Is Cleary now the best player in GDS? When can we expect Edwards to put in some good fantasy performances? Can we start Koroisau this season? There were so many questions coming out of round 21 and some of them were answered in round 22. But let's turn our attention back to fantasy footy for a second and identify some risers in form and others who should be falling out of favor with all fantasy coaches. Let us know your thoughts on who we have down below on all of our social channels: twitter, facebook, instagram, discord.
Jahrome Hughes – HLF, Melbourne Storm (108 points)
Hughes had his best performance of the season as the red-hot Storm dispatched of the Eels. He had a hand in everything the Storm did on attack and if he continues to play like that, they will be very hard to beat. In this performance he came away with 1 try, 4 try assists, 3 line breaks, 4 line break assists, and 6 tackle breaks on attack, this came to 76 points. Hughes is one of the great POD options in the halves as he can turn up and put that sort of performance on at any time. Over the last seven weeks he has averaged 57 points with three of these scores being 65+ and the other four being less than 45. As you can see by his recent scores, Hughes really lacks consistency and is a real rocks or diamonds sort of player this season. He may not be everyone’s cup of tea with several more consistent halves in GDS, but he certainly possesses the ceiling that us fantasy coaches love to see.
Nathan Cleary – HLF, Penrith Panthers (95 points)
This was only Cleary’s second game since the early June, and it doesn’t look like he’s had seven weeks on the sidelines as he helped the Panthers beat the Sharks 28-0. In this performance he came away with 4 goals, 2 try assists, 1 line break assist, 3 tackle breaks and 2 offloads on attack, this came to 40 points. This sort of performance just shows how set and forget Cleary is as a starter in the halves. Almost 60% of his points came via base stats and when we have a half scoring 50+ points in base, he’s an auto pick for me. It’s generally beneficial for coaches to play good halves from good teams as the ceiling for these halves is so much higher. Cleary well and truly fits this category, so do many of the top halves to be honest. What makes Cleary better than other halves in my opinion is the consistency he has shown at this level for several years. It doesn’t really matter who the opponent is as he can score decent points in good or bad matchups.
Apisai Koroisau – HOK, Wests Tigers (73 points)
With the hooker position being a bit of a lottery lately, Koroisau raised his hand as another starting contender after a very good performance. In this performance he came away with 1 try, 2 goals, 1 try assist, 1 line break and 1 line break assist on attack, this came to 29 points. On top of this he scored 52 points through base stats. However, it was a little disappointing to see him lose 27 points through demerits. This was his best game of the season, and the fact that it occurred during a defeat makes it much more spectacular. This was the sixth time this season where Koroisau has put in an 80-minute performance and averages 48 points over these games. I’m not expecting his attacking stat line to be like it was this week every week but if he can continue to put in 80-minute performances, he should average close to 50 points. For him to be an option for me, he will first have to clean up his demerits as he’s losing 23 points a game through these since returning from injury.
Joseph Manu – CTR, Sydney Roosters (1 points)
Joey Manu has had a roller coaster of a season and this week he had his worst performance of the year. We come to expect the odd off game from centres but a score of only one point from a player like Manu is a coach killer. This week he didn’t chalk up any attacking stats other than 2 tackle breaks. He had a season low of 43 running metres and lost 23 points through demerits. This is not what we expect to see from one of the best centres in the game. Prior to this week Manu had shown a bit of form and averaged 61 points over his last five games. With games against Sea Eagles, Dolphins and Wests Tigers coming up, I have no problem considering him as a starter as all these teams allow 35+ points to the right centre. Hopefully this week was a one off and Manu can bounce back to the performances that GDS coaches expect. With the Roosters needing to win all their remaining games to stand a chance of making the finals, I’m expecting Manu and the other leaders within the team to step up.
Daine Laurie – WFB, Wests Tigers (6 points)
Laurie is a very talented footballer but with the Wests Tigers struggling to win games this season, he isn’t really a starting option. He is still getting used to the five-eighth position in first grade and with him not being the dominant halve, he won’t be considered for my squad this season. I can’t really see too much attacking upside from him and since his move to five-eighth, he is losing 17 points through demerits a game. Five-Eighth might be his best position moving forward but after signing a one-year contract for the Panthers for 2024, he will surely only be cover for the likes of Edwards, Luai and Cleary. I’ll be holding onto his card as he may become a playable option if he gets an opportunity at the Panthers next season. With GDS being a dynasty platform, he might be a player you can add to your squad on the off chance he earns a starting role at the Panthers.
Dylan Edwards – WFB, Penrith Panthers (18 points)
After a fantastic start to the season Edwards has really fallen out of favor with a lot of GDS coaches. With Cleary returning a couple of weeks ago, I honestly thought it would be wheels up for Edwards. Last week Edwards looked like the player we saw earlier this season but this week in a dominant Panthers performance he was disappointing. He didn’t get his hands on the ball as much as he usually does and his numbers were down in running metres and tackle breaks. These are the two stats where Edwards earns most of his points. Moving forward, I can see Edwards starting in my team sometime during the remainder of the season, but he will have to show me a bit more consistency or have a favorable matchup before I select him. With the Storm on deck next for the Panthers, I’ll likely not be starting Edwards. In round 24 and 25 the Panthers have matches against the Sea Eagles and Titans, both of these matchups are favorable for fullbacks.