Fantasy NRL: Wondrous Widdop worth investment

By Dr Stats

Dragons standoff looks good buy to rack up the fantasy points

Highly-paid storm hooker Cameron Smith should be sold for Andrew McCullough or Nathan Peats. Photo / Getty Images.
Highly-paid storm hooker Cameron Smith should be sold for Andrew McCullough or Nathan Peats. Photo / Getty Images.

It's only two weeks into the season and some players have started with a hiss and roar while others are performing below expectations. No doubt fantasy owners will be thinking over whether to stick with the status quo or pick up the in-form player.

Gareth Widdop (Dragons), 66 points at $214,000
The Dragons' back has been a revelation this season after leaving the Melbourne Storm and now taking over fulltime kicking duties. His side have had an easy run so far with big wins over the Tigers and Warriors and face an injury-hit Sharks team tomorrow. Buy.

Cameron Smith (Storm), 83 points at $452,000
He's the highest paid in his position but he hasn't been showing it in the opening two weeks. He should come right but at that price he's probably worth a sit for a while until he proves himself. Sell. Brisbane's Andrew McCullough ($368,000, 130 points) or Nathan Peats (148,000, 54 points) are good replacements.

Anthony Milford (Raiders), 54 points at $172,000
Milford had a huge game against the Knights on Monday, scoring 40 fantasy points. He's taken the kicking duties from Jarrod Croker, who struggled with a hamstring injury but still scored 30 fantasy points. He doesn't look pretty doing it but if he keeps kicking, he's worth a buy. Buy.

To add or not to add
This week also sees a few big names return to action.

Todd Carney($270,000) returns for the Sharks after missing the opening two games in 2014. He may be a big name but in terms of Fantasy there are better cheaper options in the halves such as the Titans' Albert Kelly (114 points at $251,000). My advice - Don't add.

Manu Vatuvei ($310,000) also returns after missing last week's defeat to the Dragons. The big back is a dangerous pick-up as he can be easily boom or bust and being injury prone doesn't help his cause. My advice - Don't add.

Glenn Stewart ($272,000) is back for Manly for their clash with the Eels on Sunday. There is potential for a blowout in this game as the Eels were handed a comprehensive thrashing by the Roosters last weekend. If the Sea Eagles deal to the Eels it can bring bad news for players such as Stewart who gain points from high tackle counts but he's a decent option if you need to replace Sonny Bill Williams, Paul Gallen or Shaun Fensom in your side who are all out this week. My advice - Add.

Nathan Peats will start for the Eels at hooker against Manly after sitting out a club-imposed one week suspension. He is the best value for money player in Fantasy with massive potential. He should play a full 80 on Sunday after scoring 54 points in the season opener against the Warriors. At $148,000 he's almost four times cheaper than Cameron Smith and I know it's only one week of data in but has so far out performed the Storm hooker. My advice - Add.

Johnathan Thurston has been in great form and faces the 0-2 Warriors at home. Jason Taumalolo is also worth a look. Manly backline should fire against the Eels so eye Jamie Lyon, Cheyse Blair, Daly Cherry-Evans and even Steve Matai.

Pick-ups
Nathan Peats
Johnathan Thurston
Daly Cherry-Evans
Manly back line

Value picks
Gareth Widdop
Anthony Milford
Andrew McCullough

On the bench
Paul Gallen - Sharks (out for 7 weeks)
Sonny Bill Williams - Roosters (two week ban)
Brett Stewart - Sea Eagles (out for 3 weeks)
Darius Boyd - Knights (out for 2 weeks)
Shaun Fensom Raiders (one week ban)
Josh Papalii - Raiders (two weeks)
Aidan Sezer (in doubt)

- NZ Herald

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