Fantasy League: St Helens
Saints made it back to back Grand Final wins in 2020 after a gruelling year. Their big game players showed up throughout the season but it was one of their younger stars, Jack Welsby, who made the headlines in that memorable final against their old rivals.
Kristian Woolfe has added more quality to his side in 2021 which should make St Helens the team to beat once again this year.
2020 points: 676
Man of Steel finalist Lachlan Coote is a player with many strings to his bow. The Saints full back finished the year with 8 tries and 14 try assists, as well as making just short of 1500 metres from 197 carries. His 52 fantasy points average was also helped by his goal-kicking - Coote kicked more goals than any other player in Super League last year – missing just 9 attempts at goal all season and benefitting from Saints free-flowing ability to score points.
Coote is the complete package at full-back on the pitch and in fantasy – a player who guarantees you points – and a safe bet at the back for 2021.
Post-lockdown's MR CONSISTENT 💯 @Saints1890 Lachlan Coote has been 🔥 since we returned...surely a Man of Steel contender? pic.twitter.com/gtNbGCFq7I
— Betfred Super League (@SuperLeague) September 19, 2020
2020 points: 856
Fages was the second highest scoring half back in 2020 – the Frenchman quietly goes about his business whilst playing a key role in the Saints side. He made 95 attacking kicks and that kicking game, along with his defensive efforts, contributed to his impressive fantasy total.
The Saints playmaker made more tackles than any other half back in Super League last season – he’s a popular target for opposition players, but never shies away from the challenges put in front of him. Fages finished with a modest 4 tries and 7 try assists in 2020 - stats which should reassure fantasy owners that he will score well regardless of his try scoring involvements.
2020 points: 996
The effervescent James Roby enjoyed another great year as Saints skipper - winning back-to-back Grand Finals capped off with a man of the match performance at the big dance. The talismanic hooker delivered in fantasy as well – despite playing just 13 games, Roby finished ninth overall and averaged a mammoth 76.6 points per game.
His defensive capabilities never cease to amaze – Roby finished 2020 with a 99.1% tackle efficiency rate – missing just 5 tackles all season. His 40 tackles a game equated to just over half his average fantasy points - whilst his running threat from dummy half helped him make over 1000 metres alongside 10 try assists and 10 offloads. It’s unlikely Roby will play every game during a season but, when he does play, you are guaranteed huge points.
2020 points: 1069
Arguably the top front rower in Super League, Walmsley was the best prop forward in Fantasy during 2020. Big Al stood head and shoulders above the rest through his high output – particularly in attack. He made the third most metres (2242), second most tackle busts (78), eighth most carries (257) across Super League, as well as 9 tries last season – a huge return.
His high points tally will ensure he is in the top price bracket for 2021 - but his work-rate reaps the rewards. His try scoring antics in 2020 will take some doing to repeat – he scored treble the amount of tries compared to the next highest scoring prop forward. Nevertheless, Walmsley is still the go to prop forward in fantasy for 2021.
Not a bad try scoring return for a front rower 😳
Big Al had a strong 2020 for @Saints1890 capped off with a Grand Final ring 💍 #SuperLeague pic.twitter.com/7tzaODG1VI
— Betfred Super League (@SuperLeague) March 1, 2021
2020 points: 1089
Priced at a modest £115K in 2020, Bentley was a revelation in Fantasy - the Saints back rower averaged 72.6 points in his 15 regular season games last year. Defensively is where Bentley shone brightest - finishing fifth in the tackle charts for 2020 - he averaged 41 tackles a game as he made the second row spot his own, playing big minutes throughout the year for Saints.
He has been awarded the number 12 shirt for 2021 and despite the arrival of 2 new back rowers, will be top of the pecking order after an impressive year last season. Bentley is defensively solid so will guarantee points there – and as he develops his attacking prowess, will only improve his point scoring capabilities.
One to watch
2020 points: 159
Dodd benefitted from Saints busy schedule after the enforced break and made 3 appearances late on in the year. Despite being eased into the topflight, the youngster slotted in well and made a great impression during his run outs with the first team.
Dodd averaged an impressive 53 points per game last season – even more remarkable given he started 2 of the 3 games on the bench and averaged 43 minutes of game time in those matches. Unless Saints have some rotten injury luck, Dodd’s game time could be limited. But if he does make his way into the first team again, he will be a sure-fire fantasy scorer.