Round 3 of the NRL season has swung around, with plenty of movers and shakers in Holden NRL Fantasy. With prices moving from the get-go this season, the cash cows are already proving fruitful while the slow starters have seen their value start to tumble.
So who should you dump out of your squad this week? And which in-form star should you bring in? Here are my answers to some of the biggest fantasy questions of the week.
From Dale White
Hi Scout. Two good questions for you Q&A this week.
1. Will Ben Hampton rack up any good quality points now that Cooper Cronk is back in the side? I'm thinking of seriously trading him with Pat Richards from the tigers (from a cash cow perspective and points)
2. Is Tinirau Arona worth keeping now that he has been demoted to the bench? Do you think he can still maintain his awesome scores as a cash cow?
Here are my answers Dale:
1. Probably not. Hampton was always going to score well in Round 1 with a decent share of the playmaking duties with Cronk out injured, and his score was always going to drop in Round 2 when Cronk returned to take on the vast majority of the kicking in general play (with Cameron Smith basically handling the rest). With Cronk doing most of the kicking and playmaking Hampton will still pop up here or there with a try assist or try, but it's very unlikely he'll get any consistent decent scores. I wouldn't expect his $228,220 price tag to go up much, if at all.
2. Yes. Arona should still get decent minutes off the bench for the Sharks, considering Paul Gallen and Andrew Fifita are still out, and either way he currently has a break even of -13 so he's guaranteed to make more money in Fantasy this week. Hold him for at least another couple of weeks I'd say.
From Brett (@brett_obrien1)
Hi Lone Scout, any recommendations with Simon Mannering? He has had a very poor start to the season with 20 and 30, jump off him ASAP or stay?
This is a tricky one. On the one hand Mannering is traditionally a solid fantasy scorer (in his role as a dual-position centre at least) and he is still an 80-minute back-rower which usually means good fantasy scores. It's worth keeping in mind the Warriors have been pretty horrible in both games so far so Mannering probably hasn't had the chance to score as well as he usually would.
On the other hand there are other players in the outside backs out there who have made a great start to the season, and are making money fast in NRL Fantasy. Guys like Josh Mansour and James Tedesco, if they keep up their current form, might be as cheap now as they're ever going to get.
So it's a bit of a 50/50 call on whether to keep Mannering or trade. I'd only consider it if you don't have two more pressing trades to make elsewhere in your squad.
From Zac Brodie
Hey mate, my WFBs are currently Tomkins, Hayne and Milford. You think it would be worth trading any of those for Mansour or Tedesco?
I wouldn't be selling Tomkins, Hayne or Milford yet, but then again Tedesco and Mansour are looking like great buys.
With attacking winger/fullbacks (like all those guys) you can expect regular scores in the 30s plus the odd bigger score. Even Greg Inglis gets a lot of lowish scores during the season. WFBs are never consistent scorers in Fantasy (they don't make 40 tackles a game so they can't be) but you've got to stay patient with proven guns.
I'm keeping Tomkins and Milford in my side (Milford is coming off a massive 76 of course) and Hayne is right up there with Inglis as among the best WFBs in Fantasy. He'll probably lose money in the short term, but I wouldn't be surprised to see him score big in the next few weeks either.
From Jai Kretchmer (@JairoK5)
Who are some halves that are a must to have?
I wouldn't say any half is a "must-have" in NRL Fantasy just yet. Obviously Johnathan Thurston is going great with 142 points from two games, and Albert Kelly's not far behind (expect another big score from him this week with Aidan Sezer likely to be ruled out of the Titans' side).
My current starting halves are Daly Cherry-Evans – a proven gun who is warming up with scores of 36 and 52 – and Gareth Widdop, who is one of few dominant halves in the NRL to cost less than $300,000. Cash cows Ben Hunt and Michael Dobson are on my bench and doing well for their price.
Down the track you'll want some combination of Thurston/Cherry-Evans/Adam Reynolds/Josh Reynolds/Aidan Sezer and probably Widdop as your starting halves, but right now you probably want one or two money-makers in there as well. Dobson ($152,638), Daniel Holdsworth ($148,144), Hunt ($191,976) and Michael Witt if he returns for the Dragons ($120,666) are the best of the halves cheapies at the moment.
From Ray Liufau (@RayLiufau)
Thoughts on John Palavi and Issac Luke?
These are two players who have been spoken about a lot this week as potential trade-out options, at different ends of the spectrum.
Palavi is a rookie back-rower who is a former Warriors NYC captain, who has been relegated to the bench this week after starting and playing limited minutes in the Warriors' two losses. His scores of 24 and 18 are nothing to write home about, but he should still make a little bit more money – his break even is just 13, and his minutes probably can't go down much off the bench (he only played 16 minutes after starting the game last week). I've got him and will probably keep him for now.
Luke's a slightly different story. He had a bit of a shocker by his standards last weekend, with three errors, no tackle breaks, five missed tackles and just 16 tackles, leading to a score of 18. While his price is nosediving, Broncos hooker Andrew McCullough is in the form of his life with scores of 61 and 74 to open the season. Luke is still a good player and will be very handy over the bye rounds for overall points Fantasy teams, but if you can make the upgrade from Luke to McCullough now I'd do it.
From Matt Lippiatt-Sidman
I'm likely to have some serious cash sitting on the sidelines this week in SBW (prefer to hold him) and Fensom (even if it's only one week).
...I am also looking at Kyle Feldt, after a good showing in the Nines, he has been poor in a competitive Cowboys outfit (admittedly it's all JT & 'Lolo), who is a good swap for him (centre and/or winger – I have dual options there)?
I like Tedesco as a WFB option, or Josh Mansour who's a bit of a tackle-busting machine and therefore a rare winger who you can trust in Fantasy. Feldt was great at the Nines, but it's always a risk to buy a winger and expect them to give you consistent scores.
For SBW & Fensom, it depends what you're playing for – if it's a H2H comp then hold them (especially if your H2H match-ups haven't started yet). It's probably worth holding them anyway now – you've already held onto SBW for one week and it's not worth trading out Fensom over a one-week ban.