Squad Breakdown: Analysing the Round 1 teams

2020 NRL SuperCoach runner-up Tim Williams analyses every squad dropped in the first team list Tuesday of the year.

Key Analysis NRL Pre Season

The wait is finally over, team list Tuesday has arrived and delivered a bumper set of squads to begin the new 2022 season.

It means we SuperCoaches can sit down and finalise our Round 1 squads after months of agonising over selections.

Cheapies emerged, others were killed off, while the naming of Ryan Papenhuyzen, and absence of Nathan Cleary, will have major implications on our teams.

With a number of stars absent in the opening few rounds, there’s a stack of traps I’ve noticed within the clubs, I’ll do my best to cover as many as possible.

I’ll go into decent detail, however I’ve analysed every squad in depth throughout the pre-season – with help from a few SC Playbook contributors – so if you want greater analysis on individual players it’ll be found here.

Let’s get stuck into the Round 1 SuperCoach squad breakdown.

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Thursday, 8.05pm, BlueBet Stadium, Penrith

Panthers: 1. Dylan Edwards 2. Charlie Staines 3. Izack Tago 4. Stephen Crichton 5. Brian To’o 6. Jarome Luai 7. Sean O’Sullivan 8. Moses Leota 9. Apisai Koroisau 10. James Fisher-Harris 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Liam Martin 13. Isaah Yeo (c). 

Bench: 14. Mitch Kenny 15. Scott Sorensen 16. Spencer Leniu 17. Matt Eisenhuth. 

Reserves: 18. Chris Smith 19. J’maine Hopgood 20. Jaeman Salmon 21. Taylan May 22. Kurt Falls 23. Soni Luke 24. Robert Jennings.

Analysis: No Nathan Cleary until round 4 – according to the club – gives us some breathing space in our caps.

It puts a question mark over plenty of the Penrith contingent, including Liam Martin who I was very keen on at $420k.

I’m still considering him, he averaged 58 minutes last year, and should play 80 with Kurt Capewell now gone.

He only scored three tries last season, a number I think he can improve on significantly in 2022. No Cleary to run off early does concern me though.

Izack Tago is the definition of a must-have, plug him into your starting CTW in Round 1 and play with decent confidence of a solid score.

With plenty of cheapies available at CTW, I’ve seen plenty shifting him to 2RF which is okay too, although I like his (hopefully) fairly secure scoring at CTW.

Not a lot else interests me here.

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Sea Eagles: 1. Tom Trbojevic 2. Jason Saab 3. Brad Parker 4. Morgan Harper 5. Reuben Garrick 6. Kieran Foran 7. Daly Cherry-Evans 8. Toafofoa Sipley 9. Lachlan Croker 10. Martin Taupau 11. Haumole Olakau’atu 12. Ethan Bullemor 13. Jake Trbojevic. 

Bench: 14. Tolutau Koula 15. Karl Lawton 16. Sean Keppie 17. Taniela Paseka. 

Reserves: 18. Morgan Boyle 19. Andrew Davey 20. Christian Tuipulotu 21. Jorge Taufua 22. Alex Tuitavake

Analysis: No Cleary is also great news for those forking out the big bucks for Tommy Turbo.

His kicking game is good enough to nullify Turbo to a degree, so it opens things up for him in what remains a tough encounter.

I’m not willing to spend that much on a player who could drop $200k with an early average of 120 points, with games against the Panthers and Roosters.

All that being said, it’s Turbo, he could go nuts. Further, a very decent cheapie crop has emerged which makes him a more viable starting option.

Ethan Bullemor gets a starting edge role and at $280k is tempting. At the awkward price, I think I’ll bypass as Josh Schuster won’t be far off a return, while Haumole Olakau’atu getting named won’t help either.

Reuben Garrick will likely emerge as a must-have at some stage, but I’m banking on a few quiet weeks early on before picking up at a significant discount.

