NRL Fantasy winners & losers: Round 2
The success stories, flops and talking points to come out of the first round of the 2017 NRL Fantasy season.
Wade Graham's stunning three-try performance against the Raiders earned him 84 points and Fantasy-player-of-the-week honours, edging out Tom Trbojevic (81) who had a try, seven tackle breaks and more than 300 run metres in Manly's loss to the Rabbitohs.
Broncos duo Anthony Milford (77) and Andrew McCullough (77) shone in the extra-time thriller against the Cowboys, with teammates Ben Hunt (73), Josh McGuire (64) and James Roberts (60) also doing well. North Queensland forwards Coen Hess (74) and Jason Taumalolo (62, but facing suspension this week) were the Cowboys' best.
Parramatta's four-try hero Semi Radradra (78) and Panthers man-of-the-match Tyrone Peachey (76) were both brilliant in winning efforts on Sunday, while Cameron McInnes tackled his way to 71 points in another 80-minute effort for the Dragons. Meanwhile Cameron Smith showed why he remains the safest captaincy choice in Fantasy with a trademark 72 in torrential conditions against the Warriors, starring along with fellow Storm playmakers Cooper Cronk (69) and Cameron Munster (60).
Other big scores for Round 2 included Mitchell Aubusson (74 – and kudos to those who have ignored my Mitchell Aubusson rule and bought him anyway), Shaun Johnson (68), Cody Walker (64), Boyd Cordner (62), Adam Reynolds (60), Daly Cherry-Evans (59), Paul Vaughan (59), Robbie Farah (57) and Corey Norman (56).
Hess earned the biggest price rise of the week, jumping $43,000 to $320,000, with Brian Kelly (+$29,000), Moses Suli (+$29,000), Ryley Jacks ($+$28,000), Jayden Brailey ($+$28,000), and Dylan Edwards ($+$28,000) the best of the popular cash cows this week.
There's a bit of chaos in the winger/fullback ranks for a lot of Fantasy teams, with injuries to Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (concussion, 4 points) and Jarryd Hayne (ankle, 10) bringing more pain after last week's ACL injury to Knights cheapie Dylan Phythian. Because of their relatively low price tags RTS and Hayne are still holds in my book, but their injuries could lead to a lot of teams fielding very inexperienced back threes in the coming weeks.
Further injuries to Bryce Cartwright (6, ankle), Antonio Winterstein (5, arm), Matt Gillett (15, concussion), Joey Leiliua (16, knee), Lachlan Coote (19, calf), Matt Scott (22, ACL) and Blake Ferguson (38, ribs) also look set to take their toll over the coming weeks.
Meanwhile a switch from the forward pack to the centres has led to some poor scores for Elliott Whitehead – which is bad news for the few Fantasy coaches who own him now but potentially good news for those planning to snap him up on the cheap when he returns to the second row.
Fantasy team of the week
1. Tom Trbojevic (81)
2. Semi Radradra (78)
3. Mitchell Aubusson (74)
4. Tyrone Peachey (76)
5. Cody Walker (64)
6. Anthony Milford (77)
7. Ben Hunt (73)
8. Josh McGuire (64)
9. Andrew McCullough (77)
10. Paul Vaughan (59)
11. Wade Graham (84)
12. Coen Hess (74)
13. Jason Taumalolo (62)
14. Cameron Smith (72)
15. Cooper Cronk (69)
16. Shaun Johnson (68)
17. Boyd Cordner (62)