The Fantasy King: 10 for 10

Filed in Uncategorized by on May 16, 2013

By Mick 'the King' Adams

Since I found the box set in the half price bin at Sanity a few weeks ago, ESPN’s “30 for 30” documentary series has become an obsession. With Round 10 of the 2013 NRL season upon us, paying homage via a Fantasy King “10 for 10” was a no brainer, a fitting tribute to what are some of the finest sports documentaries you could ever see. All I needed was a topic, which led me to ruminate on how poorly my fantasy team was doing this year. Although to be honest, a lot of things lead me to ruminate on how poorly my fantasy team is doing this year.

Anyway, in the days before the long-overdue introduction of a fantasy draft, the solution to a bad team was trade, trade, trade. Now it is a lot harder, and players (like myself) who have drafted poorly face a long road back, relying on discards from other fantasy squads and snapping up any debutantes that will inevitably show up throughout the season. One thing the new and improved fantasy structure has in common with the so-called “Supercoach Classic” is that, faced with an uphill battle, the only option is to roll the dice. With this in mind, here is my 10 for 10- 10 bold predictions for Round 10.

1. Scott Prince to catch fire against his old club

Please note: there is absolutely no statistical evidence to suggest that this is a possibility. In fact, the statistics would suggest the very opposite. On 15 occasions through the first nine rounds a player has faced the club he played for last year. Only twice in that period has a player outscored his season average (Gerard Beale in round 2- 29 to 26; Tyson Frizell in round 4- 72 to 46). In fact, if anything the data reveals that there is no fantasy spike or drop off when players play their former clubs, as nine of those 15 games the difference between season average and game total has been less than 10 points, and 3 of the remaining 6 can be attributed to other factors (injury; early season games before the player got on a roll).

So basically this is more wishful thinking. I was reluctantly forced to redraft Prince into my squad, and I could really do with some help Princey. Do it for your old mate.

Bold prediction: 55+ for prince

2. A ton for Sutton

Club in crisis. Star player axed. Injury turmoil. Competition leaders against the cellar dwellers. It’s the type of match that screams upset defeat, and yet I just can’t bring myself to back the Tigers. A true bold prediction would be to suggest that Benji will respond to his shock benching by producing a career-defining performance to shock the Bunnies into submission, but I just can’t see it. Take out Woods and Farah and you have an extraordinarily ordinary pack, and Souths should run rampant, with the strong running Sutton leading the charge.

Bold prediction: 100+ for Sutton

3. Dugan to fire in his Dragons debut…

The less than one year deal Dugan signed with the Dragons should serve as a blunt reminder that he is an arrogant knob who has run out of chances. However, it is also perversely the best thing that could have happened for his future prospects if he is serious about putting his troubles behind him and committing to the sacrifice necessary to sustain a career in football. Dugan is essentially playing for his football life. If he fails to perform or continues to misbehave another contract will be hard to come by, but if he lives up to his undeniable talent he will suddenly find himself a valued commodity by the end of the year. Surely this is as good an incentive as any, and I firmly believe he will take advantage of the situation. Lacking firepower and creativity, the Dragons would be foolish to not base their attacking game around Dugan. I feel a big fantasy year is on the cards.

Bold prediction: 60+ for Dugan

4. … But the Hayne plane to steal the show

Injuries to Bretts Morris and Stewart, and a dearth of other viable options have likely saved Hayne the embarrassment of being discarded from NSW for game one, but that doesn’t mean he’ll just walk into a blue jumper. Hayne had a pretty good game against the Broncos, if only a solid one in fantasy terms. But regardless there have been signs that Hayne is on the right track after that humiliating Panthers thrashing in round seven. The Dragons are solid in defence, but I think Hayne will have a big game.

Bold prediction: 100+ for Hayne

5. Daniel Tupou to run riot

Saturday night in Townsville has often been a tough hang for visiting teams, and the Cowboys have won big there in two out of their three home games thus far this year. But the Roosters should account for them easily enough. I was hoping to find some statistical variance in the centre/wing combinations against their respective opponents but truth be told, the Graham/Tate and Winterstein/Linnett partnerships have been pretty solid this year. The latter are up 5-2 in being opposite 50+ fantasy games however, so for that reason they get the nod. It will be a quiet game from the hyphen side of the Roosters attack, but expect big games from Jennings and Tupou, the latter to score a double as the Roosters do the business on the road. You read it here first.

Bold prediction: 70+ for Tupou

6. Chris Heighington’s slide continues unabated

When Paul Gallen went off early in the Sharks’ round 8 loss to the Knights, Heighington ably filled the gap and had his best fantasy showing for the year. He was a massive disappointment then in picking up only 61 in his first full game as Gallen’s replacement. With Andrew Fifita playing out of his skin, Heighington and fellow recruit Luke Lewis are

left with little more than crumbs. Both have had their day as top tier fantasy forwards. It’s time to move on.

Bold prediction: 60- for Heighington

7. Blake Ferguson gets a hat trick of Supercoach centuries

I’m a massive Ferguson fan, Cruisergate notwithstanding. He may be error-prone and a suspect defender, but he looks brilliant in full flight. The Sharks are coming off an unlucky loss and a huge win, and will be hard to stop for the improving Raiders. But I think they can get the points, and if they do you can expect Ferguson to be right in the thick of it with another big fantasy game.

Bold Prediction: 100+ for Ferguson

8. Campo and McCrone to go on a run

While we’re on the subject of the Raiders, I’ve got to say that I’m expecting big things. Okay, maybe it’s the two leg multi I put on at the start of the year- Raiders premiership into Freo premiership- but I like them a lot. They are, for now, safely ensconced in the top half of the competition. Obviously we’re a long way out from the finals, but I am quite confident in ruling a line through teams currently 12-16 on the ladder. This leaves Cronulla, the Cowboys and the Dogs as the only teams capable of breaking in to the top 8. My point is Canberra are finals bound and it will be their halves that get them there. McCrone has been a good fantasy option, albeit inconsistent, while Campese is starting to warm up. Doing some research for this column, I found that the “Recent performance against upcoming opponents” section of Supercoach Gold is listing games as far back as 2008 in Campo’s stats, an indication of how little football he has played in the last few years. He has had some massive fantasy hauls when fit, and I think we’ll see a few more this year, starting at Shark Park Sunday arvo.

Bold prediction: 50+ for McCrone

70+ for Campese

9. A quiet one for Uate

Prior to their upset golden point loss to the Sharks, Newcastle were unbeaten at home and had racked up some massive scores in that time. Akuila Uate scored 137 and 92 in his first two Hunter Stadium hitouts, but since then he’s been eerily quiet at home. The match against the Dogs on Sunday arvo is a 50/50 proposition, with Canterbury looking for three straight wins and the Knights hoping to avoid three straight losses. Looking at Uate’s opponents in the Morris/Brown pairing, I feel his drought is destined to be extended. Brown and Morris have been highly effective, and only on 5 occasions has a centre/wing facing them posted 50+.

Bold prediction: 30- for Uate

10. Manly to extend Melbourne’s losing streak

Hey, I said bold predictions. David Williams gets a hat trick.

Bold prediction: 90+ for Williams


Comments are closed.