Why you should pick your Test match Fantasy side now, the big winners from NRL Fantasy on Anzac weekend, and a couple of new cash cow prospects.
Test match time
Want two tickets to the NRL Grand Final? Want $500? Want to take a break from the emotional rollercoaster that is NRL Fantasy – while still getting your Fantasy fix? Then you want to play Test Match Fantasy.
You can pick a team in the time it takes to read this paragraph – just select six players (a hooker, a prop, a back-rower, a half, a centre and a winger/fullback) from the Australian and New Zealand teams, choose your captain and vice captain and you're done. Click this link to play, or go to the Match Day tab on the Fantasy app or website (Match Day is also where you'll find the State of Origin and Finals mini-games later in the season).
Check out the Kangaroos and Kiwis line-ups before locking in your team, and then watch their points roll in on Friday night. The NRL has a week off in the meantime, with hopes a few injured stars will be back for Round 9 in a couple of weeks.
Cherry on top
Daly Cherry-Evans put another week of off-field speculation behind him in the best possible way, leading last-placed Manly to a win over first-placed Melbourne with a superb performance on Anzac Day, featuring two try assists, 31 tackles, 510 kick metres, and a 40/20 kick for good measure. It made him NRL Fantasy's best performer of the week with 83 points. A couple of Queensland five-eighths – Cowboy Michael Morgan and Bronco Anthony Milford – were the next best with scores in the low 70s, along with the Dragons' in-form English prop Mike Cooper.
The surprise success story for a lot of Fantasy coaches was Titans forward Ryan James, who scored a try and got through a lot of work in his side's away win over the Warriors for 70 points. Corey Parker was the most popular captain of the round and he paid back the faith with 65, with the next most-favoured options Cameron Smith, Robbie Farah, Johnathan Thurston and Shaun Johnson all hitting the mid-50s.
Cash cow hunting
Titans halfback Kane Elgey is a player with a lot of promise but his start in NRL Fantasy had been a little underwhelming, averaging just 24 after four games with experienced halves partner Aidan Sezer taking on most of the general kicking duties. That changed this weekend, with Elgey putting on an attacking masterclass in his match-up with Shaun Johnson – producing two tries, two try assists, a couple of tackle breaks and 59 Fantasy points. He's now made four try assists in the past two weeks and has a break even of -7 while costing just $189,000. Beware he'll need to keep up those attacking stats if his scores are to continue (his base stats of 15 tackles, 40 run metres and 120 kick metres a game are still low) but on current form he should continue to be a handy mid-range cash cow.
Wests Tigers outside back Delouise Hoeter ($149,000) will be the other popular cheap buy ahead of Round 9. Listed at wing/fullback in Fantasy, Hoeter played in the centres at the weekend and made 18 tackles, no missed tackles, 112 metres, and three tackle breaks for a very solid 39 points. He's got a negative break even and is projected to make another $20,000 in price rises if he can hit the high 20s next time around.