Disaster for four big-name stars while Greg Inglis hits top gear in a round that featured a lot of points – and a few headaches – for NRL Fantasy coaches.
Fantasy carnage as stars sidelined
Shaun Johnson went into Round 20 as the best NRL Fantasy of the past month, and he was on track for another big score right up until the moment he broke his ankle while scoring a typically brilliant try for the Warriors against Manly on Saturday.
He's out for the season and is likely to be joined on the "trade out" list by Wests Tigers forward Martin Taupau, who's facing a three or four-week suspension; Jesse Bromwich, who has been referred to the judiciary to face a biting charge; and Andrew Fifita, who's been stood down by the Sharks over an incident at a junior league game in Penrith.
The triple blow for Fantasy coaches comes at a time when trades are more scarce than ever, and is a reminder that if you're low on trades you are always best keeping a few up your sleeve for emergencies.
Stars come out to play
Several Fantasy superstars came through Round 20 not only unscathed by injury but also having recorded their biggest scores of the season. Ben Hunt (98), James Segeyaro (94) and the very much in-form Greg Inglis (90) all threatened to hit triple figures. Those Fantasy coaches who snapped up Inglis after the State of Origin series would have been thrilled with his past couple of weeks – scoring 169 points and jumping $70,000 in value in a fortnight.
Of the usual captaincy options, Corey Parker (84) edged out Paul Gallen (80) as the best bet this week – although Cameron Smith's 66 and Simon Mannering's 65 were both above-average returns – while Jake Granville (80) was superb for the Cowboys against Parramatta on Monday night and forwards Kade Snowden (78) and Elijah Taylor (70) both scored tries and made more than 50 tackles in losing efforts for their teams.
Daly Cherry-Evans was a surprise inclusion for Manly on Saturday afternoon just days after suffering a shoulder injury on Monday but he didn't set the world on fire with 41 points, while Rabbitohs Adam Reynolds and Dylan Walker – both popular buys last week – scored 66 points apiece in Souths' routing of Newcastle.