Scout Report: Fantasy Finals Week 3 preview
The best buys heading into the third round of Holden NRL Fantasy Finals, with another $500 weekly prize up for grabs.
Rabbitohs v Roosters, Friday night at ANZ Stadium
Rabbitohs: Ben Te'o returns from suspension on the interchange, with Ben Lowe, Luke Burgess and Bryson Goodwin filling out a seven-man bench. Adam Reynolds was in sensational touch a fortnight ago, smashing out a season-high score of 81 thanks in part to two tries and six goals. He's unlikely to repeat that effort but is still the most reliable of South Sydney's halves options.
Greg Inglis (80) and Alex Johnston (61) were also in fine form against Manly in that game and are probably the picks of the WFB position in this match-up, while Burgess brothers Sam and George will be popular buys up front. Dylan Walker has been a genuine gun in the centres this year, while Issac Luke is a dark horse option at hooker if you back the scurrying dummy-half to make a few breaks or get over the tryline.
Roosters: Dylan Napa is back on the bench in the only change, with Remi Casty named 18th man. Like Souths, the Roosters boast a full-strength and very settled side, with star quality all over the park. Mitchell Pearce and James Maloney are both capable of outscoring Reynolds in the halves – Pearce hit 64 a fortnight ago and Maloney bagged 70 last week – while Boyd Cordner and Aidan Guerra are solid scorers in the back row alongside rocks-or-diamonds Fantasy scorer Sonny Bill Williams.
Jake Friend was solid in his return from injury last week with 40 but he averaged 53 during the regular season and is a safe captain/vice captain option here. If you predict the premiers to play their way into the grand final again, pick up a couple of their outside backs in the winger/fullback and centre positions.
Panthers v Bulldogs, Saturday night at ANZ Stadium
Panthers: Adam Docker, Kevin Naiqama and Sam Anderson have been included on an extended bench this week, although Docker is the most likely of the trio to play. Tackle-break wizard Josh Mansour and rising star fullback Matt Moylan are the leading Fantasy candidates for the WFB spot in this game, but the rest of this match-up is a bit of a lottery.
Jamie Soward is a standout in the halves, although he only managed 25 points in Penrith's surprise win over the Roosters two weeks ago, while James Segeyaro has a slight edge over rival hooker Michael Ennis. Dean Whare is coming off a 45-point effort but could be upstaged by centre partner Jamal Idris, facing one of his former clubs.
Bulldogs: Fantasy-wise, the Dogs should dominate in the forwards here, with James Graham as safe as houses, Aiden Tolman coming off a superb 75 last week, Josh Jackson hitting 58 a fortnight ago and Tony Williams charging to 52 points in the win over Manly. The tricky part is picking which two to go with.
Josh Reynolds (57 last week) and field-goal hero Trent Hodkinson are also quality options in the halves if you're backing a Canterbury victory, while Tim Lafai is the best Fantasy centre on show here and hit 71 points against the Storm two weeks ago.