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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Turner

GameDay Squad Rugby League: Round 12 Player In Focus

Each week we will do a deep dive into a player that had a strong performance in the previous round. The player may not have had the top score of the weekend but a solid outing nonetheless. I’ll look to cover the previous rounds performance, outlook for the season ahead, outlook for 2024 and beyond and my recommendation for this player. Let us know your thoughts on who we have down below on all of our social channels: twitter, facebook, instagram, discord.

NRL Fantasy round 12 player in focus

Player of the Week

Player Name: Nathan Cleary Age: 25 Club: Penrith Panthers Position: Half Round 12 Score: 104 2023 Ave Score: 75

Round 12 Performance

Cleary chalked up his second 100+ point score of the season last weekend and I don’t think it will be his last one this season. In this performance he came away with 1 try, 3 goals, 1 field goal, 3 line breaks, 5 tackle busts and 3 offloads, this came to 56 points. In base stats he made 15 tackles, 186 running metres and 544 kick metres, this came to 51 points. This sort of performance shows you just how good of a player he is in fantasy.

2023 Outlook

I believe Cleary will continue to be one of the best players in GDS fantasy for 2023. He offers a great base of 50+ points most weeks and has the ability to turn it on in attack at any time. With Cleary having a hand in most things that the Panthers do, we may see him ton up again this season. To begin the season, I had Cleary projected to rank 2nd in the HLF position and after this weekend’s performance, he is still 2nd in my HLF projections. I will go one step further and add that he is also my number two ranked player overall for 2023.

GDS Dynasty Ranking

At 25 years old, Cleary should have many years ahead of him in the NRL. He is contracted to the Panthers until the end of the 2027 season. With youth on his side, Cleary is a must have in dynasty terms. After making his debut at 18 years old back in 2016, Cleary has made 148 appearances in the NRL. On top of this, he also has made thirteen appearances for NSW and five for Australia. He is vastly experienced and has won two NRL titles, three State of Origins and a World Cup. With the Panthers being one of the top teams in the NRL, I believe Cleary will remain as one of the top players in fantasy for many years to come.

JT’s Call

Most coaches are likely to have Cleary ranked as one of the top two players in GDS fantasy. Cleary was the top dog in fantasy for some time but was overtaken by Hynes last year. Cleary has the complete game to be a fantasy stud and with him averaging 75 points a game, he is a must have. If you don’t have Cleary in your squad, I would be doing what I could to acquire him in any rarity. Even if you do have him, I would be checking the transfer market to see if you can snare more of his cards as he is one of the most valuable cards to hold. This would be a play for this season and your squad’s future.

I believe you need Cleary to be competitive this season and in the future. If you don’t, your rank may be sliding. With the Panthers being on the bye this week and Cleary being in Origin, this might just be the best time to acquire him if other coaches are struggling for depth.



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