Scout Report: Round 10 teams wrap
There is plenty of NRL Fantasy news coming from the Round 10 team changes, including the reshuffled Rabbitohs, Cornish's comeback, Segeyaro's return and more.
The State of Origin period begins next week – which means all Origin players will sit out Round 11 and there will be just four NRL games - so you should be preparing your squad for the middle part of the season. Keep in mind you can make up to three trades in the major Origin rounds (Round 11, 14 and 17), and that if you're focusing on your head-to-head league rather than the overall points ladder you should start saving trades now, as those leagues don't have match-ups on the major bye rounds (meaning you shouldn't panic if your team is full of Origin stars).
Bulldogs v Roosters
Bulldogs: James Graham returns from suspension in a welcome bit of news for those Fantasy coaches who have held onto him. Josh Reynolds is also back from suspension, bumping Moses Mbye back to the bench – where he is likely to take some minutes off starting hooker Michael Lichaa. Mbye could find himself back in the halves in the pre-Origin rounds if Reynolds and/or Hodkinson regain their places in the NSW side. David Klemmer has been in good Fantasy form but is back to the bench (actually named 18th man) with Graham's return.
Roosters: No changes for the Roosters after last Friday's win over the Wests Tigers. Being demoted to the bench didn't hurt Sio Siua Taukeiaho's scoring ability last week, with another 50+ effort, while Roger Tuivasa-Sheck is averaging 31 in the last three rounds but is a hold (and a buy in a few weeks if his price keeps falling). NSW Origin contenders Mitchell Pearce and Boyd Cordner are both scoring at 50 points a week this season.
Cowboys v Broncos
Cowboys: Ethan Lowe and John Asiata were the winners in the back row last week with Jason Taumalolo out through injury, while Kelepi Tanginoa got very limited minutes and has been dropped altogether this week. Ray Thompson and Sam Hoare join a five-man bench, with Thompson still battling with Rory Kostjasysn for the bench hooker spot. The fringe forwards should get good minutes in Round 11 and Round 17 with Matt Scott and James Tamou on Origin duty. Michael Morgan has scored back-to-back 70s, but that includes three tries and 10 tackle breaks in the past fortnight and before that his average was under 32.
Broncos: Josh McGuire is out for a week with suspension, with Sam Thaiday returning from his own ban in a straight swap. Francis Molo bumps Joe Ofahengaue out of the side. Corey Parker remains the safest captaincy option in Fantasy. Jordan Kahu has another price rise or two in him with a break even of 11.
Eels v Warriors
Eels: Brad Arthur has wielded the axe, with Chris Sandow and Joseph Paulo dumped while David Gower is out for a week with an ankle injury. Luke Kelly starts at halfback, Tepai Moeroa is back and starting in the second row and Pauli Pauli joins the bench.
Warriors: Konrad Hurrell has copped a three-match ban for the lifted knee that shattered Anthony Tupou's jaw, with Dominique Peyroux getting a run in the centres and Sione Lousi joining a five-man bench. Sam Tomkins will be held back until Round 12, with the Warriors having the bye next week.
Titans v Sharks
Titans: No changes for the Titans this week. Ryan James continues to produce good scores and more price rises, while Lachlan Burr has emerged as a handy cash cow after playing the full 80 minutes at lock last week. He should keep that up while Greg Bird continues to serve his eight-game ban.
Sharks: David Fifita, Michael Gordon and Blake Ayshford are in, with Anthony Tupou out indefinitely with his broken jaw, Mitch Brown drops off the wing and Ricky Leutele makes way for Ayshford in the centres. Andrew Fifita is back to his best, averaging 31 tackles, six tackle breaks, 220+ metres and 71 points in the past couple of rounds without Paul Gallen in the Cronulla side. Jack Bird's price rises may have just about come to an end but with an average of 46 he's probably a keeper in the centres anyway.
Storm v Rabbitohs
Storm: No changes for Melbourne this week, although Tohu Harris must be in some doubt after limping off the field with an ankle injury on the weekend. Rookie Christian Welch is a new bargain-basement option in the forwards, although he only scored 13 in his debut off the bench at the weekend. Cameron Smith is a keeper over the Origin period as he'll only miss the minimum three games (like most Origin players).
Rabbitohs: Adam Reynolds' successful return from injury on Monday didn't turn out to be so successful after all, with the halfback suffering a broken thumb that could sideline him for another six weeks. There were fears John Sutton could also be out for some time with an eye injury but he's been cleared of serious damage and is named in the halves, allowing Chris Grevsmuhl to start in the second row. Issac Luke was demoted to the bench on Monday and he's again been named there, with Cameron McInness starting. "It was just a bit of a change up tonight and I thought it went well," Michael Maguire said about the move on Monday, insisting it was unrelated to Luke's decision to join the Warriors next season. Aaron Gray got a nice score last week thanks to a couple of tries and will be a popular cheapie, especially for overall points coaches chasing cheap bye-round coverage.
Dragons v Raiders
Dragons: No changes, with Josh Dugan getting the No.1 jersey back after being a late inclusion on Monday and pretty much playing his way into the NSW fullback role. Popular Fantasy buy Eto Nabuli is out of the side at the moment, but having only risen to $145,000 he might not even be worth trading out.
Raiders: Sam Williams is out with a collapsed lung, meaning Mitch Cornish is back in the side. With a break even of seven, Cornish's return is handy for those who have held onto him but he's not expected to be there for too long so he's not a buy. Bench forward Mark Nicholls has a negative break even but is at a tricky price of $172,000.
Knights v Wests Tigers:
Knights: Dane Gagai played fullback at the weekend and has been named there again, with Sione Mata'utia likewise officially named at centre. Jarrod Mullen is again out of the side with a foot injury that has the Knights stumped. Jack Stockwell is back, and Joseph Tapine drops to 18th man. Tariq Sims is coming off two straight 60+ efforts and is emerging as a point-of-difference buy.
Wests Tigers: No changes for the Tigers this week. Martin Taupau has had a quiet trot in Fantasy but is still getting the minutes, so when he gets amongst the tackle breaks again the points should follow. Cash cow Kyle Lovett is back in the good books with 48 at the weekend and is worth keeping – particularly for overall points over the bye rounds. Robbie Farah has a high break even and will be a sell before Round 11 if you're aiming to climb the overall rankings.
Sea Eagles v Panthers
Sea Eagles: Steve Matai is back from suspension, bumping Peta Hiku to the wing and David Williams out of the side. Daly Cherry-Evans is in super form. Blake Leary played 80 minutes in the back row last week in a reshuffled side with Kieran Foran out, and scored a superb 63. He's already jumped $60,000 in price this year but is still just under $200,000 so could be a handy mid-range cash cow.
Panthers: James Segeyaro is back and could be set to play the full 80 at hooker with Apisai Koroisau covering for Peter Wallace in the halves. Tyrone Peachey will miss a couple of matches with suspension. Elijah Taylor is back and hitting 50s, while Waqa Blake and George Jennings still have a little more cash to make.