2018 NRL Fantasy guide: Roosters

2018 NRL Fantasy guide | Roosters

The Sydney Roosters could start 2018 as competition favourites, having finished as runners-up in the 2017 regular season before landing two massive signings in Cooper Cronk and James Tedesco. Tedesco is the big name for Fantasy coaches – a freakish ball-runner who makes the most of Fantasy's three-point tackle breaks – but if the Roosters start to dominate the competition their outside backs could all start racking up the points.

Fantasy gun: James Tedesco

It's frankly a little scary just how dangerous James Tedesco could be at the Sydney Roosters. The standout winger/fullback in NRL Fantasy, Tedesco has been a weapon for years at the Wests Tigers where he averaged 52 points a game in 2017 despite scoring just five tries. One of the most elusive ball runners in recent memory, Tedesco racks up the tackle breaks and line breaks and is brilliant at tapping on try assists to his outside men – and those skills combined with a quality Roosters side could make him even better in 2018.

Roosters youngster Nat Butcher takes on the Rabbitohs' defence.
Roosters youngster Nat Butcher takes on the Rabbitohs' defence. ©NRL Photos

Value buy: Nat Butcher

The former NYC star was a pure stats machine in the under-20s at lock and looks like an NRL Fantasy weapon of the future – once he locks down some regular minutes in first grade. He only played limited stints off the interchange in his two NRL appearances last season and with the Roosters boasting one of the strongest packs in the league Butcher is facing an uphill battle to secure a permanent spot. But when that happens – and when it's someone of his talent it looks like a case of when rather than if – Butcher could rapidly become a Fantasy favourite.

Wildcard: Cooper Cronk

One of the best players in rugby league and the most high-profile signing of the offseason, Cronk is one of a handful of playmakers who hasn't been able to convert his real-life form into impressive big Fantasy scores. Cronk averaged 40 points a game in his final season at the Melbourne Storm but could find himself with more responsibilities at the Roosters, where Mitchell Pearce did the bulk of the kicking in general play last season. Cronk's new hooker Jake Friend doesn't kick or run the ball nearly as much as his old partner in crime Cameron Smith, so don't be surprised if Cronk's Fantasy output starts climbing up towards 50 points a game in 2018.

2018 NRL Fantasy player prices

James Tedesco: WFB, $761,000

Jake Friend: HOK, $735,000

Boyd Cordner: 2RF, $700,000

Jared Waerea-Hargreaves: FRF, $609,000

Cooper Cronk: HLF, $588,000

Mitchell Aubusson: 2RF, CTR, $573,000

Ryan Matterson: HLF, 2RF, $559,000

Latrell Mitchell: WFB, CTR, $556,000

Sio Siua Taukeiaho: 2RF, $535,000

Daniel Tupou: WFB, $523,000

Luke Keary: HLF, $522,000

Isaac Liu: FRF, 2RF, $515,000

Victor Radley: HOK, $490,000

Blake Ferguson: WFB, CTR, $483,000

Dylan Napa: FRF, $445,000

Joseph Manu: WFB, CTR, $402,000

Zane Tetevano: FRF, $361,000

Mitchell Cornish: HLF, $228,000

Lindsay Collins: FRF, $228,000

Nat Butcher: 2RF, $228,000

Chris Smith: 2RF, $228,000

Eloni Vunakece: FRF, $228,000

Brock Gray: FRF, 2RF, $212,000

Lachlan Lam: HLF, $212,000

Sitili Tupouniua: 2RF, $212,000

*2018 salary cap: 9.4m. Fantasy squad size: 21