Squad Breakdown: Parramatta Eels top 17 analysed

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

Pre-season Squad Breakdown

With a similar roster to previous seasons, Parramatta will be looking to build on a solid 2020 campaign.

They boast plenty of SuperCoach relevance, with a host of well credentialled PODs that could set you apart from rivals to begin the year.

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 Parramatta 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 Eels 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.

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BENCH

Ray Stone $203,100 // 2RF // 2020 Ave: 22.4 // Rd 1 buy rating: 2/10

Stone averaged 24MPG last season and will likely play a similar role if he gets picked in Round 1.

Job security is an issue, and the starting role will only come if Mahoney is injured.

If that occurs, he’d become a must-have cheapie at the price.

Bryce Cartwright $372,100 // 2RF // 2020 Ave: 42 // Rd 1 buy rating: 0/10

Anyone considering attending the Carty Party needs their head checked.

He may not even get a bench role, although I think his versatility will be hard for Brad Arthur to ignore provided he has a decent pre-season.

With two 80-minute edge back-rowers there’s no room for Cartwright to win many minutes.

Isaiah Papali’i is also an option to win this role.

*UPDATE: Cartwright broke his jaw during pre-season training and is expected to miss at least the first few rounds of the competition. Papali’i is likely to win the bench role to begin the year.

Oregon Kaufusi $236,500 // FRF // 2020 Ave: 26.7 // Rd 1 buy rating: 3/10

Kaufusi averaged 24MPG last season at an output of 1.1PPM.

The season prior he averaged 22MPG at 1.23PPM.

If he can get extra minutes and maintain his PPM he could be a SuperCoach weapon.

Niukora now spends most of his time in the middle, so with him out in Round 1 Kaufusi could play more minutes, but it’d likely be a trap.

Wait and see his minutes in Round 2 with Niukora back, and if he were to jump to 35+ he will be worth a look as a cheapie.

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Marata Niukora $382,600 // 2RF // 2020 Ave: // Rd 1 buy rating: 1/10

Niukora will miss Round 1 due to suspension.

Regardless, he’s not an option unless a back-rower goes down and he finds himself playing 65+ minutes following a price drop.

OTHERS

Michael Oldfield $260,400 // CTW // 2020 Ave: 14 // Rd 1 buy rating: -/10

Michael Jennings’ vacant left centre role is up for grabs, and it’s likely to fall to any of Michael Oldfield, Tom Opacic or Haze Dunster.

I had Oldy narrowly in front, but a pre-season MCL injury is expected to sideline him until about Round 4.

Injury ended Oldfield’s season early in 2020, playing just two 80 minute games for scores of 21 and 13. He averaged 14PPG in 43MPG.

The season prior he played nine games (eight were 80 minutes), averaging 42PPG with 23BPG.

Haze Dunster $173,700 // CTW // 2020 Ave: 0 // Rd 1 buy rating: 3/10

The pre-season injury to Michael Oldfield means the starting centre role likely falls to Dunster or Opacic.

Dunster recently stated that he’s been training on the wing, with Opacic expected to win the role.

Dunster is basement price and would be a must-have if he won the role, but it now looks likely he’ll be an injury away from an NRL start.

At the price you’d could sit him on your bench as a non-player, but it’d only be if we were void of Round 1 cheapies.

At this stage I think we’ll be okay, so it’s not required.

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

Clint Gutherson

$617,400 // FLB // 2020 Ave: 69.7 // Rd 1 buy rating: 5/10

The King showed us at stages last season he’s capable of mixing it with the big dogs in the stacked fullback position.

He had four tons for the year, including a 166 point monster in a show of his ceiling.

I just don’t think he’s quite up to the standard of the elite tier of fullback options on a consistent basis.

I think he’s more of a fixture pick for a few rounds if Parra have an easy run of games while they’re firing.

He had five scores under 40 last year, but two of them came in the first two rounds pre-new rules.

Tacklebreaks is one area he doesn’t quite match it with other fullbacks which is an easy area for the guns to accumulate points.

Tedesco and Ponga averaged 6 and 5 per game respectively last season, while Gutho averaged 2. It’s only one small area, but worth noting.

He’s a POD option if you think he and the Eels will fire, but I think he has plenty more to prove to be considered.

Maika Sivo

$456,200 // CTW // 2020 Ave: 51.5 // Rd 1 buy rating: 5/10

Big Maika struggled last season by his standards, and it makes him cheap to begin 2021.