2022 is the year of finding this year’s versions of Garrick, To’o, AJ etc. before they skyrocket to $700k, then cashing in on holding on.

Last season when playing alongside Tom Trbojevic, Jason Saab averaged 64 points per game, while he’s currently priced on a 47 point average.

He interests me once their draw opens up, provided Turbo is fit.

Tolutau Koula has been named at 14 and appears one injury away from a start. When Dylan Walker returns he’ll likely drop out entirely, so I’ll avoid till he gets a start.

DCE is obviously a decent alternative to Cleary, but the opening fixtures scare me off.

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Friday, 6pm, GIO Stadium, Canberra

Raiders: 1. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad 2. Nick Cotric 3. James Schiller 4. Matt Timoko 5. Semi Valemei 6. Jack Wighton 7. Brad Schneider 8. Josh Papalii 9. Josh Hodgson 10. Joe Tapine 11. Hudson Young 12. Corey Harawira-Naera 13. Elliott Whitehead (c). 

Bench: 14. Tom Starling 15. Emre Guler 16. Adam Elliott 17. Corey Horsburgh. 

Reserves: 18. Ryan Sutton 19. Matt Frawley 20. Trey Mooney 21. Harry Rushton 22. Jarrod Croker 23. Xavier Savage 24. Sam Williams

Analysis: James Schiller emerged from the clouds to nab a centre spot. At bottom dollar he’ll tempt many, but I’m calling trap.

Seb Kris is unavailable due to being a close COVID contact, while Jordan Rapana is due back from suspension in Round 3.

If he goes well in the opening rounds, has a -50 breakeven, and gets named round 3, I’ll happily get him in and free up cash elsewhere.

Brad Schneider’s stocks rose even higher when Cleary wasn’t named.

Again, serious job security issues here.

However, a near bottom dollar, goal-kicking, ball-running halfback, with a soft early draw, it’s almost impossible to ignore.

I’m extremely intrigued to see how Ricky Stuart unleashes his forward pack this season, there’s strike-power everywhere but only so many minutes to go around.

I’ll be watching all closely, but the stocks run too deep to gamble on starting with any from round 1.

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Sharks: 1. William Kennedy 2. Sione Katoa 3. Jesse Ramien 4. Ronaldo Mulitalo 5. Matt Ikuvalu 6. Matt Moylan 7. Nicho Hynes 8. Toby Rudolf 9. Blayke Brailey 10. Braden Hamlin-Uele 11. Briton Nikora 12. Teig Wilton 13. Dale Finucane. 

Bench: 14. Aiden Tolman 15. Siosifa Talakai 16. Royce Hunt 17. Andrew Fifita. 

Reserves: 18. Luke Metcalf 19. Jesse Colquhoun 20. Lachlan Miller 21. Jenson Taumoepeau 22. Jayden Berrell.

Analysis: Nicho Hynes’ stocks took a bit of a hit when Papenhuyzen was named, but he’ll no doubt tempt many.

Cronulla have a soft draw which helps immensely, while he’ll kick goals at the very least until Braydon Trindall returns.

Trindall may return off the bench, and Hynes could kick well enough to keep the role, it’s a big factor.

Coming from a team who went on a record breaking 19-game run last season, to a team that missed the eight, has me concerned about forking out $686k for him.

He averaged 65 minutes at Melbourne, so there’s improvement there, but not a substantial amount of extra time to suggest he’ll improve.

I want to see him gel in his new environment, then consider him down the track further. No major knock on anyone willing to start with him though, the dude can play…

Briton Nikora doesn’t do much for me. His base of 40 is okay, but I do feel he has a reliance on attack to match the elite back-rowers, and he’s fairly awkwardly priced at $482k.

Andrew Fifita is a serious option at $205k, although team lists weren’t overly kind to him with four big men on the bench.

I’m expecting a utility back to join the bench come game day, and it may be at Fifi’s expense, so watch final teams like a hawk.

