Some massive scores this week by some proven guns, while injuries once again complicated things for a lot of coaches. Teams are starting to get settled and it’s about time that cash cows start to hit their peak and we have to make the decisions whether they are worth upgrading, keeping or trading out.
Roosters vs Dragons
Joseph Manu returns from suspension and returns in the centres, however he is joined by Mitch Aubusson this week with Latrell Mitchell moving to five-eighth to cover Luke Keary, who went off early with a concussion last week. Even though he scored a try it was still a relatively quiet week for James Tedesco, although if you already have him you’ll be wanting to hold him all season anyway. Jake Friend has been named to return at hooker with Victor Radley shifting back to lock, and Angus Crichton is worth consideration if he can get back to his best.
Nothing to report for the Dragons, with Blake Lawrie still making money at lock. It’s now time to sell Jacob Host if you haven’t already.
Storm vs Warriors
Not too much to report from the Storm after their one point loss to the Roosters. Cameron Smith was his usual busy self last week and remains one of the safest captaincy options around. Personally, he is my captain in the NRL Fantasy comp and his 77 last week got me the win even though he wasn’t kicking goals. Cameron Munster is going great guns in the halves and could be a great point of difference with his low ownership. Dale Finucane continues to put up solid numbers, but is now probably too expensive to bring is as anything but a POD with plenty of other back rowers to choose from.
Gun fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck is out due to a hamstring injury, as is Blake Green (groin) and Solomone Kata (compassionate leave). This causes a reshuffle with Gerard Beale moving to fullback, Tohu Harris shifting to the halves, Peta Hiku plays on the wing. Blake Ayshford and Patrick Herbert are the centres while Isaiah Papali’i starts in the back row. Tevita Satae joins the bench. Chanel Tavita-Harris should get some extra responsibility with Tohu Harris mainly playing as a defensive half.
Bulldogs vs Cowboys
No changes for the struggling Bulldogs. Aidan Tolman played massive minutes last week to reward those of us who bought him in to start the season, so hopefully he continues in that same role.
Another struggling team this season, although Michael Morgan has been solid in an otherwise unremarkable fantasy-relevant team. Josh McGuire is another POD option, and Jason Taumalolo has been named on the extended bench so is a possibility of playing a couple weeks earlier than expected.
Panthers vs Rabbitohs
Caleb Aekins will start at fullback with Dallin Watene-Zelezniak moving to centre to cover the injured Dean Whare. Josh Mansour has been a bit disappointing this season so far but we have seen what he has done in the past, however he will struggle to match his previous fantasy status when his team is struggling.
No injury dramas for Souths. Sam Burgess is still a good option in the forwards but he is still underachieving compared to previous seasons. Cameron Murray has lived up to his potential and is a set and forget option in the back row. Ethan Lowe has been a decent cash cow so far and Damien Cook is still a gun at hooker.
Tigers vs Titans
Coming off a huge loss either means players will have a blinder or continue to struggle. Robbie Farah and Luke Garner have both been named in the same 17 that got destroyed last week although with a short turnaround it’s no guarantee they will pass their concussion protocol. David Nofoaluma and Elijah Taylor are still on the extended bench and a big chance of making it into the 17 if Madge decides he needs to make some changes.
The Titans are starting to look good coming off back to back wins. Ryan James is out for the season with a ruptured ACL. Moeaki Fotuaki starts in the front row so is a possibility to make some money if he can play some good minutes in the absence of James. Kevin Proctor and Keegan Hipgrave return from injury and Tyrone Roberts is coming off a big game and will have the added responsibility of the captaincy. Bryce Cartwright is still playing big minutes but is inconsistent. I have him on my bench, but I’m certainly not expecting him to bust out big scores every week.
Broncos vs Sharks
The Broncos are also struggling. Matt Gillett has shown signs of getting back to his previous self and could potentially turn from a cash cow into a keeper if he continues to play 80 minutes and gets back to his pre-injury form. Payne Haas is the best option at the Broncos with a massive 80 minute performance at prop last round. If he can keep that up then he is a monster you absolutely want in your team, although you need to get him now. Kotoni Staggs moves back to the bench with James Roberts back in the centres.
Huge blow for most of us who have Briton Nikora as he is suspended for one week. He’s been the best buy of the season and putting up keeper numbers. Kurt Capewell is another fantastic option in the centres or back row, although we will have to see what happens when Wade Graham returns. Andrew Fifita continues to be a genuine captaincy option in the front row.
Sea Eagles vs Raiders
Manly name the same 17 that got unlucky against the Dragons last week. Marty Taupau, Jake Trbojevic and Daly Cherry-Evans are all great options, especially DCE. I’ve had him as captain of my Supercoach team all season and haven’t been disappointed.
Charnze Nikoll-Klokstad has been named at fullback after picking up a knee injury last week so keep an eye on final teams. John Bateman is still putting up massive numbers as a punishment to those of us who were stupid enough not to get him before it was too late. Josh Hodgson is slowly starting to get back to his previous form and is a good POD.
Knights vs Eels
The Knights have looked very out of sorts the last few weeks with the exception of Kalyn Ponga and David Klemmer who should be targets if you don’t have them already. They are unchanged after their disappointing loss to the Titans and will look to turn it around to take he pressure off their coach.
Blake Ferguson is named to return on the wing in the main change. Reed Mahoney continues to play big minutes and Clint Gutherson has been playing well as he fights for a bigger contract. Daniel Alvaro has been named despite going off very early with a concussion. Manu Ma’u has been named in the reserves and is a chance of returning from his knee injury.
Good luck this weekend!