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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Turner

GameDay Squad Rugby League: Round 6 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.


Dylan Edwards NRL in focus


Player of the Week

Player Name: Dylan Edwards Age: 27 Club: Penrith Panthers Position: Fullback Round 4 Score: 118 2023 Ave Score: 70


Round 6 Performance

Edwards was one of the main contributors to the Panthers demolition of the Sea Eagles and he came away with four tries. On top of this, he provided GDS coaches with attacking stats in most fantasy scoring categories, which he hadn’t done so far this season. He was never far from the action and was his usual present self in support of the ball carrier. Edwards also had a season high in tackle breaks and made thirteen of these. His tries and tackle breaks alone came to a whopping 79 points, and this is the first time I’ve seen this number of points from these two stat lines. I’ve been watching Edwards for some time and have been waiting for a performance like this. Never in my wildest dreams did I see him scoring four tries.


2023 Outlook

The Panthers are rolling at the moment, and this is great for Edwards. If the Panthers are to continue this form, we may see Edwards crossover for more tries as well as adding more try assists, line breaks and line break assists to his performances. Adding this possible upside to the running metres and tackle breaks he already provides; we may be looking at the top WFB in GDS for 2023. Edwards is unlikely to be selected for Origin and if you don’t already have his card, you may find yourself slipping down the table around Origin time. Yes, when the Panthers play after an Origin, they will likely be missing several players due to rest. This only gives Edwards more upside in my opinion as he is likely to be the most experienced Panther on the field and will be in the action even more.


To begin the season, I had Edwards projected to rank 5th in the WFB position, he has now moved ahead of Scott Drinkwater and Ryan Papenhuyzen into 3rd in my season projections.  


GDS Dynasty Ranking

At 27 years old, Edwards should still have a good few years in front of him in first grade. The Panthers have been creating somewhat of a dynasty over the last few years and Edwards is guaranteed to be part of this until the end of 2024. I don’t see any reason why he shouldn’t be offered a new contract with the Panthers, especially with Stephen Crichton leaving to the Bulldogs at the end of the season. I believe Edwards would be a great player in GDS for the next 3-4 years, this will depend on if he stays at the Panthers obviously.


JT’s Call

With the likes of Teddy, Latrell and Turbo struggling for consistency this year, Edwards will be a starter for me every week. Even if every WFB in GDS is fit, Edwards would be a consideration for my team every week.


His work rate each week is top class and he loves getting in there and making the hard yards. His main attacking attribute is breaking tackles and he is averaging 8.5 of these a game. He is also arguably the best WFB in the metres gained department, he averages 217 metres a game. When you combine his tackle break and his metres gained stats, this offers coaches 45+ points every week. With these sorts of numbers, he offers a very high floor compared to most other WFBs. This week he well and truly showed what he can do on attack.


I feel like Edwards has been the best WFB in GDS since the finals last year and his consistency this season has been excellent. If you already have his card, I believe he is in the must start category. If you don’t have his card, I would be doing what I could to acquire one as soon as possible. This would be a play for this season and your squad’s future.


 



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