Warriors halfback Shaun Johnson in action against the Knights in Round 4 of the Telstra Premiership.

Scout Report: Round 5 Fantasy Q&A

With Daly Cherry-Evans the latest big-name casualty to hit the NRL, what are the smart trades to be making to your NRL Fantasy team this week?

Lone Scout's Round 5 teams analysis
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Best replacement for DCE in the halves? Mbye, Milford, Johnson or Ben Hunt?
From Brandon Scott Lee 

They're all good options. Milford and Mbye have been playing the house down this year with a ton of attacking stats (tries, try assists, line breaks, and three field goals in Milford's case) while Johnson and Hunt are proven Fantasy performers with a good mix of attacking numbers and base stats. As good as Milford and Mbye have been, I reckon Johnson and Hunt will probably outscore them in the long run – Johnson gets almost 40 points a game in base stats and Hunt gets a few more than that, so their "quiet" games are still pretty good from a Fantasy perspective, whereas Milford and Mbye will need to keep playing the house down each and every week to maintain their big Fantasy scores. If I had to choose I'd probably go with Shaun Johnson. 

Question I need answered this weekend: Time to axe GI?
From Lance Naera 

At his best, Greg Inglis is a Fantasy beast – as we saw in Round 1 when he came up with seven tackle breaks, two line breaks, a try and 65 Fantasy points. But unfortunately he also has quiet games on a regular basis, not getting involved in attack quite as much as you'd like if he's in your Fantasy side. In the past three weeks he hasn't scored better than 33 and he's certainly not on the same level as James Tedesco or Roger Tuivasa-Sheck in terms of Fantasy scores.

He's set for another price drop this week unless he can match that Round 1 score and for somebody who costs almost $400,000 it probably makes sense to trade if you're not willing to put up with a few low scores between each big game. It's not an urgent trade if you've got injuries to cover elsewhere though.

Hey Scout, is Jack de Belin the real deal now he's playing 80 minutes at lock?
From Jarvis Zochling 

It's early days with de Belin only having started at lock twice this year, but I think the answer is probably yes. The key to de Belin's scores has been the shift of Mike Cooper from lock to the prop rotation from the bench. In the past couple of weeks (which, it's worth noting, are the two games the Dragons have won) Cooper has played off the bench rather than the back row, with starting back-rowers Tyson Frizell, Joel Thompson and de Belin all playing close to 80 minutes and Jake Marketo making up the rest (both de Belin and Frizell had a few minutes off the field in Round 3, and Frizell had 16 minutes on the bench in Round 4). 

As an 80-minute lock defending in the middle of the park, de Belin is making a lot of tackles and his Fantasy scores have skyrocketed because of it. While the Dragons are winning I don't see why that would change.

How soon is too soon to start trading out cash cows? Is it better to wait until after Origin?
From Caolan Cullinane 

Don't trade them out yet, unless you're desperate to bring in somebody else. Price rises in Fantasy are based on a player's five latest scores – weighted towards the most recent ones – so it'll usually take five or six weeks for a player to hit their peak if they're scoring consistently, and more if their scores improve. 

Is it too late to grab Parcell?
From Ross Mitchell 

Nope. The Manly hooker still has a negative break even so is guaranteed more price rises and at $286,000 is also a cheap 45-point player you can safely play in your top 17.

Reckon Jayden Nikorima is a hold after being named to start, or should I quit while he's ahead?
From Tristan Birkinshaw

Nikorima has a break even of 20 and an average score of 27 so he's likely to get another price rise – especially if he plays in the starting side this week as named. I traded him last week to Parcell, but that was more a case of getting Parcell while he was cheap rather than because Nikorima had peaked.

What should we do with Paul Carter? Hold or fold?
From Joseph Perese

Hold. He's still got money to make and even though he's an error-prone player (which cost him his spot in the side this week) he can produce big scores on his day – for example the 69 he scored in Round 3 despite losing 20 points through missed tackles and penalties conceded. Even if he missed the Souths side this week there's still every chance he is recalled in the next few weeks, at which point he's likely to continue to grow in value.

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