Josh Schuster Fantasy 2023

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The first of our worth the hype articles for 2023 puts Josh Schuster under the microscope.

Priced at $479K (34 Pts) Expected Role 5/8 Hype Assumption - Big Attacking Points

The gut feel of many seasoned NRL Fantasy Coaches is that Schuster`s Base Point Challenges will be too much for his Attacking Points to significantly overcome.

The target early value in a player is considered by most strong Fantasy Coaches to be 10 Pts, requiring Schuster to manage a 44 Pt Average to qualify. To reach FOMO regret we can add another 5ish Points to that, lifting the real pain mark to around 49 Pts.

So the real question is, can Schuster average over 45 Pt`s playing 5/8 & partnering Daly Cherry-Evans?

Lets start with his biggest Base Issue - Kicking Meters, which are a vital ingredient for a Fantasy Halves player.

Our Spine Kicking Meters Tool shows that DCE`s Halves Partners in the last 4 seasons have averaged just 82m a game off the boot. The best likely comparison would be Dylan Walker, who averaged 69m a game and in all Kicking Category Points, just 1.94 Pts Per Game.

Since 2015 there have been 34 Halves Player Seasons with more than 10 Games in the Season & a Kicking Meters Average of under 80m Per Game. Only 3/34 achieved a Season Halves Average of over 45 Points.

Bryce Cartwright 2016, 56.8 (28 KM/G) Dylan Brown 2022, 54.8 (72 KM/G) Cameron Munster 2017, 49.1 (60 KM/G)

Another take on the Kicking Meters Hurdle for Halves Players - Since 2015 there have only been 115 occasions where a Halves player has scored 55+ Points whilst kicking for less than 100m. That`s an average of just 14 individual games a season.

So can Josh Schuster consistently generate the attacking numbers to achieve a high 40`s Average?

Schuster has just 1 NSW Cup Appearance to date (2021) which happened to be in the halves - the result doesn`t bode well. He played the full 80, kicked for 207m and netted just 17 Rd Points TOTAL. This was against a Top 4 Bears team (#BringBackTheBears), but still not encouraging.

In NRL Starts, Schuster has started and played 80 minutes in the halves on 4 occasions for a 45 Point Average, including 1 Try. A very limited sample size and not moving the needle much in either direction.

Looking at his Analytics however, one has to wonder if his attacking prowess is actually being over estimated to begin with. Sure, Schuster is a big unit at 106Kg and 185cm, but his Attacking Numbers do not look as elite as you would think from the current hype. His 2nd Row averages are only 42.2 Points from an average 78 minutes across 20 Games. There is just 1 Try in those games, 7 Try Assists, but only 2.6 TB`s a game. These are far from Elite Attacking Numbers.

Other Considerations:

Expectations for Manly this seasons are more towards missing the 8 than making the 8, and more towards an implosion than being a dark horse to push for a Top 4 berth.

Manly have their first Bye in Rd 2 and they start their season with:

Rd 1 - Bulldogs, Brookvale Oval Rd 3 - Eels, Brookvale Oval Rd 4 - Rabbitohs, Stadium Australia Rd 5 - Knights, Mudgee Rd 6 - Panthers, Penrith Stadium Rd 7 - Storm, Brookvale Oval

Our Verdict - Overhyped on all counts, highly unlikely to leave you with FOMO Regret. Leave him on the shelf, there`s plenty of other value to go after with less risk of not proving worthwhile.

If he ends up in an 80 Minute Edge Role, Maybe, but given the draw still probably not.

Published on 08-Feb-2023

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