Round 6 Fantasy winners & losers
Patience pays off for a few NRL Fantasy stars, a new cash cow impresses, and Mr Reliable gets the job done on Monday night.
Captain Cam is back! Cameron Smith came to the rescue of a lot of NRL Fantasy coaches with the best score of the round, with 84 points in Melbourne's loss to the Bulldogs on Monday night. Not many players can score 80+ without scoring a try, but Smith is one of them thanks to a combination of kick metres, offloads, a line break, a 40/20 and 51 tackles.
Smith's Storm teammates Tohu Harris (having returned to the forward pack) and Jesse Bromwich got through a lot of work as well, posting 78 and 70 respectively.
Those who followed my cautious advice on NRL.com last Thursday and held onto Trent Merrin for one more week were richly rewarded with a terrific 83-point effort featuring a try, six tackle breaks and three offloads in 54 minutes.
Roosters prop Dylan Napa was another star of Round 6, tackling his way to 81 (including a try), while Sharks big man Andrew Fifita wasn't far behind with 76.
Robbie Farah turned back the clock with 72 points in 80 minutes in the Tigers' loss to Newcastle, a game in which James Tedesco continued his remarkable start to the season with another try and 61 points.
The Dragons were smashed by Brisbane but Mitch Rein (69) and Jack de Belin (62) cashed in with a lot of tackles while Josh Dugan (68) ran for a stunning 312 metres in that match and pulled off two try-saving tackles.
Meanwhile Jake Friend (67), Aidan Guerra (64), Paul Gallen (62), Moses Mbye (61), Peter Wallace (61), Gavin Cooper (61), Michael Ennis (60), Wade Graham (59), Chris Lawrence (59), Kieran Foran (59), James Graham and Jackson Hastings (58) were the week's next best.
And rookie Bulldogs centre Kerrod Holland earned a juicy $41,000 price rise with an impressive 56-point performance on Monday.
Roosters rookie Jayden Nikorima (7) is starting to lose the price gains he made early in the season now that he's an impact player off the bench and needs to be cut from your squad if you haven't done so already.
Semi Radradra (6) was one player who failed to cash in on Parramatta's big win over Canberra, with his centre partner Michael Jennings finding the line twice himself, while an injury to James Maloney 17 minutes into Cronulla's win over the Titans reduced the five-eighth to just 4 Fantasy points for the game.
Warriors stars Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (25) and Shaun Johnson (30) both underperformed in the team's loss to Manly, but both are capable of scoring big on any given week and should be a hold for now.
And then there's star Wests Tigers prop Aaron Woods, who will miss four to six weeks with an ankle injury and is a must-sell.
If we can learn anything from the recent revival of previously mediocre scorers like Bryce Cartwright and Trent Merrin, it's that patience pays off for players capable of producing big NRL Fantasy scores. With that in mind, don't panic trade players like Johnson (30), Ryan James (28), Tuivasa-Sheck (25), Michael Gordon (27), Josh Mansour (22) after one or two below-average scores.