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NRL Fantasy Guide

NRL is the favourite rugby league among Aussie punters. Nowadays you can even play NRL fantasy leagues with a few reliable operators. In this guide, we will explain everything you need to know before starting to play.

In case you’re new to fantasy sports, take a look at the part where we explain how the scoring and fantasy draft works. More experienced bettors can jump straight to our top NRL fantasy sites.

Draftstars Is the Best Fantasy NRL Site

Since NRL is so popular in Australia, most of the fantasy sites have it on board. However, we strongly believe that Draftstars is the best of them all because of a few good reasons. First of all, they offer a fantastic range of fantasy competitions and several exciting game modes.

The site is well organised and comes with excellent navigation, so even complete beginners could find their way around. More experienced players will be pleased to hear that you can get involved at high-stake NRL fantasy contests with Draftstars. On the other hand, rookies and casual players can settle with low-stake or even free NRL leagues.

All of the things mentioned above are available on mobile as well. Draftstars offers native apps for both iOS and Android devices, on top of the swift mobile website. In case you want to learn more about how to play fantasy NRL with this excellent operator, take a look at our in-depth analysis of Draftstars.

  • Numerous NRL fantasy contests
  • Native mobile apps for iOS and Android
  • Several contest types
Visit Draftstars

Draftstars VS Official Fantasy NRL

NRL offers its official fantasy leagues which you can play on their site. They come with a few important perks, such as fresh news, tips and official NRL Fantasy mobile app. However, if we look at the bigger picture, it’s clear that Draftstars has a much more exciting offer. It’s even more tempting in case you’re not complete die-hard NRL fan who is ready to spend hours every day on playing fantasy.

In case you just want to enjoy some fantasy NRL from time to time, Draftstars is a clear choice. Official NRL offers only long-term leagues that way require season-long commitment. On the other hand, Draftstars is focused on daily fantasy, where you draft a new team every day, play a single game and know the result of the contest right away! It’s even more convenient if you play it on Draftstars mobile app.

Another thing that goes to Draftstars favour is that they offer both paid and free leagues, while official NRL Fantasy is always for free. That’s why Draftstars has much better cash prizes for winning players. Plus, in case you get bored, try some of the several available contest types. With official NRL, you only get to play one basic game mode.

Why We Think Draftstars Is Better

  • Daily fantasy NRL – no season-long commitments
  • Great mobile app
  • Both free and paid competitions
  • Higher cash prizes
  • Better customer support
  • More game types
  • Faster gameplay

Fantasy NRL Scoring

Scoring in fantasy NRL works the same as with any other fantasy sport. You draft a team of real-life players, and then you score points based on their performance in actual games. Every action they do is worth a certain amount of fantasy points. How those points are calculated may be slightly different from operator to operator. But in most cases, it’s very similar to what we have listed below. It’s very important to read this before start playing since the scoring rules should guide your draft decisions. Take a look at the list below to learn more about how NRL fantasy scoring works.

  • Try = 8 points
  • Goal = 2 points
  • Field Goal = 5 points
  • Try assist = 5 points
  • Line Break = 4 points
  • Line Break assist = 2 points
  • Tackle = 1 point
  • Tackle break = 3 points
  • Missed tackles = -2 point
  • Offload = 2 points
  • Run Meters Gained = 0.1 points
  • Kick Metres Gained= 0.05 points
  • Error = -2 points

NRL Fantasy Tips and Strategy

Winning an NRL fantasy league requires a lot of skill, even more than getting a classic bet right. That’s why we have consulted our fantasy sports experts to provide you with some actionable tips and help you improve your results. Keep in mind that all of these are general advices that you can use with any operator and for every NRL renewal.

  • Don’t experiment early in the draft – Draft your star players as early as possible. It may be tempting to draft some of the rising stars in the first round. But it would be best to stick with proven talent at the beginning. Later on you can try to experiment with different players.
  • Look at other contenders – Always look at what other contenders are doing. If you need a great hooker, and all others that pick after you also need one, you may want to get him now, since it probably won’t be available later. Another great thing is that tracking others will help you quickly find solid trading opportunities.
  • Analyse head-to-head matchups – This is especially important if you’re playing daily or weekly leagues. Try finding the high scoring games, and in that way locate the top-performing players. Even the best scorer probably won’t do much against the league’s top defence. It’s all about context when constructing a winning fantasy NRL team.

How to Start With Fantasy NRL?

The great thing about fantasy sports, in general, is that they’re really easy to learn. In case this is your first-time playing fantasy NRL, just follow the guide below and you’ll be ready in no time. We suggest to all beginners to start with some of the free contests at first and then move to paid leagues. If you’re into a quick game, note that Draftstars offers countless free NRL DFS contests. Here is a short guide on how to start with fantasy NRL.

