The opening round of the NRL season will boast an epic trio of contests. To kick it all off we have Wooden Spoon favourites West Tigers playing at home to the Roosters. This should be a one-sided contest where the Chooks should prove too strong for the home team. The 7pm game has the Rabbitohs at home to the Warriors where the points should be flowing. It’s hard to predict a winner here but I’ll be tipping the Bunnies. Finally, the Bulldogs are tipped to struggle against the defending premiers Melbourne Storm. Again, I’m tipping a landslide where the Storm should pile on plenty of points. NRL DFS Tips:
Luckily we have hookers on both ends of the spectrum to suit your team make-up. The cheapies in Pita Godinet ($4,000) and Mitchell Cornish ($3,600) are fairly risky choices as their output is uncertain at this stage. Be wary that Cornish could be a late exclusion if Luke Keary is fit to play. Cameron Smith ($9,500) may be the more expensive choice but it’s difficult to ignore his services when playing a weak opponent. He’ll benefit from goal kicks and will usually snag an attacking stat against the Tigers. The other alternatives in Damien Cook ($6,800), Elijah Taylor ($6,400) and Issac Luke ($6,300) should be fairly safe options but there’s one hooker I’ve got my eye on. Michael Lichaa ($5,400) seems to have been a little restricted last season and I think he’ll benefit from the Bulldogs’ new coach. He’ll be my hooker for the Saturday Special.
There’s plenty of value on offer among the forwards and the numerous cheapies will allow to load up on your backs if you wish. Mark Nicholls ($3.500) has earned the starting prop at the Rabbitohs while Ligi Sao ($3,500) will play lock in Simon Mannering’s absence. Isiah Papalii ($3,600) has also been named in the Warriors’ starting forward pack and should easily justify his price tag. Looking at the mid-rangers and numerous names jump out due to their positional changes from last season. Danny Fualalo ($4,600), Raymond Faitala-Mariner ($4,500) and Robbie Rochow ($4,900) will all move to their respective team starting sides and will no doubt prove their worth.
The expensive candidates are much less appealing and I can’t see any of them being in my forwards. I’m predicting that Sam Burgess ($9,800), Angus Crichton ($9,700) and Aaron Woods ($9,300) will all struggle to prove their worth and even Jared Waerea-Hargreaves ($7,600) and Ben Matulino ($7,400) seem a little overpriced. I may take a punt on Felise Kaufusi (7,900), not for his base output but the fact that the Storm should win comfortably and he could snag a couple of attacking stats. Jesse Bromwich ($7,300) will be my only base performer that isn’t classified as a value pick.
I’m going to take a punt on Ryley Jacks ($3,500) as my half for the Saturday Special. He comes with a bottom dollar price tag and is starting in the halves for a team with monster favouritism. If you’re willing to fork out for high priced half then Shaun Johnson ($9,100) and Cameron Munster ($9,00) could be excellent options. They’re both playing weak defensive sides and Munster is named at fullback where he usually scores very well.
There aren’t too many cheap options available but luckily there are plenty of candidates that are capable of producing a large output. James Tedesco ($9,400) is the most expensive option but his scoring potential will be massive against his former club and wooden spoon favourites. I’ll be forking out for his services. Looking at the other outside backs from the Roosters, Latrell Mitchell ($7,800) also stands out as he should have the kicking duties when Taukieaho is off the field. He plays at centre and should be one of the Chooks’ main attacking options. It’s also tempting to consider the outside backs from the Storm as they’re predicted to score well against the Bulldogs. Suliasi Vunivalu ($8,00) and Josh Addo-Carr ($8,200) are the two wingers but they’ll need to cross the line on more than one occasion to prove their worth. The centres in Will Chambers ($7,400) and Curtis Scott ($6,400) are slightly cheaper and need to be considered if you’re not willing to fork out for the wingers.