Further, Cam McIness, Jack Williams and Wade Graham are all due back in a month or so, this leaves little room for spots.

All that being said, he doesn’t need much time to score well with one of the better points per minute outputs in the game.

In the All Star clash he played 46 minutes, had eight tacklebusts and 13 runs, not bad…

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Friday, 8.05pm, Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Broncos: 1. Jamayne Isaako 2. Corey Oates 3. Kotoni Staggs 4. Herbie Farnworth 5. Selwyn Cobbo 6. Billy Walters 7. Albert Kelly 8. Keenan Palasia 9. Jake Turpin 10. Payne Haas 11. Kurt Capewell 12. Jordan Riki 13. Patrick Carrigan. 

Bench: 14. Ryan James 15. Rhys Kennedy 16. TC Robati 17. Tyrone Roberts. 

Reserves: 18. Corey Jensen 19. Brenko Lee 20. Jordan Pereira 21. Te Maire Martin 22. Ezra Mam

Analysis: Selwyn Cobbo to me is too expensive at $320k while on the wing. Tesi Niu is also due back soon, meaning job security is an issue (somehow?).

Cheapies Jordan Pereira and Cory Paix missed selection, while Adam Reynolds should return in round 2 which will help the SuperCoach credentials of this side immensely.

One of those being Kotoni Staggs who will get cleaner ball. Priced at just $433k I think he’s one of the most undervalued players in the competition, he could exceed $600k in a flash, provided he stays on the park of course.

Brisbane have a soft draw to start the season, this helps.

Payne Haas needs no digging, he’s a rock solid option to start the season, but at over 50% ownership I’m looking to anti-POD to allow me to spend up bigger in a higher ceiling position.

I don’t think he’ll hurt you by not owning from round 1.

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Rabbitohs: 1. Blake Taaffe 2. Alex Johnston 3. Jaxson Paulo 4. Campbell Graham 5. Taane Milne 6. Cody Walker 7. Lachlan Ilias 8. Junior Tatola 9. Damien Cook 10. Mark Nicholls 11. Keaon Koloamatangi 12. Jai Arrow 13. Cameron Murray (c). 

Bench: 14. Jacob Host 15. Siliva Havili 16. Thomas Burgess 17. Michael Chee Kam. 

Reserves: 18. Davvy Moale 19. Josh Mansour 20. Liam Knight 21. Richie Kennar 22. Peter Mamouzelos 23. Isaiah Tass 24. Dean Hawkins

Analysis: With Latrell Mitchell back in round 2, I think Blake Taaffe is a trap as he’ll likely be benched immediately and plod along with 15 point scores.

Outside of Lachlan Ilias who I think is a must-have at his price, I’m avoiding the whole backline due to the fact the Rabbitohs face the Storm, Roosters and Panthers from Rounds 2-4.

Hopefully they all dive in price and can be picked up at a discount after that, namely Cody Walker.

Jai Arrow is dual FRF-2RF at just $458k. He averaged just 47 minutes per game last season, his lowest since 2017.

Hopefully fit and firing in his new starting edge role, I’m expecting bigger minutes to come his way this season, and he’s playing outside Walker which is a glorious spot to be for attacking stats.

Far from a must-have, but a decent option nonetheless.

Following a disrupted pre-season, I’ll likely wait to see Cam Murray’s minutes/output before looking to pick up in a month or two.

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Saturday, 3pm, Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney

Roosters: 1. James Tedesco 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Billy Smith 4. Joseph Manu 5. Paul Momirovski 6. Sam Walker 7. Luke Keary 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 9. Connor Watson 10. Lindsay Collins 11. Angus Crichton 12. Sitili Tupouniua 13. Victor Radley. 

Bench: 14. Drew Hutchison 15. Fletcher Baker 16. Nat Butcher 17. Siosiua Taukeiaho. 

