Esan Marsters was a breakout star last year.
Esan Marsters was a breakout star last year.

SuperCoach NRL study guide: Wests Tigers

The Wests Tigers were an interesting side for SuperCoach in 2018, with very few standouts due to their style of play under Ivan Cleary.

Playing a very safe, tough grind approach during a difficult opening five rounds saw wins over the Roosters and Storm (twice) but was not great for SuperCoach output.

While the side did open up their attack for the rest of the season, it still did not always translate into consistent SuperCoach points.

 

With only two players in the top 50 highest scorers (Esan Marsters at 13 and Matt Eisenhuth at 30), the Wests Tigers were far from a 'gun' side, with the team averaging the fifth lowest SuperCoach points per game.

This looks to be the case again in 2019, with only one clear gun in Esan Marsters, but there are a number of potential PODs and cheapies that could set your side apart from the rest.

With many SuperCoaches likely to avoid most players in the team, they could still reward those who stick with them.

Michael McGuire was able to bring out the best of the Rabbitohs for much of his tenure and the Tigers fans will be hoping he is the man to help their side finally reach their full potential.

With the additions of Robbie Farah and Moses Mbye their spine is starting to look complete, while Luke Brooks is really starting to come into his own as an NRL half, and perhaps Madge can help him level up.

 

 

PREDICTED ROUND 1 TEAM

1. Moses Mbye, 2. Corey Thompson, 3. Mahe Fonua, 4. Esan Marsters, 5. David Nofoaluma, 6. Benji Marshall, 7. Luke Brooks, 8. Russell Packer, 9. Robbie Farah, 10. Ben Matulino, 11. Chris Lawrence, 12. Ryan Matterson, 13. Elijah Taylor. Interchange: 14. Josh Reynolds, 15. Alex Twal, 16. Matt Eisenhuth, 17. Michael Chee-Kam

 

Who's left: Robbie Rochow, Josh Aloiai, Luke Garner, Chris McQueen, Paul Momirovski, Jacob Liddle, Tyson Gamble, Vincent Leuluai, Oliver Clark, Sam McIntyre, Thomas Mikaele, Dylan Smith

 

 

PLAYER MOVEMENTS

In: Paul Momirovski (Roosters), Ryan Matterson (Roosters), Sam MacIntyre, Thomas Mikaele, Dylan Smith

Out: Tuimoala Lolohea (Super League), Kevin Naiqama (Super League), Sauaso Sue (Bulldogs), Tim Grant (Panthers), Malakai Watene-Zelezniak (Panthers), Pita Godinet (released).

 

BYE

Round 16

Tigers will not play during the Round 12 bye week, so you don't want to start off with too many of their players.

 

GUNS

Esan Marsters ($568,500, CTW)

In a team stacked full of potential PODs, there really is only one standout gun in Esan Martsers, the 13th highest scoring player of 2018.

While impressive in his debut season, Marsters really broke out in 2018 after picking up his team's goal kicking and becoming one of the most consistent CTW's in SuperCoach.

If you want to lock in at least one gun CTW in your line up you could do much worse than Marsters. Even if he loses his goal kicking for whatever reason, his average base of 33 points and consistent attacking stats are still enough to get decent scores.

Esan Marsters was the standout gun for the Tigers during the 2018 NRL season. Picture by: AAP Image/Lukas Coch
Esan Marsters was the standout gun for the Tigers during the 2018 NRL season. Picture by: AAP Image/Lukas Coch

PODs

Robbie Farah ($581,800, HOK)

With Josh Reynolds likely to get a bench spot over Jacob Liddle, Robbie Farah could play big minutes again in 2019 with no real specialist hooker on the bench.

His 2018 average of 62 puts him just behind some of the best performing hookers: Cameron Smith and Josh Hodgson.

Farah averaged an impressive 42 points in base, as well as setting up tries and offloading often. He could be a decent alternative to Damien Cook for SuperCoaches looking at different options to save money.

Wests Tigers hooker Robbie Farah is set to play big minutes in 2019. Picture: Wests Tigers
Wests Tigers hooker Robbie Farah is set to play big minutes in 2019. Picture: Wests Tigers

Mahe Fonua ($483,800, CTW)

While he didn't start for the side in 2018, he was explosive when he made first grade, averaging 57.6 before breaking his arm and missing his next six games. He averaged 31 points in base stats and constantly looked threatening in attack, setting up opportunities with tackle breaks and offloads. With Kevin Naiqama gone, Mahe the Mullet looks to start in 2019 and could have a big immediate impact for SuperCoaches if he can produce similar scores.