NRL Fantasy Guide

  1. Pick a fantasy operator you like
  2. Register an account
  3. Pick an NRL contest you like
  4. Draft your team
  5. Trade players if you want
  6. Follow the leaderboard once the contest has started

NRL Fantasy Draft

The draft is probably the most exciting part of any fantasy contest. After you pick the competition, the draft will start. You’ll get a salary cap, which can widely differ depending on the operator. But the basic principle is the same – you have to gather the best possible team with the given amount of salary money. Don’t worry if you missed a chance to get all the players you like during the draft. You can also trade players before the game starts, and in that way fill the gaps in the lineup.

There are two basic NRL fantasy draft types – snake draft and linear draft. If you play by snake draft rules, contenders who pick first in odd rounds will be last in even rounds. On the other hand, in the linear draft, the order from the initial round is used in every following round.

If all this feels like to much work, note that most of the operators have the auto-draft option. In that case, the computer will pick the team for you.

Regardless of the draft rules, the most important thing you have to do before picking a team is to prepare properly. We can’t stress enough how a well-thought strategy is important at this stage. Here are a few NRL fantasy draft tips to help you along.

NRL Fantasy Draft Tips

  1. Don’t reach for a player earlier than you need. Even if you like him a lot, take the superstars first and then build the rest of the team.        
  2. Always have a backup picks in mind, since it will happen that other contenders take players you’re aiming for.
  3. Read and learn all the draft rules! This may seem basic, but there are a lot of things written in small letters.
  4. Focus on the low depth positions early in the draft.
  5. Don’t take CTW guns early because they are just too inconsistent. Leave them for 3rd round or later.

NRL Fantasy Team – Who I Have to Draft?

NRL fantasy league operators usually have slightly different rules on which types of players you have to draft. But the general rule is that you’ll have to get players from at least two different teams and cover all positions. This means that you can’t get only high scoring offensive players. Instead, you’ll have to diversify and look at all the aspects of the game. Here is how your NRL fantasy team will probably look like:

  • 2 wingers
  • 1 centre
  • 1 half
  • 2 second row forwards
  • 1 hooker
  • 2 front-row forwards

You’ll notice that there is a position written on the side of each player’s name. However, some of them are listed as Dual Position Players (DPP). It means that they can cover more than one position, which makes them very valuable. Always try getting at least some DPP’s, since they give you much more flexibility.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when picking players for each position.

  • Hooker – Always look for a player who will play long minutes (potentially the full game). Also, it would be best to get a creative hooker who can score you some tackle points as well.
  • Forward – Similar as with hookers, always try to find high scoring players. Forwards will probably score you the most points, so don’t try to cut the costs here.
  • Halves – When picking halves, you’re searching for someone who is capable of assisting and scoring a try. However, don’t skip a player if he’s a reliable goal kicker.
  • Backs – This is where you want to have someone who is known as a high-workload player. The best-case scenario would include someone who can also grab a try.

Trade Players

Most of the NRL fantasy football operators let you trade players to improve your team. Keep in mind that different operators have different trade rules. For example, some of them will let you trade even if the player you offer is less valuable than the one you want to get. Draftstars, on the other hand, demands that your current player always has to be more valuable. Same goes for the number of trades you can make, so always read the rules before playing.

When deciding whether you should draft, always keep in mind that there are two main reasons to exchange players. You either aspire to strengthen a certain part of the team, or you’re trying to get the better overall player for a small price. In the first case, focus solely on the stats and research. However, if you want to speculate, don’t be afraid to listen to your guts and take a gamble. It’s the only way you can find hidden gems!

Competition Types

Most of the operators offer several game modes, which includes contests that last a single day or even an entire season. Regardless of the length, you can choose between a few different league types. It all depends on the operator, but you usually have a few NRL fantasy modes that are available everywhere. We will shortly explain how they work down below. Note that these are available only at commercial operators, while official NRL Fantasy football offers just one basic way to play.

  • 50/50 Contests – If you finish in the upper half of the leaderboard, you get your stake doubled.
  • Guaranteed Contest – As long as there is a minimum number of contenders, operator guarantees a fixed prize pool. These are usually the highest-paid contests.
  • Head-to-Head – You compete against a single opponent. The one who drafts a better scoring team win.
  • Custom Games – Invite only your friends and play a fantasy NRL contest against each other. This time you pick the rules!
You can play fantasy NRL at a few places in Australia. However, we think that Draftstars is by far the top choice. Check out we think they are the the best. Top Fantasy NRL Sites

Fantasy NRL FAQs

NRL fantasy is a relatively new way of wagering on your favourite NRL games. Here you draft a team of real players and score points based on their performance on the field. Take a look at the article above to learn more about fantasy NRL.

Yes, it can be free. Most of the operators are offering a plethora of free fantasy NRL contests. If you decide to take the next step at some point, note that there are also numerous contests with buy-ins ranging from $2 to a few hundred dollars.

You first have to pick a fantasy sports operator that offers NRL and create an account. After that, pick a contest and enter fantasy draft. Once you have assembled a team, all you need to do is follow the leaderboard. Check out the article above for more tips about how to play fantasy NRL.

In NRL fantasy, you earn points based on the performance of your team members in real-life games. Different operators count points differently, but we have listed the most common NRL fantasy scoring model in the article above, so don’t miss to give it a look.