Scout Report: Round 3 Fantasy Q&A

It's another crucial week for trades as NRL Fantasy coaches puzzle over whether to ditch last year's best scorer or pick up the latest popular cash cow. Here are my answers to this week's questions. (Want your NRL Fantasy question answered next week? Ask your own via Facebook or Twitter.)

Is Farah a trade with Jason Taylor's strategy of resting him? This, along with Seggy having no Origin and is scoring just as well/better.
(From Joey Gibbs)

The Robbie Farah to James Segeyaro trade has been the most talked-about this week, following Farah's 37-point score on Monday night and his coach's confirmation after the game that the Wests Tigers skipper will continue to spend some time on the bench at the start of the second half this season. It won't be every week, but it will be some weeks – and that's enough to make Farah no longer a reliable 80-minute hooker and safe-as-houses Fantasy captain.

He is still a keeper though. One mediocre week doesn't make someone a bad Fantasy scorer, and Robbie Farah in 70 minutes can still score more points than most players in 80 minutes. Don't forget on Friday night Corey Parker bounced back from a 37-point effort in Round 1 to score 64 in Round 2, playing similar minutes (57 in Round 1, 59 in Round 2). I'd be stunned if Farah doesn't still average around 55 or better over the course of the season.

That means you should keep him, right? Well, the biggest thing going against him (apart from Segeyaro's super form and cheaper price tag) is the fact that he's got a horrible bye schedule over Origin, meaning he'll miss at least five games between Round 11 and Round 18. This isn't such a big issue if you're playing to win a head-to-head Fantasy league (with no league match-ups on Origin weeks, Farah would only miss two important rounds for you) but if you're trying to climb the overall points ladder you'd want to trade Farah out before Origin anyway. If that's the case, trading him out now while there's still a $60,000 price difference between him and Segeyaro probably makes sense.

Even though George Jennings isn't in the side with Mansour back, do you think he's worth a hold? Has played bloody well so surely should get into the 17 at some point?
(From Naly D Moran)

Jennings has been great for the Panthers, scoring tries in both his games and notching scores of 45 and 32 in Fantasy (with almost $50,000 in price rises), but he is still a back-up outside back at a club blessed with a lot of great options in that area. Josh Mansour – a Fantasy superstar himself – is now a Kangaroo and will hold his place on the wing for Penrith while he's fit, meaning Jennings will need to wait until there's another injury in the Panthers backline before he gets another shot. I'd probably hold him anyway – he's got a break even of -4 so the next time he does get a run he's guaranteed another price boost – but don't be surprised to see him biding his time in the NSW Cup for a while yet.

Many cash cows are now underperforming. What should I do with them? Granville, Grevsmuhl, Edrick Lee, and what happened to Kyle Lovett?
(From Paul Luckett-Smith)

Granville is a bench hooker so isn't going to match the starters for scores or price rises. Grab Michael Lichaa if you can. Grevsmuhl could get a larger role in the Souths pack with John Sutton out for six weeks – hold onto him. Edrick Lee is a first-choice centre for Canberra but injuries have been forcing him to play on the wing, where scores will always be erratic. Wait for him to grab a few tries and make some cash before moving him on. Lovett is purely a back-up centre at the Tigers and only played as a replacement for Chris Lawrence. 

With this week's trades what's priority? Replace my rookies that have been axed or replace starters that are not performing?
(From Sam Heyes)

There's one thing rookies who have been axed have got going for them in Fantasy – they won't lose value. That means there's not really any rush to trade them out, and certainly not if other players in your squad are leaking cash. It obviously depends on the individual, but if you can upgrade a struggling starter to a genuine scorer I'd make that move before trading out one cash cow for another.

Your thoughts on Shaun Johnson? Trade him before he eventually hits around $350k?
(From Iain Stanmore)

Shaun Johnson scored more than 50 points a week last season, making him a keeper in Fantasy. He's also generally been a little inconsistent, with the ability to post monster scores when the Warriors carve up and go quiet when the Warriors struggle to score points. I reckon if he's in your team now you might as well give him more than two games to prove himself – especially considering the Warriors are hosting Parramatta this week and they dusted up the Eels 48-0 in the corresponding fixture last year.

Loney! Your thoughts on Coote, and the odds of Rob Lui sitting out for a while with the Cowboys' half/fullback switch? I want Coote, but only if he's got at least four or five games in him. I know he's got good flair and attacking skills. Pretty safe at the back too...
(From Daniel Skeed)

Coote's a popular Fantasy option this year mainly because of his very low starting price ($137,000) and chances are he'll be given a decent run in the Cowboys fullback spot now that he's been selected. The first reason is he's a good player, having proven it back at the Panthers before injury wrecked his 2014 season before it began. The second is that the Cowboys have stalled at the start line this season, with a struggling attacking game despite the presence of the best playmaker in rugby league and a forward pack featuring three Kangaroos props – so it makes sense for them to rejig their other playmaking positions, which is why Michael Morgan has been shifted to the halves and Robert Lui has been squeezed out, with Coote coming in. The third is that Coote is coming back from a long-term injury, so even if he does struggle a little early on there's a good chance the Cowboys give him a little bit of time to find his feet. 

Whether he'll score a ton of points in Fantasy is another question...

With Moseley on the bench, keep or trade?
(From Ian Leach)

I'd trade. Moseley was always a bit of a risk this season with Beau Falloon a strong chance of coming back into the starting side at some stage, and with Michael Lichaa making good money and posting impressive scores (with 55 last week) that looks like a great upgrade if you can afford it.

What impact will the position change have on Myles?
(From David Booth)

The return of Greg Bird and Dave Taylor has a few ramifications for the Titans, with Nate Myles shifting back from lock to the front row where he's likely to make more runs, but will almost certainly make fewer tackles. As the vast majority of his points come from tackles, my guess is his Fantasy scores will drop.

Aiden Guerra: good POD (point of difference) is the second row?
(From Brad Asgar)

He's a great buy. I grabbed him at the start of the season and he's lived up to expectations as a busy 80-minute forward with the ability to make an impact in attack. Ethan Lowe, Jamie Buhrer, Simon Mannering, Ryan Hoffman and cash cow sensation Iosia Soliola are other strong back-row options for less than $450,000. 

I know a big rule to go by is "DON'T sell keepers" however I have both Andrew Fifita in the front row and Shaun Fensom in the second row and both aren't really justifying their price tags. I need about $70k to help upgrade Sandow to DCE. So would you rather trade Fifita for someone like Aaron Woods, George Burgess or James Graham? Or trade Fensom for Mannering, Cordner, etc?
(From Terence Hiamoe)

Don't sell keepers. The exceptions to the rule are if they have a mid-term or long-term injury or suspension, or if you're trading them out for the Origin/bye period. Neither apply here – Fifita is only set to miss three games through Origin this season with the Sharks having two of their byes before Origin games, while Fensom won't play Origin. Neither are injured. Fensom made an early return from injury which explains his limited minutes in the first two rounds – surely he'll be back playing 80 minutes soon – while Fifita scored 66 in Round 1 and is just seven points away from being the highest-scoring prop in Fantasy. Keep them both, they should both be scoring well over 50 points a week in the long run.

That's it for this week, best of luck for Round 3.

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Don't forget Fantasy head-to-head leagues kick off in Round 4, so get your 16-team competition together and take on your mates one-on-one.