State of origin

The 2019 State of Origin is one of the most intriguing contests this year as a revamped Queensland side takes on the current title holders in New South Wales, who are blooding five debutants in their side (unlike last year where 12 players made their debut). Game 1 will be held at Suncorp stadium in Brisbane in front of a parochial Queensland crowd. The coach of the Queensland side, Kevin Walters, has called this match a declaration of “war”, which will probably see the bookies give Queensland a slight edge in the markets. For the New South Wales coach in Brad Fittler, picking players on form is his mantra and he’s named a very strong 17, albeit with a few rookies on the stage for the first time. 

The State of Origin is the Rugby League’s showpiece fixture and for DFS this is the most fiercely contested slates all year in Australia. For game 1 of the series, Moneyball have a huge $30,000 contest at a $15 buy-in, as well as a $2 entry ($3,000) Guaranteed Special to get involved in if the $15 entry isn't your style. Draftstars have also come to the party and posted a $20,000 contest at a $15 buy-in.

Going through the past, Game 1 contests are notorious for being low scoring points wise, although the last two years have seen the total points go over 30 points. I’m predicting this trend to continue with a big emphasis on attack as both front packs will provide a lot of go forward. I am also leaning towards Queensland as we cannot discount the home ground advantage. It will be a tight game and hopefully a high scoring one. 

When playing Rugby League DFS, make sure you keep to these golden rules when constructing lineups:

  • Check team lists at one hour before kick-off. Not expecting any changes but hey this is Rugby League and coaches pull swifties. 
  • In single game slates, winning lineups don’t tend to have bench players. But this isn’t always the case in State of Origin. Forwards minutes are shared more evenly due to the higher pace of the game itself. 
  • In coin flip contests, balanced lineups are the way to go. But if you feel that one side will be dominant, then ensure you have backs that are involved in scoring plays.
  • Oh, how we all love the post-game adjustments... Keep the XXXX or Toohey’s in the fridge and the humble brags on Twitter in the holster until around two hours after the game. Annoying, but it's a thing in Rugby League DFS, the adjustment sweat. 

For those who are new to State of Origin players or just need a refresher, let me briefly breakdown each player in this Game 1 matchup:


Kalyn Ponga ($11,330 DS $8,200 MB)- Out and out jet in club footy but questions remain if he can handle the big stage. If Ponga goes off, the whole state of Queensland will go bananas. 

Corey Oates ($9,110 DS $7,000 MB)- Hot try scoring start to the year with nine (2nd to Cody Walker) but will have Michael Morgan inside of him and Morgan doesn’t really pass the ball that often.

Dane Gagai ($8,550 DS $7,200 MB)- Personal favourite of mine, especially if he can bump off tackles from returning kicks or just running sideways looking for holes in the defence. Again, does have a centre inside him in Will Chambers who doesn’t throw many passes.

James Tedesco ($11,340 DS $8,400 MB)- Will it be no Teddy no cash? Half the field will be on Tedesco due to his ability to score big fantasy points from line breaks, tackle breaks and try assists. A big decision to make whether to fade or go all in.

Nick Cotric ($8,440 DS $6,000 MB)- Gets a call up with Tom Trbojevic injured with a hammy. Probably will be low owned but if you like NSW to win, then he’s a must owned player to succeed.

Josh Addo-Carr ($9,280 DS $7,900 MB) - Love the “Fox” at the Storm - wish he grew up in Queensland. Quickest player in the game and if he’s set free in open space, Addo-Carr cannot be stopped. Loves an intercept too, which is big fantasy points.   



Latrell Mitchell ($10,540 DS $7,600 MB)- Big attacking weapon for the Blues side, can rack great fantasy point production but is prone to errors as well. If Mitchell is up and about then the whole NSW side is on. 

Josh Morris ($8,250 DS $5,500 MB)- With James Roberts’ struggles this year, Morris gets a recall to the centres. His last appearance for NSW was in the opening game of the 2016 series. Morris is an excellent defender who will provide great experience for this young side.  

Michael Morgan ($8,630 DS $5,300 MB) - With Greg Inglis no longer playing, Morgan who usually comes off the bench gets first crack in an unfamiliar centre position (he did play Fullback in Game 1 last year). Cannot gage a take here but as mentioned before tends not to pass the ball that often.

Will Chambers ($8,060 DS $5,900 MB)- Up against Mitchell and will line up on the right side, although he plays on the left for the Storm. Loads of experience for the Maroons and will have his hands full with Mitchell.


Cody Walker ($11,400 DS $6,500 MB) - Picked on brillant form for the Rabbitohs and has scored a stack of tries from the halves. Will be on debut for the Blues and has the under the pump Cleary as his halves partner. A lot to take on for Walker in his first game.

Nathan Cleary ($12,030 DS $7,000 MB) - After a man-of-the-match performance against the Eels that punched his ticket for the NSW side, the whole state is on his back if success does not eventuate in game 1. Will do the majority of the kicking in the game. No pressure Nathan…

Cameron Munster ($13,380 DS $7,500 MB - Like Latrell Mitchell, Munster has a great fantasy point scoring game with the ability to break tackles, line breaks etc. Yet is prone to a miss tackle and errors. Love him in the spot against an under siege NSW halves pair and will look for Ponga on attacking raids. 

