We're almost on the home stretch of the NRL Fantasy season, with two of the three Origin games done and dusted and just one major bye round remaining. All Fantasy coaches should now be moving towards their "final" Fantasy team, putting together a strong 17 ahead of the head-to-head league finals and the crucial final rounds of the overall points race.
Now's not the time to be wasting trades though, so who should you keep and who should you sell? Here's my advice.
What should we do with the Burgess brothers?
(From Paddy Mclaughlin)
I'm holding George Burgess for now. You want your forwards scoring 50+, and George is still on track for that this year – even if his current bench role is making his scores more erratic than usual. Tom is a sell, although he will play Rd 17 so is still handy for overall.
Is it time to upgrade Lichaa to either McCullough, Segeyaro or Farah? Or should we wait til after the Origin period?
(From Robert Cary)
I'm holding Lichaa. At this point he's still playing big minutes and posting good scores. He's averaging 58 over his past three games and scored 59 last round. McCullough and Segeyaro are both averaging 57 this season and Robbie Farah's carrying an injury, so any trade looks sideways at this stage.
Is Fifita a good buy or he is likely to play Origin III?
(From Rachael-Robert Jane)
He's got a high break even (73) but should still be a good buy – especially if Paul Gallen doesn't play for the Sharks this week. Cronulla have got both of their byes out of the way now, and I can't see Fifita playing breaking into the NSW team for Origin III after seeing how well Aaron Woods, James Tamou and David Klemmer played on Wednesday night.
Cameron Munster: Good buy now Slater is out for the year? A moneymaker?
(From Karl Scott)
The ship may have sailed on him. He's still got some money to make, but has already played six games this year and risen $69,000 in value, and now costs $211,000, with an average of 31 points a game. So he's not a keeper or really a genuine cash cow. I'd avoid.
Hey I can't work out whether to trade out Tohu Harris and bring in Elijah Taylor, or just keep Harris? Before last weekend it was a definite trade to make... Tohu made 69 last week so would it just be a sideways trade? Another thing to note is Elijah plays in Round 17. Thoughts please.
(From Stephen Gregory)
I'm keeping Harris – I said last week he could bounce back into Fantasy form and he did on the weekend. He's still a 50+ scorer at this stage. Taylor is also a great buy, but don't swap one keeper for another.
Why has Jackson Hastings, even after scoring 42, not changed in price? He still remains at $128k.
(From Trent Dawson)
He's still at the minimum price because his scores have been so low, frankly. Player prices can't drop below $128,000 this year, but if they could Hastings would have been well below it because he's had so few minutes off the bench for the Roosters. His break even is still 36 this week, so he still needs a 40+ score to get a decent price boost.
Playing overall. Best trade out for Nathan Peats without using two trades is Jake Friend. Lichaa's my other hooker. Best to wait it out?
(From Toby Funke)
It's a tricky one. Friend has been a solid mid-50s scorer this year but has gone under the radar because there are half a dozen hookers (Smith, Farah, Segeyaro, McCullough, Lichaa, Peats) doing the same or better this season. Cameron Smith should be everyone's main target for that starting hooker spot, but his season average of 60 isn't that far ahead of Friend's 54.
You could get Friend this week, or if you can cover him with a decent bench player you could go for Smith next week. It's a line-ball call – usually Cameron Smith is clearly the best option as a set-and-forget NRL Fantasy captain, and he still might be after Origin, but Corey Parker and Simon Mannering have been matching his scores this year. If you've got those guys, you could just run with one of them as your skipper and get Friend now.
Burr to Hoffman a good trade to make $40k?
(From Kirk Davis)
Nope. Ryan Hoffman's a terrific player, but he's one of those guys (like Kieran Foran) whose NRL qualities don't necessarily translate to Fantasy points. You'd be using up a valuable trade just for a mid-30s scorer and a bit of spare change. When trading out a peaked cash cow like Lachlan Burr, you're better off getting full value out of him by bringing in a very cheap player ($150,000 or less) or upgrading him to a genuine keeper (50 points a week or more). Ideally, every trade target from now on should be a cheapie or a keeper.
That's it for this week, good luck with your trades.