Scout Report: Round 24 teams wrap
It's crunch time in NRL Fantasy and NRL.com's Lone Scout takes a look at all the key ins and outs from all 16 NRL clubs and the form Fantasy players from each side.
Broncos v Bulldogs
Broncos: Jordan Kahu returns from injury and replaces rookie Jonus Pearson on the wing. Andrew McCullough only managed 31 Fantasy points last week and could be upgraded to the more consistent Jake Friend or the in-form Jamie Buhrer. Ben Hunt is back in decent form on the back of scores of 60 and 56, while Anthony Milford is suddenly a quality point of difference again after last week's superb 88.
Bulldogs: Greg Eastwood is back while Kerrod Holland has been included on a six-man bench. James Graham smashed a season-high 90 last week and could be a left-field captaincy option if you see him pumping out those kinds of numbers in back-to-back weeks, although golden point certainly helped his cause a little against the Sea Eagles.
Panthers v Wests Tigers
Panthers: No changes. Nathan Cleary's super run of Fantasy form came to an end last week with the halfback having a quiet one (seven goals aside) in Penrith's thumping of Newcastle, and it was a similar story for fellow half Bryce Cartwright. Tyrone Peachey has hit 61 and 75 in recent weeks while Josh Mansour remains hit-and-miss – but his hits tend to be big enough to make him a must-have at the back.
Wests Tigers: James Tedesco is out for the season with a broken jaw and his absence is a major shake-up for NRL Fantasy teams. Check NRL.com's Fantasy by the Numbers article on Wednesday afternoon for a rundown on the best replacement options for Tedesco. Jordan Rankin replaces him at fullback for the Tigers while Luke Brooks returns from a knee injury in the halves and Michael Chee-Kam comes in as 18th man. David Nofoaluma is coming off back-to-back scores over 85 and now has the most tackle breaks in the NRL in 2016.
Knights v Titans
Knights: Bench hooker Chris Adams has been released by the Knights with Josh King replacing him on the bench, while Nathan Ross and Jeremy Smith return to the starting side and Jacob Saifiti and Pat Mata'utia are set to drop off the extended bench.
Titans: No changes, although Ryan James is facing the judiciary over the tackle that broke James Tedesco's jaw on Wednesday night and could miss a week. Jarryd Hayne has made a fairly quiet start to his Fantasy campaign with a 23 off the bench then a 38 last week, but could potentially go big against Newcastle (although he's more likely to score well once he returns to his old fullback role).
Sea Eagles v Storm
Sea Eagles: Dylan Walker will miss the rest of the season with a shoulder injury but Tom Trbojevic will play on despite suggestions he could also miss the rest of the year, requiring ankle surgery. Lewis Brown replaces Walker in the centres with Matt Parcell returning to the side on the bench, along with Nate Myles. Jamie Buhrer's late-season scoring surge continues, with a 67 last week and a three-game average of 64.
Storm: No changes despite Monday night's loss to Canberra. If you're the favourite to win your head-to-head match-up this week, make Cameron Smith your captain.
Cowboys v Warriors
Cowboys: Antonio Winterstein and Coen Hess replace Javid Bowen and John Asiata this week. After recent scores of 36 and 30 in a couple of defeats, Johnathan Thurston is in worrying Fantasy form although he could spark back to life against the Warriors. Ethan Lowe has scored three tries in his past four games.
Warriors: James Gavet and Bunty Afoa join an extended bench this week but the main story is Tuimoala Lolohea's axing to the Intrust Super Premiership, with David Fusitu'a starting at fullback and Blake Ayshford moving into the centres. After eight straight scores above 55 Shaun Johnson has scored 40 and 31 in recent weeks, although he is at least kicking goals again.
Raiders v Eels
Raiders: Josh Hodgson has accepted a one-match suspension, leaving him free of carryover points in the run home, with Kurt Baptiste to start at hooker and Adam Clydsdale joining the bench. Even if Canberra don't win the competition this year they've still been the best NRL Fantasy team in the league, with Joey Leilua and Elliott Whitehead cashing in this week. Jordan Rapana and Jarrod Croker were fairly quiet against the Storm but are every chance of finding the try-line against the struggling Eels.
Eels: Semi Radradra is back from a knee injury on the wing, in place of Vai Toutai, while Beau Scott also returns to bump Daniel Alvaro out of the starting side and Rory O'Brien out of the 17. Manu Ma'u is now a dual-position player available in the second row or at centre, and is in decent form after hitting 51 last week including three offloads and six tackle breaks.
Roosters v Dragons
Roosters: No changes to the Roosters 17 after their win over the Cowboys, with Aidan Guerra again named 18th man. Boyd Cordner just keeps scoring tries and has now peeled off scores of 71, 71 and 72 in the past three weeks. It shows he's in great form – but will he score again against a side that just stunned the Sharks? Shaun Kenny-Dowall ranks second in the league in tackle breaks and has scored two 73s in his past three games. Jake Friend remains rock solid as a back-up hooker behind Cameron Smith.
Dragons: Tariq Sims is out with an ankle injury after his best performance in Dragons colours last week, with Leeson Ah Mau and Jacob Host joining a five-man bench. Josh Dugan looms as a popular replacement option for James Tedesco after returning with a 58 against the Sharks, including seven tackle breaks and a try save. Jack de Belin and Euan Aitken were just as good last week, with the consistent Aitken another potential Tedesco replacement.
Rabbitohs v Sharks
Rabbitohs: Adam Reynolds is in doubt with a hamstring injury suffered on the weekend but has been named anyway. The Monday night timeslot will help his chances but he could cause massive headaches for Fantasy owners if he's a late withdrawal. Nathan Brown returns to the side on the bench this week with Zane Musgrove out suspended, while George Burgess moves into the starting side and Cameron McInnes is 18th man. Cody Walker is a replacement option for James Tedesco with a 54 last week and a season average of 49.
Sharks: Paul Gallen has been named and will have until Monday to prove his fitness after being a very, very late withdrawal on the weekend with a calf injury. Sosaia Feki is out with a groin injury, with Ricky Leutele moving into the backline. Ben Barba remains in hot form and is an obvious Tedesco replacement option for those who don't already have him while Andrew Fifita is now easily the most expensive player in Fantasy.