Scout Report: Round 17 teams wrap
While the Origin stars are away for the final time this season, a few NRL Fantasy weapons still remain for the tricky Round 17 bye round.
Remember, it's a bye week for standard head-to-head Fantasy leagues, but those coaches aiming to climb the overall rankings will be out to get as many players on the field as possible.
Make your NRL Fantasy trades and subs
Panthers v Rabbitohs
Panthers: No changes for Penrith. Don't get too carried away with David Simmons' 83 last week – he won't score four tries in a game too often. Apisai Koroisau (66) is scoring strongly in James Segeyaro's absence but he remains a short-term option as he'll at the very least share the hooking role with Segeyaro when the first-choice rake returns. Old Fantasy favourite Josh Mansour's price may have just about bottomed out at $309,000 after last week's 54, featuring 187 run metres, four tackle breaks and four offloads.
Rabbitohs: Greg Inglis is on Origin duty but there's a familiar look about the Souths lineup, with Alex Johnston shifting to fullback and Adam Reynolds, George Burgess, Issac Luke, Dylan Walker, Luke Keary and returning starter Glenn Stewart all capable of posting a big Fantasy score this week. Unfortunately cheapie John Olive isn't in the line-up for those who picked him up, while Chris Grevsmuhl is set to revert to a smaller role with Stewart back in the side. Adam Reynolds could cost less than $400,000 next week – making him a potential great bye for Round 19 (Souths have the Round 18 bye). George Burgess is back in the starting side and well and truly back in the Fantasy points business, scoring a massive 75 without finding the try line last week. Cash cow Aaron Gray meanwhile can't stop scoring tries and his price is still on the rise.
Dragons v Cowboys
Dragons: Rising Fantasy star Tyson Frizell is out with a back injury while Jack de Belin missed the Dragons' Round 17 clash with an infection and has been left out of their side again. Rookie Yaw Kiti Glymin joins the team on the wing with Jason Nightingale covering for Blues star Josh Dugan at fullback, and is a decent cash out option who will at least give you a few points this week. Mike Cooper is tackling his heart out these days with scores of 60, 69 and 67 in recent weeks and his workload won't drop with Trent Merrin (Origin), Frizell and de Belin out of the side.
Cowboys: Robert Lui, Sam Hoare and Scott Bolton come into the side for Queensland's Origin stars with Glenn Hall and Ben Spina joining an extended bench. Ethan Lowe is again set to kick goals in Johnathan Thurston's absence but he hasn't scored a 50 since May – although his 45 on the weekend was solid enough. Jason Taumalolo's rocks-and-diamonds Fantasy season continues and he's not quite at keeper level at the moment.
Sea Eagles v Sharks
Sea Eagles: Willie Mason returns for an otherwise unchanged Manly side, with Blake Leary to spend another week on the sidelines with a back injury. Daly Cherry-Evans's dumping from the Queensland team is fantastic news for his Fantasy coaches, and he could be one of this week's best scorers. He's a better prospect than Adam Reynolds – who misses Round 18 – with just one score below 40 all year and an average of 61 in his past five games.
Sharks: No changes this week. Andrew Fifita is in terrific Fantasy form, averaging almost 60 points a game this season, and could be the best captaincy option this week. Sam Tagataese was terrific against the Cowboys on the weekend but he otherwise hasn't been a Fantasy factor this year.
Wests Tigers v Eels
Wests Tigers: Robbie Farah and Aaron Woods are on Origin duty and Tim Simona has an ankle injury, with Dene Halatau, Manaia Cherrington and rookie Nathan Milone coming into the 17 and Jack Buchanan named 18th man. Milone's presence at centre means Chris Lawrence will stay in the second row. Kyle Lovett had a bit of an off game defending in the centres on the weekend but should improve here, while Martin Taupau and James Tedesco could be captaincy options if you're feeling brave.
Eels: Will Hopoate is in NSW camp with Bureta Faraimo joining the backline and Manu Ma'u returning to the second row this week. Cody Nelson scored a terrific 61 in his first game of the season at hooker but he might not keep the role for too much longer with Parramatta having the bye next week and Nathan Peats due back a week or two after that. Semi Radradra is averaging a ridiculous 63 in his past three games and is the only genuine winger who costs more than $400,000 in Fantasy, having now scored 14 tries in nine games this season.