Parramatta Eels are a SuperCoach gold mine in 2019.
Parramatta Eels are a SuperCoach gold mine in 2019.

SuperCoach NRL study guide: Parramatta Eels

After finishing fourth in the NRL in 2017, blue and gold faithfuls were expecting a big season from the Parramatta Eels in 2018.

I, for one, had high hopes the Eels would play late into September but was left deflated as Parramatta tumbled to the bottom of the ladder for their 14th wooden spoon since entering the competition in 1947.

With only six wins last season, coach Brad Arthur has a tough job to get Parramatta off the bottom of the ladder in what is the final year of his current contract. As a big fan of coach Arthur, I hope to see him re-signed at some stage this season.

Coach Arthur was active in securing some larger body shapes in Junior Paulo and the 6ft 5in Manly edge backrower Shaun Lane.

I can only hope the only way is up for Parramatta. Hopefully a change of home ground out at Bankwest Stadium (in the golden west of Sydney), which opens around Easter, will be a graveyard for visiting teams.

 

BYE

Round 16

GUN

Nathan Brown (2RF $582,000)

2018 Average 62.2

Brown had a solid but not spectacular SuperCoach season last year. Overall, his numbers were down on his previous breakout season, but still good enough to finish with a 62PPG average. Brown finished with a season total of 933 points, over 500 points down from the 1485 points made in the previous season. That was partly because he only played 15 games due to injury and also because he played in the wooden spoon team. Brown's PPM of 0.91 was still in the respectable range and some improvement on his 68MPG is a slight possibility. Potential owners will be hoping Brown can pick up some bonus attacking stats as he has crossed the try line just once in each of the last two seasons. I think Brown will start off under the radar and be a nice early POD for risk takers. One to keep tabs on as the Eels are play the first bye round.

 

POD

Daniel Alvaro (FRF $515,600)

2018 Average 55.1

Priced to start the season as the seventh best FRF, Alvaro has only Andrew Fifita in front of him as an FRF only option. The five dual 2RF/FRF listed above him are SuperCoach guns and all but Martin Taupau have minor questions over how they will be used this season, with either a new position, a new coach or a new club for 2019. Alvaro had his best SuperCoach season last year and I still think there is a little improvement in him again. Alvaro finished with a 55PPG average from his 46MPG at the fantastic PPM of 1.20. He is one of the fittest players at Parramatta, a PPM monster and someone who could easily push into a 60PPG average with just a few extra minutes each week. Only for the brave or those with a man crush like me.

 

 

Daniel Alvaro is a POD option.
Daniel Alvaro is a POD option.

 

NO GO ZONE

Manu Ma'u (2RF $585,500)

2018 Average 62.6

I listed Ma'u as a No Go Zone player last year and was way off as he went on to have a break out SuperCoach season from his 14 games. His PPG average jumped an incredible 11 points last year to a career best of 63PPG. With his game time of 73MPG the same as his 2017 average, I just don't see how Ma'u can back up his breakout season and that's why I will double down on him as the No Go Zone player.

Blake Ferguson (CTW $611,700)

2018 Average 65.4

There won't be many willing to part with over $600k for a winger, especially those that were burnt by Jordan Rapana last year. If Ferguson brings his 2018 form to Parramatta, I'll be more than happy, but he's only a serious option after a few price drops.

 

 

CHEAPIES

Jaeman Salmon (5/8 $210,500) & Dylan Brown (HFB $168,100)

Corey Norman was Parra's highest scorer in SuperCoach last season with 1103 points, but he has been released to the Dragons. This creates an opening in the halves and a chance for rising young guns Jaeman Salmon (five-eighth, $210,500) and Dylan Brown (HFB $168,100) to battle it out through the pre-season to partner Mitchell Moses (5/8,HFB $382,800).

Salmon made his top grade debut last season in round 21 starting from the bench and finished the season with five games to his credit. Three of those were 80 minute games where he had scores of 52, 38 and 21 points.

Salmon had a total of 125 points for a PPG average of only 25. I'll overlook all of that and give the young five-eighth a chance in my squad if in the Eels starting team come Round 1. There are some whispers around that he could in fact start at centre but we will have to wait and see what happens in the pre-season trials.

Dylan Brown has yet to play in the top grade and is currently listed as one of three Parramatta development players. Brown's name topped most people's radars when it was suggested the New Zealand Warriors were keen to sign him as a replacement for the released Shaun Johnston during the off season. Described as a blue chip prospect, Brown will be one of the highest owned players if he emerges as Moses's halves partner. Two young forwards to keep an eye out for later in the season are Stefano Utoikamanu (FRF $168,100) and Salesi Fainga'a, who is yet to be added to SuperCoach.

News Corp Australia


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