The 2023 NRL season promises to be an exciting one for many reasons. We’ll be looking at the changes in each team’s squad and the NRL Fantasy & Supercoach implications of the new recruits as well as the forward pack minutes for NRL Draftstars – for which you can check out our Stats Bible player projections – or Draft players.
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Nick Meaney will take over the fullback role for the Storm for the first ten rounds or so as Ryan Papenhuyzen is injured. Will Warbrick has taken the vacant wing position as Ieremia has done his ACL which rules him out of the 2023 season. Loeiro and Katoa take both second row positions with Kaufusi and Kenny Bromwich having moved to the Dolphins.
Tariq Sims has gone to the Storm and could play part of the game on the edge, however, we think Katoa especially is a great value pick for NRL Fantasy & Supercoach players given his attacking upside.
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Welch is returning from another long term injury and we think he’s a decent value pick in NRL Fantasy & Supercoach. He’ll take a few weeks to get up and running but he will have to play big minutes. Welch, Josh King and Nelson Asofa-Solomona the only experienced middle forwards with Kamikamica injured for the first 5 weeks or so and Brandon Smith having moved on to the Roosters.
This does mean Grant plays close to 80 minutes most weeks. However, he averaged 76 minutes last year so we don’t see huge upside in Grant’s stats from 2022 so we’d recommend looking elsewhere.
Also read: NRL 2023 Round 1 Punter’s Preview
The Roosters play the Dolphins and Warriors in day time games over the first two rounds. If you don’t have James Tedesco in your Fantasy or Supercoach team, you are very brave. With Tom Trbojevic returning from injury and having a bye in Round 2, Papenhuyzen out for ten rounds and Ponga moving to the halves, we think Tedesco is close to a must-have to start 2023.
Joseph Manu has been ruled out for Round 1 but Keary and Walker have been named to start the 2023 season and we think Walker could be a POD NRL Supercoach or Fantasy option.
Angus Crichton is out indefinitely so Egan Butcher takes his spot in the second row and is a popular pick in both NRL Fantasy & Supercoach. We think he’s a great pick up for Draft as well – check out if he’s available on the waiver wire!
No JWH (injury) & SST (Super League) means the Roosters middles in Lodge, Collins & Radley not only have to play more minutes but play high quality footy with their bench including rookies Baker, May & Whyte.
Also read: Panthers, Sharks, Cowboys & Eels Round 1 Previews
South Sydney Rabbitohs
Latrell Mitchell was superb in the final couple of months of the 2022 season after rehabbing successfully in the US. The Rabbitohs will be relying on his class and chemistry with Walker, Cook & Murray to charge towards a top 4 spot in 2023.
Thompson has the wing spot to start 2023, however, that could go back to Milne when he returns from suspension next week.
The forward pack is largely unchanged. Murray plays every week until Origin and will have to play big minutes again in 2023 given the lack of depth on the Rabbitohs bench with Taaffe, Moale & Mitchell who are unlikely to play much more than 20 minutes each.
Cook is another popular pick in NRL Fantasy & Supercoach, however we think players could go Grant if they want a premium option or Brandon Smith or Mitch Kenny if they want more affordable players that are good value.
Also read: Knights, Warriors, Sea Eagles & Bulldogs Round 1 Previews
The Raiders were a noticeably better team in the second half of the season once Jamal Fogarty came into their side and Joseph Tapine went on a career-best run of form. With Josh Papali’i out injured, Tapine will play big minutes in Round 1 and doesn’t have a bye in the first few weeks so he’s understandably a popular pick in both NRL Supercoach and Fantasy.
Their backline is full of exciting players who aren’t necessarily the best NRL Supercoach or Fantasy players. Smith-Shields has reasonable job security and we think he’ll be a good cheapie.
Saulo & Mariota are in the Raiders’ forward pack but we don’t think either of them will get more than 25 minutes so we’d recommend staying away. Horsburgh could be a solid draft option, Guler could be a good option in season long teams if you think he can get 40 minutes. We think he might in Round 1 but it may go down to 30 after Papali’i returns.
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