Scout Report: Round 25 teams wrap
Greg Inglis and Elijah Taylor are among some big names joining the casualty ward in a massive week for those NRL Fantasy coaches still in the running this season.
Rabbitohs: Alex Johnston replaces the injured Greg Inglis at fullback, with Inglis expected to be back next week. Dylan Walker could slot into the fullback role come kick-off though. Issac Luke and Luke Keary are back from suspension. Adam Reynolds scored 80 in a flogging of the Broncos back in Round 1, but he and Souths will come up against a much tougher Brisbane side this week.
Broncos: Brisbane are unchanged this week, although Wayne Bennett has suggested he could continue resting players ahead of the finals. Check back on NRL.com on Thursday for any news of late changes for the Broncos. Corey Parker was flawless last week with five tackle breaks, three offloads and no errors or missed tackles and is a good captaincy option again, assuming he isn't rested. Ben Hunt scored 37 points from kick metres alone last week, while Andrew McCullough scored 54 in tackles and didn't have a single missed tackle against the Roosters.
Sea Eagles: Blake Leary will replace the injured Matt Ballin at hooker (even if he didn't enjoy it the first time) while Willie Mason is back from suspension in the front row. Manly do have specialist hooker Jayden Hodges available and he could potentially be a late inclusion. Daly Cherry-Evans continues to excel, as does Jake Trbojevic who is averaging 50 in recent weeks and looms as a keeper next season. Jamie Lyon's average over his past five games is 55.
Roosters: A triple blow for the Roosters this week with injured stars Jaread Werea-Hargreaves and Mitchell Pearce and the suspended Michael Jennings all out. Jackson Hastings starts in the halves, while Jake Friend is unlikely to play the full 80 as he did on the weekend with Matt McIlwrick taking Hastings' usual bench hooker spot. Mitchell Aubusson goes into the centres. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck had a staggering 331 run metres last week and is now the third most expensive player in Fantasy behind Corey Parker and Shaun Johnson.
Eels: Tim Mannah returns from injury with front-rower Darcy Lussick moving back to the bench and Joseph Paulo dropping out. Semi Radradra is a decent replacement option for Greg Inglis if you back the winger to score a try or two against Cronulla.
Sharks: No changes. Paul Gallen proved to be a disastrous captaincy choice last week and could take it easy (by his standards) again if Cronulla dominate the Eels. Michael Gordon is in excellent form and is a left-field replacement option for Inglis.
Knights: A winning Knights team is strengthened by the return of Beau Scott from injury, with Sam Mataora dropping out of the 17. Tariq Sims scored 67 last week and could be a replacement for Elijah Taylor, although beware he relies largely on attacking plays to score well. Kade Snowden (average 52) is a safer option, albeit in the front row.
Bulldogs: No changes to the Bulldogs' 17, although Aidan Tolman and Josh Reynolds could be back by Saturday – keep an eye on the late mail. Damien Cook scored a try and had 49 tackles in a terrific performance at hooker last week and is a cut-price option if you still need to replace Michael Lichaa. James Graham is making up for lost time with a couple of 64s in his past three games.
Storm: Unchanged. Craig Bellamy would have given his side a tough week of training after their shock loss at home to Newcastle and the Storm tend to lift against the league's stronger sides. Usual suspects Cameron Smith and Jesse Bromwich are the safe bets.
Cowboys: Michael Morgan and James Tamou are out through injury, with Ray Thompson starting in the halves and Ben Hannant starting up front. Gavin Cooper and Scott Bolton also join the pack with rookie Coen Hess dropping out. Johnathan Thurston had a field day against the Warriors last week (try, try assist, line break, seven goals) while Lachlan Coote should again take on more attacking responsibilities with Morgan out of the side.
Wests Tigers: Manaia Cherrington is added to an otherwise unchanged 17. Martin Taupau is back in the starting side at lock and could wreak havoc against the Warriors. James Tedesco could also fire against a scrappy defensive side, while it's hard to know what to expect from Robbie Farah in his first game since being told he can leave the club.
Warriors: Jacob Lillyman is injured and Ken Maumalo has been dropped, with Bodene Thompson back in the starting side, Matt Allwood on the wing and Sebastine Ikahihifo starting up front. The Warriors' on-field struggles means the team is doing a lot of defending these days – which in turn means big scores for Simon Mannering, who made 64 tackles against the Cowboys and is probably the safest bet as captain this week.
Titans: Greg Bird is injured and Ryan James suspended, with Lachlan Burr starting at lock this week and Kierran Moseley joining the bench. Four Titans scored 50+ in their surprise win over Canberra in Round 24 but it's not easy to predict which ones will produce big scores this weekend.
Dragons: Jason Nightingale returns from injury on the wing for Justin Hunt and Joel Thompson replaces the suspended Jake Marketo in the second row. Eto Nabuli and George Rose are on an extended bench. Trent Merrin (70) is piling on the points at lock and Josh Dugan (51) is a great replacement for Greg Inglis.
Raiders: Brenko Lee replaces the suspended Joey Leilua in Canberra's only change this week. Shaun Fensom spent 17 minutes on the bench after getting a head knock against the Titans and had his first sub-60 score in more than a month, but should bounce back.
Panthers: Elijah Taylor is out for the final two weeks of the season with a broken hand, with Isaah Yeo moving to lock and Waqa Blake joining the backline. James Segeyaro will start at hooker with Apisai Koroisau playing at five-eighth. Tyrone Peachey is in hot form with 13 tackle breaks and 151 Fantasy points in the last fortnight.