Matt Trodden, NRL.com
We’re in the final multi-bye round of the year, and it’s time to either prepare your head-to-head team for the run home, or push ahead in the overall game with a number of cheap options across the teams.
Each Wednesday, we’ll take a look at the teams named and give you the rundown on what this means for the wonderful world of Dream Team.
Tigers v Warriors - Leichhardt Oval 7:45pm 19/7/13
The Tigers are unchanged from the side that lost to the Sharks two weeks ago, but things have changed massively since then. After requesting a release on Monday night, Benji Marshall ($286,300) will go one of two ways - skyrocket up, or plummet down. He’s got a healthy average of 43.83 against the Warriors, but may go into his shell. Aaron Woods ($392,800) and Robbie Farah ($530,400) will be backing up from Origin, but will both play big minutes, while Bodene Thompson ($153,200) could be a good downgrade option if you have the trades in hand.
A few interesting changes from the Warriors although beware of Manu Vatuvei ($259,300) being named - he has pulled out late a few times already this year. Ben Matulino ($286,400) is also named to start, but has been known to drop back to the bench, while Konrad Hurrell ($364,600) seems to have cemented his spot after being named in the centres, and could be a good pick-up with copious tackle breaks and a break-even of 24. Matt Elliott has also played around with his bench in the last month, so Suaia Matagi ($101,600) and Charlie Gubb ($101,600) are both decent downgrade options who may still score, but allow you to invest in the blue chip stock.
Raiders v Eels - Canberra Stadium 5:30pm 20/7/13
Anthony Milford ($220,000) seems to have found his spot at fullback for the Raiders after being retained for this clash, with a 67 point game to boot. If you’ve got him, he could be a good wildcard option on the bench in your halves, and if you’ve got the money, definitely give him some thought. Reece Robinson ($240,000) definitely suffers as a result of this, and probably can be offloaded to free up some cash. Jake Foster ($127,700) will be fighting for a spot on the bench, with Jarrad Kennedy ($127,700) the only chance to miss out.
The Eels are unchanged, which could mean halves Luke Kelly ($163,900) and Ben Roberts ($176,500) will be persevered with and be good cheap options. Semi Radradra ($101,600) has held onto his spot, and could again be a good downgrade option who will be scoring points in the final bye round. Jarryd Hayne ($298,200) is still at least a week away, but Jake Mullaney ($161,100) should probably still be avoided with a 42 break even and not great job security.
Roosters v Sharks - Allianz Stadium 7:30pm 20/7/13
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck ($244,300) is back for the Roosters, and has the ability to produce big numbers in the back three. Mitch Aubusson ($242,600) immediately becomes a less attractive option from the bench, as is Frank-Paul Nuuausala ($211,700) despite gaining a starting spot. If you haven’t got the cash for Farah or Smith, hooker Jake Friend ($399,200) also stands as a good back-up option in the short term.
Luke Lewis ($334,700) is no sure thing to back up for the Sharks, despite being named, but Andrew Fifita ($479,100) should start from the bench, with Sam Tagataese ($151,600) likely to start. Michael Gordon ($248,900) and Todd Carney ($325,500) both showed their worth last week, and with Jeff Robson ($215,500) and Beau Ryan ($213,000) missing will again take on a heavy workload. Chris Heighington ($321,600) is a very good option for the near future with Paul Gallen ($413,100) still struggling with a foot injury.
Panthers v Knights - Centrebet Stadium 2:00pm 21/7/13
The Panthers promotion of Mose Masoe ($181,600) could make him a solid downgrade option in the front row, however his scores haven’t been consistent this year, while Clint Newton ($188,600) is a good pick-up with Matt Robinson ($239,500) out for an extended period. Luke Walsh ($405,600) is the big ticket purchase in this side however, in great form with two 50s and two 60s in the past month.
The Knights dropping Chris Houston ($285,100) back to the bench will impact plenty of his owners, after he scored just 27 in his last bench start. Beau Scott ($197,900) starts, but has never been a big numbers man and hasn’t cracked 40 yet this year, although his starting partner Robbie Rochow ($302,000) could be very good value if you’ve got him. Again Korbin Sims ($136,100) and Zane Tetevano ($133,700) will battle it out for the final spot on the bench, but neither would be expected to get much time.
Sea Eagles v Titans - Brookvale Oval 3:00pm 21/7/13
The Sea Eagles have their Origin stars back, but don’t worry about either Daly Cherry-Evans ($409,400) or Anthony Watmough ($369,900) backing up from Wednesday night, as both commonly put in big performances at Brookvale. After a massive game on Monday night and being dropped from the squad, it’s probably time to offload Peta Hiku ($205,600) for a healthy profit and spend your winnings elsewhere. Ligi Sao ($101,600) might also be gone, but hang onto him as an NPR, but the back three of Brett Stewart ($199,400), Jorge Taufua ($318,500) and David Williams ($173,500) all have breakevens of -25 or lower, making them great options.
The Titans swung a major surprise with Jordan Rankin ($193,500) at fullback while William Zillman ($258,300) remains on the sideline. He’s realistically only in for a week (possibly two), so probably isn’t a great purchase. Don’t fear if you have Greg Bird ($280,400) or Nate Myles ($324,800) either, as they’re both likely to back-up despite not being named. Should they return, it would see Luke Douglas ($305,600) and Dave Taylor ($287,800) drop back to the bench, and Beau Falloon ($281,100) out of the squad.
Rabbitohs v Dragons - ANZ Stadium 7:00pm 22/7/13
The Rabbitohs have only their three additions to the bench - Justin Hunt ($194,100), Tom Burgess ($101,600) and Luke Keary ($101,600), although if coach Michael Maguire stays true to form they’re probably unlikely to get a run. Of the three, Burgess presents the best downgrade option, who could still get game time but allow you to spend big elsewhere. Greg Inglis ($343,100), Chris McQueen ($237,600) and Ben Te’o ($284,100) are all backing up from Origin, with McQueen probably the biggest risk of not playing after missing the clash with the Raiders after Origin 2.
St George Illawarra made the most interesting move of the week with Adam Quinlan ($101,600) at five-eighth. As a rookie with dual position status, Quinlan could be the ultimate downgrade option for the rest of the year, particularly considering it’s in a nearly full-strength side. Trent Merrin ($393,000), Brett Morris ($386,300) and Josh Dugan ($392,100) have all been named and should back up, and considering his form and ability to be picked in the halves, Dugan could be vital pushing towards the end of the head-to-head season.