Scout Report: Round 15 Fantasy teams wrap
It's Round 15 – all head-to-head Fantasy leagues are in action again, it's another State of Origin week and Fantasy coaches who have stacked their squad with players from bye-friendly teams could be up against it with the Rabbitohs, Roosters, Wests Tigers and Panthers all taking a week off.
Before you lock down this week's trades, make sure you pick a six-man team for Origin Fantasy ahead of Game Two – the top scorer for the week with earn themselves $500, and the overall champ from the three Origin games will win $500 plus two tickets to this year's Four Nations Final.
How many Origin stars will back up for their teams this weekend remains a bit of a mystery at this stage, but here are the key ins and outs from Tuesday's Round 15 team lists.
Raiders v Bulldogs, Friday night at GIO Stadium
Raiders: Josh Papalii is out with an ankle injury until Round 18, while Paul Vaughan is suspended this week and Reece Robinson has been dropped. Matt Allwood replaces Robinson while Jake Foster ($138,885) starts in the back row and Kyle O'Donnell joins the bench. Anthony Milford ($321,553) is due a big score after a couple of low efforts, while Shaun Fensom ($423,731) is one of those keepers you'll want in your squad by the time the Origin period is over. Jack Wighton ($277,412) has almost peaked after some big price jumps in the past few weeks, but he's become a solid scorer since switching to centre and could become a handy back-up option (if not keeper) in the back half of the season as a dual centre/winger-fullback.
Bulldogs: Sam Perrett and David Klemmer are both facing six weeks or more on the sidelines with injury while Aidan Tolman remains sidelined by the hamstring injury which kept him out of action in Round 14. Origin halves Trent Hodkinson ($317,222) and Josh Reynolds ($297,876) are set to return to the side, while Josh Jackson ($325,514) returns to his usual role in the back row after a disappointing 14-point effort in the centres on the weekend. Corey Thompson ($170,270) keeps his wing spot with Mitch Brown named fullback this week, and Drury Low comes onto the other wing.
Warriors v Broncos, Saturday night at Mt Smart Stadium
Warriors: Ben Matulino is out with a knee injury, while Nathan Friend starts at hooker, Siliva Havili drops out of the side and Ben Henry and Charlie Gubb are added to the bench. David Fusitua ($196,675) is making great cash after averaging 42 points a week over his past three games, but you've probably missed the boat if you don't have the winger already, while Konrad Hurrell ($346,277) and the in-form Simon Mannering ($360,943) are now two of the top three designated centres in Fantasy this year (with recent centre convert Josh Dugan the other top scorer).
Broncos: Fantasy stars Corey Parker ($351,027) and Andrew McCullough ($427,433) will both be out for a few weeks with cheekbone and knee injuries respectively, with the Broncos anticipating both might not be back until after the club's Round 17 bye. They're set to lose a bit of value when they do come back, with Parker having a break even of 70 and McCullough needing 90 to hold his price. Jake Granville starts at hooker in McCullough's absence, while Ben Hannant replaces Parker at prop. Cash cow Dale Copley ($194,44) is close to his peak price.
Sharks v Sea Eagles, Saturday night at Remondis Stadium
Sharks: The cavalry has returned. Todd Carney, Paul Gallen, Luke Lewis, Jeff Robson, Anthony Tupou, Jonathan Wright, Siosaia Feki have all been named, while Michael Lichaa starts with John Morris injured and Isaac De Gois now an Eel. Michael Gordon has been pushed out to the wing with Nathan Gardner holding the fullback role. Lichaa ($140,313) is set for a few price boosts with a break even of just 12, as will Gallen ($405,966) if he backs up from Origin II on the back of recent scores of 71 and 92. Tinirau Arona ($272,943) will get another price rise or two for the 13,239 Fantasy coaches who still have him on the books. Andrew Fifita is out for another six weeks after picking up a wrist injury at training, while his brother David has been dropped from the side.
