Heading into the final shortened round with four NRL clubs having the bye, Lone Scout gives his NRL Fantasy advice on Cameron Munster, Matt Parcell, Andrew McCullough and more.
Is Cameron Munster any chance this week?
From Todd Warren
Yes, he's a good chance of being a late inclusion this week after missing Melbourne's last couple of games with an ankle problem.
Hey LS, I have had both Matt Parcell and Cameron Munster sitting on my bench for the last 3/4 weeks, is it time to pull the pin and get Tom Trbojevic and Jake Friend?
From Sonya Ben Chapman
Munster is a definite hold – as I said above he could be back this week, and even if not he's arguably in the top two winger/fullbacks in NRL Fantasy this season, alongside James Tedesco.
Parcell is a trickier one. One the one hand, you've held him this long so holding him for one more week isn't too much of a loss, and he's one of only four hookers to have averaged 50 points a game in Fantasy this season. On the other hand, Manly's recent good form (a narrow loss to the Cowboys in Round 16 and a win over the Dragons in Round 17) has come with Apisai Koroisau playing at hooker, suggesting Koroisau and Parcell could share the role in the run home. Parcell's big scores have come when he's played the full 80 minutes or close to it, so the risk is that his scores could drop even when he does come back.
It's a bit of a gamble either way – if you've got trades to spare it could be worth using one on Parcell, but if not (or if you're playing head-to-head and have an easy match-up this week) then saving the trade could pay off in the long run. I traded Parcell to Friend last week, but there is another hooker who is now looking good value…
Thoughts on Andrew McCullough for a back-up hooker? With Andrew playing 80 minutes last week and no Kodi Nikorima on the Broncos bench will we see the sort of scores from last year from Andrew, as he is $100,000 cheaper than Jake Friend? Or should I just wait a week or two for Friend to come down in price?
From Daniel Parker
Andrew McCullough has been a Fantasy gun in years gone by but hasn't been an 80-minute player for much of the season with the Broncos using Kodi Nikorima off the bench. But with Nikorima out until Round 23 with a shoulder injury McCullough suddenly appears a great value option at $332,000. He played 80 minutes in Round 17 and scored 51 – his equal best score of the year – and if he can start hitting consistent 50s he's underpriced by about $100,000. Beware though has hasn't been hugely effective in attack this season so he's unlikely to hit monster scores like a Cameron Smith or Matt Parcell.
Who is the best option at half at the moment? I have Johnathan Thurston, Moses Mbye and Nathan Cleary. I want to trade out Mbye and have around $150k in the bank at the moment.
From Rick Wallace
Probably Shaun Johnson, who just keeps finding a way to the try-line, although Mitchell Pearce – owned by less than 3 per cent of all teams – has been scoring at a strong 54 points a game from five games and is a good point-of-difference option. With Ben Hunt out of form, Corey Norman stood down this week and Thurston having a bye, the other quality Fantasy half option this week is Bryce Cartwright, who is now a dual position player scoring at just over 51 points a game.
Hey Lone Scout, who is a good replacement for Semi Radradra?
From Nathanael Robinson
After copping a six-week injury Radradra is a must-sell, but it's actually a very bad week for replacement winger/fullbacks. Cameron Munster hasn't been named for the Storm (but could still be a late inclusion against the Knights on Sunday – check the late mail) while James Tedesco and Brett Morris have byes this week. Josh Dugan had his jaw broken in Origin III on Wednesday night, leaving Manly fullback Tom Trbojevic as your best bet this week. Alternatively, if you have a few dual position players in your squad you could make an advanced trade and bring in a reliable keeper in the centres, halves or forwards this week with an eye towards picking up Tedesco or Munster next week.