Scout Report: Round 9 teams wrap
A few big names return this week while injuries to Glenn Stewart and Jason Taumalolo open up a few opportunities for young guns at the Rabbitohs and Cowboys.
Broncos v Panthers
Broncos: Despite speculation Darius Boyd could be named this week it's Jordan Kahu back in the No.1 jersey for Brisbane, with Lachlan Maranta shifting to the wing and Dale Copley dropping out. Boyd did train with the side on Tuesday though so could be a late inclusion – keep an eye on Friday's late mail. Sam Thaiday has copped a one-match suspension and is replaced by Alex Glenn, who's back from injury. Corey Parker is just behind Cameron Smith as Fantasy's best scorer this season, while Ben Hunt and Andrew McCullough are the other keepers at Brisbane.
Panthers: Penrith have named an unchanged 17 but there are likely to be a few changes by Friday night, with Matt Moylan reportedly suffering a broken hand while James Segeyaro, Peter Wallace and Jamie Soward could all return. Again, watch the late mail. Elijah Taylor faces another week out with his knee injury.
Roosters v Wests Tigers
Roosters: Aidan Guerra and Mitch Aubusson both return, with Guerra bumping Dylan Napa back to the bench and Lagi Setui and Willie Manu dropping out of the 17. Fantasy cash cow Sio Siua Taukeiaho also drops back to the bench, with Isaac Liu returning to lock. Taukeiaho hit scores of 45 and 58 in his two games in the starting side, but averages around 35 this year off the bench.
Wests Tigers: Tim Simona is out for a month with an ankle injury, improving the prospects of cheapie Delouise Hoeter (available at winger/fullback in Fantasy) who starts at centre alongside Chris Lawrence. Keith Galloway returns from a shoulder injury to bump Sauaso Sue back to the bench. Hoeter will be a popular cash cow this week, with a break even of -2 and a great bye schedule for overall points. Robbie Farah and Aaron Woods are genuine guns but also Origin players making them no-go-zones for overall points, while James Tedesco has scored more than 40 every week since Round 2 and looks a great buy.
Raiders v Titans
Raiders: No changes for Canberra, with Jordan Rapana cleared of a cheekbone injury. Shaun Fensom's minutes have been down lately due to injury and he's still yet to play the full 80 this year, but is still Canberra's best scorer. Five missed tackles contributed to Iosia Soliola's lowest score of the season last round (26) but he's still a keeper in the centres at this stage.
Titans: Greg Bird is out suspended and Beau Falloon is out injured, with Dave Taylor slotting into the second row and Daniel Mortimer back in the 17 – now as a bench hooker behind starter Kierran Moseley. With a break even of 20, Mortimer's unlikely to make much more cash now unless injury strikes Moseley or one of the starting halves. Mark Ioane is the other inclusion on the bench ahead of Matt Robinson. Kane Elgey has been in great form and has a break even of -7, but produced what will probably be his best game of the year last round (two tries, two try assists, a line break) and still wasn't his team's top Fantasy scorer that round – with 59, compared with Ryan James's 70. Without attacking stats Elgey's likely to drop back to the 20s.
Sharks v Warriors
Sharks: Ben Barba will wear the No.1 for the first time in Sharks colours this week, with Valentine Holmes replacing the injured Sosaia Feki on the wing. Andrew Fifita is back at prop, with Chris Heighington suspended until Round 13, while Paul Gallen will be out for at least the next three weeks ahead of Origin I. Fifita was strong in Sunday's City-Country match and could produce some big numbers without Gallen in this side.
Warriors: Konrad Hurrell is back in the centres, replacing David Fusitu'a. Sam Tomkins is expected to be back next week, spelling the end of Tui Lolohea's run at fullback. Shaun Johnson was sensational for the Kiwis again on the weekend, and will hopefully carry some of that form back to the NRL for his owners' sake.
Cowboys v Bulldogs
Cowboys: Jason Taumalolo will miss four to six weeks with a knee injury, while Scott Bolton could miss a few months with a fishing-related hand injury and Tautau Moga is out with a knee injury. The reshuffle means Matthew Wright joins the backline, John Asiata starts at lock and Kelepi Tanginoa, Rory Kostjasyn and Patrick Kaufusi join an extended bench. Asiata ($161,000) and Tanginoa ($159,000) could be good downgrade options if they pick up some of the slack left by Taumalolo, while Ethan Lowe should also get more to do in attack without Taumalolo there.
Bulldogs: Josh Reynolds has copped a one-match ban, with Moses Mbye covering five-eighth as Josh Morris returns at centre. That's good news for Michael Lichaa's scoring prospects, with Mbye not taking minutes off him as a bench hooker. David Klemmer is also back from suspension at prop, but will drop back to the bench next week when James Graham returns.
Sea Eagles v Knights
Sea Eagles: Jamie Lyon returns from injury and is a straight swap for the suspended Steve Matai. Jamie Buhrer is out for the season, with Dunamis Lui starting at lock and Blake Leary joining the bench. Daly Cherry-Evans just keeps smashing out the big scores and will rival Adam Reynolds as Fantasy's best half this season.
Knights: Beau Scott returns to a familiar-looking Newcastle line-up, replacing Chris Houston in the starting side. Kade Snowden and Dane Gagai are the keepers at Newcastle at the moment, while Jarrod Mullen's price is set to drop below $300,000 next week.
Eels v Storm
Eels: Semi Radradra is back for the Eels, forming a new wing combination with Ryan Morgan as John Folau and Bureta Faraimo drop out. Isaac De Gois is back as a bench hooker. Radradra has a couple of great scores to his name this season, but almost half of his points have come from his four tries and five line breaks – so don't be surprised if he's back to scoring 20s and 30s in the next few weeks.
Storm: Billy Slater is back for the Storm, while Dayne Weston and Tom Learoyd-Lahrs replace Nelson Asofa-Solomona and the suspended Felise Kaufusi on the bench. Cameron Munster is 18th man, on standby for Slater. Cameron Smith and Jesse Bromwich are in great form at the moment.
Rabbitohs v Dragons
Rabbitohs: John Sutton is back in the side at five-eighth, bumping out Aaron Gray. Glenn Stewart is out for a couple of months and is a sell, but his absence has opened up a few Fantasy possibilities in the forwards. Chris Grevsmuhl starts in the second row and should see increased minutes, while Tom Burgess is a surprise selection at lock after starting at prop and impressing last round. That could change though if Adam Reynolds is a late inclusion on Monday, which would mean Sutton returns to the back row.
Dragons: St George Illawarra's best Fantasy scorer Tyson Frizell and their most popular buy Eto Nabuli are back in the side, with Will Matthews and the injured Josh Dugan dropping out. Dugan's injury isn't a serious one and he could be a late inclusion this week. Mike Cooper is playing like a genuine keeper at the moment while Trent Merrin still averages about 58 this year despite three straight scores in the 40s.