Scout Report: Round 2 teams wrap
Just one week in and there are already some big injury and suspension blows for Holden NRL Fantasy teams, with the most popular cash cow rookies firing and flopping in equal measure.
Here's all the big news to come out of the teams named for Round 2.
Sea Eagles v Rabbitohs, Bluetongue Stadium, Friday night
Sea Eagles: Cheap veteran prop Jason King ($133,100) is back for Manly on the bench, with rookie Josh Starling ($112,390) holding his place in the starting side. He played 50 minutes last week but still scored an underwhelming 23 points. Peta Hiku ($233,204) takes the fullback role in the absence of the injured Brett Stewart ($242,367) but neither player is particularly Fantasy-relevant this year. Matt Ballin ($344,190) and Anthony Watmough ($366,949) both cracked half centuries on the weekend, while Daly Cherry-Evans ($406,481) posted a disappointing 36.
Key injuries: Brett Stewart (hamstring, Round 5), Jorge Taufua (shoulder, Round 3), Tom Symonds (back, indefinite)
Rabbitohs: Souths are unchanged, having impressed against the Roosters last Thursday. Hat-trick hero Greg Inglis (76 points, $408,772) was the star and will be a popular buy this week (for those who can afford him).
Key injuries: Luke Keary (pectoral, mid-season), Tom Burgess (foot, Round 8)
Broncos v Cowboys, Suncorp Stadium, Friday night
Broncos: The Broncos are unchanged after a good win over the Bulldogs first up, with Andrew McCullough ($370,544) proving a smart buy with a 61-point effort in Fantasy. Corey Parker ($470,989) was solid but hardly spectacular with 53 points from 70 minutes after starting at prop, where he's been named again this week. Cash cow centre Dale Copley ($121,627) found his way to the tryline and has started making some nice money already.
Key injuries: Justin Hodges (Achilles, mid-season), David Stag (knee, Round 4), Jordan Kahu (knee, Round 4), Corey Oats (knee, mid-season)
Cowboys: No changes here. Johnathan Thurston ($406,777) scored a try, kicked four goals and was generally his usual brilliant self in North Queensland's win over the Raiders, racking up 85 Fantasy points in the process. He won't do it every week, but it shows what can happen when he has a big one. Jason Taumalolo ($243,032) showed early signs of being a great value buy this year with 63 points after playing the full 80.
Key injuries: Lachlan Coote (ACL, season), Hezron Murgha (knee, indefinite)
Warriors v Dragons, Eden Park, Saturday
Warriors: Cheapie Carlos Tuimavave ($110,543) has made way with Jerome Ropati ($177,000) moving into the centres, while handy dual-position back-rower/centre Ben Henry ($245,600) comes into the side on the bench. Rookie John Palavi ($112,981, 24 points) keeps his starting spot at lock. Sam Tomkins ($278,943, 35 points) was solid enough while Shaun Johnson ($356,013) was underwhelming in the Warriors' loss to Parramatta, although Johnson has always been an up-and-down scorer. He's just as likely to hit a 70 against the Dragons this week.
Key injuries: Kevin Locke (knee, mid-season)
Dragons: Popular cheapie Michael Witt ($120,666) did well last week with 31 points but is out after dislocating his shoulder, with fellow recruit Sam Williams ($265,600) getting his chance to make the halfback role his own. Bronson Harrison ($249,300) is the other inclusion, for the injured Jack de Belin ($251,308). Gareth Widdop ($279,091) was terrific for the Dragons first up in a 76-point effort, proving equally reliable setting up tries and kicking goals. Barnstoming bench back-rower Tyson Frizell ($365,347) was just as good, getting through 32 tackles and a lot of runs for 77 points. Josh Dugan is another few weeks away.
Key injuries: Josh Dugan (knee, Round 5), Michael Witt (shoulder, Round 3)
Storm v Panthers, AAMI Park, Saturday
Storm: Cooper Cronk ($363,300) is back from injury, although Ben Roberts remains on standby should the Kangaroos No.7 fail a fitness test. Ben Hampton ($222,268) is looking a savvy buy for the 7082 Fantasy coaches who have him after posting 60 points (including a try) in his first run at five-eighth.
Key injuries: Matt Duffie (ACL, season), Justin O'Neill (knee, Round 4), Travis Robinson (knee, indefinite)
Panthers: Jamal Idris ($290,700) and Tim Grant ($306,800) are set to spend another week on the sidelines, not that the top-of-the-table Panthers particularly missed them in Round 1. Josh Mansour ($298,008, 60 points) proved he is capable of racking up points from the wing thanks to his barnstorming running game, while Elijah Taylor ($345,890) played 80 minutes, made 43 tackles and scored a try in a big 64-point performance.
Key injuries: James Roberts (ankle, Round 7), Eto Nabuli (knee, Round 4), George Jennings (elbow, mid-season), Luke Capewell (toe, Round 7), Sika Manu (shoulder, Round 4), Wes Naiqama (pectoral, indefinite), Bryce Cartwright (wrist, Round 4)
Roosters v Eels, Allianz Stadium, Saturday night
Roosters: Sonny Bill Williams ($367,466) begins his three-week suspension after forgetting about the shoulder charge rule, with infamous Fantasy regular Mitchell Aubusson ($252,638, but don't put yourself through it) replacing him in the back row. French prop Remi Casty ($155,000) gets his first chance to impress in the NRL after being named on the bench, while youngster Dylan Napa ($112,981) seems likely to drop off the bench in jersey 18.
