We're six weeks into the Holden NRL Fantasy season and the big questions keep on coming. With Tigers star James Tedesco out for six to nine weeks, who do you replace him with? Should you keep the faith with Sam Tomkins, Luke Brooks, Sonny Bill Williams, Gareth Widdop and Elijah Taylor? Does Dallin Watene-Zelezniak have the best name in rugby league?
Here are a few of my answers.
From Tim Keery
Do I bite the bullet and get rid of Sam Tomkins and Luke Brooks now?
I think it's time to bit the bullet.
I sold Luke Brooks a while back, and have decided it's probably time to let Tomkins go as well. It's true that the Warriors were pretty terrible across the park against Cronulla on the weekend, but unlike a few other fullbacks Tomkins is not a big tackle-breaker so he really need to be scoring or setting up tries to score well in Fantasy. He's a bit similar to Billy Slater in that regard, but Slater plays for a better team. I'm leaning towards trading Tomkins for a more reliable option this week.
From Josh Arkwright
With Tedesco out, who do you reckon is the better option? Mansour, Widdop via Milford, or Idris via Wighton?
I'd say Jamal Idris. It's an odd time to be considering buying Gareth Widdop, after he scored a season-low 11 points on the weekend, although he is in my team and I'm keeping him. Josh Mansour's knack for breaking tackles makes him just about the best genuine winger to have in NRL Fantasy, but I really like the look of Idris this week. He is getting good regular scores, getting involved in defence and making big metres, and he still hasn't really got going (he hasn't scored a try or had any massive tackle break counts yet). When he does get back to his best he could be a beast.
From Harrison Elliott
I'm thinking of trading Widdop after his poor performance on the weekend for Anthony Milford? Thoughts?
I'm holding Widdop – he's still averaging 45 even including that 11-pointer, so you know he can score big when things go right. The Dragons were hammered by Souths on Friday night but are capable of much more, and when they win again you can expect Widdop to be back in the good books in Fantasy. If the Dragons keep losing he's in trouble, but until then he's still his team's dominant half, and a good goalkicker.
Milford is a good buy but his break even is 53 so he could be cheaper in a week or two.
From Adrian Ridgley
Hi Scout. I bought SBW as a keeper. I'm thinking the unthinkable, trading a keeper for a keeper like Sam Burgess. Thoughts?
Sonny Bill Williams is a tricky one this season. Last year he started out a little underpriced and proved a great buy, with a good workrate in defence and some great performances in attack. This year he's played two games (with a suspension in between) and is yet to hit the 40-point mark, while guys like Sam Burgess are averaging close to 60. The likes of Tinirau Arona, Manu Ma'u and Jason Taumalolo are still cheaper than Williams and are beating his average by more than 10 points a game.
So is he still a keeper? It's worth keeping in mind that Williams is not Shaun Fensom – he won't make 60 tackles in a game. But he is a real attacking weapon and tends to score well when the Roosters dominate games. In the two games he's played, the Roosters were thumped 28-8 by Souths, then pipped 9-8 by the Bulldogs. They only crossed for a single try in each game. There's every chance the Tricolours – and Williams – will get more chance to strut their stuff in attack over the next few weeks against the Eels, Sharks, Dragons and Tigers.
Plus if you're playing for overall points (or if your league continues through the bye rounds) it's worth keeping in mind that the Roosters play on all three major bye rounds when Fantasy teams will be battling to get close to 17 players on the field. (For more info, check out my bye round analysis article). I'd keep the faith for now, and those who don't have him should keep a close eye on his price in the next few weeks.
From Daniel Brook
Hey Lone Scout. Was just wondering would it be worth holding Elijah Taylor and if not who should I bring in?
I'd hold Taylor. He's still playing 80 mins or close to it every week, and is leading the Panthers' tackle count. That's pretty much what you want for any Fantasy back-rower who costs less than $400,000. I reckon he'll get back to 50s sooner or later when he gets some more involvement in attack, and even with his "mini-slump" there aren't many players at his price who are scoring any better.
From Marc Wells
What are your thoughts on Kyle Turner at Souths? Is he a potential cash cow or will he be pushed out of the top 17 in the next few rounds? And if he is a cash cow, do you think it would be worth cashing in Starling to bring Turner into my side?
I'm holding Starling – he's still got money to make (his break even is just 13) and Turner hasn't got the best job security yet. If you've already got a cash cow like Starling, you might as well make the most out of him before you use up a trade.
That's it from me this week. 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.