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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Turner

GameDay Squad Rugby League - Risers and Fallers

GameDay Squad Rugby League: Risers and Fallers: In this blog we are going to look at which players' values have either risen or fallen since the beginning of the season. Some players may be fringe players for your starting squad and may not have too much relevance this season. Other players may be considered as elite starting options but are currently out of form. Here are some possible risers and fallers after the first 5 rounds of the 2024 NRL season.

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Jamal Fogarty - Half, Raiders

Positional Rank 6th - average 61 points, played five games and made the squad of the round three times.

Fogarty is coming off a season low 46 points against the Raiders, but he has still been one of the more consistent halves of the season. With three halves positions to fill each week in your squad and the likes of Cleary, Moses and Reynolds being out injured, Fogarty's value has increased dramatically. Up against the Titans this weekend who are allowing an average of 31 points to be scored against them, I believe Fogarty should be strongly considered by GDS coaches as a starter. However, I don't think Fogarty's value will increase too much more and he may be at the height of the market. If you have multiple cards of Fogarty, now might be a great time to sell high.

Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow - Fullback, Dolphins

Positional Rank 5th - average 61 points, played four games and made the squad of the round once.

The Hammer has been scoring tries for fun this season and already has five of them. At 22 years old, he has a promising future and is currently one of the most exciting players to watch with ball in hand. Quite often he is overlooked by many GDS coaches as there are many very good fullbacks to choose from. Quite a few coaches may consider him as a POD. Looking at the Dolphins next five games they come up against an under-strength Broncos and Eels as well as games against the Knights, Cowboys, and Sea Eagles. All these games are no further south than Brisbane and if the weather allows it, we might see the Hammer continue to average more than 50 points across these games.

Stefano Utoikamanu - Middle Forward, Wests Tigers

Positional Rank 4th - average 56 points, played four games and made the squad of the round two times.

Big Stefano has shown glimpses of his potential to be a fantasy relevant player in the past but under the guidance of Benji Marshall, it looks like he's in for a breakout season. Compared to the 2023 season we have seen increases per game in the following areas - 30 running metres, 8 tackles and 3.7 tackle breaks. This all works out to be an average of 20 points more per game. Some of this is down to the 11 minutes more per game that he is spending on the field, but we have also seen an increase from 0.85 PPM in 2023 to 0.98 PPM in 2024. Before a lot of GDS coaches catch on to how much Stefano has improved, it may pay to check out the transfer market and see if you can find yourself a discount before his value increases.


Latrell Mitchell - Fullback, Rabbitohs

Positional Rank 6th - average 54 points, played five games and made the squad of the round once.

Latrell can be one of the highest scoring fullbacks in GDS and he showed us this in round one against the Sea Eagles, scoring 90 points. Since then, he has had a couple of scores in the 60s and a couple of scores in the 20s. He's a player that many coaches find it hard to exclude from their starting squad, but man can he do some silly things at times. He has been suspended for three games after making dangerous contact with Shaun Johnson in the round 5 loss to the Warriors. In my opinion, there was no need for him to go into the tackle and carry on the way he did. It's a brain snap and this isn't the first time Latrell has done something like this. It will probably not be the last time either. He won't return until round 10 and depending on his matchup, he will likely not be starting in my squad. In saying all of this, if you don't already have a Mitchell card, you might find him on the transfer market at a discount. This could be a great time to buy low as Mitchell is still a quality footballer and will likely be the top scoring fullback in a round before the end of the season.

John Bateman - Edge Forward, Wests Tigers

Positional Rank 45th - average 28 points, played four games and has not made the squad of the round.

Bateman has made a slow start to the season and is yet to score more than 40 points in a game. He was ranked 3rd in the edge forward rankings for 2023 and only had seven scores of less than 40 points in his twenty games. His work rate just doesn't seem to be there this season as his running metres per game have decreased by 10m and the number of tackles made have decreased by 11 tackles per game. This works out to be a loss of 12 points per game through base stats. He did only play 39 minutes against the Dolphins after picking up a head knock and not returning after the HIA. It's unclear at this stage if he will play this weekend. Even if he does, I believe he is an avoid until he can start putting a few decent 50+ point performances together.

Will Penisini - Centre, Eels

Positional Rank 18th - average 32 points, played five games and has not made the squad of the round.

Penisini made a solid start to the season with two scores in the 40s but has failed to score more than 20 points in his last two games. I put a lot of this down to Moses being out injured. In the ten games Penisini has played without Moses in the team, he has only averaged 30 points and only had one score of 35+. Until Moses returns from injury, Penisini is an avoid in my opinion. However, Penisini is still only 21 years old, and I believe he has a bright future in the NRL. This might be a great time to buy low if you don't already have his card.


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