Key injuries: Isaac Liu (knee, indefinite)
Eels: These Eels proved they can play when they dusted up the Warriors on Sunday, although it's worth remembering they did the same thing in Round 1 last season. Will Hopoate ($192,194) scored 25 first up and will improve as he gets some more matches under his belt, while rookie Manu Ma'u ($125,321) looks a great cash cow after scoring 44. Wingers Semi Radradra ($202,834) and Vai Toutai ($189,386) did even better, but don't count on them scoring hat-tricks every week. Everyone's favourite cash cow Nathan Peats ($145,494) will sit out this week for a club-imposed suspension, with Kaysa Pritchard ($107,000) taking his place at hooker. Hold onto Peats after his strong 50-point start to the season.
Key injuries: Lee Mossop (shoulder, Round 12-18), Jacob Loko (knee, indefinite), Justin Hunt (groin, Round 5), Kelepi Tanginoa (foot, indefinite)
Titans v Wests Tigers, Cbus Super Stadium, Sunday
Titans: He's flown under the radar this season but Albert Kelly ($349,510) was the star of Round 1 in NRL Fantasy with a huge 92 points. A length-of-the-field intercept try certainly helped but the halfback also took on most of the general kicking duties, in a worry for Aidan Sezer owners. Ryan James ($267,300) has again missed the first 17 for the Titans but his chances of playing this week are improved by the thumb injury suffered by the Titans' record-breaking marathon man Luke Douglas ($298,008). He's in doubt this week, but after playing a now-record 195 straight games you wouldn't write off his chances of making it 196.
Key injuries: Matt Srama (shoulder, Round 4), Ashley Harrison (hand, mid-season)
Tigers: It was always a chance after all the hype, but Luke Brooks ($171,800) didn't quite live up to expectations on his first display as the Tigers' first-choice halfback. His lowly 4-point Fantasy score will have a lot of coaches searching for a replacement this week, but it's worth remembering the potential that made Brooks such a popular rookie in the first place. James Tedesco ($217,908) looks to be undervalued after an eye-catching 51 point performance against the Dragons, which suggests his form at the Auckland Nines could be the norm this season.
Key injuries: Curtis Sironen (ankle, mid-season), Tim Moltzen (knee, season), Tim Simona (shoulder, Round 3), Dene Halatau (ankle, Round 11)
Knights v Raiders, Hunter Stadium, Sunday night
Knights: The Knights were crushed in Penrith last week after losing their entire playmaking spine to injury. Concussion victims Kurt Gidley ($273,549) and Tyrone Roberts ($246,874) are set to return this week, but Darius Boyd ($261,874) is set to join Jarrod Mullen on the sidelines for the next few weeks with a hamstring injury. That means Gidley shifts back to fullback, with Travis Waddell ($196,258) moving to hooker. There's no bench hooker in this team, but with half Matt Minto and wide man Jake Mamo (both $107,000) on the extended bench, plus the possibility of Dane Gagai ($206,972) spending time at the back and Gidley filling in at hooker, there is no certainty Waddell will play the full 80 at dummy half this week.
Key injuries: Jarrod Mullen (hamstring, mid-season), Darius Boyd (hamstring, Round 4), Clint Newton (bicep, late season), Zane Tetevano (hand, Round 3), Timana Tahu (ACL, mid-season)
Raiders: The Raiders are unchanged after a tight loss to the Cowboys. Shaun Fensom ($414,610) was his usual self with a rock solid 59 points, while try-scoring forward Josh Papalii ($369,314) was Canberra's best with 67. Cheapie Jack Wighton ($164,558) has lost money after scoring just 11 in his first run in the halves.
Key injuries: David Shillington (rib, Round 3), Tom Learoyd-Lahrs (syndesmosis, Round 3), Jeff Lynch (ACL, season) frontrunner
Bulldogs v Sharks, ANZ Stadium, Monday night
Bulldogs: No changes. Reliable prop James Graham ($374,264) was the Dogs' best last Friday with 54 Fantasy points, closely followed by front-row partner Aiden Tolman ($329,855).
Key injuries: Tim Lafai (hand, Round 3), Damien Cook (hand, Round 5), Drury Low (hand, Round 4), Krisnan Inu (jaw, Round 5), Sam Kasiano (foot, Round 4)
Sharks: A few serious blows here, with superstar forward Andrew Fifita ($447,048) set to miss a couple of games with a shoulder charge suspension and Paul Gallen ($406,999) being ruled out for six weeks with ankle syndesmosis. Daniel Holdsworth ($130,198) was the best of the cheap halves this week, scoring 52 to secure a $23,198 price bump. He looms as a potential replacement for Luke Brooks, although Jeff Robson could still regain his place in the halves in a few weeks.
Key injuries: Paul Gallen (ankle, Round 8), Luke Lewis (shoulder, mid-season), Anthony Tupou (knee, mid-season), Jeff Robson (facial fractures, indefinite)