He dropped from an average of 59PPG in 2019 to 51.5PPG in 2020.

He scored 15 tries in 20 games last season which is a decent strike-rate, but his 22BPG wasn’t great.

It was down a touch on his output of 26BPG in 2019 which made for more appealing reading.

The issue with Sivo is of course his rollercoaster point-scoring trends.

He had two tons last season, including a 145, but also had six scores under 30, including a 7 and 13.

Dylan Brown continues to go from strength-to-strength in the top grade, and I think it’ll benefit Sivo on the left edge as he takes more control of games.

He arguably became the dominant ball-player over Moses at stages last season, so hopefully this continues for the sake of the left edge.

I don’t hate him as a POD play for Round 1, but I’ll be waiting to see if he can up his workrate a touch, along with Parra showing form before jumping on.

Waqa Blake

$347,700 // CTW // 2020 Ave: 39.3 // Rd 1 buy rating: 4/10

Blake has the attributes to be a SuperCoach gun, but he’s never really been relevant.

His 26BPG was solid enough last season, and he only scored six tries with two assists, so there’s potential improvement there.

Bit his pedigree is awful outside of 2018 where he averaged 59PPG.

Outside of that, his four seasons either side were all averages from 39-42PPG.

He only had 11 offloads and 31 tacklebreaks last season, certainly not terrible numbers but not enticing enough to warrant buying.

I’m not putting a straight line through him because he has huge potential, but I’ll want to see a big first two rounds with an increased workrate before even considering.

Tom Opacic

$325,300 // CTW // 2020 Ave: 40.8 // Rd 1 buy rating: 4/10

Opacic is awkwardly priced at $325k, although he’s discounted due to playing just five games for the Cowboys last season.

Playing outside Brown/Lane and inside Sivo is a good spot to be, although I’m just not sure I want to invest that much.

His 27BPG was okay, so if he could find some attacking stat on that edge he’d be an option.

Job security will be an issue though in another concern.

I’m willing to wait and watch, if he kills it early I’ll jump on before that Round 3 price rise.

Blake Ferguson

$352,900 // CTW // 2020 Ave: 39.8 // Rd 1 buy rating: 7/10

Fergy Ferg is dirt cheap and is a serious Round 1 option.

I’m extremely tempted to start with him as I think the only way is up.

Incredibly he scored just three tries last season, all of which came in his last four games.

Injury aside, I’m absolutely certain this will rise in 2021 and his price should go with it.

I’m not by any means suggesting he’ll be a CTW keeper, but he can be a perfect stepping-stone to a gun.

His average from 2019 and prior were: 54, 65, 49 and 41PPG.

While that 65PPG average in a raging hot Roosters outfit won’t be matched, he can average 50PPG again which would see a rise of close to $100k.

If he can string a few tries together we may even get him closer to the $500k barrier for a period of time.

What is most vital of all is that his output of 30BPG last season was still extremely strong for a CTW.

If he can replicate this with a few tries he looks a great buy.

As a genuine mid-range cow, he’ll also take some of that risk out of starting with four CTW cheapies who can go extremely low in any given round.

He did have five games under 30 last year, but they were against the Panthers x2, Storm, Roosters and Rabbitohs.

That suggests that he’s even a potential sit option against the NRL’s top defensive sides, pending how your other CTWs are performing of course.

Dylan Brown

$564,700 // 5/8 // 2020 Ave: 63.8 // Rd 1 buy rating: 6/10

I think Brown is big POD play to start the season, but at what risk?

The likes of Matt Moylan and Connor Watson look like fairly nice cheapies at 5/8, while Cam Munster and Cody Walker are premium options that can hurt you if you don’t own.

He’s clearly a player on the up as he finds his feet in the NRL, and he’s shown he’s capable of dominating rivals already.

He averaged 37BPG last season!!! That’s immense for a playmaker…

Scores of 123 and 111 show he has a high ceiling, while his lowest score of the season was 35 which is also great reading for potential owners.

He scored four tries in 16 games last year which he is likely to improve on in 2021.

I’m likely to go a Munster/Walker and Moylan/Watson combination, but Brown is a serious option.

Mitchell Moses

$481,000 // HFB // 2020 Ave: 54.3 // Rd 1 buy rating: 4/10

Moses was relatively consistent last season by his standards, but that doesn’t mean a stack.

He had an injury affected 18 point game among four scores under 32, which isn’t too bad.

