Scout Report: Round 4 teams wrap
Robbie Farah and Trent Merrin return while several key NRL Fantasy prospects face time on the sidelines with injury or suspension this week. Check out all the key ins and outs for your Fantasy side below.
Rabbitohs v Bulldogs
Rabbitohs: Sam Burgess has been left out after his neck injury scare last Sunday while Paul Carter fronts the judiciary on Wednesday night in a bid to be free to play. Rookie back-rower Jack Gosiewski is on standby along with Michael Oldfield, with Nathan Brown replacing Burgess at lock. Hymel Hunt has been a cut-price Fantasy success story in the centres, while Cody Walker and Carter are also making quick cash.
Bulldogs: Greg Eastwood is back in the side at lock with Lloyd Perrett the 18th man this week. James Graham came back to earth a little with a 40 on the weekend but remains one of the game's best props, while Moses Mbye is NRL Fantasy's highest-scoring player after three rounds.
Broncos v Cowboys
Broncos: Lachlan Maranta replaces the injured Jack Reed in the backline, with Jordan Kahu moving to centre. Corey Parker is a hold despite some mid-range scores to start the season (he's still averaging 49) while Anthony Milford is looking like a potential keeper – at a relatively cheap $404,000 – after last week's 88. Ben Hunt and James Roberts are worth holding, while Andrew McCullough could be traded to Matt Parcell this week.
Cowboys: The premiers have named their grand final-winning 17 again, and just like last season Johnathan Thurston is a keeper, Jake Granville isn't, and several other Cowboys stars (Ethan Lowe, Jason Taumalolo, James Tamou, Lachlan Coote) will be mixing big scores with low ones this year.
Raiders v Titans
Raiders: No changes for the Canberra side that drew with Newcastle last week. Elliot Whitehead again starts at five-eighth where he showed off some surprisingly silky playmaking skills against the Knights (and made his usual 40 tackles as well). Sia Soliola has made a superb start to the season but I expect his scores to drop down a little, while Jarrod Croker should lift as the Raiders find their groove in attack – most probably when Blake Austin and Aidan Sezer get back in a couple of weeks.
Titans: No changes. The Gold Coast have been impressive to start the year with two wins from three games but Fantasy-wise they have a lot of mid-range players, with neither Agnatius Paasi nor Chris McQueen making the step up to become consistent scorers. Cash cow Ashley Taylor is a hold with a break even of -2.
Roosters v Sea Eagles
Roosters: Rumours that Latrell Mitchell was carrying an arm injury and Jayden Nikorima could be dropped this week appear to be unfounded with both holding their starting spots this week. Brendan Elliot replaces the injured Dale Copley (pec, 3-4 months) and new prop Eloni Vunakece joins the bench with Ian Henderson out for the long haul with a leg injury. Jackson Hastings is a hold despite the arrival of Te Maire Martin as a rival cash cow.
Sea Eagles: Jamie Buhrer returns from a jaw injury for Manly but he's been named 18th man with Martin Taupau and Brenton Lawrence both included in the side despite likely one-match suspensions. Either Buhrer or Lewis Brown are likely to replace Taupau in the starting pack. Matt Parcell is the cash cow of the week after smashing out 77 points (including a try) in 73 minutes in his first starting berth for the Sea Eagles. Jake Trbojevic has been superb since switching to lock, and brother Tom isn't far off as a tackle-busting speedster – although a pricy option for a winger.
Dragons v Panthers
Dragons: No changes for the Dragons. Tyson Frizell is trucking along nicely with about 50 points a game while Euan Aitken is a possible a keeper in the centres if last week's 56 is anything to go by. Josh Dugan will be one to keep an eye on if he remains in the fullback role all year.
Panthers: Trent Merrin has been named to return from illness, with Waqa Blake also back. Elijah Taylor and Tyrone Peachey drop back to the bench while Jeremy Latimore is suspended for the week. Te Maire Martin was brilliant on debut with 72 points against the Broncos but is a riskier trade option than Parcell, with his starting spot not 100 per cent secure (he'll be fighting with Peter Wallace and James Segeyaro for two starting spots in a few weeks) and his points coming largely from attacking plays. Still, if you need a cash cow half this week, Martin is your man.
Warriors v Knights
Warriors: Cheapies James Gavet and Nathaniel Roache are out, with Konrad Hurrell named on the bench along with Sam Lisone. Rookie Jazz Tevega holds his spot at hooker but has been overshadowed by the arrival of Matt Parcell as a genuine Fantasy force at Manly. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Shaun Johnson are starting to find their feet, with RTS especially set to be available at a great price in a week or two.
Knights: No changes for Newcastle, although Sione Mata'utia faces a possible suspension. Cory Denniss scored twice on debut on the wing but his job security isn't great with an injured Akuila Uate waiting in the wings, while tackle-hungry forwards Sam Mataora and Jacob Saifiti are making good coin.
Wests Tigers v Eels
Wests Tigers: Handy dual-position player Chris Lawrence is out through suspension but Robbie Farah is back for the Tigers, with Dene Halatau slotting into the back row to make room for Farah and replace Lawrence. James Tedesco is the second-best scorer in NRL Fantasy after three rounds, and Kevin Naiqama has been the only centre to hit 50+ points per game so far.
Eels: Parramatta are boosted by the return of Manu Ma'u in the back row, pushing Kenny Edwards back to the bench. Semi Radradra, Corey Norman and Clint Gutherson have made great starts to the season and Michael Gordon looks likely to join them after an impressive 58 last week. Ma'u has also started strongly and could be a very handy bye-round pick up for Fantasy coaches chasing overall points.
Sharks v Storm
Sharks: No changes for Cronulla this week. Ben Barba keeps earning cash while Andrew Fifita remains probably the most reliable Fantasy option in the front row with 55 points per game.
Storm: Tohu Harris played in the centres last week and has been officially named there this week, but there are no changes to Melbourne's 17. Cameron Smith remains the safe captaincy option despite failing to hit the half century in Round 3. Jesse Bromwich was terrific on Sunday and his 57 could be a sign of things to come.