Updated: Feb 1
Gone are the years where there was a tonne of hooker options to choose from. This year sees only a few key hookers rise above the rest and you need to have at least one of them in your squad if you want to compete.
The upside for Harry Grant this season is immense. Despite being forced to start off the bench for most of the season, Grants average throughout the season saw him in the upper echelon of all hookers. He averaged 31 tackles, 100 metres a game, and also piled on attacking stats with an average of 0.6 try assists, 0.7-line breaks, and 0.6-line-break assists in 55 mins. The upcoming departure of Brandon Smith to the Roosters and the off-field issues for the Storm looks to force Brandon Smith into the starting Lock position and allows Harry Grant to get the starting hooker spot. This should see a massive uptick in scoring and potentially see him challenge the top scorers in NRL fantasy. Hence, he is set to be a lock-in for most teams even despite the fact he is missing Round 1 due to suspension.
Mahoney had a strong start to 2021 and continued to produce strong numbers throughout 2021. Even despite injuries he was able to average 45 tackles, 0.8 try assists and 0.8 line break assists a game. Unlike the other options on this list, Reed Mahoney is set to not play origin unless injuries occur and could be held throughout the season, saving you some trades. The real concern with Reed Mahoney is his upcoming departure to the Bulldogs. Last year his minutes were already eaten into by Will Smith and the incoming Mitch Rein may take even more minutes if he falls out of favour. However, his strong base should see him as a viable option for Round 1.
Probably the most volatile player on this list, Cook can produce monster scores on his day but can also give you meagre points for your team. Throughout the season, he averaged 44 tackles, 0.4 try assists, 0.4 line breaks and 0.4 line break assists. If you are looking for a safe option that should deliver similar returns to last year, pick up Damien Cook.
Trap of the Season: Brandon Smith Brandon Smith had a standout season in 2021 as he made the most of Harry Grant's injuries by securing the starting spot in the Storm lineup. However, with his upcoming departure to the Roosters, and a healthy Harry Grant, he looks set to lose his starting hooker spot and this will have a detrimental impact on his point-scoring ability.
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