Reserves: 18. Kevin Naiqama 19. Daniel Sulka-Fifita 20. Lachlan Lam 21. Naufahu Whyte 22. Adam Keighran

Analysis: The highly debated backline of the pre-season has been named, with Billy Smith the big winner, edging out Kevin Naiqama, and also pushing Paul Momirovski to the wing.

I love him as a footballer and am locking him into my team. The kid is a gun, let’s just hope he can catch a break with injuries and string some games together.

Some are running with Joseph Suaalii despite the fact that he’s out injured for the start of the season, I don’t mind it as he’ll likely feature not too far away, but there’s no guarantee of that.

I think there’s enough decent cheapies around that we shouldn’t have to do this.

Sammy Walker is expected to goal-kick and is locked into my starting halfback role, while James Tedesco is my fullback and could average 100+ this season among a fully fit Roosters outfit.

You can make a massive case for Daniel Tupou and Joey Manu too.

Sam Verrills returns next week from suspension, meaning Connor Watson is likely a trap.

There’s so much depth in this side that he probably plays a similar 50 minute bench role as he did at the Knights.

Despite being priced at his peak, Angus Crichton is a great option who always delivers. I’m leaning towards looking for value though with a few quality options at significant discounts.

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Knights: 1. Kalyn Ponga (c) 2. Dom Young 3. Dane Gagai 4. Bradman Best 5. Enari Tuala 6. Jake Clifford 7. Adam Clune 8. David Klemmer 9. Chris Randall 10. Jacob Saifiti 11. Tyson Frizell 12. Lachlan Fitzgibbon 13. Kurt Mann. 

Bench: 14. Phoenix Crossland 15. Mitchell Barnett 16. Leo Thompson 17. Jirah Momoisea. 

Reserves: 18. Tex Hoy 19. Pasami Saulo 20. Simi Sasagi 21. Brayden Musgrove 22. Mathew Croker 23. Dylan Lucas 24. Jaron Purcell

Analysis: In the first eight rounds, the Knights face five of last year’s top six ranked teams.

For this reason, I won’t go near any of the backline, although I probably wouldn’t have anyway.

Chris Randall may not set the world alight, but a starting hooker with great job security at $245k is way too hard to pass up for me.

Kurt Mann is dual CTW-5/8 and is well priced at $388k. I’m hesitant though, I see him playing Connor Watson’s 50 minute roving lock role, which would be a significant decrease on his 76 minutes per game last year.

That was largely playing at centre, so the role is completely different, but I’d want to see him playing 65+ minutes at lock, and with Mitch Barnett on the bench and Daniel Saifiti to return, I’m not convinced he’ll get it.

Barring any team changes come game day, I’m not sure Jirah Momoisea will get the minutes to be relevant just yet either.

That being said, he looked great in the trials and at $205k you could make a case for starting with him.

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Saturday, 5.30pm, Sunshine Coast Stadium, Sunshine Coast

Warriors: 1. Chanel Harris-Tavita, 2. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak, 3. Viliami Vailea, 4. Rocco Berry, 5. Marcelo Montoya, 6. Kodi Nikorima, 7. Shaun Johnson, 8. Addin Fonua-Blake (c), 9. Wayde Egan, 10. Bunty Afoa, 11. Euan Aitken, 12. Eliesa Katoa, 13. Josh Curran. 

Bench: 14. Jazz Tevaga, 15. Ben Murdoch-Masila, 16. Aaron Pene, 17. Bayley Sironen. 

Reserves: 18. Jack Murchie, 20. Ash Taylor, 21. Adam Pompey, 22. Pride Petterson-Robati, 23. Taniela Otukolo, 24. Jesse Arthars, 25. Edward Kosi.

Analysis: The popular SuperCoach back-row have me a little on edge.

The four forward bench is super concerning, while I’ve heard mixed reports on when Tohu Harris is due back.

Eliesa Katoa has genuine upside and at $353k catches the eye. He’s won back the starting spot, for now, and averaged 57 points per game in 2020.

