Scout Report: Round 8 Fantasy Q&A
With some huge scores last weekend and the early-season cash cows ready to be sold, it's time for NRL Fantasy coaches to be taking advantage of the points on offer.
Here are my answers to some of this week's big questions.
Any decent cheap cash cows with some decent job security around?
From Geordie Dann
Unfortunately not this week. Yes, there are players who are set to make big price rises (Kerrod Holland, Jordan Kahu, Latrell Mitchell) but those guys aren't at the minimum price, and there are no obvious new cash cow sensations on the horizon just yet. That makes it a bit of a gamble about which cheapies to bring in if you want to sell a cash cow who has hit his peak price.
JJ Felise is a dual position forward at $134,000 who will play another few games before Aaron Woods returns for the Tigers; Josh King could potentially get a decent run in a Knights pack that has been tweaked pretty regularly this year; Luke Bateman will play off the bench for Canberra until Sia Soliola returns in Round 12; Addin Fonua-Blake has held his spot on the Manly bench despite the return of Brenton Lawrence this week, bumping out Josh Starling; Patrick Kaufusi will probably be replaced on the Cowboys bench by John Asiata sooner or later but should at least be back for two major bye rounds; and while Josh Addo-Carr will drop out of the Tigers team when David Nofoaluma returns on the wing he'll at least get a good price bump after last week's 43.
Can't decide between bringing in Shaun Fensom or Jack de Belin. Is JDB worth the extra $60k?
From Mike Paterson
I think he is. By now the pricing for most regular starters pretty much matches their scoring this season, and right now de Belin is a better chance of posting big scores than Fensom based on the minutes the two are playing (Fensom about 65 per game, de Belin around 75). The fact the Dragons tend to play out low-scoring grind-fests while the Raiders are more of an attacking side also suits de Belin more than Fensom. Ideally, you'll be able to get both by the end of the season.
What should be done with Nathan Peats? Since coming back from injury his tackle count has dropped off quite a bit which has left his points taking a hit. Hold for bye rounds or trade?
From Ben Vernon
I wouldn't be worrying too much if I had him. His minutes are still high (he played 74 last week and 80 the week before) and his tackle counts are still above 40 despite Parramatta cruising to pretty comfortable wins in the past fortnight. If you're playing for overall points you absolutely need to hold him as he'll probably be gold in rounds 12, 15 and 18.
Is Ash Taylor a sell? Also Mansour and Gordon – do I just leave them be hoping for a big score every other week?
From Lance Naera
Taylor has more price rises in him, although he is in doubt with illness this week. He could be traded if you want to bring in a gun half now but there is no rush on that front. Mansour and Gordon are not going to be consistent scorers – barely anyone is in the winger/fullback position, where attacking plays are so crucial to big Fantasy scorers.
My general rule is a keeper at WFB is anyone who scores around 40 or more. Mansour is averaging just under 39 points a game this season while Gordon is at a more worrying 34.9. That makes Mansour a keeper in my book (the only WFB averaging significantly better than him this year is James Tedesco) while Gordon is worth keeping if you're playing for overall points thanks to the Eels' bye schedule, but could be traded if your focus is on head-to-head. Even then, I'd only suggest trading if you can bring in Tedesco or Josh Dugan – trading a 35-point player for a 40-point player seems a bit of a waste.
Is Hymel Hunt to Tui Lolohea a dumb move?
From Kirk Davis
Again, keepers at centre should be scoring around 40 points a game – that's probably what Lolohea will score after being shifted to fullback to cover Roger Tuivasa-Sheck for the rest of the season. Hymel Hunt is going through a bit of a Fantasy form slump after a couple of scores in the 20s but he still averages 38 for the season thanks to a great opening month. Unless you think Lolohea will rival Tedesco and Dugan and score around 50 points a week, I think trading Hunt to him for a few extra points and a spare $20K is probably a waste.
Is it more important to get Lolohea in or upgrade Walker to Hunt/Reynolds?
From Tim Jehu
Lolohea will jump in price next week (by about $20,000 if he scores 40) so that could be a factor for you, but in my eyes he's one of several good options at centre in Fantasy rather than a must-have. A star half like Ben Hunt or Adam Reynolds on the other hand could be earning you 55 points a week. It depends on your squad make-up – if you need a scoring centre and already have one or two star halves then Lolohea is the better option, but if your halves are packed with cash cows then bring in a gun this week.