With Round 23 kicking off tonight, the NRL Fantasy head-to-head finals roll on with the mediocre form of a few Fantasy favourites causing a few dilemmas in what could be a make-or-break week.
The toughest decision at this stage of the season is how many trades you should be keeping up your sleeve. If you're in a must-win head-to-head match-up in your league's finals series then it's probably worth splashing out on those trades – especially if your team is the underdog in your match-up. On the other hand, if you're confident of surviving this week (or have earned a week off with a win last weekend) then it's probably wise to plan ahead and ensure you have a few trades left up your sleeve for the final few rounds.
Would you take the risk of captaining Tedesco this week?
(From Brandon Scott Lee)
James Tedesco's recent form is outrageously good – his past five games include scores of 78, 55, 85 and 80. He's scored four tries in his past three games and could wreak havoc again this weekend against a Knights side sitting in last place in the Telstra Premiership and boasting the worst defensive record in the competition. So, if you're playing a head-to-head match-up this weekend against a stronger-looking opponent, it could be worth taking a punt on Tedesco hitting a massive score as captain.
On the other hand, outside backs are notoriously risky options as captains in Fantasy. Why? Because if Tedesco's not tearing opposition defences apart he won't be scoring too many Fantasy points. Between those scores of 78 and 55 mentioned above was a score of 23 against the Broncos in Brisbane. By comparison, a safer captaincy option like Paul Gallen has a season-low score of 43 and can usually be relied on to hit 55+. So if you don't need to gamble this week, I'd err towards playing it safe.
LS, thoughts on why Elijah Taylors' scores are average? Do I keep or trade? Five trades left.
(From Chale Hayward)
Taylor's scores pretty much all come from tackles, so he needs to make a lot of them to get a decent score. On the weekend for instance he made 39 tackles but scored just 38 in Fantasy. Still, he does make 50 tackles a game on average and on the odd occasion he makes an impact in attack he can score 70 – which he's done three times this year. He's probably not really worth trading out though unless the rest of your squad is in perfect shape, although with five trades remaining you're in a good position to trade if you want to.
Is it worth using two of my last three trades to upgrade Coote? He is the only weak link of my team for overall points.
(From Paul Knows)
Now we're really cutting it close. If you're going to be left with one trade left, you'd want to have some decent cover in your squad if an injury or two strikes in the last few weeks of the season. Remember, after this week there are still three weeks left in the season in terms of overall points, and two left in most head-to-head league finals. The safer move is to hold Coote and cross your fingers that his old form will return (he still averages better than 41 points a game for the season), but if you're absolutely desperate for points now and have decent cover you could take the plunge.
With two trades left and $90k do I upgrade Coote and who to? Dugan or Inglis?
(From Rachael-Robert Jane)
If you must trade, Dugan's probably the safer bet – he scores well regularly whereas Inglis has generally been quieter this season with the occasional huge score. Dugan's Dragons also have an easier run home (Broncos, Panthers, Titans, Wests Tigers) than Inglis's Rabbitohs (Cowboys, Bulldogs, Broncos, Roosters) so Dugan will probably get a few more chances to break the defe
I'm playing head-to-head and have this week off. I have four trades left. I'm thinking of upgrading Coote to Radradra and maybe Tohu Harris to Josh Jackson for next week. Good trades or is the Harris-Jackson trade sideways?
(From Ryan Jones)
Both those trades look like minor upgrades – Coote and Harris are still borderline keepers, although they've been erratic recently – while Radradra just keeps scoring tries and Jackson is in great form recently with 80 minutes a game. But in your case if you're playing head-to-head and have earned a week off, I'd seriously consider holding the trades for now and using your final four in the last two weeks of your comp. Who knows what injuries will strike in the next few weeks, plus there's a good chance your opponents won't have that many trades left so those trades could be priceless in your head-to-head match-ups.
With three trades left and $20k in the bank, is trading Ethan Lowe to James Graham too sideways?
(From Albert C)
On the face off it, it is a sideways trade – Lowe actually has a higher Fantasy average this season than Graham (48 to 45) but in recent weeks Lowe is scoring about 38 points a game and Graham is averaging 54. So form's on Graham's side, meaning it could mean a 15-point upgrade if those trends continue. Again, it depends how desperate your are for points and on whether you have depth in your squad to cover injuries now that you'll be down to two trades remaining.
G'day Lone Scout, quick question for Fantasy. I'm playing H2H and need to maximise points. Would you keep Granville, knowing his defence stats are pulled down due to reduced minutes, or look at trading him to Farah, Segeyaro or maybe McCullough? Cheers!
(From Kieran Collins)
Granville was playing big minutes in the middle part of the season (around 65-75 a game) but those minutes have dropped down to the 50s in the past month, meaning he's back to a 40-something scorer in Fantasy. You want your hooker scoring well over 50 points a week. Segeyaro is the best bet at the moment – he's actually the form hooker in Fantasy with recent scores of 94, 55 and 56, while McCullough is also spending some time on the bench each week at the Broncos and Robbie Farah's scores seem to be stuck in the 40s. Segeyaro's also a good chance of cutting through a shaky Warriors defence once or twice this weekend.
That's it for this week, good luck to your team.