We’re in the first round of the head-to-head finals, and the glory bound rounds for the overall players, but with an unprecedented injury toll amongst the top Dream Team scorers, the makeup of each team will be key to victory.
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.
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Broncos v Eels - Suncorp Stadium 7:35pm 16/8/13
The Broncos have a couple of interesting changes in their backline which could impact your team, namely Justin Hodges’ ($280,700) season-ending Achilles injury. He’s a definite sell if you have trades, although his replacement David Stagg ($231,900) or returning winger Jordan Kahu ($131,700) are probably only buys if you can’t afford anyone else. That change could also unleash Matt Gillett ($374,900), who spent more time out wide last week, resulting in some good attacking points. If you have the ability, look to pick him up as a point of difference in your back row.
No changes for the Eels, but Jarryd Hayne ($291,900) at five-eighth is a good sign for Dream Team coaches. He’ll have his hands on the ball much more often, and last week showed signs his running game is returning, while the added kick-metres are a nice bonus. It is also a good thing for Jake Mullaney ($117,400), who looked spectacular running onto Hayne’s passes, as did Ben Roberts ($286,300), although he will mark up against defensive specialist David Stagg this week.
Rabbitohs v Sea Eagles - Bluetonge Stadium 7:35pm 16/8/13
The only positive Dream Team news of the day is the returns of Greg Inglis ($343,100) and John Sutton ($385,500) for the Rabbitohs. Both have been consistent scorers, and should actually help the players around them, in particular Adam Reynolds ($378,100). You’ll have to make the big call on whether to sell Sam Burgess ($399,400) after he was suspended for two weeks, while George Burgess ($448,500) dropping back to the bench shouldn’t hurt his numbers too much. Don’t discard Luke Keary ($157,000) either, as whilst he’s back on the bench, he could still make an impact in attack out of dummy half.
The Sea Eagles have lost Anthony Watmough ($304,700) for two weeks, but the decision to sell him will depend on whether you’ve got enough trades and/or sufficient cover. If you’re able to, it’s probably best to upgrade, although if you’re only after a bench second rower, Jamie Buhrer ($293,600) would be a good option, particularly with a starting spot. Glenn Stewart’s ($239,800) reignited right-side combination might make him a good wildcard option there as well. Jorge Taufua ($294,000) has also dropped significantly after last week and has the ability to make BIG scores.
Raiders v Bulldogs - Canberra Stadium 3:00pm 17/8/13
The Raiders have named Terry Campese ($272,000) despite a facial injury, although be wary Campo owners as he is still awaiting final results from his scans. The big news is Shaun Fensom ($424,500) out for 4-6 weeks, meaning it’s time to sell! There aren’t any Raiders options who can replicate his work-rate, however if you like a wildcard, Josh Papalii ($371,100) showed last week he can be very destructive and get through good defensive work (37 tackles). Reece Robinson ($174,600) is again 18th man, but seems unlikely to get a run.
More injury news out of the Bulldogs, with Sam Kasiano ($238,500) and Greg Eastwood ($200,200) both out for a month. Upgrades to the front-row twins Aiden Tolman ($332,500) or James Graham ($341,500) would be the best option, although that would be quite expensive. Krisnan Inu ($263,100) is also a good wildcard option in the back three with the ability to bust tackles and find his way to the line.
Cowboys v Titans - 1300SMILES Stadium 5:30pm 17/8/13
Again no changes at the Cowboys this week, but Johnathan Thurston ($392,700) is starting to kick into gear at the right time, and would be a premium halves option at a lower price. Ray Thompson ($238,700) and Rob Lui ($312,000) are both in good form as well, averaging 45.7 and 49.7 respectively in the past three rounds. This is also the last week you can pick up Kyle Feldt ($101,600) at rookie price, and he could be a very good emergency player should someone pull out unexpectedly.
