Fantasy by the Numbers: The Tedesco trade
Sidelined for up to six weeks with a fractured jaw, James Tedesco won't be back before the regular season ends, meaning it's time for almost 27,000 NRL Fantasy coaches to part ways with the Wests Tigers No.1.
Many head-to-head leagues have reached the preliminary finals, which means who you draft in for Tedesco could keep your team alive if your match-up is particularly tight. Thankfully, with a minimum of just under $400,000 to work with, there are plenty of contenders to bring in with one of your few remaining trades. Who should you settle on? Consider the options below.
Short on funds? These players are around the same price as Tedesco and offer similar scores.
Euan Aitken (WFB/CTR, $421,000): One of the Dragons' best this season, Aitken doesn't need flashy attacking plays to boost his score, as seen with 41 against the Broncos in Round 22 (13 tackles, 216 metres and three tackle breaks). Has a last-five average of 53 and is one of the safer options on this list.
Cody Walker (WFB/HLF, $403,000): The South Sydney playmaker is enjoying an impressive debut season and returned to form with 54 against the Warriors. Faces the Sharks for the first time in his NRL career before a trip to Hunter Stadium which should result in a good attacking return. Finishes the season with a clash with the Bulldogs, a side he scored 50 against in a losing effort in Round 4.
Josh Dugan (WFB/CTR, $377,000): While a season average of 44.6 doesn't look that appealing, if you remove Dugan's first two appearance of 2016 at centre his average climbs to 48.8, perhaps a truer representation of his year to date. Coming off scores of 62 and 58 against the Sea Eagles and Sharks respectively, and with trips to face the Roosters and Eels before a home clash with the Knights, a cut-price Dugan looms as one of the better trades for his NSW Blues teammate.
Shaun Kenny-Dowall (CTR/WFB, $400,000): Kenny-Dowall has been one of the Roosters' better performers this season, with his two 73-point efforts in Rounds 21 and 23 some of the highlights. Sandwiched between those two games was a 26 against the Panthers, which should tell you all you need to know. Capable of great scores, but could also prove costly in a head-to-head final.
Have cash to splash? Consider these slightly more expensive options.
Cameron Munster (WFB, $442,000): Would have been the obvious trade target a few weeks ago, but two scores in the 30s might be cause for some concern. Of course, 34 against the Cowboys and 30 against the Raiders (both away games) isn't a terrible return for an attacking player, and Munster did still run for 122 and 175 metres respectively in those games, but you'd be expecting a better return on your investment from the third-most expensive winger/fullback in NRL Fantasy. Faces the Sea Eagles (away), Broncos (home) and Sharks (home) in the Storm's last three.
Josh Mansour (WFB, $481,000): The Panthers winger's mid-to-late-season revival has been nothing short of stunning, with scores of 81, 98, 99 and last week's 60 against the Knights showing his explosive potential. If money is no option, you could do worse than Mansour.
David Nofoaluma (WFB, $461,000): Two scores of 85 has seen Nofoaluma's price skyrocket, with 117 tackle breaks for the season to date the most of any player in the competition. The Tigers winger made a huge 27 tackle busts in his last two starts alone, along with three tries, 376 run metres, three line breaks and five offloads. Point of difference, anyone?
In need of something different? These players would be a huge roll of the dice.
Semi Radradra (WFB, $344,000): The Eels flyer returns from injury in time to face the Green Machine in the nation's capital. While his last two scores (11 and an injury-affected 1) don't exactly inspire that much confidence, Radradra did score 94 against the Raiders in Round 26 last season. Things have of course changed significantly since then, and the Australian Test winger did score a rather alarming 6 against Canberra in Round 6 this season. He's a wildcard for a reason, but this trade would also free up funds for any other areas of your squad you need to address.
Jarryd Hayne (WFB, $350,000): You can't read too much into a 52-minute stint from the bench, but 38 points against the Tigers in his first NRL start with the Titans was a more promising sign. Hayne made 145 metres and two tackle breaks, provided a try assist, kicked for 152 metres and of course slotted the winning field goal. However a trip to Hunter Stadium to face a Knights side that has conceded 712 points this season could be the platform Hayne needs to explode. Can he do it from five-eighth though? This trade is a substantial risk, but the rewards are potentially great.
Top scores in Round 23
James Graham (FRF, $466,000): 90
Anthony Milford (HLF, $329,000): 88
David Nofoaluma (WFB, $461,000): 85
Joseph Leilua (CTR, $405,000): 81
Tariq Sims (2RF, $391,000): 77
Bottom scores in Round 23
Dale Copley (CTR/WFB, $221,000): -2
Jack Gosiewski (2RF, $138,000): 1
Blake Ayshford (CTR, $218,000): 3
Tuimoala Lolohea (HLF/CTR, $217,000): 3
Dylan Walker (CTR/HLF, $319,000): 4
Top Round 23 price increases
David Nofoaluma (WFB, $461,000): +$44,000
Aaron Gray (WFB, $238,000): +$34,000
Jamie Lyon (CTR/HLF, $354,000): +$33,000
Anthony Milford (HLF, $329,000): +$32,000
Tariq Sims (2RF, $391,000): +$31,000
Top Round 23 price decreases
Blake Ayshford (CTR, $218,000): -$36,000
Suliasi Vunivalu (WFB, $205,000): -$31,000
Shaun Johnson (HLF, $479,000): -$30,000
Dylan Walker (CTR/HLF, $319,000): -$25,000
Lachlan Coote (WFB, $200,000): -$25,000