Well we got through a full round without too much carnage for a change. Jarrod Wallace and Joseph Manu will both sit out a couple of weeks through suspension, but they weren’t really fantasy relevant at this point anyway.
Nene MacDonald (ankle – season), Aiden Guerra (leg – season), Matt Lodge (throat – TBC), AJ Brimson (thumb – 3 weeks) and Issac Liu (finger – TBC) all went down injured and teams have been shuffled to cover. The main thing to come out of those injuries is Payne Haas being named at lock to cover Lodge. Haas was originally named on the bench last week in his first game of the season but ended up starting the game at lock and played massive minutes. By all accounts he is one of the fittest players at the club so if he can keep a starting spot then he is a potential keeper and will make plenty of cash being that he’s incredibly cheap. I put him in my Fantasy and Supercoach teams this week, it was too tempting to pass up.
Sharks vs Panthers
Paul Gallen is back at lock. He’s been very quiet fantasy-wise this season but we’ve all seen what he’s capable of, but probably not worth buying until he shows some of the form that made him a fantasy God in previous seasons.
A few changes for the struggling Panthers, the biggest of which is Reagan Campbell-Gillard being shifted back to the bench. He is replaced in the starting lineup by Tim Grant. James Fisher-Harris has been killing it this season so far and rapidly risen in price. Wayde Egan has been named to start at hooker with Sione Katoa to play off the bench, however this can always change and we don’t know how Ivan Cleary will split the minutes so probably best to wait and see how that goes before you take a punt on Egan.
Bulldogs vs Rabbitohs
Not too much has changed for the last placed Bulldogs. Sauaso Sue is suspended with 2018 cash cow Danny Fualolo on the bench and Raymon Faitala-Mariner in jersey 21. If RFM could get back to being a starting forward playing big minutes he might be worth a go, but there are some better options this season.
Greg Inglis announced his retirement this week and Kyle Turner has again been named in the centres. George Burgess starts at prop so is one to keep an eye on if he can re-gain his 2014 form. Cameron Murray has been great at lock this year and rewarding those of us who bought him in for round one. Sam Burgess and Damien Cook are safe bets to keep in your team and Adam Reynolds can be up there with the best halves in the game if he can stay healthy and his forwards give him enough time.
Storm vs Roosters
The Grand Final rematch should be a great game with both teams in hot form. Personally, I have old reliable Cam Smith as my captain and it will probably stay that way all season. Suliasi Vunivalu returns and pushes Sandor Earl out of the side. Curtis Scott has been named on an extended bench so is a possibility of pushing Marion Seve out of the lineup. Dale Finucane has been solid as a back row option so far.
Joseph Manu is suspended this week so will likely be replaced by Mitch Aubusson. Manu is only out for the one game so is a hold if you already have him.
Warriors vs Cowboys
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck remains one of the safest option at the back so should definitely be considered at some point this season. You will want him by the end of the year but there’s still plenty of options to make cash in the meantime. Chanel Harris-Tavita has plenty more money to make and you should probably have him already. There isn’t too many more fantasy options from the Warriors except Lachlan Burr, however he’s too expensive to bring in now and it’s yet to be seen if he will be a keeper this season.
We saw the sickening injury which will rub Nene MacDonald out for the season. Justin O’Neil has been recalled and Scott Bolton will play his first game of the year off the bench. Micheal Morgan has been decent as a half option but those of us who own him will be hoping for him to step up and start putting up some consistently big scores.
Dragons vs Sea Eagles
Dragons are 1-17 the same as last week. Blake Lawrie still looks very good and making money so is a hold until he starts to lose money or loses his spot in the starting squad. Jacob Host is another story though after seeing his minutes dry up with Frizell back and all the Dragons forwards capable of playing big minutes. He should hit his break even this week if you have more pressing trades to make.
Manly are also unchanged. DCE keeping up his form as the top half this season so you will want him in your team come finals. Jake Trbojevic and Marty Taupau are also proven guns in the forwards.
Titans vs Knights
Ash Taylor has surprisingly been named in the halves despite word being that he would be out a few weeks with a leg injury. Ryley Jacks is on the extended bench though so will probably make the 19 man squad just in case. AJ Brimson is out for a few weeks with a thumb injury and Jarrod Wallace is suspended, but neither will be out long enough for a replacement to become fantasy relevant. Bryce Cartwright is always going to be a roller coaster of a player, but Jai Arrow is solid as a back rower.
Herman Ese’ese has been named to replace Aidan Guerra after he suffered that gruesome leg injury. Now is the time to get Kalyn Ponga if you want him. Mitch Pearce went off early last week after failing a HIA, and really needs to string some decent scores together otherwise there is better halves out there this season. I thought he would get extra points now that he is the clear dominant half however the head knock certainly didn’t help. Pearce would have had a better score last week if it wasn’t for Edrick Lee stepping on the sideline to rob Pearce of an offload and try assist.
Raiders vs Broncos
Joseph Tapine is out for a while and replaced by JJ Collins. No other changes for the Raiders with Aidan Sezer on the extended bench, however it seems unlikely that Ricky Stewart will want to change a winning lineup. The English back row have been going well, with Bateman especially being a great pickup at the start of the season.
Payne Haas has been named to start at prop as Matt Lodge is out indefinitely with a throat injury. Right now is the time to get him in Fantasy, or you can wait until next week for Supercoach. Keep an eye on final team lists if you are playing Katoni Staggs as James Roberts is on the extended bench and a chance of playing. Not too much else happening for the Broncos. Jack Bird and Matt Gillett both started the season cheap but have been a bit underwhelming to say the least. Gillett was on track for a good score after an early try but went off in the first half and failed to pass his HIA.
Eels vs Tigers
Clint Gutherson remains the most likely to get the status of gun in the backline. He’s been very busy in defence but just needs some more attacking stats. He’s still quite cheap but he’s still more of a mid range player, which is exactly what you should be avoiding at this stage, you either want cheap players making cash or guns that you don’t plan on trading out.
Speaking of guns, Robbie Farah continues a return to the form from a few years ago when he was pretty much on par with Cam Smith as the best fantasy scorers, however this time he’s above CS9. We will see if he can keep up this form as his big scores feature a lot of attacking stats (like Damien Cook) whereas Smith is quite consistent in his scoring and it’s made up of a lot of base stats plus his kicking game. Ideally you’ll want two of the three mentioned but it’s a big ask at this stage. Luke Garner and Alex Twal have been chugging along well in the forwards but are very awkwardly priced. Depending on form they both probably have a few weeks left of money-making before you can either cash them out or upgrade them. Keep an eye on Elijah Taylor, Chris McQueen and David Nofoaluma on the bench as they are all a chance of breaking back into the 17.
Good luck this weekend!