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Scout Report: Round 15 Fantasy Q&A

Get ready for a tough Round 15, with key injuries to the likes of Corey Parker, Andrew McCullough and Manu Ma'u adding to the setback of the Rabbitohs, Roosters, Tigers and Panthers all sitting out the week with a bye. I for one am going to struggle to get a full team on the park, and the same goes for a lot of Fantasy coaches out there who have stacked their squad with Rabbitohs and Roosters with an eye on the "major" bye rounds.

So with trades now at a premium, what changes should you make to your squad this week? Here are my answers to the week's big questions.

From Chris Rawlins
Hey Scout. Couple of things for this week. 
How long is Parker out for and should he be traded?
A lot of hype around Mortimer, is he worth bringing in?

The Broncos predict Corey Parker will be back for them in Round 18 (they have the bye in Round 17 before Origin III), although he did get on the plane with the team to New Zealand ahead of the weekend's Warriors game. The decision on whether to trade him depends on a few factors. Are you running low on trades? Do you have the depth to cover for him? Do you want him in your final "best" 17? Are you playing head-to-head, and are already in your league's top eight? If so, it might be worth taking the short-term pain and holding him until he gets back.

If you have trades to burn or need all the points you can get in the next few weeks, make the trade.

For Mortimer, at $89,463 he suddenly looks great value after switching clubs to the Titans, where he's set to start at halfback this weekend. He's a good chance of holding that spot until Aidan Sezer returns sometime around Round 23, unless the Titans decide to pair Albert Kelly with Maurice Blair in the halves when Kelly gets his fitness back, probably in a couple of weeks. Beau Henry isn't due back for another six to eight weeks. So that all suggests Mortimer will at least be a handy short-term cash cow, although it may be worth holding off until Sunday when the Titans confirm their final team.

From Waseef Rahman (@WRahman26)
How long is Macca out for? Thoughts on Granville as a replacement for Perrett?

The Broncos expect Andrew McCullough to miss 2-4 weeks, meaning he's most likely back in Round 18. That would mean Granville only has two games as Brisbane's first-choice No.9 ahead of the Broncos' Round 17 bye, making him a pretty short-term option. He should make money in the next two weeks, but after that might just become a low-scoring bench player again if he stays in Brisbane's top 17 at all.

From Joseph Coffey  
Who would you trade in out of Granville & Mortimer? I'm guessing they’ll both be playing 80 minutes each week?

Probably Mortimer, as he's likely to stay in the side for longer due to the guy he's replacing (Aiden Sezer is out for a few months, McCullough is due back in about Round 18).

From Sam Porter (@BustaJoint)
Do you have anything on the John Morris injury? I'm looking at Fa'amanu Brown to cashout option. Reports are Morris out for the year?

John Morris is officially out "indefinitely" with his neck injury, which obviously isn't the most helpful prognosis for Fantasy. Rather than Brown, somebody like Daniel Mortimer – who is cheaper and should start in the halves for the Titans this week – looks a better cash out option. Ex-Shark Isaac De Gois is also worth considering now that he appears to be first-choice hooker at the Eels, and Michael Lichaa is ahead of Brown in the pecking order and will start as Cronulla's hooker while Morris is out.

From Jason Hurley  
Got a dilemma that I'm hoping you can me help with. I am only worried about head-to-head and currently sitting on top of our ladder. I am looking to trade out S. Bolton & M. Mau'u this week. I don't know whether to bring in two half decent second-rowers or go for a Gallen, a SBW or a Merrin to go with a Corey Oates or someone? I currently have S. Burgess, S. Fensom & C. Parker in the row. 

In general, I always opt for a gun and a cheapie rather than two middle-of-the-road players. It obviously depends on how your squad is shaping up generally (if you can afford to get one scorer into your 17 rather than two) but by making the most of your cash like that you can form a strong first-choice side by the end of the season (which is what you want), rather than a squad of 25 pretty good players.

As always, double check the official team lists, NRL judiciary results and the casualty ward - plus the Friday late mail - before locking in your team. Best of luck for the weekend.

Start playing Holden NRL Fantasy now, get more hints and tips on my NRL.com page, or join in the Fantasy conversation on Twitter, Facebook or by sending me an email at iamthelonescout@gmail.com.

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