Scout Report: Round 5 teams wrap
NRL.com's Lone Scout analyses all the key ins, outs and Fantasy news to come from the Round 5 NRL team lists.
Sea Eagles: Manly have named Apisai Koroisau at halfback in place of the injured Daly Cherry-Evans (ankle, four weeks), which if anything just bolsters the job security of hooker Matt Parcell – with Koroisau unlikely to take minutes off him anytime soon. Cherry-Evans is probably a sell, although there is some merit in holding him if you have decent cover, rate him as a long-term keeper and have more pressing trades to make. Parcell jumped $49,000 in value this week while Jake Trbojevic remains in keeper territory with 53 points a game. Brenton Lawrence already looked good value at prop and is an even safer bet now he's in the starting side.
Rabbitohs: The return of Sam Burgess is great news for Fantasy coaches and Rabbitohs fans, with the Souths pack outclassed by the Bulldogs last week without him. He's in at prop, with Paul Carter dropped to 18th man after an error-riddled performance in Round 4. Don't trade Carter out yet, but sub him out of your 17 for now if you've got him. Cody Walker, Hymel Hunt and Carter are all well past $100,000 in price rises this year and still going, with Hunt looking like a keeper in the centres.
Titans: Nathan Friend's return means Daniel Mortimer shifts back to the bench after running up a big score in the starting hooker spot in Round 4. Ryan James smashed out an excellent 77 last week – bolstered by a try and two try saves – while Ashley Taylor has another few price rises in him. Agnatius Paasi dropped $10,000 in value after a season-low score of 19 from 33 minutes and is a sell.
Broncos: Corey Oates and Jack Reed return and bump out Greg Eden and Lachlan Maranta. Anthony Milford is in stupendous form and is the best scorer in NRL Fantasy so far this season with a whopping 63.5 points per game. Beware though – about 40 of those points each week are coming from attacking stats, with the Brisbane No.6 having scored four tries and hit three field goals in the opening four weeks of the season. He's always going to make some impact in attack but with base stats accounting for just 28 points per game (in tackles, metres gained and kick metres) he's always capable of producing the occasional 30-point effort. Corey Parker has dropped almost $50K on his starting price and is back in Fantasy form with a 69 last week.
Storm: Cheapie Curtis Scott is out for about six weeks with a leg injury, with Ben Hampton slotting into the centres this week. There's no need to panic about Cameron Smith, who is scoring lower than usual to start the year but still hitting a reliable 57 points a game.
Knights: Sione Mata'utia is back from suspension and bumps Jake Mamo out of the backline. The Knights can't buy a win these days but their Fantasy prospects have been pretty good, with Sam Mataora, Jacob Saifiti and Pat Mata'utia all having made more than $100,000 in price rises in the first month of the season. Saifiti or Robbie Rochow are likely to drop out of the starting side though when Tariq Sims returns from suspension next week.
Wests Tigers: Chris Lawrence is back from suspension, while Robbie Farah has been named to start at hooker after playing from the bench in his return from injury last week. Aaron Woods has been a little underwhelming this season but isn't an urgent trade by any means, while James Tedesco continues to dominate the winger/fullback position in Fantasy with 62.3 points a game.
Sharks: Paul Gallen returns from a knee injury at lock, with Gerard Beale dropping out of the 17. Ben Barba is on track to be a keeper at winger/fullback and is currently the most popular player in Fantasy (his dual position status also allows Fantasy coaches to bring in a star fullback if they're trading out Daly Cherry-Evans this week).
Cowboys: We have a new rookie available with Matt Bowen's cousin Javid Bowen replacing the injured Kane Linnett, who is expected back in Round 9. Ethan Lowe is currently in the top five Fantasy scorers in the league, although the second-rower has managed three tries in four games and is unlikely to be the next Semi Radradra.
Dragons: Benji Marshall is back, bumping Josh McCrone to 18th man. Jack de Belin has emerged as a genuine Fantasy prospect with 71 points – almost all in base stats – in an 80-minute performance at lock in Round 4, following a 64-point effort last week.
Roosters: Jayden Nikorima is named at five-eighth after playing off the bench last week, with Aidan Guerra returning to the back row. Jake Friend has been superb in Fantasy at hooker this year, averaging 62.5 points a game with his side forced to do a lot of defending. Jackson Hastings hit his best score of the season last week, taking a dominant playmaking role alongside makeshift half Guerra.
Warriors: No changes. Shaun Johnson is an obvious straight trade option for Daly Cherry-Evans this week, with better base stats than the likes of Anthony Milford and Moses Mbye plus the ability to produce a monster score once in a while. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck is another option if you've got dual-position player Ben Barba at the back, with RTS now $103,000 cheaper than he was at the start of the year but coming off a couple of good scores.
Eels: The addition of Peni Terepo to the bench, bumping David Gower to 18th man, is Parramatta's only change. Manu Ma'u may have only scored 40 on the weekend but his base stats have been excellent in the early stages of the season and he looks like a handy bye-round purchase – if he can avoid more suspensions. Michael Gordon is coming good with some consistent scores at the back, and Parramatta's attack still hasn't hit top gear.
Panthers: Matt Moylan is back in a major boost for Penrith, while Bryce Cartwright has been included despite picking up a thumb injury last week – although Elijah Taylor and Jeremy Latimore are named as cover on an extended bench.
Bulldogs: No changes for the Bulldogs this week. Another 66 points from Craig Garvey has seen the rookie hooker's price skyrocket – he's now jumped in value by $150,000 in three games – but Michael Lichaa's return to the No.9 jersey isn't far away. Moses Mbye's brilliant start to the season has continued with three tries and five try assists in the opening month of the campaign. After a stunning opening fortnight with inflated minutes James Graham's scores have settled down but he's still a 50-point player.
Raiders: A couple of big ins here with halves Blake Austin and Aidan Sezer both set to return from injury, while Joey Leilua is also back after serving a suspension. The return of the halves means Elliott Whitehead is back in the forward pack and doesn't look likely to get dual-position player status unless further injuries strike (after two games in the halves he'd need to play two more to become available as a half in Fantasy). Still, Whitehead remains great value for a 50-point forward.