Squad Breakdown: Gold Coast Titans top 17 analysed

Last year's NRL SuperCoach runner-up Tim Williams picks his top 17 at the Titans, including analysis and buy rating of every player.

Pre-season Squad Breakdown

The Titans will be looking to start where they left off at the back end of 2020.

They have a few big name recruits on deck who are among several very intriguing SuperCoach options in 2021.

Leading into the season we’ll take a look at every club’s predicted 17 to start the year, providing SuperCoach analysis on every single player as well as a rating for their round 1 buy credentials.

Here’s how we think the Titans will line up and whether or not it’s worth investing in their squad to kick-off the season.

If there’s a player who may miss the opening round or two, we’ve added them to the 17 with analysis for SuperCoach purposes.

Obviously there’s plenty to play out during the pre-season that’ll alter starting sides and buy ratings, so we’ll update this as frequently as possible as it all unfolds.

The Titans play in Round 13 and have the bye in Round 17.

Click on the player to reveal their analysis and Round 1 buy rating.

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

Sign up to SC Playbook for hundreds of extra premium articles across the NRL pre-season and regular season, including access to our subscriber special question and answer podcast.

BENCH

Tyrone Peachey $406,600 // CTW-2RF // 2020 Ave: 45.9 // Rd 1 buy rating: 1/10

This Titans squad looks stronger than previous years, meaning minutes will be harder to come by for Peachey.

We can reconsider if he jags a starting role at any point. 

Jai Whitbread $265,800 // FRF // 2020 Ave: 30.0 // Rd 1 buy rating: 3/10

Whitbread is far from a lock for Round 1, but he did play the majority of the back end of last season in a show of Justin Holbrook’s faith.

He scored at 1.02PPM last season and 1PPM in 2019.

He averaged just 30MPG last season, so you’d want him playing at least 40MPG to really consider despite the enticing price.

It looks unlikely he’ll get the game time, so probably not for Round 1, but there will be a close watch on his minutes in the opening rounds.

IT’S HERE! Dedicated NRL SuperCoach betting markets will be introduced in 2021 through TopSport. Back your knowledge, and follow our previews throughout the season. Use the code SCPLAYBOOK when signing up. Check them out here ahead of season kick off.

Sam Lisone $325,800 // FRF // 2020 Ave: 36.8 // Rd 1 buy rating: 2/10

Lisone scored at an impressive 1.15PPM last season, but he doesn’t get a lot of game time.

He averaged just 32MPG last season, and that only increased a little when he did start games.

I don’t think he’ll get enough game time to consider him seriously, again at a slightly awkward price above cheapie range.

Herman Ese’ese $398,600 // FRF-2RF // 2020 Ave: 45.0 // Rd 1 buy rating: 2/10

This spot may fall to recruit Sam McIntyre, but he’s returning from injury.

Ese’ese averaged 41MPG last season, so it’s hard to see him improving on this while off the bench.

He’s scored at over 1.1PPM in three of his last four seasons, so if he ever starts he’ll be worth a look, but not for now.

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

BREAKEVEN (B/E) = The score a player must record to earn a price rise.

*Please note all our stats are taken from the geniuses at nrlsupercoachstats.com

AJ Brimson

$651,600 // FLB // 2020 Ave: 73.6 // Rd 1 buy rating: 6/10

Brimson is an intriguing prospect off the back of his stunning 2020 campaign.

On return from injury, he played the last nine games of the season to average a mammoth 73.6 points.

His first game back was against the mighty Roosters defence where he scored just 18, which makes his numbers look even better.

After that game, he had four scores over 90, including two tons, and just one score under 60 (30).

He’s a player who is in the very early stages of his career and he could be anything.

Furthermore, he’s played his career in a pretty ordinary Titans outfit who look set for plenty of improvement in 2021.

His 25BPG is only okay, but like the elite SuperCoach fullbacks he thrives in the all-important tackle-break department.

Last season he had 38 TBs at just over four per game.

A have a few concerns, one being the nature of their attack with a few new key faces in Tino and Fifita.

Ultimately it’ll help Brimson, but it can take time to get combinations, and I fear a little they’ll play plenty of their footy through Fifita on the edge.

He’s priced pretty close to his max, and he’s had a pretty horror run of injuries throughout his career.

