Scout Report: Round 6 teams wrap
The NRL Fantasy form guide, injury news and key ins and outs for all 16 clubs heading into the sixth round of the Telstra Premiership season.
Broncos: No changes to Brisbane's 17 this week despite doubts about James Roberts' fitness with a hamstring injury, and speculation Kodi Nikorima could get a spot on the bench. Nikorima is among the reserves (and could still potentially take a few minutes off Andrew McCullough at hooker) while David Mead is also in the squad on standby for Roberts. Tautau Moga has peaked in price but there's no urgent need to sell yet.
Roosters: Dylan Napa is out with an ankle injury, with Isaac Liu starting up front and Kane Evans joining the bench. Mitchell Pearce has been superb in the past three rounds, scoring 71, 52 and 74, and his price is likely to jump back above the $500,000 mark next week. Michael Gordon has actually been the Roosters' best moneymaker this season with $75,000 in price rises and an average close to 47 so far.
Knights: Luke Yates was a late withdrawal from the side last week and is out of the 17 again, named in the reserves, while Jamie Buhrer has been named in the second row after playing just 60 minutes as a starting hooker last week. Danny Levi starts in the No.9, while Nathan Ross is back from injury. Sione Mata'utia scored a superb 39 from 33 minutes last week before being ruled out with a second HIA test. His scoring when playing in the second row has actually been fine this season but his concussion issues are becoming a concern. Brock Lamb has peaked in price having had his first price drop this week.
Bulldogs: Matt Frawley made 45 in his Bulldogs debut at halfback but has been left out of the 17 this week, with Moses Mbye to wear the No.7 in his return from suspension. But there's still time for the newly re-signed Des Hasler to spring a late change. Fullback Brad Abbey made 44 last week which should set him up for a few weeks of price rises. James Graham was superb last week and earned every one of his 71 Fantasy points, while David Klemmer bounced back from two underwhelming performances to post 60.
Panthers: Big news here with in-form centre Tyrone Peachey out with a fractured rib while Matt Moylan, Peta Hiku and Waqa Blake have all been dropped for a breach of team protocol. Corey Harawira-Naera earned a $52,000 price boost last week and again has a significant negative break even and a starting spot this weekend, with James Fisher-Harris and Bryce Cartwright both yet to return from injury. Trent Merrin had a shock season-low score of 24 against the Storm last week but his base stats were still solid (20 tackles and 120 metres in 56 minutes) so is a hold. He could easily average 55 for the rest of the season like he did last year.
Rabbitohs: George Burgess returns from suspension in the reserves this week but the big Fantasy news here is at hooker, where Damien Cook earned the starting spot last week ahead of Robbie Farah - who then suffered a back injury. Farah has again been named on the bench but is in some doubt, with the possibility Burgess could replace him in the final 17 and Cook could play 80 minutes.
Sea Eagles: Darcy Lussick replaces Jackson Hastings on the bench in this week's only change. Daly Cherry-Evans is coming off back-to-back 60s and the encouraging sign is last week's score came primarily from base stats - with season-high numbers for tackles (37) and kick metres (357). Curtis Sironen has found some form and should keep earning money for a couple of weeks, while Akuila Uate has been one of the cash cows of the season so far with $108,000 in price rises and counting.
Dragons: Josh Dugan is out with a hamstring injury for the next couple of matches, with Jason Nightingale moving to fullback and Kurt Mann shifting to the wing this week. Euan Aitken returns from injury at centre, while Jacob Host is replaced by Hame Sele on the bench. Jack de Belin's price is on the way down for those who don't own him with a break even of 75 this week
Titans: Tyrone Roberts (knee) and Nathaniel Peteru (foot) are out, although Roberts has been included on the extended bench so is still some chance of playing. Tyronne Roberts-Davis lines up at fullback this week, while Konrad Hurrell returns at centre and Chris McQueen is back in the pack, bumping Joe Greenwood to the bench. Jarrod Wallace is outscoring front-row partner Ryan James so far this season but both are probably keepers, with Wallace chasing a third-straight 50+ effort and James capable of scoring 60 a week as we saw last season. Kane Elgey finally scored a try - two of them, even - but still only managed 33 points on the weekend. Still, it's enough to keep his price trickling up in the next week or two. Dale Copley has a negative break even after two scores in the 50s but looks like a trap after being a mid-20s scorer in previous seasons.
Raiders: Elliott Whitehead returns from suspension, with Dave Taylor dropping out of the 17. Whitehead is still very good value at Nick Cotric produced a 21-point play for his try on the weekend to hit a season-high 59, meaning he's got about another $50K of price rises in him if he continue averaging in the mid-30s. Jordan Rapana and Jarrod Croker are scoring like keepers, like they did last season.
Cowboys: An injury to Jake Granville means Ben Hampton gets a starting role at hooker with Kalyn Ponga included as the bench utility this week. Coen Hess had his first bad score of the year last week with an injury-affected 20 and has been named on the bench. He did earn a starting spot last week which should be a good sign for his long-term scoring. Jason Taumalolo has been a monster in 2017 with the second-best Fantasy average in the league.
Wests Tigers: Ivan Cleary has arrived as the Tigers' new coach, which could change things significantly in the long term. But for this week it's only the one forced change, with Jacob Liddle replacing the injured Matt Ballin on the bench. James Tedesco scored 59 points in a losing side last week, without scoring a try - just crazy numbers for a fullback. David Nofoaluma now costs a huge $499,000 after a superb tackle-busting start to the season.
Warriors: Bodene Thompson was just about the buy of the week on paper for Round 5 but didn't take part in the second half on Sunday due to an achilles injury. He's named to start this week, with Nathaniel Roache replacing Ata Hingano on the bench the only change. Shaun Johnson has only scored less than 60 once so far this season (and that was a very solid 52) and is the pick of the halves so far in 2017. Don't be fooled by Kieran Foran's 60 in his Warriors debut - he is usually a 35-40-point player in Fantasy and won't score tries every week.
Eels: Nathan Brown started at lock last week and saw his minutes and Fantasy scores jump significantly - scoring 64 in 68 minutes having previously averaged 35 points a game off the bench. If he can maintain those minutes he could potentially become a cut-price keeper at less than $400,000, but the bad news is he's back to the bench this week with Tepai Moeroa returning from suspension. Clint Gutherson's 28 last round was his first poor score of the year and only his second without a try, while Kaysa Pritchard continues to earn good money as a cash cow following last week's 49.
Storm: Cooper Cronk dropped the bombshell on Tuesday morning that he'll leave the club at the end of 2017 but in Fantasy terms there's nothing particularly new at the Storm this week: Cameron Smith is still going strong, Ryley Jacks and Billy Slater continue to rise in value, Jesse Bromwich still hasn't scored more than 37 this year and looks a sell, and Cronk himself has only scored more than 37 in games in which he's scored a try.
Sharks: Valentine Holmes suddenly looks a keeper at the back after producing a brilliant 63 against Newcastle, instantly earning back the money he dropped after his first two quiet games of 2017. Jayden Brailey has a break even of 19 so is a sell soon, but he at least has the starting hooker spot once again ahead of James Segeyaro with Cronulla naming an unchanged side.