The week's big performers, who to cut ahead of Round 18 and your last chance to make some cash in Origin Fantasy for 2015.
Origin Fantasy – pick six, win $500
This is your last chance to win big with Origin Fantasy in 2015, and you're still in the running even if you haven't played yet this season. The Fantasy coach who picks the best six-man line-up from Wednesday's State of Origin decider will win $500, and the coach who has scored the most combined points across all three Origin matches will win another $500 plus two Category 1 tickets to this year's NRL Grand Final.
Remember, the captaincy and vice captaincy decisions are key in Origin Fantasy, with your skipper earning triple points and vice captain earning double.
The week's big performers
In a week where the majority of the NRL's players – including all Origin stars – were sitting on the sidelines, thankfully a few NRL Fantasy favourites stepped up with big performances in Round 17.
James Tedesco was busting tackles for fun in a losing effort for the Wests Tigers against Parramatta on Monday night, adding three offloads, a line break, a slick try assist and 222 run metres for a round-high 78 points. Former Fantasy cheapie Euan Aitken cemented his role as a keeper this season with 72 points including a try and 33 tackles, while his Dragons teammate Mitch Rein (77) was the best hooker of the weekend, ahead of Jake Granville (65) and Issac Luke (63).
Andrew Fifita was my pick for captain at the weekend and he lived up to expectations with 70 including two tries, while my best buy of the week Mike Cooper continued his strong recent run with 61 thanks to 55 tackles. Dragons' cheapie Jake Marketo also proved to be a great buy for the week, moving into the starting side and scoring 51 points through base stats.
Time to sell
The Rabbitohs, Eels and Wests Tigers were the clubs that served Fantasy coaches best over the major bye rounds – playing in Round 11, 14 and 17 – but they all have their second bye of the season this week along with the North Queensland Cowboys. Fantasy coaches who loaded up on players from these clubs in order to score well over the bye rounds could now be struggling to field a strong 17 this week, meaning it's time to cut ties with any non-keepers who aren't in action this week.
Rabbitohs cash cow Aaron Gray had his first price drop of the season after scoring 11 in Round 17 and is time to be upgraded, along with the likes of Chris Grevsmuhl, Mitchell Moses, Luke Keary and Tom Burgess. Kyle Lovett could be a sell as well, although he continues to be a solid scorer in the Tigers' starting pack with Curtis Sironen sidelined indefinitely.
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