Josh Curran is also very popular, but with the move to lock will he improve on the 70 minutes per game he had last year?

His workrate will increase in the middle, but attacking stats that he amassed at a rate last season are likely to elude him.

People seem to be picking him on ability, which I am all for, there’s just a few red flags I’m not willing to gamble on at $587k.

Viliami Vailea has been named, at $205k we can lock him into our CTW. In two games last season, averaging 66 minutes, he averaged 27 in base which is encouraging. He looks a decent SuperCoach prospect and will be aided by the soft draw early on.

Euan Aitken is dual 2RF-CTW and is a serious option at $486k. Not including his final game injury, in five 80 minute games in the back-row to end last season he averaged 81 points per game, with 52 base per game, serious numbers.

He did score four tries in that time, but that upside for a back-rower excites me.

I’d feel a lot better about all these guys if a utility back came onto the bench on game day, hopefully CHT moves to 14 in round 2 when Reece Walsh returns.

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Dragons: 1. Tyrell Sloan 2. Cody Ramsey 3. Moses Suli 4. Zac Lomax 5. Mikaele Ravalawa 6. Talatau Amone 7. Ben Hunt 8. Blake Lawrie 9. Andrew McCullough 10. Aaron Woods 11. Jack Bird 12. Jaydn Su’A 13. Jack de Belin. 

Bench: 14. Moses Mbye 15. Francis Molo 16. Josh Kerr 17. Jack Gosiewski. 

Reserves: 18. Jackson Ford 19. Mathew Feagai 20. Daniel Alvaro 21. Poasa Faamausili 22. Tautau Moga.

Analysis: No Tariq Sims is great news for anyone keen on Jack Bird as dual 2RF-CTW at $499k.

In four 80 minute games at fullback last season he averaged 68.5 points, with 46.3 in base. They’re really strong numbers and thus make him very relevant.

Tyrell Sloane has so much upside, I suspect this year we’ll see some tonnes, mixed with sub 30 scores.

He’s so raw that I want to wait and see how the early stages unfold, while a fairly tough draw makes it even riskier to pick him.

Fortune favours the brave though, so he could be worth the early gamble.

Cody Ramsey has attracted attention at $268k, but he averaged 72 minutes last season, so he’s not increasing much on this.

His 17 base per game is horrible, showing he has a huge reliance on try-scoring. I’ll be avoiding, and like Schiller, can jump on in round 3 before initial price rises if he’s producing the goods and bagging some meat.

Talatau Amone looks hard to pass up at $284k as a dual 5/8-CTW. That being said, a rookie half is always somewhat of a gamble, especially when well above bottom dollar.

Further, Ben Hunt will run the show, so quality ball may be limited.

With the crop of cheapies we’ve been blessed with I don’t consider him a must-have.

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Saturday, 7.35pm, CommBank Stadium, Sydney

Tigers: 1. Daine Laurie 2. David Nofoaluma 3. James Roberts 4. Oliver Gildart 5. Ken Maumalo 6. Jackson Hastings 7. Luke Brooks (c) 8. Alex Twal 9. Jake Simpkin 10. Stefano Utoikamanu 11. Kelma Tuilagi 12. Luciano Leilua 13. Joe Ofahengaue. 

Bench: 14. Tyrone Peachey 15. Luke Garner 16. Zane Musgrove 17. Alex Seyfarth. 

Reserves: 18. Thomas Mikaele 19. Starford Toa 20. Jock Madden 21. Tuki Simpkins 22. Rua Ngatikaura 23. Austin Dias 24. Will Kei

Analysis: The Tigers have a nice draw to start the season, but I’m not convinced by their roster which makes them hard to have.

Jackson Hastings is the one backline player I’m interested in, priced at just $350k.

Reports say he wants to be the goal-kicker, but a foot injury restricted him during the pre-season. If he kicks, I’d feel far better about locking him in, I’m hesitant otherwise.

