Matt Trodden, NRL.com
Let’s take a look at those players you should be investing in, holding or letting go, as well as some of the better captaincy options for Round 23.
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Josh Papalii | 2RF | $371,100
With Shaun Fensom gone (see below), Josh Papalii could become the difference maker for you in your head-to-head finals, or jumping those extra places overall. He is reasonably priced for a second-rower, and has started to increase his defensive work rate in the last month, with 37 tackles on Saturday night. Still a risk given almost a quarter of his points have come in tackle breaks, but this is the time of year where that risk could give you the winning edge.
Jarrod Mullen | HLF | $431,000
Without doubt the best point of difference choice in the halves. Massively underrated by DT coaches, and has been returning around 30 points a game in kick-metres alone. Scores of 83 and 69 in the past two weeks show Mullen’s quality, and he can make upwards of 20 tackles per game. Has a couple of massive games ahead, but his running games become much more dangerous with Kurt Gidley back in the side.
Sam Burgess | 2RF/FRF | $399,400
A Grade One Contrary Conduct charge has the middle Burgess child missing two weeks, but unless you will struggle to get 17 fit players into your team in the next two weeks, resist selling him. An 80 minute workhorse who gets his fair share of points in attack as well as defence, Burgess is in the must-have basket for the money rounds this year.
Anthony Watmough | 2RF | $304,700
As with above, Watmough is a hold unless you’re looking at less than 17 taking the field this week. He is another 80 minute player, but one with an attacking x-factor which has seen him crack triple figures already this year (104 in Rd 7 v Rabbitohs). Is probably underpriced at $304,700, but of all the second rowers available at that price, Watmough is by far the best. He is also likely to miss just the one week, so will be back in action for the second week of head-to-head finals.
Josh Dugan | WFB/HLF | $433,900
Unfortunately for Dugan, his stellar second half of the season is over after breaking his thumb against the Broncos. He still managed 47 points in Round 22, but with his season-ending injury and head-to-head finals ahead, you can’t afford to have over $400k sitting on your bench wasting away. Assuming you’ve got sufficient trades, sell him.
Shaun Fensom | 2RF | $424,500
Another injury in a dark week for many Dream Team coaches, Fensom will miss 4-6 weeks, also with a thumb injury. He could still play a part this year for the Raiders, but his Dream Team season is over. As above, you can’t afford to have that kind of cash sitting on your bench, time to sell up.
Round 23 Captains - players to consider
Corey Parker | 2RF | $501,000
Paul Gallen | 2RF/FRF | $461,000
Cameron Smith | HOK | $559,600
Andrew Fifita | FRF | $541,300
Johnathan Thurston | HLF | $392,700
Wildcard: Josh McGuire | FRF | $426,700