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The defending premiers may be without legendary Fantasy star Cameron Smith but they've got a ready-made replacement already.

There are also a couple of halves who could see their Fantasy fortunes rise without their old skipper pulling the strings.

Players to watch

Harry Grant

The best Fantasy buy of 2020, Grant became an instant superstar in his rookie season and looks set to follow in Smith's footsteps as the best hooker in the game.

He immediately looked like the best player at the Wests Tigers during his one-year loan stint, scoring a sensational 61 Fantasy points a game (just a couple shy of Smith's 63.3 at Melbourne).

There's no reason why that kind of scoring won't continue at the Storm, although his $832k price tag means he's not the bargain buy he was this time last year.

Cameron Munster

Munster is already a 50-points-a-game Fantasy scorer but he has the potential to improve this year as the Storm's best player after the departure of Cameron Smith.

Munster's not an ordinary half – he's just as capable of busting tackles as the game's best fullbacks or barnstorming big men, and traditionally hasn't relied on kick metres and assists to notch big Fantasy scores like most other halves.

But Smith's absence opens up plenty of opportunities in those areas; Munster's 200 kick metres per game could climb towards 300 without Smith's clearing kicks from dummy-half while his assist numbers (just six try assists last season) could also climb. 

Cam Munster's 2020 season highlights in slow motion

Jahrome Hughes

Hughes is in a similar situation to Munster – he scored 50 points per game last year and like Munster is traditionally a ball-running fullback who has developed into a playmaker.

Last year was Hughes's best Fantasy season and arguably his first playing as a genuine halfback, with his kick metres climbing from 52 per game to 177.

That number could increase again without Smith in the side, with the former hooker contributing more than 120 kick metres a game last year (Smith's replacements Grant and Brandon Smith don't kick).

He's also among the best in the game at producing turnover tackles, a new four-point scoring category in Fantasy this season.

Ryan Papenhuyzen

After a breakout 2019 season as the Storm's resident super-sub, Papenhuyzen started last year with high expectations but looked somewhat underwhelming through six rounds with a Fantasy average of 37.

But then he exploded, averaging 55 for the rest of the season including five scores above 60 and three above 70. He's priced as a 49-point player heading into 2020 so could be a cut-price keeper if he makes a fast start this year.

Analysing the Storm's 2021 draw

2021 NRL Fantasy player prices

Harry Grant HOK $823,000
Jahrome Hughes HLF $678,000
Cameron Munster HLF $671,000
Ryan Papenhuyzen WFB $658,000
Brandon Smith MID, HOK $602,000
Nelson Asofa-Solomona MID $583,000
Dale Finucane MID $560,000
Christian Welch MID $537,000
Kenny Bromwich EDG $532,000
Felise Kaufusi EDG $532,000
Jesse Bromwich MID $486,000
Josh Addo-Carr WFB $472,000
Brenko Lee CTR $461,000
Justin Olam CTR $407,000
Nicho Hynes HLF, WFB $389,000
Tui Kamikamica MID $380,000
Thomas Eisenhuth EDG $377,000
George Jennings WFB $362,000
Chris Lewis EDG $335,000
Cooper Johns HLF $326,000
Aaron Pene MID $303,000
Reimis Smith WFB $300,000
Ryley Jacks HLF $296,000
Isaac Lumelume WFB $286,000
Darryn Schonig MID $256,000
Max King MID $246,000
Jack Howarth EDG $228,000
Jonah Pezet HLF $228,000

Acknowledgement of Country

Melbourne Storm respect and honour the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.