That being said, he looked classy in the trials, and while the Super League is a step down from the NRL, he did kill it over there.

I’m almost tempted to avoid as he’s a fairly easy downgrade, or even upgrade, if he does fire early on.

Kelma Tuilagi looks set for good game time on the edge, even with Luke Garner on the bench, he should be in most teams.

The only issue would be a game day switch which we’ll need to look out for.

Jake Simpkin is tempting some at $322k, but Jacob Liddle isn’t expected to be out much longer than the first few rounds at most, so I’d be very wary.

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Storm: 1. Ryan Papenhuyzen 2. George Jennings 3. Reimis Smith 4. Justin Olam 5. Xavier Coates 6. Nick Meaney 7. Jahrome Hughes 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Brandon Smith 10. Christian Welch 11. Felise Kaufusi 12. Kenneath Bromwich 13. Josh King. 

Bench: 14. Tyran Wishart 15. Jayden Nikorima 16. Trent Loiero 17. Nelson Asofa-Solomona. 

Reserves: 18. Dean Ieremia 19. Alec MacDonald 20. Jack Howarth 21. Sualauvi Faalogo 22. Bronson Garlick

Analysis: Ryan Papenhuyzen being named was a huge relief as I wasn’t convinced by any other fullbacks outside of he and Teddy.

Hopefully he’s right to take his place, but being named is a good sign even if worst case he was a late withdrawal.

Nick Meaney may kick goals which would hurt, but hopefully he returns to 14 when Cam Munster comes back next week.

I’m excited to own Xavier Coates, I think he can exceed $600k at some point off the back of a try-scoring spree.

His base is ordinary, but I think this will increase as he continues to mature, also Bellyache will want more work out of him.

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There’s definite risk in that he will have low scores in him, but I’m expecting there to be some big tonnes to balance it out.

With Cleary out, Jahrome Hughes is somehow flying under the radar.

He averaged 73 last season, and showed that despite the old notion of ‘too many mouths to feed’, that the entire Storm spine can score well together.

Having not featured in the pre-season, cheapie prospect Tepai Moeroa missed selection.

Josh King is worth a look at $256k, I’m just concerned that Harry Grant will start next week, with Smith at lock.

The suspended Grant is locked into my team, while I’m very tempted by Cam Munster too, but it’s a fair bit of cash riding the pine.

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Sunday, 4.05pm, CommBank Stadium, Sydney

Eels: 1. Clint Gutherson 2. Sean Russell 3. Will Penisini 4. Waqa Blake 5. Bailey Simonsson 6. Dylan Brown 7. Mitchell Moses 8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Junior Paulo 11. Shaun Lane 12. Isaiah Papali’i 13. Ryan Matterson. 

Bench: 14. Makahesi Makatoa 15. Oregon Kaufusi 16. Ray Stone 17. Jakob Arthur. 

Reserves: 18. Nathan Brown 19. Bryce Cartwright 20. Mitch Rein 21. Tom Opacic 22. Hayze Perham

Analysis: Parramatta have a dream draw to start the season, and with it brings interest in the entire spine.

I won’t go into details, see the Parramatta squad breakdown article for that, but you can make a serious case for all four.

Ryan Matterson has been in my team all season, but now named at 13, with Nathan Brown on the extended bench, I’m going a little cold.

While I don’t think he necessarily needs an 80 minute role to be relevant, I do think he needs it to justify the debate about him being undervalued to start the year.

Lock in Sean Russell and Will Penisini as cheapies with upside, the soft draw helps them immensely and makes them more viable plays in 17s early on.

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Titans: 1. Jayden Campbell 2. Phillip Sami 3. Brian Kelly 4. Patrick Herbert 5. Corey Thompson 6. Alexander Brimson 7. Toby Sexton 8. Moeaki Fotuaika 9. Erin Clark 10. Isaac Liu 11. David Fifita 12. Beau Fermor 13. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui. 