You’ve been able to cop the lows with the highs in the past, but with Dylan Brown’s emergence it took plenty of attacking opportunity away from Moses.

He normally has a huge ceiling, but last season he had just the one ton which was 108 against the Titans before the new rules came in to play.

There’s not a lot of depth in the halfback position, so you could make a case to partner him with Cleary if you think Parramatta are in for a big start to the season, but it’d be fairly risky.

He averaged 62PPG in a show of his SuperCoach capabilities, but I’m not sure it’ll happen again with Brown in the side.

Like Gutho, I think he’s a player to target short-term if the Eels are firing with a run of easy games.

Junior Paulo

$570,100 // FRF // 2020 Ave: 64.3 // Rd 1 buy rating: 6/10

Paulo was very strong in SuperCoach last season averaging 64.3PPG, in 54MPG, at a serious output of 1.19PPM.

The issue last season with owning him was reoccurring back spasms that made his game time sporadic.

He had seven games of 59+ minutes and also six games under 50 minutes.

This isn’t uncommon for any forward as they’re managed throughout a season, but it can make them hard to catch in SuperCoach.

His biggest asset is his offload, leading the competition last season with 54 offloads (including finals), eight ahead of second place and a ridiculous 18 ahead of third!

It’s this that always makes him a tempting prospect.

He had two tons last season, without tries, in a show of his ceiling for a FRF.

I think he’s priced close to his max, so I’ll likely be avoiding early in the season and targeting in Round 5-10 at some stage as a mid-range FRF maxes out.

I just don’t think there is much value in him to begin the year which is vital to a starting side.

If you did want to play safe with your top dollar players for Round 1 he’s not a bad option with upside.

Reed Mahoney

$478,800 // HOK // 2020 Ave: 54.1 // Rd 1 buy rating: 3/10

A few injuries saw Mahoney average just 72MPG last season, so you could argue he’s undervalued to begin the year based on him being an 80 minute player.

I just think there are far superior hooking options with plenty more upside.

His top score last season was 103 which was his only score over 80.

When you consider the likes of Cook, Grant and Smith he just isn’t in the same SuperCoach class.

Reagan Campbell-Gillard

$507,700 // FRF // 2020 Ave: 57.3 // Rd 1 buy rating: 4/10

RCG averaged 57.3PPG in 56MPG at an output of 1.03PPM last season, all of which were huge career highs.

As a result I think he’s pretty close to max price and I can’t see him improving and hence providing value in round 1.

The season’s prior he averaged 47, 45, 48 and 39PPG all at under 1PPM.

He played four games in the middle of last season where he played 63-80 minutes and his scores went through the roof, suggesting he maintains his PPM pretty well with more time.

If he can get back to 60+ minutes he’ll be worth a look, but early in the season you’d have to think that’s unlikely, particularly with two 80 minute back-rowers and Paulo/Brown who are capable of big time.

Shaun Lane

$528,000 // 2RF // 2020 Ave: 59.6 // Rd 1 buy rating: 4/10

Lane produced his highest SC average last season in 72MPG.

His 47BPG is very solid and he has big attacking upside which always makes him an enticing prospect.

I can see him factoring as an option at some stage of the year, probably during the bye period, but he’s a tier below the elite back-rowers so it’s hard to make a case for forking out $528k for his services.

Ryan Matterson

$666,000 // 2RF // 2020 Ave: 75.2 // Rd 1 buy rating: 8/10

Matto is very hard to resist on last year’s stunning numbers.

You’d argue he’s probably at his max price, but when you’re paying top dollar for a gun with a high ceiling it’s not a huge concern as they’re genuine keepers.

He had a very strong 56BPG in 76MPG.

He’s an 80 minute player who has huge attacking upside and is nearly impossible to fault.

Outside of one injury affected game of 8 minutes, his lowest score was 60 points.

He had six scores over 90, including a top of 115 against the Storm!

There’s no need to say much more as he’s one of the game’s elite players and will be very hard to pass up.

Nathan Brown

$580,800 // 2RF // 2020 Ave: // Rd 1 buy rating: 4/10

Brown averaged 64MPG at an output of 1.03PPM last season, both were around about in line with his recent years.

His 56BPG is very strong, while his ceiling is okay with two scores over 80, but not in the class of other 2RF options.

He’s a SuperCoach gun, but the back-row is loaded with premium options and Brown isn’t one.

If he does play an 80 minute role at any stage he’ll warrant serious consideration, but not until then.

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