Daly Cherry-Evans ($13,670 DS $7,000 MB) - The new captain of Queensland does not have the same pressure as Nathan Cleary, but the pressure is still there at home. The media in NSW have labelled him as “washed-up” after failing in previous Origin games. I’m expecting a huge game from Cherry-Evans who has a lot to prove as leader. 


Damien Cook ($14,450 DS $8,100 MB) - You are treading a fine line if you do not select Cook as your Hooker, big tackle count, bumps off tackles from runs and sets up so many tries at the Rabbitohs. Yes it is a huge price tag but you have to swallow it and make Cook your first pick. 

Ben Hunt ($12,510 DS $6,000 MB) - Then if you don’t have enough money for Cook then you are stuck with Hunt. Hunt did play hooker at the Broncos before his move to the Dragons in 2017. It is more of hybrid role for Hunt who can be the “third” half in Queensland attack. Hard to gage a projection which can be volatile in this slate. 

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2nd Row

Boyd Cordner ($11,150 DS $6,500 MB) - Captain of the Blues and will play the 80 minutes on the edge. Rises to the occasion come Origin and expect big base stats from tackles and hit ups. Whether he can get involved on attacks will determine his fantasy production.

Tyson Frizell ($10,380 DS $6,200 MB) - Comes in under an injury cloud which has affected his fantasy production throughout 2019. Unlikely to play the full 80 with Angus Crichton and Cameron Murray on the bench. Likely to be a fade for me.

Jake Trbojevic ($12,210 DS $6,400 MB) - One of the best back rowers in the game, Trbojevic tackles all game and is not afraid to offload on hit ups. Played off the bench last year and each time was one of the highest scoring 2nd rowers on the series. With the starting role it remains to be seen if Trbojevic will pay off his salary as I am not sure his play the full 80. 

Felise Kaufusi ($10,560 DS $6,300 MB) - Whilst Kaufusi hasn’t had a big season for the Storm in 2019, we can rely on Kaufusi for 80 minutes of solid tackle and run production. Can miss a tackle though. Cameron Munster loves putting Kaufusi into gaps and could prove profitable if Kaufusi can score on attacking raids. 

Matt Gillett ($10,840 DS $5,800 MB) - Proven warrior for the maroons and likely to play the full 80. From where his body was not long ago and back to the Origin fold, it is a great story for Gillett. Will provide a solid score without being spectacular. 

Josh McGuire ($11,930 DS $6,800 MB) - Will go 100 miles an hour in the first 20 minutes of this matchup and can rack up the fantasy points really quickly. But I am not sure he will see out the full 80 with three big forwards on the bench.

Front Row

David Klemmer ($11,460 DS $6,000 MB) - Will also go 100 miles an hour in the first 20 minutes and probably the last 20-25 minutes. Always popular in single slates so no issues if you go the ownership fade here.  

Paul Vaughan ($10,160 DS $5,000 MB) - Vaughan will rack a lot run meters and a lot of tackles, but I don’t see much other fantasy stats apart from the odd offload. No issues picking him but don’t expect a hat trick of tries.

Jai Arrow ($12,170 DS $5,500 MB) - Under an injury cloud but was very impressive in last years Origin series. Has the most upside from the 4 starting front rowers. Pretty expensive on DS yet cheap on MB.

Josh Papalii ($11,000 DS $6,500 MB) - Big ball running front rower is Papalii but tends to be gassed after 20/25 minutes. If the Maroons get off to a hot start, it will be on the back of Papalii’s go forward.


Jack Wighton ($8,000 DS $4,800 MB) - The utility player won’t see many minutes unless an injury occurs in the back line. 

Payne Haas ($9,520 DS $4,600 MB) - Whilst it hard to gauge the amount of minutes the NSW bench forwards will receive, you can not discount them in these single slate GPP’s. Probably the least amount of minutes compared to Murray and Crichton but this beast racks up fantasy points very quickly.

Cameron Murray ($9,600 DS $4,800 MB) / Angus Crichton ($10,770 DS $5,900 MB) - I am pretty big here on Murray and Crichton as these two are the best forwards for their respective clubs. Just like Trobjevic last year, either of these two will get big minutes of the bench and both have attacking upside. Which one will shine, well that is debatable. Lean towards Crichton but the salaries have caught my drift.  

Moses Mbye ($8,000 DS $4,800 MB) - Like Wighton, is the utility bench for the Maroons and probably won’t see much action unless an injury occurs in the backline. 

Joe Ofahengaue ($9,670 DS $4,600 MB) - Probably see a solid bench role for big Joe O, debut though so I am tempering my expectations to hit value at his salary. Will be low owned but pretty risky where you can get Haas at the same salary. 

Dylan Napa ($8,610 DS $4,900 MB) - Will come on for Arrow/Papalli and provide spark off the bench. Probably the least favoured fantasy wise forward if you need to pick a bench player. 

David Fifita ($8,610 DS $4,600 MB) - On debut as well so alas I am not expecting the moon as well. But a solid play if requiring salary relief. 

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The Daily Fantasy Rankings "Dragon" has scoured the Australian sports betting markets and found some great value picks for this game. Check out his picks for the day below and click on the links to follow his betting plays!

Dragon's Picks Odds Sportsbook
Over 33.5 Total Points $1.88 Bet now at BetEasy!
Queensland win / Over 33.5 $4.25 Bet now at Neds!
Man of the Match - Cameron Munster $8.00 Bet now at Pointsbet!
Anytime Try Scorer - Josh Morris $4.00 Bet now at Sportbet!


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