Bench: 14. Will Smith 15. Sam Lisone 16. Jaimin Jolliffe 17. Kevin Proctor. 

Reserves: 18. Jarrod Wallace 19. Tanah Boyd 20. Herman Ese’ese 21. Esan Marsters 22. Sam McIntyre

Analysis: Corey Thompson is a sleeper at CTW, he went nuts last season before being injured and never really returned to his SuperCoach best.

David Fifita had four tonnes in the first six games last season, then delivered a 134 point haul further down the track.

That upside in a forward is unmatched, I’m not brave enough to start without him, however, at $745k he’s not a must-have as such.

I’m not convinced on the Beau Fermor hype.

The days of back-rowers plugging away with solid base while available at CTW is over, we want to chase high ceilings in that position.

Does Fermor have that ceiling? No.

Playing almost solely in the back-row last season he averaged 64 minutes, so even if he gets 80, which is very much unconfirmed, the upside isn’t really there.

If you want a bloke that may plug away averaging 55 and earn you $120k as a slow burn, all good, go for it, but I want more.

I don’t think he will hurt you at all, I’m just not excited by him to start the year.

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Sunday, 6.15pm, QCB Stadium, Townsville

Cowboys: 1. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Valentine Holmes 4. Peta Hiku 5. Murray Taulagi 6. Tom Dearden 7. Chad Townsend 8. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown 9. Reece Robson 10. Coen Hess 11. Heilum Luki 12. Jeremiah Nanai 13. Jason Taumalolo. 

Bench: 14. Reuben Cotter 15. Jordan McLean 16. Mitchell Dunn 17. Tom Gilbert. 

Reserves: 18. Jake Granville 19. Scott Drinkwater 20. Griffin Neame 21. Brendan Elliot 22. Ben Condon

Analysis: The four forward bench concerns me for several SuperCoach prospects.

Assistant coach Dean Young confirmed Jason Taumalolo will play bigger minutes this year, so I feel okay about him and he’ll be starting in my team at an absolute bargain rate of $486k.

Coach Todd Payten said he wanted decent minutes from Jamayne Taunoa-Brown at prop due to his big motor, he’s priced at just $275k, so that pricks the ears.

However, he has no ceiling at all, and offloaded once in 15 games last season.

Heilum Luki and Jeremiah Nanai both present value at around $340k IF the minutes come.

Initially I thought they’d play 65+, and they may well still, but with all the talk around the other players, and the four forward bench, I don’t see where everyone’s game time will fit in.

As such, I think I’ll lock in Lolo and watch how it unfolds prior to initial price rises in round 3.

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Bulldogs: 1. Matt Dufty 2. Jayden Okunbor 3. Braidon Burns 4. Brent Naden 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Matt Burton 7. Jake Averillo 8. Luke Thompson 9. Jeremey Marshall-King 10. Paul Vaughan 11. Jack Hetherington 12. Tevita Pangai Junior 13. Josh Jackson (c). 

Bench: 14. Bailey Biondi-Odo 15. Corey Waddell 16. Max King 17. Chris Patolo. 

Reserves: 19. Brandon Wakeham 20. Aaron Schoupp 21. Joe Stimson 22. Josh Cook 23. Ava Seumanufagai 24. Kyle Flanagan 25. Reece Hoffman

Analysis: Tevita Pangai Jnr could easily be the top averaging FRF this season, but I can’t bring myself to risk his injury/suspension record.

Matt Burton is a star and will likely be relevant at some stage, but in a completely new-look side I want to see players gelling before considering any.

Max King is the exception being a near bottom dollar cheapie at $189k.

He played off the bench in the first trial and had 14 runs, three tackle busts, four offloads and 23 tackles.

In the second trial he had five runs, one offload and 30 tackles. He missed one tackle in two games.

That’s an excellent motor, and with any reasonable minutes he could make some good cash.

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