NRL Tips – Round 3, 2019

It’s very early days in the 2019 premiership but injuries seem to be taking their toll early. Medial collateral ligaments have replaced syndesmosis as the blessure du jour. We haven’t even seen Kyle Feldt or Wade Graham yet and now we’re missing the likes of Jason Taumalolo, Tyson Frizell, Ash Taylor and Brett Morris.

For our tipping purposes, the obvious place these major outs would be noted is in xPPG, which tracks the personnel named on Team Sheet Tuesday and forms a tip based on their previous performances as measured in terms of Production Per Game.

This week, we see teams rated on a range from 25.0 to 31.5, which is a variation of 25% across the entire league. Interestingly, unless teams are particularly close, a major in or out at a key position might still not be enough to shift the tip. Cronk missed a game for the Roosters last week, taking about 10% of the team’s expected production with him. Even if his replacement, Lachlan Lam, had also missed the game, xPPG still would have tipped Sydney over Manly. That would later prove to be correct, even though Lam did end up having a pretty average game in production terms (that’s pretty good for a first timer though).

In the medium term, though, we’ll see some of these absences reflect themselves in changes in form ratings, with potential to surprise on the upside, like Jake Clifford did for the Cowboys last year, as well as downside risks, e.g. Ryley Jacks coming in for Ash Taylor at the Titans. In the longer term, this will also be reflected in Poseidon ratings as teams improve/struggle to score/defend. I update the ratings every Monday here, which might be worth keeping an eye on to get a relatively objective sense of the magnitude of these outs.

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Here are the tips for this weekend’s action:

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