Keep an eye on: Esan Marsters
Author Dan Talintyre Timestamp Sat 17 Mar 2018, 09:37 AM

While there certainly won’t be a shortage of players to keep an eye out for tonight when Wests Tigers take on the Melbourne Storm, young gun centre Esan Marsters stands out as one you should pay particular attention to.

Especially if you’re looking to get the added edge in your NRL Fantasy team this weekend.

In just his second year of first-grade, Marsters hit the ground running in Round 1 with a brilliant individual performance against the Roosters as his side came from behind to down the premiership favourites.

Playing on the right edge inside match-winner Corey Thompson, Marsters played the full 80 minutes and added an incredible 178 metres from 18 carries — 48 of which came entirely post-contact.

Marsters also added three tackle breaks, five offloads and a linebreak as the right edge of Wests Tigers continued to grow in its potency throughout the second half. In the end, it was that side that saw the match-winning try scored and all players on that edge will certainly take confidence from that in to next week.

Having said all of that, the biggest reason behind Marsters’ potential selection this week is around who isn’t in the team, with Tuimoala Lolohea ruled out of the match with a minor knee injury. His omission means Marsters is not only likely to kick goals, but will probably partner David Nofoaluma on the right wing with Corey Thompson the most likely contender to move back to fullback in Lolohea’s absence.

Together, Marsters and Nofoaluma showed plenty of attacking promise on the right in 2017 and having spend the opening round in reserve grade, Nofoaluma will certainly be looking to show what he can do this week with this opportunity. The Storm’s left edge of Josh Addo-Carr and Will Chambers has been tough to break down, but with the added confidence from last week coupled with the few half-chances the Bulldogs’ right edge created against them last week, there might just be something there for Marsters to exploit.

Owned by just 1.3% of teams, Marsters scored 39 fantasy points in the opening round and is expected to beat his breakeven of 33 points in Round 2 — which will lead to an increase on his $528,000 price tag.

So even if you’re not completely sold on the Junior Kiwi standout running amok against the Storm’s left edge, he should still be a handy pickup this week to keep that cash flow ticking along nicely.

His dual-position flexibility of centres and back row certainly doesn’t hurt either!