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Matt Gillett makes a run against the Cowboys at Suncorp Stadium.

In the final round before the byes begin it was a week of big scores in NRL Fantasy, with an unlikely top scorer and a string of solid performances from familiar favourites.


Brisbane and Queensland back-rower Matt Gillett was the NRL Fantasy star of the week, with a rare try-scoring double helping him to 88 points.

Next best were Sharks and NSW prop Andrew Fifita (79) and Eels forward – and bye-round option – Manu Ma'u (75), while goal-kicking back-rower Sio Siua Taukeiaho scored 70 in the Roosters' loss to the Bulldogs and teammate Boyd Cordner made 67.

Ryan James continued his big season with 68 while star props James Graham (66), Josh McGuire (66), Aaron Woods (64) all impressed, as did Melbourne's cash cow winger Suliasi Vunivalu (67 points and a $40,000 price boost). 

Speaking of cash cows, Wests Tigers winger Josh Addo-Carr jumped $41,000 in value after scoring 55; Canberra's Luke Bateman filled in at lock for the injured Shaun Fensom, scoring 48 and rising by $37,000; and Bulldogs winger Tyrone Phillips bagged a hat-trick for 48 points and a $32,000 price boost.

Some big-name halves did well – even if they were on the losing side – with Daly Cherry-Evans scoring 66 and Ben Hunt making 59, while new NSW halfback Adam Reynolds scored 56 in South Sydney's win over the Dragons.

It was a good week for mid-season movers as well, with Wests Tiger Elijah Taylor set to be a popular buy after scoring 61 while Nathan Peats hit the ground running at the Titans with 61 points of his own.

And the three most-owned players in NRL Fantasy – Ben Barba, Sam Burgess and Latrell Mitchell – all scored 50 or better, while go-to captaincy option Cameron Smith made 66.

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Corey Oates only lasted 40 minutes in Brisbane's one-point loss to North Queensland, being sidelined for the second half with dizzy spells – and without much action in the first term finished on just 5 Fantasy points. He's a popular buy this year but has only scored more than 40 points twice this season.

A couple of cash cows were hit by injury as well with Penrith prop James Fisher-Harris scoring just 9 before being ruled out with a broken thumb while rookie Newcastle five-eighth Brock Lamb picked up a possible ankle injury.

And after back-to-back scores in the 20s following an injury-affected 1 in Round 8, Tuimoala Lolohea's price is falling and he doesn't look like being the high-scoring fullback some Fantasy coaches hoped he would be.

Don't panic

Jake Friend came crashing back to earth with 37 points – easily his worst score of the season and the only time this year he's made less than 50 points. He played 63 minutes – again, the fewest he's played all season – with Connor Watson giving him some rest off the bench. Still, Friend remains the second-best scorer in Fantasy this season so is worth holding on to.

Anthony Milford is another keeper coming off an underwhelming score – in his case a very poor 19-point effort – but you've got to take the good with the bad if you've got an attacking talent like him in your squad.

Finally, don't panic if you don't have many players in action this weekend. Fantasy coaches aiming for overall points should target having about a dozen players playing in Round 12 in their 25-man squad.

If you're playing in a head-to-head league your league is taking the week off, unless your league creator opted to keep the match-ups going through the bye rounds.

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