Scout Report: Round 2 teams wrap
The injury toll was high and the Fantasy scores were low in a tough first week of the new NRL season, but it's all about making the smart trades now for your NRL Fantasy team. Here's the Lone Scout's guide to all the key team changes ahead of Round 2.
Panthers: James Segeyaro is a must-trade after breaking his arm in Round 1, with Tyrone Peachey slotting into the hooker role and Elijah Taylor returning to the bench after being dropped last week. Rookie prop James Fisher-Harris will come off the bench again after being a late inclusion last week. The early signs are Bryce Cartwright will be an 80-minute player this year while Trent Merrin started the season with a very solid 54 Fantasy points from lock.
Bulldogs: Chase Stanley's hamstring injury means Kerrod Holland will make his NRL debut in the centres, while Craig Garvey is the man to replace the injured Michael Lichaa (knee) at hooker. An update on Lichaa's return date is expected on Wednesday – if he's out for six or more weeks then Garvey looks a tempting trade-in option. David Klemmer returns on the bench and could cut into the minutes of James Graham, who was superb last week playing 70+ minutes after an injury to bench prop Adam Elliott.
Broncos: Jack Reed returns in place of the injured Jordan Kahu (calf) in the only change although James Roberts is in doubt, with rookie centre Marion Seve a chance of making his debut. Greg Eden scored a meagre 3 Fantasy points against the Eels after four errors but has kept his spot thanks to Kahu's injury. Corey Parker missed a few goals last week and still managed 50 points, while Ben Hunt should improve on last week's 29 points against the Eels.
Warriors: Ben Henry is set for another long stint on the sidelines with his latest knee injury, with Raymond Faitala-Mariner joining the bench and Bodene Thompson moving into the starting side. Henry is obviously worth trading at some stage but with his small price tag you can wait a week if you've got more pressing problems in your squad. Simon Mannering (83) was enormous for his team last week while Shaun Johnson scored a trademark solo try to take his score to 62 against the Tigers.
Raiders: Canberra have lost both starting halves Blake Austin and Aidan Sezer for about six weeks, with rookie Lachlan Croker to pair with Sam Williams in the playmaking roles this week. Shaun Fensom (71) was great for the Raiders last Saturday but didn't play huge minutes, with the big minutes in the pack going to Josh Papalii and Elliot Whitehead instead.
Roosters: Daniel Tupou returns this week but Fantasy coaches will be happy to see rookie Latrell Mitchell keep his spot on the wing despite a quiet game against Souths, with Joe Burgess dropping back to the extended bench despite scoring a couple of tries on Sunday. Expect to see more attacking stats for the Roosters this week against Canberra.
Rabbitohs: Adam Reynolds (jaw) is out for 6-12 weeks and John Sutton (pectoral) won't be back until the second half of the season, while Luke Keary and George Burgess return from suspension to take their places in the starting side. Sam Burgess could get a score boost after moving to lock, while cheapies Cody Walker and Paul Carter suddenly have excellent job security in the starting side following the injuries to Reynolds and Sutton.
Knights: Nathan Brown continues to pull no punches with his team selection, dropping Kade Snowden to a six-man bench after Newcastle's loss to the Titans. Snowden is not cheap in Fantasy after producing good numbers last year, but he looks like a trade-out option now if you've got him. Meanwhile Danny Levi, Lachlan Fitzgibbon and Sione Mata'utia are also on the extended bench, with Levi's presence meaning Tyler Randell is very unlikely to play the full 80 minutes at hooker as he did last weekend.
Eels: Kieran Foran is back from his hamstring injury, bumping Luke Kelly out of the halves, and Corey Norman has also been named despite leaving the field with a neck injury last week. Danny Wicks has been added to the bench, with Daniel Alvaro the 18th man. Popular cash cow Clint Gutherson (36) made a promising start to the season against Brisbane while Michael Gordon and Semi Radradra should see more attacking stats when they play weaker teams... although the Cowboys aren't one of them.
Cowboys: North Queensland are again able to name their grand final-winning 17 from 2015. Ethan Lowe (85) was terrific last Saturday, but generally speaking the consistency of the Cowboys side means you get what you pay for when picking their players in Fantasy.
Sharks: Paul Gallen is out for about a month with a knee injury, with Jayson Bukuya starting in his place at lock, while Chris Heighington's suspension means Gerard Beale and Joseph Paulo join the bench. Jack Bird scored 63 in his first NRL game in the centres while Ben Barba didn't do too much against the Cowboys but has started making money for Fantasy coaches anyway.
Dragons: No major changes for the Red V, with Jack de Belin named on the bench as he was last Tuesday before being a late inclusion in the starting side (and playing 76 minutes). With the Fantasy points spread pretty evenly amongst the forward pack on Monday night Russell Packer (37) was the only real winner, with the rest of the big men dropping in value.
Storm: No changes for Melbourne. Marika Koroibete went big with a couple of tries against the Dragons, but always be wary of a single big Fantasy score from a winger. Cameron Smith (52) and Jesse Bromwich (46) both scored a little under expectations but are established keepers so expect those numbers to go up.
Titans: Luke Douglas and Will Zillman are back but both have just been added to an extended bench at this stage, with the actual make-up of the team to be decided on Sunday. Agnatius Paasi (57) made a great start to the season (although beware his score includes a try) while less than 1000 Fantasy coaches own Zeb Taia (49). But the real success story was Greg Bird (61) who ran the show against the Knigths and finished with a couple of try assists. It's hard to see him dominating in the same way against the Storm in Melbourne though.
Tigers: Luke Brooks and Dene Halatau return from suspension, with Brooks starting at halfback and Dene Halatau starting at hooker, with Kyle Lovett returning to the bench. Manaia Cherrington was shifted to the bench before kickoff last week and isn't going to be the cash cow some Fantasy coaches hoped for. Aaron Woods managed 44 points last week despite the try-fest against the Warriors being a game tailor-made for the backs, while James Tedesco (55) kicked off the year with a couple of tries.
Sea Eagles: Trent Barrett has reshuffled his forward pack, with Nathan Green dropping back to the bench, Brenton Lawrence joining the 17, Josh Starling starting up front and Jake Trbojevic moving to lock – where he's likely to get a bit of attention from Fantasy coaches after last week's 56. Matt Parcell is still in a lot of teams but only managed 29 from the interchange last week, while Daly Cherry-Evans didn't produce much in attack against the Bulldogs and still managed 50 points thanks to 34 tackles.