Sea Eagles: Origin stars Daly Cherry-Evans and Anthony Watmough have been named to play, although James Hasson and Jack Littlejohn are on an extended bench as cover. Littlejohn ($219,581) will continue his money-making run if he gets onto the field, and the same goes for Josh Starling ($204,078) who also has a sub-20 break even.
Storm v Eels, Sunday afternoon at AAMI Park
Storm: Origin trio Cameron Smith, Billy Slater and Ryan Hoffman are in, with Tim Glasby, Joel Romelo and cash cow Kurt Mann set to drop off the bench if the rep stars are able to back up. Smith ($479,884) may be a dual-position hooker/half these days but his recent shifts into the backline have affected his scores, which will see him lose cash unless he hits 95 or more this week. Better news for Jesse Bromwich ($352,796), who has been a massive improver this season and carried the Storm in the absence of the big three last week – picking up a season-high 73 Fantasy points in the process. He's a readymade straight swap for Corey Parker this week if you want to offload the Broncos star. Dayne Weston ($81,405) is the cheapest player in the game if you are looking to cash out a back-rower.
Eels: It's time to sell Manu Ma'u after he broke his arm on the weekend, with his starting spot taken by Pauli Pauli ($220,610) who will keep rising in value after making his first 50+ score on Sunday. Isaac De Gois ($149,220) hit the high 30s for the first time this season after making the switch from the Sharks' rotation to first-choice Eels hooker last week, and should be a solid cash cow over the next month or more with a single-digit break even heading into Round 15. He may not play the full 80 this week though with Luke Kelly named on the bench. Jarryd Hayne ($400,125) is in the form of his life at the moment but may be rested again after Origin.
Titans v Dragons, Sunday afternoon at Cbus Super Stadium
Titans: Daniel Mortimer ($89,463) has suddenly become a dirt-cheap genuine cash cow option after signing with the Titans during the week, with the former occasional Roosters bench player set to line up in the halves for his new club this week. He hasn't been named in the official team list but expect to see him as a late inclusion on Sunday – particularly as the Gold Coast's alternative is to pair back-rower Brad Takairangi with Maurice Blair in the halves while Aidan Sezer and Albert Kelly are both out. Greg Bird is the only one of the Titans' Origin trio named in the starting side, although Dave Taylor and Nate Myles could also come into calculations pending injury and fatigue after Game Two. It's a good time to cash out Paul Carter, who started a two match club-enforced ban last week for drink driving. The Titans have the bye next week, although overall points coaches should keep in mind Carter will be eligible to play in the final major bye round the week after.
Dragons: The return of Josh Dugan has pushed cash cow Peter Mata'utia out of the side, while Trent Merrin replaces the injured Tyson Frizell (ankle, eight weeks) at lock. Merrin ($369,324) is a quality dual-position option to replace Corey Parker this week, albeit one who is backing up from Origin, while Dugan ($341,946) has scored two 60s in his past three games – although one of them did include a hat-trick. It's really time to offload Michael Witt if you're one of the thousands of coaches who haven't by now.
Knights v Cowboys, Monday night at Hunter Stadium
Knights: Joey Leilua is back in the side, along with Origin reps Darius Boyd and Beau Scott, which means Adam Clydsdale drops back to the bench and Clint Newton, Jake Mamo and Travis Waddell drop out altogether. Jarrod Mullen ($330,153) is looming as a cheap option in the halves if you're after a point of difference – he's in fewer Fantasy teams than back-up Knights half Michael Dobson. Dane Gagai ($263,610) is the most popular Knights in Fantasy this season but he could be on the chopping block after scoring a season-low 19 points against the Roosters on Saturday night.
Cowboys: Jason Taumalolo ($254,574) is back to the bench thanks to the return of Tariq Sims ($262,059) in the back row, while cheapie John Asiata drops out. Johnathan Thurston ($419,960) is in hot form at club level these days, pumping out 63 points a game, but with a break even of 68 it could be worth holding off snapping him up until the end of the Origin period. Ethan Lowe ($267,146) continues to pay back his owners handsomely and isn't close to his peak price yet.
Byes: Rabbitohs, Panthers, Roosters, Wests Tigers
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