NRL Fantasy Finals: Week 2 preview
We're into the genuine blockbusters now with two massive finals contests this weekend – an all-Queensland grudge match and a face-off between arguably the two most exciting sides in the league. Which Fantasy prospects should make the cut for your NRL Match Day Finals teams?
Cowboys v Broncos
The guns: Andrew McCullough is the clear frontrunner for the hooker spot, while fellow Bronco Josh McGuire is the most consistent Fantasy scorer in the front row from either side. Halfbacks Ben Hunt and Johnathan Thurston are both quality Fantasy scorers – especially when they're on the winning side.
The wildcards: There are a lot of quality options for the second row spot in your side, with Brisbane legend Corey Parker and Cowboys duo Jason Taumalolo and Ethan Lowe all averaging about 49 points a game this season, while Matt Gillett and Gavin Cooper are also quality scorers. All five are all-round players capable of making an impact in attack and defence, so pick the one you rate most likely to get over the tryline.
The gambles: As always, it's worth considering taking a punt on the outside backs you think can grab a try or two – so if you're expecting a big Cowboys win then ignore James Roberts and gamble on Justin O'Neill, Kyle Feldt or Antonio Winterstein.
Raiders v Panthers
The guns: Three of the top four NRL Fantasy centres of 2016 – Joseph Leilua, Jarrod Croker and Tyrone Peachey – are all involved in this game. If you're backing a Panthers win get Peachey, otherwise flip a coin between tackle-break machine Leilua and point-scoring sensation Croker. Likewise, take either Jordan Rapana or Josh Mansour in the winger/fullback spot depending on which team you expect to win. With Josh Hodgson under a serious injury cloud Peter Wallace – fresh from a 68 last week – seems the best bet at hooker ahead of the lively Kurt Baptiste. Josh Papalii is the best scorer available in the front row, while Nathan Cleary just shades Bryce Cartwright as the safest option in the halves.
The wildcards: There are three quality 50-point players available in the back row here – Trent Merrin, Elliott Whitehead and Bryce Cartwright. Whitehead and Cartwright both score best when they get involved in one or two try-scoring plays, so if you expect a one-sided contest take one of those guys and if you expect a tight game pick Merrin.
The gambles: Matt Moylan was superb last week, scoring 66 points thanks to three try assists and 154 run metres, but can he get the better of Rapana and Mansour – who have both hit scores in the 90s this season?