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Is Ben Hampton a trap? Is it time to sell Coen Hess? The answers to this week's big NRL Fantasy questions, from's resident Fantasy guru the Lone Scout.

Is Ben Hampton a good look?
From Charles Walters

This was the most-asked question of the week, and I can see why. Cowboys hooker Jake Granville is out for three to six weeks with a fractured leg, with Hampton taking his place this week. Hampton is very cheap at $143,000 so if he plays big minutes at hooker for six weeks could be a good buy.

On the other hand, he's not a noted Fantasy scorer (he's averaged less than 14 points a game from his half-hour stints this season) and he could have some competition for the hooker spot with new Cowboy Blake Leary, who was named on their extended bench this week. Either way, there's almost no chance Hampton plays the full 80 minutes at hooker. If Granville gets the best-case scenario and comes back in three weeks' time, and Hampton has averaged 30 or 35 in that time, Hampton's price will only jump by around $40,000 or $50,000. And then you'd have to use another trade to get Hampton out of your side, as his price will drop back down to where it is now once he's playing limited minutes off the bench again. 

Obviously if he scores better than that and/or sticks around longer then he could make more money ($100,000 is usually the kind of price rise you want from a cash cow) but it is a bit of a risk.


Is it worth trading out Hess and/or Brailey now? For Graham, Vaughan, or McCullough, McInnes? Or wait?
From Alzena Zaviah 

Depends on how you see Hess going for the remainder of the season. He's been terrific as a cash cow, earning a whopping $165,000 this year. But he was also promoted to the starting side last week and only went off due to a head knock, meaning he could become a starter for the Cowboys in the long run. If that's the case, he could produce more monster scores like he did early in the season and will probably be a keeper. He still averages 53 points a game, even with last week's low score – that's keeper numbers. 

If he's a bench player long-term though, then he's peaked in price.

Brailey won't be a keeper but unlike Hess hasn't quite peaked yet – but is very close. If you can trade straight to a gun like Cameron Smith or Cameron McInnes then do it, otherwise it's fine to hold him for another week.

Hey Scout, what do you think about trading Hess for Whitehead? This frees me up enough cash to trade Brailey for McCullough this week too. Have had a good run with Hess but he seems a bit quite on the edge unless he gets tries. Thoughts?
From Paul Anderson

See my thoughts above on Hess – I wouldn't be trading him out just yet as he could easily post a big score (especially if he's a late inclusion in the starting side again). Whitehead is a good buy though. 

On the second trade, there's a chance McCullough's huge scores could be about to dip, with news Kodi Nikorima is set to get a spot on the Broncos bench as early as this week. If Nikorima takes minutes off McCullough at dummy-half his Fantasy scores could potentially drop below 50 points a week – although on current form McCullough could still average 55 even in limited minutes. Still, it does add an element of risk for a player who now costs a whopping $565,000.


Mate had a thought. Brailey to Kaysa Pritchard... surely Pritchard has more cash to make than Brailey yeah?
From Dom Griffin 

Kaysa Pritchard has been a good moneymaker and it's true he's got more cash to earn than Brailey from here, but probably not enough to justify two trades. Yes Pritchard scored 49 last week thanks to a try, but his season average is still only 35 and he's close to peaking in price. I'd look for a keeper instead, or maybe James Segeyaro in a few weeks if he's got the starting spot at Cronulla, or Damien Cook if you think he'll keep the Rabbitohs starting spot over Robbie Farah long-term.

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