Draft selections: Ranking the top 20 best picks

We’ve ranked the top 20 best buys for your SuperCoach Draft day, taking into consideration everything from positional depth to a player’s durability.

Draft Breakdown Pre-season

SuperCoach Draft plans will be well underway as we move to within a week of the NRL season opener.

Nailing your Round 1 and 2 picks is absolutely vital to your season performance.

We’ve ranked the top 20 best buys for your Draft day, taking into consideration everything from positional depth to a player’s durability.

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  1. James Tedesco (FLB)

Teddy has been the best player in SuperCoach for multiple years and with good reason.

Every man and his dog knows this is the first choice and as the backup goal-kicker behind SST he could go even better than last year.

2. Nathan Cleary (HFB)

Cleary is an elite player in a position that has the shallowest depth.

I am a little nervous how the Panthers go with a few personnel changes, but the trial form helped ease some of those worries.

Cleary can create, support, score and goal kicks, and will finish as the number one halfback in 2021.

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3. Cam Munster (5/8)

Cameron Smith has left the Melbourne Storm building and it’s now Munster’s team.

Taking out the 2018 outlier, Munster is incredibly consistent and has averaged between 67-70 PPG since 2016

Last year was the first time he was severely affected by an injury during the season and has played over 20 games per year since 2016.

Whilst it doesn’t look like he will get the goal-kicking, Munster unleashed is a hell of a prospect and we saw what he is capable of in Origin last year.

I’m confident he will finish as the best 5/8 in 2021.

4. Ryan Papenhuyzen (FLB)

Lil Papi has climbed up my rankings since the trial last weekend.

I was initially worried about how much he would miss the structure that Cameron Smith brings to the team, but his level of involvement and the style of footy the Storm played in the trial indicated this won’t be an issue.

He gets the goal-kicking duties in a team that could put 50+ on the weaker opposition with the pace of the game.

Last year he took a while to warm up, which is understandable given he was still a rookie, averaging only 59 PPG in the first ten rounds of 2020.

In the second half of the year he averaged 82 PPG, which I expect he will beat in 2021.

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5. Cody Walker (5/8)

Walker had a 74 PPG average last year which was influenced by the 200-point game against the Roosters.

His scores increased without Latrell in the team and there will be times when Latrell steals some points from him.

However, Souths are looking like they will put plenty of tries on this year and Walker is in the best position to take advantage of Souths attacking opportunities, playing both sides of the field.

Yes, he won’t get many points when Souths go out the back to Latrell who then passes it to the winger.

But if Souths make a break in the middle through Cook and Murray, he is the first person in support and he will create magic of his own for his outside backs.

6. Harry Grant (HOK)

Grant is my third Storm player in the top six and no I am not a Storm fan, I just think they are gold for SuperCoach in 2021.

Grant is expected to miss the first three games with a knee injury, but you don’t need him at his best until Draft finals.

At his best, he will be the top SuperCoach hooker, with the ability to score and create opportunities behind a dominant pack.

There is a big chance that people sleep on Grant with his injury and the perceived threat of Brandon Smith

7. Kalyn Ponga (FLB)

Ponga is another player people could sleep on because he is missing the first four weeks of the competition.

Again, you only need him to be fit for finals and he could carry your Draft team with his attacking ability.

He scored 80 PPG last year and was carrying the Newcastle team.

It should be also noted that with all the halves and hooker changes Newcastle had last year he didn’t always get the ball at the right time.

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8. Angus Crichton (2RF)

What a beast! Crichton would be my first forward picked and is a safe captain choice every week.

He is looking very fit and has the ability to give you some great attacking stats on top of his awesome base.

A word of warning – last year he did a lot of work in the middle which Robbo asked him to do as a result of the Roosters missing so many players.

Despite this I am still confident his base won’t drop dramatically and he has the ability to score a few meat pies playing 80 minutes on the Roosters left edge.

9. Ryan Matterson (2RF)

Last year Matto produced an outstanding 75 PPG average with 56 points in base.

I don’t expect the fact he is switching sides to impact his scoring, it may even help his attacking opportunities as the Eels have previously favoured that left edge.

Let’s just hope he doesn’t get any head knocks.

10. Damien Cook (HOK)

Cook has started slipping down my rankings as I expect Souths to rely more on their attacking threats out wide when in opposition territory.

He is still a great prospect playing 80 minutes in a great side, but there will be some games when Souths put on 50 points and he only scores 50 SuperCoach points.

11. Jason Taumalolo (2RF)

Lolo looks very likely for reduced minutes in 2021, which drops him down the list a bit.

Whilst his base stats may decrease, I expect him to increase his attacking stats under the new coach.

12. Daly Cherry-Evans (HFB)

DCE has consistently scored between 62-64 PPG over the last four years, but with the Turbo hamstring concern he has less appeal.

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13. Payne Haas (FRF)

Haas isn’t a top ten prosect anymore given the way the game is going, his suspension and the fact he will be play reduced minutes this year.

I still expect him to finish as the best FRF as he can still score well with reduced minutes – in 2019 he averaged 64 MPG with a 78 PPG average.

14. Clint Gutherson (FLB)

Gutho will put on some great scores against the weaker teams, but may struggle against any team in the top eight.

15. Api Koroisau (HOK)

He may play less minutes this year, but still will continue to produce some great attacking stats.

16. Latrell Mitchell (FLB)

Despite the strong showing in the trial, I expect Latrell to start slow as he builds up hit fitness, but he should be firing come Draft finals.

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17. Cam Murray (2RF)

Having only recently recovered from a hamstring injury, Murray could be another candidate that starts the season slow, but I expect his minutes and output to build as the season goes on.

18. AJ Brimson (FLB)

In a Titans team on the up and has the ability to create points when the Titans use him out the back or when he is supporting through the middle.

19. Tohu Harris (2RF)

Last year averaged 69 PPG with 63 points coming from pure base.

I originally thought this was an outlier under Todd Payten and playing big minutes in the middle.

The more I look at the Warriors makeup and Tohu playing in the middle, the more I believe the 69 PPG average is achievable again this year.

20. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (FLB)

RTS won’t provide the high ceilings as the FLBs mentioned previously, but he will provide you a consistent score, averaging over 61 PPG over the last four years.

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