The Titans are unchanged again, with Luke Douglas ($304,000) back starting and Ryan James ($214,100) moving to the bench, although in all likelihood James will gain a starting spot again by kick-off and in that position be a dangerous prospect with a higher work rate. David Mead ($215,800) has also settled into the fullback role quite well, with scores of 46 and 80 in the past two weeks.
Dragons v Sharks - WIN Stadium 7:30pm 17/8/13
Plenty of changes again at St George Illawarra but it’s fairly bad news for DT coaches with Josh Dugan ($433,900) and Trent Merrin ($390,400) both ruled out for the remainder of 2013. Ben Creagh ($270,300) becomes a solid option in the back-row after his move to the centre resulted in just his second half century of the year, however none of the Dragons outside backs would be suitable replacements for Dugan. Adam Quinlan ($110,800) and Charly Runciman ($101,600) are both good options as NPRs if you think you may require an emergency replacment.
A couple of changes at the Sharks, most significantly Wade Graham ($272,600) missing the game with a persistent shoulder problem. This could be good news for Paul Gallen ($461,000) and Andrew Fifita ($541,300) owners, as they will be picking up the slack no doubt. Beau Ryan ($213,000) and Anthony Tupou ($303,400) are both returning after injury lay offs, however aren’t expected to figure majorly in the scoring, and as such probably aren’t great pick ups at this crucial part of the season.
Knights v Storm - Hunter Stadium 3:00pm 18/8/13
Just the one change at the Knights, with Alex McKinnon ($229,600) taking the spot of Adam Cuthbertson ($280,000) on the bench, although there would be better options to take up bench spots in your second row at the moment. Craig Gower ($159,000) is named on the bench, but would be long odds to play if Kurt Gidley ($306,700) is fit. Jarrod Mullen ($431,000) has stood out as a major point of difference candidate again, following his 83 against the Broncos with 68 against Cronulla. With his kicking game, you only need a couple of good attacking plays for him to be a force.
The Storm’s unchanged side again means not much movement on the Dream Team market for them either. The big three of Cameron Smith ($559,600), Billy Slater ($310,500), Cooper Cronk ($355,900) remain premium options, although if you’re looking for a point of difference in their team, Jesse Bromwich ($283,000) might be your man. He’s had a happy knack of finding his way across the line this year as well, more than handy in a front row option.
Warriors v Panthers - Mt Smart Stadium 4:00pm 18/8/13
The Warriors stuck with the same 17 for another week, only moving front row option Ben Matulino ($267,900) into the starting side for Jacob Lillyman ($233,600). Shaun Johnson ($369,100) showed his wildcard capabilities with 62 in a losing side last week, and will be dangerous again at home. Simon Mannering ($313,300) would also be a good option in the centres should you need to trade out Justin Hodges.
The Panthers have stuck with the save 17 again, although if you’re looking for buys out of this team, Kevin Kingston ($405,000) is your best option. With Robbie Farah still out, he could offer a solid return and a point of difference when it is needed most. James Segeyaro ($275,400) is in a similar position, although would be more of a risk for a lower price. Take a look at Isaac John ($158,900) as well this week, as he tore the Warriors apart in Round 10, scoring 66 in their big win.
Tigers v Roosters - Allianz Stadium 7:00pm 19/8/13
Only one change at the Tigers, and it’s not a majorly significant Dream Team one. Lote Tuqiri ($147,500) replaces Marika Koroibete ($181,100), with the latter to miss the remainder of the year with a broken cheekbone. Captain Robbie Farah ($464,900) is still missing, and they’ve named a seven man bench, as Bodene Thompson ($182,400) and Suaso Sue ($217,200) are in doubt.
The Roosters welcome Sonny Bill Williams ($336,200) back from suspension in the second row, replacing the injured Boyd Cordner ($406,600). Roger Tuivasa-Sheck ($217,600) is again at fullback, although his debut there only yielded eight points. Definitely consider Jared Waerea-Hargreaves ($317,500) as an option for the various missing front rowers, as he has returned from suspension in good form.