2020 Rd 09 Sharks vs Panthers
It definitely was not a good day for Sharks players in Fantasy. Their top scorer was Nikora with 48 which included a Try. Nikora started red hot in the first 6 rounds of 2019 averaging 58 and posting Tryless scores of 52-68 Points. Since then he's averaged just 39 Points in games he fails to score a Try. His highest Tryless score since has been 49.
Shaun Johnson owners has to be happy with a 44 this week, he is continuing to dominate the kicking game though, with 345m to Chad Townsend's 68m.
Brayden Brailey owners were saved from what was shaping up as a dud score when he crashed through 2 defenders from dummy half to score. This Try boosted him to a 46 point day.
Did JTB and Rudolf make a pact this week to burn their fantasy owners? Rudolf posted just 23 points from 48 minutes. The elevated minutes coming from Andrew Fifita breaking down with a hamstring issue once again. Fifita will likely miss time. Rudolfs PPM is solid most weeks but in recent weeks he is starting to rack up some more missed tackles. He had 6 for (-12) points in this one.
Sione Katoa showed that he is no David Nfoaluma with just 6 Points including 5 from a Try Save, in 68 Minutes. His average drops back down to 41.6 Pts.
Late Call up winger Nene MacDonald scored a Try and posted 32 Points.
There definitely is something going on this round with wingers being called in due to injury. Charlie Staines came in for Dean Whare (Toe Injury) and had a debut for the ages. 4 Tries, a Try Assist, 5 Line Breaks and 157m saw him finish his Fantasy Debut with 87 points. He will have an ultra low BE next week. We have his likely BE next week at -20 points but the official BE is likely to come up misleadingly lower. This kid is fast, and he's playing in a strong team. Only 1 of his 4 Tackle Breaks came in Tries, He was untouched in 3 of them. In the coming weeks Penrith face Cowboys, Titans (A), Manly (A), a ravaged Raiders, Warriors (A).... In fact, apart from Eels Rd 18 their draw is a wet dream! Brian To'o is out until Rd 17 or so and if Staines keeps this wing there is no telling what he could do.
Dylan Edwards - the ignored man at Fullback came into the Round showing an ownership below 1%. He showed exactly why we are so high on him, 81 Pts with 3 Try Assists, another run away Try racing up in support of a line break, 9 Tackle Breaks and 181m - and that wet dream draw for the rest of the season! How many will pile on this week?
Stephen Crichton had to have a big game sooner rather than later and it came in this game with 2 Tries, 6 tackle Breaks, 4 Line Breaks and 164m. He was the 3rd highest scorer with 74 Pts. His Average starting at Centre is now at keeper level just above 40 Pts.
Api Koroisau, like Grant, spooked owners by seeing the pine for Tyrone May. He only spent 9 game minutes off the field though but had a low day with just 39 Pts. His lower scores this year have been against weaker opposition with his average tackles in those games being a touch under 40. Against stronger teams he has averaged over 56 Tackles. He's had 1 Try which came against the Dragons in Rd 2 and helped him to 57 points from 80 minutes. It could have been more like 42 Points. Even with 2 Try Assists this week he still only reached 39 Pts. He made 38 tackles but did have his season worst week for demerits with (-14). Prior to this week he averaged (-6) a game.
The temptation is to think that easier teams for him means more points. But so far the indications are the opposite. Taking a look at his 75+ minute Hooker starts from 2015-2018, he had none in 2019, in the 24 games he averaged 57.5 against the Top 4 sides that season, 50.5 vs the Middle 8 and 46.9 against the bottom 4. This clearly supports thoughts that a weaker draw does not favour him. His Tackle counts across those splits - Top 4 - 49, Middle 8 - 46.8, Bottom 4 - 46.8, don't show much of a difference. We think the big factor here though, could be that in those seasons he was in a Bottom 4 team himself for two of them and a Middle 8 team in the other. Playing in a Potential Top 4 team is widening the gap against weaker opponents. The new rules also may widen the possession gap against weaker opponents.
Looking at Panthers Possession Splits in games where Koroisau has scored low this season (including the Try Assisted Dragons Game);
Rd 2 Dragons 56% / 44%
Rd 4 Warriors 56% / 44%
Rd 9 Sharks 58% / 42%
We would love for Koroisau to be a keeper, especially with Trades being more dire this season - and we are not saying he is a must sell - we're just presenting the numbers as they are. It's up to you what you do with that information.
Isaah Yeo has spooked us all season. His numbers in the first 2 Rd's were off the charts for his history. By Rd 4 he was looking like a phenomenal Break Out who had completely run away in Price. He was up to $777K at the start of Rd 5. After the last 3 games we are back to his early form being a hell of a purple patch.
Some outlier numbers from those early games compared to 2015-19.
Rd 1 - 7 Tackle Breaks - Previous Best of 5. Made 5 TB's in 5/110 Games;
Rd 3 Knights - 62 Tackles and 225m. Previous best 45 Tackles and 197m. Had made more than 150m in 6/110 Games;
Rd 5 - 55 Tackles
His PPM through the first 4 Rd's was 0.91 across an average 76.25 minutes
He had one Edge game in there. His Lock PPM in the other 3 was 0.96 with a floor of 0.95. He had 7 previous Lock starts from 2015-19 with a PPM of 0.68 including a Try in those games. His ceiling PPM was 0.91 with a Try and 0.84 Tryless.
His PPM the last 4 games, all starting at Lock, is back to 0.71 far more in line with his past. He's also seen some bench time the last 2 games playing 64 minutes in both.
Injury Inflated Minutes is another consideration.
Rd 1 - Tetavano (21 minutes) in a game they eased Kikau in from the bench, with Crichton also on the bench coupled with Leota and Hetherington.
Rd 3 - James Tamou only got through 32 minutes in a 90 minute game. Kikau also had a HIA.
Rd 5 - Capewell lasted 2 minutes, Tamou only got through 35, his normal is 40-50.
Rd 6 - Nothing of note injury wise but Martin should be noted - 65 minutes.
Rd 7 - Again nothing of note injury wise but Martin 63 minutes.
In the last 2 weeks, Martin has played 80 with Yeo dropping back to 64.
It's looking like, barring injuries, and with Martin up to 80 minutes on an edge, Yeo's minutes are likely to stay around that 64 mark. As with Korrisau, softer opposition is also unlikely to produce monster tackle counts. His top 4 Tackle Counts this season have come against Knights, Eels, Storm and Rabbitohs.
Again, we're not declaring him a must sell, we're just presenting the numbers as they are. What you do with that is up to you.