Getting off to a flying start is crucial for your NRL Fantasy hopes in 2018, and the Sharks will be fielding a host of exciting new recruits that will be out to do the same.
With a couple of changes to the way the game is played this season, the squad you choose for Round 1 is more important than ever.
It’s a simple equation. Your squad performs well on the field, you climb up the rankings, bring in the cash and keep ticking away at those tactical changes to end the season fielding a side of guns.
With a host of exciting talent joining the Sharks ranks in 2018, hoping to get themselves off to a cracking start in the new colours, we take a look at how they stack up by the numbers.
Josh Dugan - WFB / CTR, $605,000
Of all the Sharks new recruits Dugan is the most likely to end up In my side from the get go.
His form during the World Cup is enough for me to consider giving him a centre spot, surrounded by cash cows.
When you look at Dugan's three highest scoring games last season, they all came when he played centre, the position he’s most likely going to start for the Sharks and the position where he dominated at the World Cup.
'Duges' is a strong ball-runner and rock solid in defence. Watching him run around at training for his first week in black, white and blue has only solidified my decision to highly consider him for my squad.
Here’s the numbers Dugan knocked out in 2017
Matt Moylan - WFB / HLF, $501,000
The addition of Matt Moylan to the backline has everyone here at the Sharks excited for what’s to come.
With ball in hand 'Moyza' can certainly dazzle. He’s a creative playmaker, even when it’s just on the training paddock.
It would have been interesting to see what he could’ve done during the finals series last season, and he’s certainly added a new dimension to the Sharks attack.
Is this enough for me to put him in my starting squad? Probably not. But a spot on the bench is an option I would consider.
Moylan is a lot cheaper than some of the halves you would be considering.
He’s one to watch for me, and after seeing what he is capable of at training during the pre-season I can’t wait to see what he can do on the NRL paddock in 2018.
See the stats.
Ava Seumanufagai - FRF, $482,000
I can’t wait to see Ava Seumanufagai take to the field donning the black, white and blue.
The first hit up of our game against the Tigers last season at Leichhardt Oval is etched in my mind.
Ava took possession for the Tigers and charged at our line. It was a strong opening carry, one that put Matt Prior flat on his back.
He’s a different build to our other forwards, and with the type of efforts he’s been putting in at training and in the gym, I can see real benefits for his game in 2018.
He’s got a really big motor and can play good minutes, and if what Shane Flanagan said at the end of last year is to go by, he will be in the 17 for the Sharks in Round 1.
Something that really sticks out to me though is that in his 18 appearances last season he only made 4 errors.
That reliability is something I want in not only my Fantasy pack, but the Sharks pack too.
Here’s the numbers Ava produced in 2017. A bench spot in my 21-man squad could be on the cards.
Aaron Gray - WFB / CTR, $360,000
Aaron Gray only played nine game last season due to injury, but if he can lock down a spot in the Sharks backline and stay fit it will certainly be a lot more than nine.
With Leutele and Dugan likely to line up in his preferred position of centre, a spot on the wing could be his ticket into the Sharks starting 13.
Playing outside an international that’s coming off some hot form during the World Cup wouldn’t be all that bad for Gray. He could score some points in 2018, not only for the Sharks, but for your 21-man Fantasy squad.
He’s a proven performer at NRL level, and he’s a touch cheaper than some of the other options.
Here’s his numbers.
Braden Uele - FRF, $228,000
Braden Uele would regularly appear in the Cowboys 21-man squad during team list announcements in 2017, but he only took to the paddock on one occasion.
It was a 19 minute cameo where he provided impact ioff the bench.
Sure, we haven’t seen much of him yet, but what I have seen during pre-season gives me every confidence in his ability.
He’s an absolute beast that's played upfront for the Junior Kiwis and he’s only young. There's a lot of good footy ahead for Uele.
We heard from Shane Flanagan at the end of last year on how has liked what he has seen so far and has high hopes for both Braden and Ava. He needs both of them to stand up for the Sharks in 2018, and he’s confident they will.
At a great price, he’s one I’m eyeing off for a bench spot and could be the steal of the season.
Here’s the stats.
Scott Sorensen - 2RF, $228,000
Scott Sorensen, a Sharks junior who made his NRL debut for the club back in 2014, has returned to the Shire for the 2018 season.
Sorensen played a leading role at the Raiders Intrust Super Premiership feeder-club Mounties, while also running out for two NRL games for the ‘Green Machine’ in 2017.
Although his stats below will read that he ran out for only two games, for limited minutes, it's what he produced for Mounties that should be noted down, and it's what earned him their 'Player of the Year'
Makes for pretty good reading for NRL Fantasy coaches doesn't it!
He's a big boy, strong-runner and plenty of skill on the ball. Only issue is, how many minutes will he play in 2018?
One to watch.