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Injuries hit a number of NRL squads hard in Round 8, and with Origin fast approaching, it’s not easy deciding what trades to make (if any at all) to improve your chances over the coming weeks. There are a number of bargains floating around, while other players look to have plateaued in price.
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 9.
Matt Moylan | WFB | $101,600
An exciting talent who looks to have held onto the fullback spot at Penrith (for the next few weeks, at least). While scores of 30 and 26 aren’t spectacular, starting fullbacks at that price point don’t come around too often. Moylan looks the goods - he seems to always be heavily involved in attack and he’s certainly not scared of getting his hands dirty. If you’re in need of some cash, he’s the prime downgrade option of the round.
Jorge Taufua | WFB | $267,500
Burst onto the scene last year as a great value proposition, and has become so much more than that. A consistent winger is a rarity in the DT trade, but Taufua is by-and-large someone you can rely on most weeks, thanks mainly to tackle breaks and metres gained. Also doesn’t mind making the occasional line break (11 so far in 2013) and can find his way across the try line. With fullback Brett Stewart sidelined for at least a month, Taufua might find himself as the Sea Eagles’ new custodian. Surely, even more healthier points returns are to follow.
Ryan James | FRF/2RF | $261,700
Many coaches might be tempted to cash in on the young Titans forward, but I wouldn’t be so quick. Greg Bird and Nate Myles are set to depart for their respective state sides soon, with someone needing to fill the void. Sit tight on James for now - his versatility as a dual-position player and impending increased game time should be reason enough. And don’t forget a fit Ashley Harrison will also play Origin and there’s every chance Dave Taylor might be there too.
Daniel Tupou | WFB | $198,000
Not the most consistent of DT scorers, Tupou must be a source of frustration for many owners. A towering presence on the field, his scores have ranged anywhere from 8 to 57 this season. However, with a BE of 18, it’s unlikely you will lose much on him (if at all), so if you’re willing to hold for just one more week, and have some finances tucked away, a swap with a certain Bulldogs fullback next week might not be such a bad move...
Tom Symonds | 2RF/CTR | $225,300
Was a solid cash cow earlier this season, but has seemingly reached his financial peak. While his versatility for the Sea Eagles is a massive plus, his DT scoring suffers when playing in the centres or from the bench. Hasn’t been named to start against his former club, and with another price drop likely, look to offload him this week.
Lewis Brown | 2RF/CTR | $242,100
Another player who is a victim of his own versatility (from a DT perspective at least), Brown has seemingly found a home in the centres for the Panthers. Moving further away from the action, his scores will likely continue to be less than those had he remained in the second row. Brown has made a tidy profit, but now is the right time to sell.
Round 9 Captains - players to consider
Cameron Smith | HOK | $526,700
Andrew Fifita | FRF | $436,200
Robbie Farah | HOK | $537,500
Corey Parker | 2RF | $489,500
Shaun Fensom | 2RF | $473,400
Wildcard: Billy Slater | WFB | $293,000