Draft positional breakdown: Second-row

The SC Spy takes an in-depth look at the stacked second-row position, and provides a selection strategy come Draft day.

Draft Breakdown Pre Season

This second-row position is utterly stacked, so you don’t want to be going too early here unless it is Taumololo.

I would even rather Cam Smith than big JT due to depth of their respective positions.

There are some serious guns in that top 10, but I feel as though you can wait until Round 3 even to get one of the elite guys.

It all depends on your strategy, but for me I’m looking at hookers and top shelf five-eighths, first at a minimum and of course the top tier fullbacks. Let’s look at my top ranked guys, then some flyers and finally a couple to avoid in my eyes.

*Scroll down to the bottom of the page for a key on all SuperCoach relevant abbreviations.

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1 – JASON TAUMALOLO

This guy is a gun, we all know that. If you’re new to SuperCoach, he is as good in the game as he is in real life NRL.

The last three years he has averaged 78, 70 and 75PPG. His minutes have stayed steady, so expect more of the same.

Taumalolo turns 27 in May, so he’s still at the peak of his powers! Taumalolo is my number one second-rower.

2 – DAVID FIFITA

Freak! Such a powerhouse. I have him ranked at two here based on possible output and where he may go in Drafts.

He had a 0.96PPM last year which equates to 77PPG if playing 80-minutes.

He averaged exactly this over the last eight rounds last year when playing the full game.

I would be hoping for an average of 70+ and maybe mid-70s pending minutes. You could scoop him up a little later if people opt for the guys below ahead of him. He’s a big target for me and could win you a title.

3 – RYAN MATTERSON

With an average of 67PPG last season whilst averaging 76MPG, if he can lock down an 80-minute role outside of Mitch Moses I can see him acquiring greater attacking stats then last year.

Perhaps he can then push his average into the 70s. It is noted that any of the below guys could take the 2nd or 3rd spot on this list.

4 – CAMERON MURRAY

Nerves around a switch to the edge have led to some concern for Murray.

However, I think his work rate will stay high and perhaps he can add some attacking stats with a little more room. Add in the crash balls inside the red zone off Damien Cook and the prospect of increased minutes and he could be a star once more.

The downside is if his work rate drops and perhaps his line breaks through the middle don’t translate to the edge role. But I’m happy to take him still and think he is simply too good not to be value to any SC team! Neck and neck with Matterson.

5 – JAMES FISHER-HARRIS

JFH scored at an average of 0.87PPM last year, which equates to a tick under 70PPG when playing the full 80-minutes, which he did for the majority of the year.

There is the risk that he gets less minutes at random intervals, but based on last year, Cleary likes what he offers and tends to play him big minutes.

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6 – JAI ARROW

Such an interesting one this year. Hopping on a plane to Souths at the end of the season may have some worried that he will take it easy or be used less.

Conversely, I think he will be used even more by the coach (no need to save him for 2021) and Arrow will want to go out on a high.

The question is around minutes and what they will look like. Based on 1.09PPM last season, if he can get himself up to even 63 minutes a game from 57 last year we have an average of 68PPG.

Maybe minutes will be higher and maybe he will be even better, so why not a 70+ average? The risk is that if his minutes are managed to blood future Titans players, especially if they fall out of contention comes Draft finals time!

7 – JOHN BATEMAN

He’s such a weapon this guy, and comps aren’t won in March, so if he can be back by say Round 6 even then he can be huge for you for the rest of the season.

He will also slip down Draft boards as result of the injury. Pending your situation, why not try and grab him and stash him until he returns?

There are plenty of back-rowers to cover you until then that will do some sort of job depending on your league settings and how many players you need to pick.

Bateman averaged 72PPG last year, he is a star and is only ranked 8 due to the injury.

8 – CAMERON MCINNES (3rd for Hookers)

Unfortunately McInnes was hurt at the Perth Nines and the latest reports have him missing 12 weeks.

However, NRL Physio did confirm that many guys with the same injury in recent years have returned in 6-8 weeks, meaning he may only miss the first 2-4 rounds!

That’s huge, especially if people are scared off and he drops in your Draft.

Personally, I wouldn’t let this injury worry me too much from a Draft perspective and would still probably look to take him in Round 2 as it stands as he covers hooker which is a shallow position.

McInnes averaged 68PPG last year with an improved running game. If he happens to fall to the third round given the injury scare then definitely get on without question. That would be gold.

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9 – JAKE TRBOJEVIC

Another injured guy who shouldn’t miss too long, so don’t look into it too much is my tip. Jurbo had a down year in 2019 with an average of 63PPG, but he is coming off previous years of 71 and 73PPG. Was he playing busted or was it a permanent ball playing role change that translated to less runs?

Honestly, I don’t know but I’d back him to average 65 at least with 70+ upside. Coupled with the injury, maybe you can get a bargain on him.

10 – LIAM KNIGHT

Knight averaged 47PPG in only 41 minutes last season. He’s looking set for a starting position this season. If he can get up to 60 or so minutes there is no reason why he can’t average high 60s.

FLYERS

VILIAME KIKAU

This guy is another animal, there seems to be a trend here. He had averages of 58 and 61PPG the last two seasons, but we know he can do more potentially. It’s concerning that he can’t nail down an 80-minute role though. What will 2020 bring?

JAZZ TEVAGA

I love Jazz and have owned him each of the last two seasons to cover the shallow hooker position, but also back-row.

The risk here is that he is currently injured and is not guaranteed big minutes.

However, if he can get the minutes then he can go a long way to helping you win the comp.

You won’t have to go too early on him, and with six scores over 70 in the second half of last year and averages of 58 and 57PPG in only 55MPG over the last two seasons that’s huge upside.

Essentially, when healthy he is one of my favourite Draft guys.

Just be aware his opening rounds may be a little slow until he is back to full fitness, while the injury history a slight concern also. But the potential rewards are tempting.

OTHERS

Kenny Bromwich (very good!), Luciano Leilua, Corey Harawira-Naera, Tevita Pangai Jnr, Wade Graham, Tohu Harris, Briton Nikora, Mitch Barnett, Luke Garner, Angus Crichton, Dale Finucane, Shaun Lane, Jack Williams, Brandon Smith, Joe Stimson, Jaydn Su’a

AVOID

Nathan Brown, Boyd Cordner. Both too much injury risk so only take in the later rounds.

SUPERCOACH TERMINOLOGY KEY

MPG = Minutes per game

PPG = Points per game

PPM= Points per minute

BPG = Base per game (point accrued in tackles + runs + missed tackles)

POD = Point of difference

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