We’re across your options, giving you the statistics and information you need to get the most out of your team this coming weekend. As always, if you have a question or research assignment for one of our writers, you can ask us on our Blindside Sport’s Facebook page, on twitter @BlindsideSport or in the comments section below.
NRL Fantasy and NRL Supercoach Analysis: Round 7
Cameron Smith and Jake Friend remain the top prospects at hooker, however Robbie Farah’s 80-minute effort as a result of Aaron Woods’ injury provided a glimpse into what opportunity can do for his fantasy stocks. With Dene Halatau in the starting pack this weekend, there is a chance Farah plays the full 80 again, but with Origin looming he probably isn’t an option to bring in anyway.
Nathan Peats’ return from injury was underwhelming as Parramatta spent most of their match against Canberra in attack. Expect a return to 50+ scores sooner rather than later. Michael Lichaa should be considered on par with Peats and has a similarly good bye schedule. Matt Parcell remains a hold at Manly, whilst Mitch Rein has averaged 57 over the last 5 rounds as his minutes have skyrocketed under the new interchange rules (an average of 77 minutes per game since Round 2).
Cameron McInnes’ stock rises as Damien Cook drops out of the Rabbitohs’ 17. Peter Wallace is now dual-position eligible and continues to score well at hooker, averaging 48 in James Segeyaro’s absence. With Segeyaro due back soon however, it is too late to buy Wallace.
With Aaron Woods injuring his ankle, those who have held the underperforming Origin star have a good excuse to move on. The top options to bring in are Andrew Fifita (who may still miss Origin selection this season), James Graham, Jack de Belin, Jake Trbojevic, Jesse Bromwich and Sam Burgess (now that he has moved back to lock). Coaches can look to our weekly Power Rankings article to split the difference between the bunch.
Tim Grant immediately becomes a 40-45 scorer with Woods’ injury, and can even be targeted by those who don’t already have him. Aidan Tolman is shedding value, and looks to be returning to his pre-2015 form. Dylan Napa was phenomenal against the Rabbitohs, but surely won’t play 80 minutes every week. If he does it again, we’ll be on him for Round 9.
There is nothing to look out for in terms of cash cows at the position.
The most erratic of positions this season, even experienced coaches won’t be used to having to worry about scorers in their back row. With just 11 players averaging over 50, coaches have little to look at in terms of reliable scorers.
Trent Merrin put himself back on the map last week and looms as a decent option moving forward. He has shed a lot of value and appears to be over the illness which halted his charge a fortnight ago. Ethan Lowe had a late-season slump in 2015, but is worth targeting in current form. Bryce Cartwright has been exceptional aside from his injury-affected outing against the Dragons. He is a cut-price option for those scouting around the $400,000 mark.
In good news, Simon Mannering returns to lock and will be heavily discounted after this round given his breakeven of 73. He is a must-buy after that though and may even get close to that monstrous score against a hard-hitting Bulldogs pack.
Shaun Fensom is a worry for those who own him, with his work-rate not making up for his reduction in minutes this season. Wade Graham had a great game against the Titans but was heavily reliant on attacking statistics – avoid. The same goes for Chris Lawrence. Once again there is very little available in terms of cash cows, with Mitchell Frei at the Roosters the closest thing we have to a prospect.
Jacob Saifiti is a hold for now, whilst Paul Carter is a sell candidate. Neither will set the world on fire and may even lose a touch in terms of value (Carter particularly). There is scope for Carter to pick up minutes, and his work-rate is more than good enough to see him remain a viable hold.
Jackson Hastings is a must-start for as long as the Roosters partner him with a back-rower. Moses Mbye, Ben Hunt and Shaun Johnson (despite his poor Round 6) are the best at the position, with Anthony Milford a very close fourth. Apisai Koroisau is a trap and should be avoided despite his Cherry-Evans-like showings over the past fortnight.
Adam Reynolds returns to action this weekend and should partner Luke Keary at the Rabbitohs. This means two things, Reynolds is once again fantasy relevant – but that could be undermined by Origin selection – and Cody Walker has run his race. Walker can be sold but given the lack of genuine cash cow options across the board at present, you’ll either take a risk in finding his replacement or look to upgrade.
Cameron Cullen (who could be replaced by a returning Tyrone Roberts any week) is your best cash cow option, however Tuimoala Lolohea’s shift to the halves presents coaches with a mid-price option with decent potential. Personally, I’m avoiding as I feel he is a 35-40 point scorer at best next to Shaun Johnson. As a result, I’m looking to use DPP to shift Jaelen Feeney to the halves and find a winger/centre to bring in as a cash cow.
Josh Dugan is now the certified number 1 option at the position. He’ll miss four rounds over the Origin period (including Rounds 12, 13 and 15) means that coaches may want to wait until Round 16 before investing. He will rise in price and post several big scores over that period though so weigh up your decision.
James Roberts has been sensational of late and is a keeper. Buyers have the added bonus of him coming up against the defensively porous Knights this weekend. Solomone Kata, Jarrod Croker and Hymel Hunt are others in that league, whilst Euan Aitken is a keeper as he’s cemented his spot in the centres.
Kerrod Holland has short-term job security, but with Chase Stanley’s injury issues and both Morris’ set to play Origin, he’ll get a run in the team at different stages throughout the season. He’s a better option than Javid Bowen, who won’t have any Origin players at the Cowboys to come in for. He’s the only cash cow we’d consider.
Wingers and Fullbacks
James Tedesco will be the number 1 fullback in fantasy this season, and whilst he’ll likely play Origin and will miss four rounds as a result, he is worth investing in. Josh Dugan and Cameron Muster are the only other potential keepers averaging above 42. Josh Mansour isn’t worth buying but well done to anyone who has had him all season. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck will turn a corner eventually and with Jeff Robson being dropped, this week will give us a strong insight into what the Warriors can be this season. Michael Gordon and Latrell Mitchell are holds.
Once again, not much to get excited about with regard to cash cows.
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