Game 1 of the 2019 State of Origin series is finally here. Origin is already one of the most anticipated events on the Australian sporting calendar and Moneyball has a $30,000 GPP contest to make the game even more interesting. Origin DFS slates are a little tougher to navigate than NRL slates given the fact that there is less historical data to go off and players roles within the origin team differ to their roles in club land.

Hooker

Damien Cook ($8,100) was one of the better payers across the 2018 Origin Series. Cook was devastating through the middle of the field and posted solid fantasy scores as a result. Cook also played every minute of the origin series last year and there is no indication that he will spend time on the bench in this series. Ben Hunt ($6,000) is the other option at hooker. Although Hunt has the ability to post big fantasy scores, I am concerned about his minutes in this game. Hunt doesn’t play Hooker frequently in club land and I therefore believe that the increased defensive load will see him need a spell at some point in this game.

Forwards

The minutes that forwards will play is difficult to predict in Origin 1 as there is no recent data to go off. NSW has opted to select a utility, 2 second rowers and 1 prop on the bench. This would indicate that David Klemmer ($6,000) and Paul Vaughn ($5,000) are set to play fairly large minutes in the front row and are therefore both worth considering. Boyd Cordner ($6,500) is the captain of the blues and is therefore guaranteed reasonable minutes. In last year’s origin series, Cordner averaged over 70 minutes per game. Jake Trbojevic ($6,400) played at least 50 minutes in each of the first 2 origin games last year and played over 60 minutes in game 3 when he was a starter. I expect Trbojevic’s minutes to be over 60 in the series opener and hence he is a viable option. Felise Kaufusi ($6,300) only missed 3 minutes in last year’s origin series and is in play for the series opener. Kaufusi will be running off Kalyn Ponga and is therefore a good chance to break the line or score a try. Jia Arrow ($5,500) is very cheap given the work he is getting through for the titans this year. He may also be slightly under owned in this game given the fact he recently suffered an injury and was only just cleared to play this week. Arrow is a risky option but at this price he should be a valuable play.

Halves

Daly Cherry-Evans ($7,000) was names the captain of Queensland which will make him all the more eager to back up his stellar performance in game 3 last year. We all saw how Ingles was able to take his game to another level in last years’ origin series after being names captain and DCE could replicate Ingles’ efforts this year. It is worth mentioning that DCE hasn’t played a game of footy in over a month and hence is not without risk. Cody Walker’s ($6,500) exceptional form this year has seen him earn a spot in the halves for the Blues. Walker is the cheapest option in the halves and, in my opinion, has the largest upside. Walker has been dominant down the left side of the field for South Sydney so far this year and will get to play inside Latrell Mitchell in game 1 making him an even more appealing option.

Outside Backs

Kalyn Ponga ($8,200) gets to start at fullback in game 1 this year. Ponga Debuted off the bench for Queensland last year and managed to post over 30 fantasy points in around 50 minutes of game time. Ponga has been working closely with Billy Slater in the lead up to this game and is poised to have a big game. James Tedesco ($8,400) was, in my opinion, the best player in last years origin series. Tedesco hardly put a foot wrong all series and demonstrated that he is a big game player. I expect Tedesco to have plenty of opportunities with the ball running off the likes of Walker, Cook and Trbovevic through the middle of the field. Latrell Mitchell ($7,600) is another player I expect to feature heavily in the Blues offence. Mitchell was unstoppable in the first 2 origin matches last year and now gets to run off the dangerous Cody Walker. Corey Oates ($7,000) is expected to play on the left edge meaning he could be the beneficiary of some Kalyn Ponga Brilliance. Oates has the ability to create attacking plays out of nothing and with Kalyn Ponga feeding him the ball close to the line, he will be incredibly hard to stop.