It's crunch time for NRL Fantasy coaches who are still alive and kicking in their head-to-head leagues, with a mini-crisis in the hooker position testing out those Fantasy coaches who are low on trades.
Here are my tips for Round 24.
With the number of hookers out and not many playing 80 minutes from those left, is it getting to a point where playing two hookers in your 17 isn't necessary? In past seasons, we generally had the goal to end up with Farah and Cam Smith as both played 80 mins and averaged about 60.
(From Manish Patel)
Great question, and the answer is probably yes. With Michael Lichaa, Nathan Peats and Issac Luke sidelined and Robbie Farah, Andrew McCullough and James Segeyaro all playing limited minutes last week, the age of picking two star hookers may be over for now. Cameron Smith is a must in the starting spot. There are other strong options around at dummy half (Mitch Rein, Jake Friend and Josh Hodgson are in great form at the moment, for example) but if you can better scorers into your side elsewhere there's no reason why you need to have a reserve hooker in your 17 this week.
Fifita for Snowden or Bromwich, or shift Gallen to front row and go for WGraham or Merrin who looks to be starting again?
(From Patrick Saklawy)
With Trent Merrin moving into the Dragons' starting side at lock this week I'd probably lean towards Merrin, but all four are good options.
Would you bring in Josh Dugan with any easy run home or Jamie Lyon with a harder run home?
(From Les Lamont)
Despite Lyon's sensational performance for Manly last week, Dugan is still the more reliable Fantasy buy.
Hi Scout, is Adam Reynolds a viable captaincy option against the dogs this round? His last three scores are 72, 73, 37. Thanks!
(From Michael John Hewitt)
Halves are always risky options as captains – like all backline players. I tried Reynolds as skipper earlier this year and got burned. It could pay off, but he's unlikely to have a massive attacking game against a decent side like the Bulldogs. When picking a Fantasy skipper I usually prefer a forward who will make 40+ tackles so at least should be safe from a low score, but if you're the underdog in your head-to-head matchup this week you might as well take a gamble.
I can trade Peats for a hooker or half. Looking at Rein or Thurston to bring in. Thoughts? Have Smith, Hunt and Reynolds.
(From Tristan Birkinshaw)
I'd get Thurston.
Who is CK captaining this week?! Who is CK bringing in for Lichaa?!
(From Robbie Wilson)
My fellow NRL.com Fantasy guru Chris Kennedy tells me he's likely to bring in Josh Hodgson and captain Paul Gallen.
Who are you captaining this week?
(From Daniel Schorn)
After being burned by a low score from Corey Parker last week, I'm back to Paul Gallen. (Now you can expect a massive performance from Parker against the Roosters...)
That's it for now, best of luck to your team – unless you're up against me in a knockout finals clash.