Scout Report: Round 4 Fantasy recap
The captain leads the way
Simon Mannering's outstanding Fantasy form has propelled the Warriors skipper to the top of the overall player rankings after the first month of the season, with the veteran back-rower getting a rare break during his team's loss to Brisbane and still managing 72 points. He's averaging 66 points a game and is still undervalued at $474,000 (Paul Gallen, sitting second on the overall scorers list, costs $534,000) so remains a great buy if you can afford him.
Rollercoaster season hits a snag for Ferguson
Blake Ferguson has had a big fortnight – the Roosters recruit turned back the clock with a two-try 64 against the Panthers and scored again against his old club Canberra in a 48-point effort on Sunday, but then came the news he would miss four months with a foot injury. Those Fantasy coaches who sold him before last week's big score may have been cursing themselves but those who bought him in the past week would be even more frustrated now – but that's Fantasy. You've got to roll with the punches and make the most of the trade now. Luckily there are a few cheap options available this week...
New cash cows grab the limelight
Cash cows aren't quite as cheap as they used to be, with the $128,000 bargains of the start of the season replaced by players costing around $200,000 now. Still, there remains plenty of money to be made from the likes of Wests Tigers youngster Kyle Lovett, who made 46 tackles and scored a try in his 68 at the weekend – his $195,000 price tag will rise a lot if he's named again this week. More than 21,000 Fantasy coaches are already cashing in with promising Dragons centre Euan Aitken, who has jumped $76,000 in value in two weeks with an average of 55 points a game so far. Broncos prop Jarrod Wallace is another guy guaranteed a price rise after scoring 52, while Cowboys fullback Lachlan Coote could be on track to be one of the year's best buys if Monday night's score of 48 is any indication. That score included two missed tackles, three errors and no tries, so there is plenty of room for improvement in a player still priced at just $162,000.
On the cheaper end of the scale are Titans halfback Kane Elgey, filling in for the injured Daniel Mortimer for the next few weeks (at least) and Sharks youngster Jack Bird, who played off the bench on the weekend. Both players cost $137,000 and should make decent cash after first-up scores of 30.
Time to start cashing in... almost
Player prices are based on a player's last five scores – meaning cash cows who have been consistent scorers will hit their peak price next week. If you haven't started to cash out a few cows already, start planning on who you're going to cut next week in order to free up cash to spend on the big guns. After the next week or two you should have your squad in decent order, and then it's time to keep some trades up your sleeve until you need to use them to cover injuries, suspensions, bye weeks, or to pick up the must-buy players. Until then, it's worth holding onto guys like Ryan James (break even of 21) for another week to get the most out of their price rises before moving them on.