The list is stacked with traps, with at least four of the top 20 unlikely to start in Round One: • Roosters pair Sam Walker (sixth most popular) and Joseph Suaalii (12th) clearly have talent. Walker has been compared to a young Kalyn Ponga, while Suaalii finally settled on the Roosters after a bidding war involving multiple codes and multiple NRL clubs. However, latest predictions are that Walker will miss a round one spot to Lachlan Lam and Suaalii isn’t even eligible to play NRL until he turns 18 in August (although the Roosters are currently seeking an exemption).
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• Ben Trbojevic (15th most popular) has KFC SuperCoaches excited given he’s the brother of Test stars Tom and Jake. However, while he’s in the top 30 squad and theoretically a chance to play NRL in 2021, he is a fair way down the pecking order and little chance of round one. • Ryan James (17th most popular) is a KFC SuperCoach star of the past (he averaged 73 in 2016), but is expected to miss the round one side in a stacked Canberra pack following successive ACL injuries.
MOST POPULAR PLAYERS IN KFC SUPERCOACH
1 Charlie Staines, Panthers, Fullback, Wing/Centre, $297,700
Scored a crazy six tries in his first 107 minutes of NRL. That’s a try every 18 minutes. He can’t keep up that strike rate, but he has been handed a very handy discount for only playing two games. MORE HERE
2 Nathan Cleary, Panthers, Halfback, $734,300
Averaged 15 points per game more than the next best halfback last year. Don’t over-think it. Just lock him in.
3 Jason Taumalolo, Cowboys, 2nd Row Forward, $641,700
Hasn’t averaged below 70 in four years. As safe as they come. MORE HERE
4 Tino Fa’asuamaleaui, Titans, 2nd Row Forward, Front Row, $504,900
Now an Origin star and top signing at the Titans, Big Tino will get as many minutes as he can handle – surely more than the 46 he averaged at the Storm last season. MORE HERE
5 Stefano Utoikamanu, Tigers, Front Row, $186,800
Frozen out by the Eels last year after signing a big-money deal elsewhere, averaging just eight minutes a game. As one of the most hyped prop prospects in a while, surely the game time improves at the Tigers. MORE HERE
6 Sam Walker, Roosters, Halfback, $173,700
The 18-year-old has been compared to a young Kalyn Ponga on talent and is the son of Ben Walker, nephew of Shane Walker. That’s a fair resume and bloodline, but recent mail suggests he won’t start the year at the Roosters, despite being considered the long-term replacement for Kyle Flanagan at halfback. MORE HERE
7 Fanitesi Niu, Broncos, Wing/Centre, Fullback, $232,500
Young gun set to start the season at right centre for the Broncos in place of the injured Kotoni Staggs (ACL). Underpriced after playing half his games off the bench last year. MORE HERE
8 Tom Trbojevic, Sea Eagles, Fullback, $593,500
Injury-ruined season sees Tommy Turbo start at his cheapest price ever. MORE HERE
9 Cameron Munster, Storm, 5/8, $620,100
Already a KFC SuperCoach superstar and may even kick goals now Cameron Smith is retired-ish.
10 Bailey Simonsson, Raiders, Wing/Centre, $205,000
Almost base price after playing plenty of games from the bench last year, but set to start in the Canberra backline with Nick Cotric (Bulldogs) having left and Jarrod Croker (shoulder) in doubt for round one. MORE HERE
11 Shawn Blore, Tigers, 2nd Row Forward, $210,500
Expected to start on the edge for the Tigers, which would lead to a massive increase on his 26 minutes from last year. MORE HERE
12 Joseph Suaalii, Roosters, Fullback, Wing/Centre, $173,700
You’ve probably heard his name by now, but if not, this youngster has attracted more coverage than any schoolboy player in the game’s history. Handy dual status but I don’t see him debuting until later in the year. In fact, he’s currently ineligible to play NRL until he turns 18 in August, although the Roosters are seeking a dispensation. MORE HERE
13 Jordan Riki, Broncos, 2nd Row Forward, $277,500
David Fifita’s edge back row spot at the Broncos is open and Riki is well in the running.
