The Subgun PODs:
Twal - 2% ownership - Loved having him at the start of last season, was pumping out 60s every week, with huge minutes until he unfortunately got injured. This season there is less competition for his minutes. While Tamou has arrived, he is basically a straight swap for Aloiai. The big difference is that Eisenhuth is no longer there, who played big minutes at lock. Should be in for his big jump to genuine big minute gun keeper middle.
Elliott - 1% - Was in line for his 3rd 80 minute performance in a row at lock when he dislocated his shoulder. Huge minutes Tolman is no longer there, and at the start of the season neither is Thompson. Expecting huge minutes from him based on their weak starting props and weaker bench. Time for him to stand up as leader of the pack.
Fifita - 2% - Biggest risk with huge upside potential if it pays off, while others stand off watching it happen. Averaged 33 mins last season, never averaged less than 51 any year before that. Has lost weight, is fit and apparently injury free. Doing a preseason for the first time in years. If fit, is a Gun with a capital G.
Young - 1% - CHN should get a suspension to start the season due to pending court charges for drink driving. Young finished last season playing like a beast! If he starts on the right edge, he will make it his own. Looking for him to be close to Fifita for scoring for over $100k less.
N Brown - 1% - Another on the cusp of getting huge minutes every week. After Brown, RCG and Paulo, there are serious gaps in their MIDs depth. Could easily carve out a 70-80 minute high impact role if he can stay injury free.
Davey - 7% - My pick of the value edges. Looked great last season, should be good for a 50+ average, with 2 scores over 50 in his only starts on the edge.
I don't need dual EDG/MIDs as I have 6 MIDs in the team already.
Brooks - 3% - Surprisingly low ownership. Nothing really to change between now and TLT, so probably remains a great POD. Should pick up lots of kicking meters without Benji next to him and genuinely own the team for the season. Time to step up!
D Walker - 5% - Will get a center spot for the season. Really low price at 24 points, after 2 injury impacted scores of 1 and -1 and a less than 10 game discount on top of that. Love that he is dual. Meets my centers criteria of having job security and significant upside potential.
Kelly - 3% - Had 3 scores over 60 at center last season, including one without a try. Looks to have the ability to score huge if he gets 2 or 3 tries in a game, which he looks very capable of. Should benefit from the Titans being really competitive this season. Under-priced due to playing on the wing 3 times, off the interchange once, and getting a -1 in an injured game. Could easily be a cut priced keeper this season at center.
Staines - 9% - Doesn't need to be averaging 3 tries per game, but doesn't hurt that he has shown the ability to do so. Have picked him and Edwards as a combination. In the one game that they played together last season, Staines set up the assist for Edwards' try and Edwards assisted for 3 of Staines' 4 tries. Both scored over 80 points. That is the kind of combination that legends are made of, like Leipana a few years ago.
Edwards - 1% - Finally had the breakout season we have been waiting on. Owned him last season and was super-consistent. 80 minute low of 39 with an average of 50! His best game of the season of course was when he and Staines were creating havoc together. They are going to have some fun together! Shows all the hallmarks of being able to step up to uber-gun fullback this season but will play round 13, which none of the other gun fullbacks will do.
Those many others are picking:
Lolo - Needed a captain and seems most undervalued of the captaincy options. No Origin either. Terrible season for Cowboys last year. Have a new coach that did wonders reinvigorating the Warriors, starting with playing their lock for huge minutes (mostly 80 mins). Will get the best from the teams best player.
Brailey - Looks decent and safe, priced at 31, likely scores mid 40s
Watson - If playing the big minute lock role that he has said he wants, can be a genuine gun this season
Lam - Small sample but looks great. Expecting him to outscore Keary this season
Laurie - starting fullback at $246k
Riki - With Haas out, looks very likely to get a start on the edge, with TPJ in the middle. Likely his spot to lose if he performs.
Blore - $246k likely starting edge!
Liddle - $304k starting hooker
Niu - cheap, seems to be locked in as center which also makes him dual coverage
Hoy - the player I am most likely to drop as doesn't have job security, will see who pops up at TLT. At least he is dual and will be fullback in round 13.
So I have generally avoided the $300-400k range MIDs in favour of a number of them that have gun potential. That and my WFBs are probably the biggest difference from most teams. Without any Origin players and stacking round 13 options, I will start with 14 players expected to play in that round. Gives me lots of flexibility and hopefully save some trades, just add a few key players close to the time as upgrades.