Fantasy League: Castleford Tigers
Super League Fantasy League returns next month! In anticipation of its launch in March, we take a closer look at each club’s best performers who could make a big impact in 2021.
Castleford Tigers 2020 season ended prematurely as they failed to reach the playoffs in what was a turbulent year on the pitch. Injuries and inconsistency played its part - but with the reigning Man of Steel at their helm and some fresh faces arriving to the Jungle - they will be hoping to get back to their best in 2021.
2020 points: 461
Despite a seemingly low scoring year for Evalds, his points-per-game return of 46.1 make the Castleford new man a viable option for 2021. Salford made a slow start to 2020 which is reflected in Evalds stats, but a strong end to an injury-hit campaign saw Evalds score 7 tries in his last 8 games as a Red Devil.
Arriving at the Tigers for 2021, Evalds fantasy form will rely on Castleford's success. The full-back will also have stiff competition from Gareth O’Brien who occupied the number 1 spot for the majority of last year. However, if Evalds can find his consistent best under Daryl Powell, he is sure to be a high scorer in 2021.
😈 👉 🐯
Niall Evalds is a Tiger in 2021 💪 Here's what @CTRLFC fans can look forward to from their new full-back 💯#SuperLeague pic.twitter.com/9sFVhaleim
— Betfred Super League (@SuperLeague) January 26, 2021
2020 points: 603
Olpherts backed up a strong 2019 with a 46.4 point average in his debut season with Castleford Tigers. An improvement on his 2019 score, Olpherts will continue to develop at the Tigers and looks a dangerous prospect for 2021.
6 tries in his opening 6 games gave Fantasy owners a steady influx of points from the winger across the first few weeks in 2020. And he's not just a try scoring threat - over a fifth of his 2020 points were made by tackle busts - demonstrating the threat he poses with ball in hand alongside his pinpoint finishing.
2020 points: 536
A Difficult second half of the year for Trueman who at £150K probably didn’t give the return on investment needed to warrant his price tag. The stand-off sat out over a third of Tigers games during 2020, managing to play just 4 games after the enforced break.
Despite that, Trueman still recorded a 53.6 points-per-game average - a great return that he should improve on if he can have an injury-free year. With a high tackle bust and clean break average, the uncompromising stand-off is usually in the thick of the action, and has the potential to be a consistently high points scorer in 2021.
2020 point: 654
Watts was a popular choice for fantasy owners at the beginning of 2020 – the prop forward offers big minutes and big points that validate his hefty price tag. He started the season in fantastic form and immediately justified his selection in many fantasy player's line-ups.
Despite scoring less overall points than his Tigers teammate and fellow prop Grant Millington, Watts is a shoe in for 2021. Averaging just under 60 points a game, the experienced front rower had a stop start end to the year but is still a consistently strong fantasy scorer. Watts has several threats in his points scoring armour – he’s a player that can make big metres, offload for fun and has his fingerprints over a lot of things the Tigers do well, week after week.
2020 points: 1154
Man of Steel McShane was the second highest points scorer across Super League Fantasy for 2020. Priced last year at £150K, he was somewhat of a bargain. That price is likely to increase after a huge year for the experienced Tiger.
Hookers are historically good scorers in fantasy – those that play eighty minutes in the middle usually earn big points - reflected in 4 out of the top 10 best fantasy scorers wearing the number 9 shirt. It was a monumental year for Castleford’s McShane who was forced to play out of position on more than one occasion, yet still recorded high totals every week.
The 2020 @StevePrescott1 #ManOfSteel@CTRLFC's Paul McShane 🏆 #SuperLeague #SuperLeagueAwards pic.twitter.com/1FB1mVSLuO
— Betfred Super League (@SuperLeague) November 23, 2020
One to Watch
2020 points: 334
O’Neill made 10 appearances for the Tigers in 2020 - mostly as an impact player off the bench. If he can cement a regular spot in Castleford’s 17-man squad during 2021, the Cumbrian has the potential to be a cheap point scoring option. His no-nonsense approach will undoubtedly see him heavily involved when he's on the pitch – with the potential to turn that work rate into points for fantasy owners in 2021.