Underdogs Watchlist

Updated: April 14, 2017

In this segment I look closer into a few players who are worth further consideration prior to lockout.

Last week I mentioned Nathan Brown, BJ, Brenko Lee, Elliot Whitehead, Kalyn Ponga and Josh Hodgson so if you want more info go to http://overthelinesports.com.au/?p=30208 (most of my points still ring true).  Now onwards and upwards here is who is on my radar heading into round 7.

Angus Crichton – Price – $268,900 – With a BE of – 13 and what’s already starting to look like an awkward mid-range price tag, my opinion is that it’s now or never to jump on this beast of a 21 year old. Overshadowed in recent weeks by his inhuman QLD equivalent, Crichton tips the scales at 102 kg and earned a starting second row spot for the Bunnies last week. He then played the full 80 minutes for a season high 91 which comprised an attractive 55 in base stats.

I really like him and if you have seen him play it’s no real wonder that he has managed to push Madge’s favourite son, Kyle Turner into a compressed front row rotation. The Kicker? He has dual CTW/2FR positioning, meaning if you still have Talaki you have the perfect foil to move around each week if you find yourself short in either position. Crichton is definitely a top 17 player when named to start.

I don’t expect to see the numbers we saw last week on the regular and he may not always play out the game but even he averages a conservative estimate of 55 he will rise 100k and can then be moved on after the bye period.

The risk is that Madge changes his mind again which he is known to do frequently and he goes back to the bench, but at $268,900 your risk of losing money is small (far less risk than Nathan Brown at that price) and he is not a bad player to make up numbers for the bye period given the Rabbitoh’s schedule. I’m bringing him in.

Joseph Manu – Price – $178,300- In terms of sub 200k CTW options this week, I don’t mind Joseph Manu as a buy. In fact, if you don’t already own Ponga and were looking at him as a Trade in option this week I would consider Manu as a better option.

No doubt Ponga wins the Break Even contest (-48 compared to 17) but in all other aspects I think Manu comes out on top. First of all Manu will outscore Ponga this week (the only game for sure we know they are both playing, there is no certainty either will get a game following this week). In a mind boggling statistic over a quarter of Supercoaches had Latrell Mitchell in their teams in Round 6. Prior to him being dropped many of you would have been salivating over him facing up against the Knights this week as we have seen the damage the Roosters left edge can do. So it isn’t a stretch to think that Manu can’t see a massive score this week in the same position, especially considering he has a higher work rate than Latrell and better Base stats.

Joseph Manu is also a little cheaper than Ponga and can be kept through the Bye period when it is likely that Australia Test Player Blake Ferguson plays Origin (zzzz) and sits out of the team. Ponga on the other hand will need to be traded out prior to the Bye period. The rumours he plays Fullback again during this period are just that. And the Cowboys schedule is pretty complementary to their Origin stars anyway so don’t read too much into the Coote in the halves situation, it would be only for one round anyway, and you also need to consider that Ray Thompson filled that half role last year and Coote stayed at the back. Is the likely 60k from Ponga worth two trades in the next 6 rounds? I don’t think so, you have missed the Boat so take a risk with Manu. On current form he should be replacing SKD anyway.


Corey Oates – Price $272,000 – Before Crichton came on the scene, I was strongly considering Oates this week as again he has that appealing 2FR/CTW flexibility. If you remember 2016 Oates went on a tear around about this time and with the Bronco’s juicy draw coming up it wouldn’t surprise me if lightning strikes twice.

As a winger he has a solid floor of about 30 points in base stats. His average (and discounted price) have been effected by the fact that he has scored a singular try this year in round 1. His late withdrawal last week meant that he was not discounted perfectly in preparation for round 7 so he still carries a BE of 78. However he could easily get that this against the ISP Titans this week.

Crichton is the better buy but if you too many South Sydney players already Oates is a solid option. At this stage he should cover round 12 as I can’t see him making Origin, especially with Billy and Holmes to be added to the QLD Backline. And if his form improves dramatically and he does make the cut presumably his SC scores will have done the same, so it’s a win win for mine, although I was surprised to learn that 10’000 of you have him in your teams already.

I wouldn’t read too much into his groin injury, he said himself it was just a bit tight in the warmup and didn’t want to risk it. As for David Mead on the bench this week, Bennett has said himself that he has no idea how he will fit just yet. My bet is that Mead may play fullback at some stage with Darius moving up into the halves to relieve Kodi Nikorima, who is yet to play 80 minutes this season.


Who is not on my watchlist this week..

Shaun Johnson – Price $519,800 – A controversial call but I’m gonna say that SJ is the Trap of the round for the 62.5% of Supercoaches who don’t yet own SJ. With many looking to offload JT this week  SJ’s be of 54 seems highly achievable against a Raiders team that leaked 16 points to the ISP Titans last week.

However I think you are paying overs for anyone priced above $500k and once the monster 147 drops out of his rolling average next round his BE will go through the roof. I am certainly not saying that SJ is a sell but I’m not convinced he is a buy this round either. At this stage I believe that non-owners should be looking at his absence in their teams with optimism rather than regret.

After the Raiders, SJ plays most of this year’s top 8 back to back, Melbourne, Roosters, Panthers, Dragons and Broncos and only two of these games are at Mount Smart Stadium. There is the potential to be a rough ride ahead and SJ could easily go back to his rollercoaster status of yesteryear. Combine that with the negative impact Kieran Foran had on his output last week and he is a wait and see prospect for the next few rounds. More than likely he will be in your final team this year but don’t rush to buy him, as there is certainly the potential that he drops to around the 400k mark prior to round 12.


As a JT owner myself without SJ I’m that against him I will be roasting Lamb at 5/8 for the next few weeks until I can make a more informed choice on whether I want to run Norman (who’s price is also coming down) or SJ as my halfback with bye cover. It was certainly satisfying to see my climb in the rankings last week directly attributed to SJ’s poor performance given the amount of people who captained his 41.

Happy to eat my hat on this one, but my bold prediction is that SJ will have a 5 round average of less than 60 points heading into round 12 when he will be a Juicy pickup playing the Baby Broncos on home soil..

As always I welcome any and all feedback – I can also be contacted on instagram @ underdog_fantasy where I also put the BE’s up each week for easy access.

Written by Kyle Robson

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