When Tommy T is priced at almost $60k less than him, and Teddy is the other fullback option, $651k is a lot to fork out for a player returning from injury that doesn’t have the pedigree of his counterparts at this stage.

He’s a seriously massive POD to start the year, but I’ll be watching early on.

Phillip Sami

$414,300 // CTW // // 2020 Ave: // Rd 1 buy rating: 4/10

Sami is a player I can see improving drastically this season provided the Titans improve as anticipated.

He did have seven tries in 13 games at an okay strike-rate, this could easily improve this season though.

AJ Brimson’s fitness will be a massive factor in the scoring of all the outside backs at the Titans.

His 24BPG isn’t fantastic, so I’d much prefer to sit back early and see how he and the Titans perform early in the season.

If the Titans impress early and he’s bagged a few tries he looms as a potential POD pick up before initial price rises occur in Round 3.

Brian Kelly

$498,900 // CTW // 2020 Ave: 56.3 // Rd 1 buy rating: 7/10

Kelly began to scratch the surface last season of what we know he’s capable of in SuperCoach.

If the Titans improve this season, he’ll be a major factor at CTW.

His 30BPG is very solid and makes him very appealing with his attacking upside.

If you dig a little deeper into the numbers, his average of 56.3PPG is below his actual output in 80 minute games.

He had one injury impacted game of 3 points in 11 minutes, and he also came off the bench in Round 1 where he scored 23 points in 31 minutes.

Take these out and he averaged 62.5PPG.

Outside of those two scores, he had none under 30 points last season which is impressive, he did have a 30, 30 and 31 though.

Encouragingly, he had 46 tackle busts and 28 offloads last season, very decent numbers.

I’d argue he’s undervalued to begin the year and looms as a strong POD at CTW to begin the season.

Patrick Herbert

$365,200 // CTW // 2020 Ave: 41.2 // Rd 1 buy rating: 3/10

Herbert is a wait and watch for me to begin the year.

He faces some competition for the centre spot for Round 1 having joined from the Warriors.

His 24BPG isn’t great, and he’s awkwardly priced to begin the year.

He busts plenty of tackles and has the odd offload in him, so he’s one to monitor early in the year as there’s certainly potential.

Anthony Don

$402,500 // CTW // 2020 Ave: 45.4 // Rd 1 buy rating: 2/10

The Don had a career high average last season which suggests he isn’t a valid option.

His four years prior saw averages of 38, 41, 27 and 29PPG.

His 22BPG shows he relies on tries almost entirely to score well.

If the Titans absolutely fire he may be an option for a few streaky rounds when they have weak opposition at some point, but at $402k he looks far too expensive to consider for Round 1.

Ash Taylor

$430,300 // 5/8-HFB // 2020 Ave: 48.6 // Rd 1 buy rating: 3/10

After a grim 2019 campaign, Taylor bounced back to that average around the 50PPG mark that he’s had throughout his career.

If he starts the season in form and leads the Titans to what they’re capable of, he could be a big improver in 2021.

However, you’d be brave to jump on to begin the year.

He’d have to up his average significantly to earn enough money to be a stepping stone to a genuine gun in the halves.

Jamal Fogarty

$430,100 // HFB // 2020 Ave: 48.6 // Rd 1 buy rating: 3/10

Fogarty certainly has the potential to be an improver in 2021 off the back of his first full season in the top grade.

He averaged identical to Taylor last season and is a pretty similar write up to his halves partner.

The potential is there, but the case to buy in Round 1 isn’t strong.

His 27BPG is pretty solid for a halfback, but six of his 18 games last year were under 30 points.

He also only had one score over 80 last season (88), so the ceiling isn’t overly enticing.

Watch early and consider if he fires out a strong start to the year.

 

Mo Fotuaika

$528,100 // FRF // 2020 Ave: 59.6 // Rd 1 buy rating: 5/10

Fotuaika is always able to pick up bigger minutes if needed, but I’m not sure he’ll see increased time to begin the season.

He averaged 58MPG last season, scoring at 1.02PPM which matched his 2019 output.

Big Tino will play lock and can go the distance if needed and is likely to play more than Jai Arrow’s 54MPG there last season.

It probably won’t help Mo, but if he does happen to play 65+ he’d be a major play.

