricted role he is speaking of playing. Recommendation – Buy Flano he will go huge. In classic, I feel you need a dominating half and with Nathan Cleary being so pricey, Flano is your go-to. I was confident before speaking to him now his the most confident I’ve ever heard him. In draft his a round 2 pickup. His base stats from last year are all but goal kicking very replicable. I’m projecting him to improve his 52 average to around 60 which would be based on 400 kick metres (20 points), 3 goals (6 points), 70 running metres (7 points), 27 tackles, 2 misses (23 points). On the 4 base stats mentioned that is 56 points. Add tries, try assists, line breaks and line breaks from game to game also.
Listen to Flano on our Bulldogs preview below.
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