Lone Scout, NRL.com
With Fantasy guns Paul Gallen, Trent Merrin and Josh Mansour still on the sidelines and the likes of Sonny Bill Williams and Adam Reynolds battling scratchy Fantasy form, it's a crucial time for getting your final trades right. The head-to-head finals are just around the corner – or have already started for some leagues – so getting your ideal squad together as fast as possible has become a top priority.
It's time to make some big decisions, so here are my answers to this week's Holden NRL Fantasy
From James Ling
Do you think trading out Adam Reynolds is a good move with Luke Keary looking to take away minutes from Reynolds?
Alarm bells should have been ringing for Adam Reynolds owners when Souths coach Michael Maguire dragged his halfback with 15 minutes left in the Rabbitohs' Round 19 clash against the Eels on Friday night. His replacement Luke Keary instantly laid on one try with a bomb and could be given a similar cameo against the Raiders this Monday. Reynolds is traditionally a very solid Fantasy player – he does the bulk of his team's kicking in general play, is a solid defender and a quality goalkicker – but if he's not playing the full 80 minutes he's not worth his $362,643 price tag.
The safe bet is probably to wait another week to see how Reynolds is used this week, but if you're happy to bite the bullet he could be upgraded to the likes of Cameron Smith, Ben Hunt or Jarryd Hayne, or cashed out to free up a lot of money to spend elsewhere.
From Chris Fox
Hey Lone Scout. I'm tempted to sell SBW as he has been underperforming for the last 5-6 weeks. What are your thoughts?
Sonny Bill Williams is a bit of a strange character in Fantasy terms – he was a good value buy last season and has averaged a solid 45 points a game this year, but he doesn't score like other solid Fantasy back-rowers. He's not a defence-focused player who will make 40 tackles a game. In fact, he's only scored more than 40 points six times in 14 games this year, with his other eight scores ranging from 26 to 39. He is capable of busting out big scores when he explodes in attack – see his 87 in Round 11 (two tries, one try assist, five offloads) and his 74 in Round 13 (one try, four tackle breaks) – but those are rarities.
SBW is capable of producing a similar score against the struggling Knights on Friday night – Ramadan or no Ramadan – but after that he could be worth upgrading to Paul Gallen, Sam Burgess, Corey Parker or Shaun Fensom. I'll probably hold him for a week with an eye on bringing Gallen in after that, but if you need another star forward in your pack now might be the time to make the upgrade.
From Jason Hinson
What are good options to replace Tyrone Peachey, with 15 thousand in the cap as well?
For about $300,000 in the back row I'd be looking at Ben Henry, who's averaged 60 points over his past three games, or Boyd Cordner who has been a solid high-40s scorer all season. Or look to free up cash elsewhere and upgrade Peachey to one of the genuine guns mentioned above.
From Nicholas Heffernan
Stuck on a trade! This is killing me! McCullough, Thurston or Inglis? They all appeal for different reasons but I really don't know!
I reckon Greg Inglis is the best value, but it also depends on where your team needs strengthening (eg. if you're short a star half then go for Johnathan Thurston). Andrew McCullough's a bit of a question mark with Jake Granville on the Broncos bench at the moment – although he's a definite hold if you've got him. All three are great players to have in your squad.
From Etu N Aimee Vaka
I need to trade out Merrin or Gallen this week Scout, who to keep?
I'd keep Gallen – he's more likely to come back sooner, and he's also been a better scorer than Merrin overall.
From Andrew Fiatarone
Hi Scout. Just wondering if Dave Taylor will also become available as a DPP available in the centres?
Yes the Gold Coast man mountain has been made available as a centre as well as second rower this week, with his move to the backline possibly being for the long term
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.
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