His 47BPG is solid, but I want to see a touch more attacking upside from him.

He had 30 tacklebreaks last season and 13 offloads, so the potential is there, but I’d want to see him given a bit more of a licence to free the arm before considering.

All that being said, he’s a very safe option who will score well, I just don’t see any value increase to begin the year.

 

Mitch Rein

$435,100 // HOK // 2020 Ave: 49.1 // Rd 1 buy rating: 3/10

Rein averaged 56MPG last season and didn’t go the distance once.

His 42BPG is pretty solid, but he doesn’t have a lot of attacking upside.

There are some very decent cheapie/mid-range cash cow options at hooker, and a plethora of guns, so I don’t see an argument to get him this season.

If he were to evolve into an 80 minute hooker from Round 1 there’d be some potential, but not for now.

Jarrod Wallace

$387,200 // FRF // 2020 Ave: 43.7 // Rd 1 buy rating: 5/10

Wallace’s averaged dropped significantly last season after dishing out 56, 51 and 53PPG in the three year’s prior.

It was off the back of his game time dropping from 50MPG the two year’s prior to just 37MPG last season.

In his last six games of 2020 as a starting prop he averaged 59PPG in 48.8MPG.

He scored at a very impressive 1.17PPM last year, up from 1.13PPM the year before.

If he does earn the starting spot and plays similar minutes there’s some very solid cash to be made.

I won’t start with him, but I’ll be watching very closely across the first two rounds as he may evolve into a very valuable mid-range cow who would be a nice stepping stone to a premium FRF.

David Fifita

$569,900 // 2RF // 2020 Ave: 64.3 // Rd 1 buy rating: 6/10 

It’ll take Fifita some time to gel with his new combinations at the Titans.

The Broncos didn’t use him very effectively last season, so he could fire at his new club.

He played 76MPG last season, so that’ll only elevate slightly as an 80 minute back-rower.

His 40BPG is only okay, but it’s his attacking upside that makes him enticing.

He had 34 tacklebreaks across his nine games at just under 4 per game, along with 11 offloads.

You’ll find more reliable 2RF options in SuperCoach, but few with a greater ceiling.

It should be noted his top score was 94 last season, but that was in an abysmal Broncos outfit who saw very little decent footy.

I’m not a fan of players at new clubs to begin the year as I’m big on it taking time for new combinations to adapt, but I wouldn’t argue with anyone wanting to start with Fifita.

At this stage I’ll wait and look to pick up somewhere between Round 5-10, but we know he’s capable of hitting the ground running in his new surroundings.

 

Kevin Proctor

$482,800 // 2RF // 2020 Ave: 54.5 // Rd 1 buy rating: 3/10

Proctor has always been a solid SuperCoach player without really threatening the guns in the 2RF position.

He averaged 76MPG last season, so I don’t see it changing this year.

I also think the Titans will attack down Fifita’s edge very often, giving Proctor less opportunity to jag attacking stats.

Both Tino and Fifita look better options in this side.

Tino Fa'asuamaleaui

$504,900 // 2RF-FRF // 2020 Ave: 57.0 // Rd 1 buy rating: 7/10

Big Tino is an interesting case heading into the season. How many minutes will he play?

You’d think anywhere from 60-70 minutes, I’d lean towards the 65 minute mark with one decent spell, but that’s far from locked in.

He averaged just 46MPG last season, scoring at an exceptional 1.23PPM.

Like last season, I don’t expect this PPM will continue when playing 60+ minutes, but even if he went at say 1-1.1PPM in 65 minutes it’d lead to a substantial increase in average and value.

He had 41 tacklebreaks in his 19 games, however he only offloaded twice.

Interestingly, he started just five games in the middle last season where his PPM was far stronger than on the edge.

He started in the middle for the final three games and scored in each of them, so playing centrally may not impact his try-scoring potential to badly, although it’s a fairly small sample size so let’s not get carried away.

The big thing for me is that he’s available as a dual position 2RF-FRF.

If he was only at 2RF I’d be a little hesitant, but at FRF I think he’s a really nice pick up.

Worst case scenario I think he makes money and can be sold to a genuine gun, best case scenario he’s a season-long keeper.

2 Responses to “Squad Breakdown: Gold Coast Titans top 17 analysed”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *