NRL Fantasy winners & losers: Round 8
Fantasy favourites deliver the goods, while a Raiders pair go to the next level. A full wrap of another big weekend of scores in NRL Fantasy.
Round 8 saw an unlikely top-scorer, with Raiders winger Jordan Rapana (92) finishing eight points shy of triple figures with his four-try haul against Wests Tigers. It's been a golden run for the Canberra flyer, who's averaging a staggering 71.7 over his past three starts and is set to continue to rise in value with a break even of -7. Rapana's edge partner Joey Leilua also got in on the action with 83, with the pair proving to be a unique point of difference for those few coaches who have them.
A much more popular buy, Jake Trbojevic, continues to go from strength to strength with a season-high 85 against the Knights, while Sea Eagles teammate Martin Taupau returned to form with 69. Set-and-forget captaincy options Cameron Smith (81) and Jake Friend (82) were fantastic yet again, with the latter showing his score of 107 in Round 7 was no fluke. Friend now sits just $10,000 shy of breaking through the $600,000 barrier, and should have no issues hitting that next week with a relatively low BE.
Paul Gallen (77), Elliott Whitehead (74), and Cameron Munster (73) all hit their best scores of the season to date, while Panthers rookie James Fisher-Harris took full advantage of his extended stint on the park, scoring two tries and making 25 tackles, 145 metres and five tackle breaks on his way to a surprise 72. It remains to be seen what his role will be moving forward, but he is one to monitor. Fellow rookie Ryan Matterson smashed a score of 67 on debut for the Roosters, but is unlikely to feature in first grade for much longer with Mitchell Pearce set to return.
Andrew Fifita (68), Tohu Harris (66), Paul Vaughan (66), Gavin Cooper (66), Ben Hunt (63), Josh Jackson (63), Jack de Belin (62), David Klemmer (61), and Shannon Boyd (60) all passed the 60 mark, and Fantasy favourite Corey Parker delivered a commendable 58 points.
It was a rough night for the Warriors against the Storm on Monday, and two of their more popular Fantasy players. Tui Lolohea was a popular Fantasy buy as a replacement for injured teammate Roger Tuivasa-Sheck, but the new Warriors fullback lasted just 26 minutes before succumbing to injury himself to finish on 1. Tough-as-nails lock Simon Mannering played just over 40 minutes for 30 points, with a shocking face cut forcing him from the field.
Another player likely to be sidelined for a lengthy period is popular cash cow Hymel Hunt (7) who was injured six minutes into the Rabbitohs' contest against the Broncos. Penrith rookie Te Maire Martin (10) was also forced off with injury on Sunday, and with James Segeyaro's return imminent, might not feature for the Panthers in the coming weeks even if fit.
Manly young gun Tom Tbojevic is set to miss six to eight weeks with an ankle injury, while teammate Brett Stewart (hamstring) is also set to miss a couple of weeks, while Knights Jarrod Mullen (hamstring) and Peter Mata'utia (knee) are both set for long stints on the sideline.
It also is unclear at the time of writing how long Souths halfback Adam Reynolds will miss (if any time at all), but his score of 23 hurt a few coaches who drafted him in after some impressive figures in his limited game time in 2016.
Despite Brisbane's big win, James Roberts didn't really hit top gear against his former club with just 25 against Souths. There isn't really too much to worry about if you've got him in your side – he's still averaging just under 40 points per game which is essentially keeper status for a winger/fullback or centre.
Selected in almost 50 per cent of teams, Roosters fullback Latrell Mitchell came crashing back down to earth with 17 against the Dragons on Anzac Day. Following on from his 73 the previous round, Mitchell still managed a try but five errors didn't help his cause. He still has more price rises in him with a BE of 25.