The Fantasy King: Round 7 Observations

Filed in Uncategorized by on May 2, 2013


By Mick 'the King' Adams

Where next for Ben Barba?

Barba owners might have taken some solace in the fact that he posted his second Supercoach half century for the season with an even 50 against the Sharks, however the reality is he’s a long way from back. Averaging a paltry 39.5, placing him 30th among all eligible Supercoach fullbacks and 12th among players named in the position for this weekend’s games, he has fallen a long way from his dizzying form last year.


Most worrying from a fantasy perspective is his continued lack of involvement. Barba averaged over 11 runs a game in 2012, averaging over ten metres a carry. This year his average has dropped to ten carries at less than 8 metres a pop. This staggering lack of dynamism is a troubling sign from a player who, prior to the revelation regarding his on-field issues, I had considered a lock to overtake Slater and Hayne as the best fantasy fullback. It’s easy to point to his lack of tries in explaining his meagre fantasy average this season, but surely if he gets back into that aggressively attacking mindset which tore up the competition last year the tries will take care of themselves.

In Barba’s favour is the fact that he will be taking on the injury-plagued Tigers. Against the Broncos last weekend they affirmed the notion that they make a handy fantasy match-up, with Justin Hodges in particular having a big night out with 134 Supercoach points. If Barba and the Bulldogs decide to show up against the Tigers he could be in for a big game.


Shaun Johnson

As a Johnson owner last season, I put him forward as the most frustratingly inconsistent fantasy player in the competition. This has continued into 2013, bouncing between great and mediocre on a weekly basis. It was for this reason that I will not go anywhere near him, as much as I want to see him develop into the exciting star we’ve seen glimpses of. From what I’ve seen of the Warriors this year his overall form seems much improved from that disastrous grand final hangover in 2012, and with a good draw coming up over the next few weeks I’m almost confident in tipping him to put together a run of scores. Almost.


It’s official – Paul Gallen is on the decline

Not that you’d know it from his fantasy scores mind you. Gallen is still right up there, averaging 79 points a game, good for 4th in the competition. Increasingly however, he is turning more into a Corey Parker-esque workhorse, meaning that his average tackle count has increased as his hit up average has dropped. His average per carry has also fallen, slipping below 9 metres (while still safely above that 8m threshold). For this reason, while he is still among the first players you’d pick for your side, I wouldn’t be expecting too many plus-100 scores from Gallen from here on out.

Anthony Watmough is killing it

And likely to keep it up on Monday night against the Dragons, who have been leaking fantasy points to opposition teams this year. One thing counting against Watmough however is that his biggest scores have come when he has made a lot of tackles. His 135 on Friday night came in that great, hard fought loss to the Rabbitohs where he was required to do a tonne of work, notching both his highest tackle count and most hit ups for the year. Against a vastly inferior team in the Dragons, he may not be required to do as much heavy lifting, which could see his score fall back into that 50-60 range as has often happened to Watmough when Manly win big.

For the Weekend

Carrying on from my match-up discussion in the last column, I have cast my eye over this week’s games. As mentioned, look for Ben Barba to improve against the Tigers, which could also mean a good score for someone like Josh Morris.

Elsewhere, Trent Merrin’s fantasy average felt the wrath of the stingy Roosters on Anzac day, and, facing another tough day out against the Eagles, I’d be looking somewhere else for captaincy options.

I can’t really see anything other than a huge day for James Maloney and $BW against the Panthers.

Newcastle’s form at home so far makes for some ominous reading – 4 games for 4 wins, 112 for to 34 against. The Sharks have the 6th best ranked defence but showed against the Dogs that they can let tries in. Darius Boyd’s fantasy scores have been inconsistent, although much better than last year’s feeble efforts. More importantly however, he is starting to hit his 2010 form, a year in which he piloted the Dragons to grand final glory and had a fantasy average over 60. I’m banking on a big day for Boyd and maybe Akuila Uate too.


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