NRL Fantasy Rookies: Part One
Posted by NRL Fantasy Guru
Posted in NRL
In order to generate enough money for the giants of the fantasy NRL realm, coaches need to select a balanced mixture between rookies, cash cows and guns in their starting 25. Without a consistent mixture, coaches may end up not having enough cash towards the back end of the season or may end up missing their head-to-head leagues top eight altogether by dropping too many games early on. Depending on your Fantasy aims for 2014, Rookies still play an important role in your squad as you aim to harness their low cost initially before harvesting massive returns. In the upcoming 2014 season, there is a unique blend of Cash Cows and Rookies that we’ll be delving into here at Undisputed Sports, so be sure to stay tuned to the Undisputed Sports NRL Fantasy Guru to ensure you don’t miss a beat when it comes to selecting your team.
To kick off our series of articles that focuses on Rookies, we will be analyzing: Luke Brooks and Michael Chee Kam – two individuals who should certainly be on your list for potential Rookies in 2014.
Michael Chee Kam
Club: Manly Warringah Sea Eagles
Michael Chee Kam is an emerging star who was uncovered playing in a junior representative carnival in Auckland at the age of 15. Since then, Chee Kam has never looked back. He was signed up to the Melbourne Storm SG Ball (under 18’s) team and from there was signed in 2010 by the Canberra Raiders – who not only assisted his development but his family’s at the same time. By rubbing shoulders with the likes of Josh Papalli, Chee Kam learnt what it meant to be a first grade footballer in the nation’s capital. However, when a long term contract was offered from the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles, Chee Kam jumped at the chance. In 2013, he began the first year of his three year deal in the Northern Beaches; however, his first season with Manly was plagued by a variety of injuries – much to the frustration of Fantasy coaches all over.
2014 looks to be the year that Chee Kam will break onto the first grade scene. From all reports he has remained injury free in the pre-season and has been training well with Manly’s first grade squad. Expect his powerful runs and excellent work rate to be shown at some point throughout the year, as Manly’s forward depth is low after losing several key players. At the present moment, I don’t know whether he will feature on Manly’s bench from the start of the season, but I do expect him to come in as injury cover or Origin cover. If he does get solid, consistent game time, then expect him to be a big rookie cash cow – however, until team sheets are out, we don’t know whether the mythical Michael Chee Kam will earn that time or not.
Club: West Tigers
Luke Brooks has been earmarked by the likes of Andrew Johns as being “one of the best young talents he had seen in some time”. With wraps like that at the age of 19, Brooks has a bright future ahead of him. He originally began playing junior football in the Leichardt area before progressing to playing for the West Tigers in their SG Ball under 18’s team and their NYC team in 2013. Mid-way through 2013, without even playing a singular top grade game, the Tigers wrapped up Brook’s future by securing him in a four year contract. Due to second-tier salary cap restrictions, Brooks was only able to play one first grade game in Round 24 last season, where he scored a try and won man of the match – much to the dismay of Fantasy Coaches everywhere. He was also named halfback of the year in the 2013 NYC team of the year.
With the departure of Benji Marshall, the West Tigers have turned to Brooks as their number one half at the moment, with Brooks’ partner in the number six still to be decided. Potter has stated in several interviews that Brooks is clearly their first choice; however, he has also stated that he doesn’t want him to force him into playing and that he’ll play when he feels comfortable. I have no doubt in my mind that Brooks will start the season at number seven, however, it is important to note that Brooks has been given a reduced workload in the offseason due to a stress fracture in his back that he has carried with him for some years. Regardless of this, Brooks will still set the league on fire this season, whilst being an outstanding cash cow for Fantasy Coaches.