24 Mar 2021

Fantasy League: Wigan Warriors

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The 2020 League Leaders’ Shield winners were inches away from Grand Final glory. A moment that will go down in history but, in the Warriors case, for all the wrong reasons.

Wigan welcome back John Bateman in 2021 – the back rower joins a star-studded Warriors squad. The cherry and whites have match winners across the pitch and will be favourites for silverware once again heading into the new season.

Top performers

Bevan French

2020 points: 936

The enigmatic French lit up Super League in 2020 with his evasive running and dazzling tries. He was the real deal last season and an impressive scorer in fantasy as well. The high point totals are typically dominated by forwards who can earn big points through their defensive efforts. French was impressive and scored huge points thanks to his brilliant attacking prowess.

He made 101 tackle busts, 27 clean breaks, 2151 metres and scored 12 tries along with 7 try assists. His permanent move to fullback was a master stroke from head coach Adrian Lam, allowing French to spend more time with ball in hand where he is most dangerous. Expect to see the same exciting brand of rugby from French and more high scoring totals in fantasy during 2021.

Jackson Hastings

2020 points: 1051

Hastings is somewhat of an anomaly in the halves. He averages a phenomenal 18 carries and 100 metres a game – stats that most forwards would be happy with! His work rate is second to none and he always puts himself front and centre of the action, ensuring his fantasy points are sky high.

Pair that work rate with his ball playing ability and Hastings quickly becomes the most sought-after half back in fantasy. The Warriors half scored 9 tries and set up 18 during the 2020 regular season – along with 66 attacking kicks, 57 tackle busts and 8 clean breaks. Hastings proving yet again that he is a threat in all departments. 

Sam Powell

2020 points: 1137

Powell finished third in fantasy last year – showing the importance of having a top-class hooker in your fantasy line up. He was a defensive rock for the Warriors in 2020 and finished second in the tackle charts (705), equating for almost two thirds of his fantasy points.

It wasn’t just his defence that impressed last year, with Powell finishing joint fourth in the try scoring charts, ending the year with an impressive 11 tries from his 15 regular season games. His running threat from dummy half has added an extra dimension to Powell’s game and makes him an exciting prospect in fantasy, with his defence guaranteeing points along with the potential for even bigger scores due to his attacking prowess.

Liam Farrell

2020 points: 1438

Liam Farrell was head and shoulders above the competition in fantasy during 2020. He finished almost 300 points above the closest player to him in what was an unbelievable season for the Man of Steel finalist. His 84.6 point average is a worthy reflection of his impressive stats in 2020.

Farrell finished third in tackles made (676), fourth in tackle busts (69), second in metres made (2384) and fourth in clean breaks (19). Add to that his immense durability in missing just two games all year and he is near enough the perfect fantasy player. His workload and output help him to continuously set the benchmark on the field and in fantasy - something he will no doubt do again during 2021.

Morgan Smithies

2020 points: 748

Smithies averaged 53.4 points last season in just his second year in Super League. He is quickly settling into life in the Warriors first team and has shown his defensive capabilities in the middle, even at his young age. Smithies averaged 36 tackles in 55 minutes of game time, making a total of 512 tackles during 2020.

With an already impressive defensive work rate, Smithies should improve on his fantasy scoring in 2021 as he develops his attacking game. He averaged 65 metres from 10 carries last season – something that will only get better as he looks to build on his 2020 campaign. If he cements a starting spot at the Warriors or at least maintains his game time in 2021, expect Smithies to be a high points scorer in fantasy. 

One to watch

Joe Shorrocks

2020 points: 224

Another young Wigan forward with plenty of promise, Shorrocks made the most of his chance in 2020, impressing during his 5 appearances all after the enforced break. He is a player made in the Warriors mould – tough and aggressive in defence – and that’s where he shined in fantasy.

Shorrocks averaged an impressive 32 tackles a game during 43 minutes of game time – a huge contributor to his average fantasy total. The Warriors have plenty of options in their pack but Shorrocks should get ample opportunity to play in 2021. If so, he will be a great fantasy choice at a reduced cost. 

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