Fantasy cash cow watch: Joe Stimson

By the end of March, the way to determine whether somebody plays Fantasy footy or not could be to ask them about Joe Stimson.

Hardly a household name, even among devoted NRL fans, Stimson nevertheless could prove to be Fantasy gold this season after locking down an 80-minute role in the Melbourne Storm back row by the end of 2018.

Positives

The numbers tell the story. Stimson came off the bench for Melbourne eight times in 2018, averaging 18 minutes and about nine Fantasy points a game in those matches. But in the 16 games when he started in the back row (including in the Storm's finals campaign) he averaged 74 minutes and almost 42 points a game.

With a break even around 30 this year, all he needs to do is to match those scores and hold onto the starting spot to earn a massive price boost – and be a handy early-season scorer for your team.

And that's assuming he doesn't improve. At the age of 23, and with just two first-grade seasons under his belt, Stimson could well step up a gear or two playing under a coach who gets more out of his players than any other in Craig Bellamy. 

Negatives

Job security is the only real concern for Stimson's Fantasy prospects – if he finds himself back on the bench then can't be relied on to score 30 points a game, let alone 40.

He's the frontrunner to start in a pack that has lost experienced campaigner Ryan Hoffman, with no direct replacement, although Kenny Bromwich is also in contention to partner Felise Kaufusi in the second row.

To buy or not to buy?

Unless something changes ahead of round one, Stimson looks set for a big-minute role in the forward pack and looks great value for his price tag.