 

Luke Brooks ($451,500 HFB)

While he hasn't always been a SuperCoach relevant halfback, Brooks was just three points behind the Dally M winner Roger Tuivase-Sheck, so he may be in for another big year.

Brooks averaged 48 in 2018, his best SuperCoach year so far, seeing a peak price increase of over $200k at one point.

While he probably isn't the guy you want to end up with, he could be an interesting rogue option to make some money if he has a few decent games.

Luke Brooks is in for another big year after his best SuperCoach season in 2018. Picture by: AAP Image/Joel Carrett
Luke Brooks is in for another big year after his best SuperCoach season in 2018. Picture by: AAP Image/Joel Carrett

Moses Mbye ($461,400 FLB, HFB)

Being the only FLB/HFB dual eligible player in SuperCoach, Moses Mbye is a very interesting POD option for coverage.

After moving to fullback in 2018, Mbye looked a constant threat in attack, but it didn't always transfer to decent SuperCoach points. While only averaging 49 points in 2018, he did lose goal kicking points after moving to the Tigers, but could regain kicking duties if Marsters is injured.

 

Elijah Taylor ($435,600 2RF, HOK)

Whether he starts on edge, at lock or at hooker, Elijah Taylor is a fairly consistent option for SuperCoaches thanks to his average base of 45 points per game. His dual position status gives him extra flexibility, meaning you can start him at hooker if you need to.

Elijah Taylor is a consistent option in SuperCoach teams. Picture by: AAP Image/Brendan Esposito
Elijah Taylor is a consistent option in SuperCoach teams. Picture by: AAP Image/Brendan Esposito

David Nofoaluma ($483,500, CTW)

After being one of the best CTW's in SuperCoach in recent years, Nofa was a trap in 2018 after remarkably not making the starting 17 in round one. While his base stats were still around the same at 30 points per game, his scoring took a big hit, with only six tries. If you fancy a bounce back season from the Tigers winger, he is available at a discount of almost $100k cheaper than his 2018 starting price. He is shaping to definitely start in round one, unless Madge has some shock selections in mind.

 

CHEAPIES

Paul Momirovski ($238,600, CTW)

We haven't seen much of the former Rooster, but he was impressive in his sole NRL game in 2018 (finals appearances don't count for SuperCoach), scoring 51 points with a try and 22 points in base. He looks to be one of the next men up in the outside backs if injury strikes, so he looks a strong cheapie option should he crack the first grade again.

 

Former Sydney Rooster Paul Momirovski training for his new club Wests Tigers. Picture: Dan Talintyre.
Former Sydney Rooster Paul Momirovski training for his new club Wests Tigers. Picture: Dan Talintyre.

Thomas Mikaele ($168,100, FRF)

Coming from the famous NRL breeding ground of Keebra Park High School on the Gold Coast, this hulking 20 year old is ready for the NRL and will likely make his debut at some point in the season. Big, strong, fast and surprisingly creative with the ball in hand, he would be one of the next men up if any of their front rowers go down injured.

 

Dylan Smith ($168,100, FB)

Like Mikaele, Dylan Smith joins the full-time squad after coming through the development program in 2018 and will be serving as one of Moses Mbye's backups, should injury strike. While Corey Thompson was impressive in his time at fullback last year, he seems to have locked down a wing position. If Mbye goes down at any point, Smith could see a huge opportunity and could be a must own, but for now, just wait and see.

 

 

NO-GO ZONE

Ryan Matterson ($521,500, 2RF)

While he was one of the best SuperCoach players in 2018, a lot of it came down to his dual position and being able to put a 2RF with an average of 56 in your CTW position. But this year, Ryan Matterson has lost his dual eligibility and finds himself at a new club. Until we know what his usage will be like at the Tigers, he is probably an avoid.

Josh Reynolds will most likely come off the bench after an injury filled 2018 season. Picture by Matt King/Getty Images
Josh Reynolds will most likely come off the bench after an injury filled 2018 season. Picture by Matt King/Getty Images

Josh Reynolds

2018 was a shocking year for Reynolds injury wise and he'll be looking to get back on the field in some capacity. But given the form of Benji Marshall and Luke Brooks, Reynolds will likely be coming off the bench as an impact player for the foreseeable future. He is at his cheapest starting price since the 2016 season, but he has never really been SuperCoach relevant so he probably isn't even worth POD consideration.