14 Matthew Moylan, Sharks, Fullback, 5/8, $253,600
Priced at an average of 29 after an injury-affected year, but has averaged 60s in the past (although that was a very long time ago). Almost locked in to start the year at five-eighth with Shaun Johnson out injured. Huge injury risk, but also huge upside.
15 Ben Trbojevic, Sea Eagles, Wing/Centre, 2nd Row Forward, $173,700
Basically no chance of round one. He’s in the top 30 squad so theoretically a chance to play NRL in 2021, but he is a fair way down the pecking order.
16 Jacob Liddle, Tigers, Hooker, $247,200
Set to finally score the starting hooker spot at the Tigers following the exit of Harry Grant and an unlucky run of injuries.
17 Ryan James, Raiders, Front Row, 2nd Row Forward, $236,700
Priced low after successive ACL injuries and now at the Raiders. MORE HERE
18 Damien Cook, Rabbitohs, Hooker, $621,000
The best gun hooker in KFC SuperCoach with Cameron Smith retired-ish.
19 James Tedesco, Roosters, Fullback, $843,100
Most points of any player last year despite missing three games. Almost a POD for a player of his credentials, but the enormous price means he’ll cost you a gun elsewhere. MORE HERE
20 James Roberts, Tigers, Wing/Centre, $277,700
Fresh chance at the Tigers after a tough year at the Rabbitohs. Starts at almost half the price of his best ever season.
AND THE REST …
21 Payne Haas, Broncos, Front Row, $668,600
22 Ryan Matterson, Eels, 2nd Row Forward, $666,000
23 Harry Grant, Storm, Hooker, $633,100
24 Cameron McInnes, Dragons, Hooker, 2nd Row Forward, $676,200
25 Jason Saab, Sea Eagles, Wing/Centre, $233,200
26 David Fifita, Titans, 2nd Row Forward, $569,900
27 Ryan Papenhuyzen, Storm, Fullback, $629,000
28 Jack Bird, Dragons, Wing/Centre, 2nd Row Forward, $381,100
29 Jake Averillo, Bulldogs, Wing/Centre, 5/8, $331,200
30 Josh Papalii, Raiders, Front Row, $560,400
31 Connor Watson, Knights, 5/8, Hooker, $288,600
32 Valentine Holmes, Cowboys, Fullback, Wing/Centre, $509,400
33 Angus Crichton, Roosters, 2nd Row Forward, $670,500
34 Corey Harawira-Naera, Raiders, 2nd Row Forward, $302,300
35 Ben Murdoch-Masila, Warriors, Front Row, 2nd Row Forward, $330,000
36 Zac Lomax, Dragons, Wing/Centre, Fullback, $605,000
37 Stephen Crichton, Panthers, Wing/Centre, $484,900
38 Haze Dunster, Eels, Wing/Centre, $173,700
39 Zac Saddler, Sea Eagles, Front Row, 2nd Row Forward, $173,700
40 Spencer Leniu, Panthers Front Row, $218,500
41 Victor Radley, Roosters, Hooker, 2nd Row Forward, $445,500
42 Reimis Smith, Storm, Wing/Centre, $324,600
43 Josh Schuster, Sea Eagles, 5/8, $203,100
44 David Fusitu’a, Warriors, Wing/Centre, $251,800
45 David Klemmer, Knights Front Row, $592,200
46 Corey Oates, Broncos, Wing/Centre, 2nd Row Forward, $245,500
47 Jarred Anderson, Bulldogs, Wing/Centre, 2nd Row Forward, $173,700
48 Jack Hetherington, Bulldogs, Front Row, $294,500
49 Apisai Koroisau, Panthers, Hooker, $587,300
50 David Nofoaluma, Tigers, Wing/Centre, $670,200
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