NRL Fantasy winners & losers: Round 6
There were some monster scores – including the biggest performance of the year so far – as well as some encouraging signs from new cash cows. The success stories, flops and talking points to come out of this week's NRL Fantasy action.
Round 6 belonged to Raiders winger Jordan Rapana, who ripped apart the Titans' left-edge defence with three tries and a frankly ridiculous 19 tackle breaks on the way to a massive 117 Fantasy points – the first century of the season. Rapana now averages 64 points a game from six games – a staggering return for a winger, albeit one with seven tries in six matches.
There were big scores across the round, with three backs and three forwards featuring in the top six for the week. Rapana's ton overshadowed another huge effort from Jason Taumalolo (88 points, 71 average), while Souths half Adam Reynolds (85), Knights centre Dane Gagai (80) and young Rabbitohs forward Angus Crichton (78) producing season-best totals, while in-form Broncos hooker Andrew McCullough (76) continued to be the league's top Fantasy scorer.
Old Fantasy favourites Simon Mannering (75), Matt Gillett (70), Sam Burgess (69), Josh Papalii (69), Jack de Belin (68), Cody Walker (67), James Graham (67), Andrew Fififta (66), Joey Leilua (65) and Cameron Smith (65) all impressed.
It was a good week for the cash cows as well, with Panthers back-rower Corey Harawira-Naera (50) continuing his moneymaking start to the year with another try and 50 points, while Bulldogs half Matt Frawley (39) got increased game time due to an injury to teammate Brad Abbey (see below) and scored a try himself while Cowboys duo Kalyn Ponga (58) and Ben Hampton (54) both had excellent scores despite their team's shock loss to the Tigers.
Johnathan Thurston scored a very solid 50 points but suffered a suspected calf injury that could keep the champion half on the sidelines for a while in bad news for those Fantasy coaches who own the champion halfback (and potentially good news for Ben Hampton's job security in the starting side).
Cash cow Brad Abbey's good score last week could prove to be a one-off with the Bulldogs fullback lasting only 25 minutes against Newcastle before suffering a concussion, leaving him with just two Fantasy points. He still managed to outscore another injured fill-in fullback in Titans utility Tyrone Roberts, who managed an even zero in 58 minutes thanks to six missed tackles.
The other notable low scores of the round came from injured Fantasy-legend-turned-Cowboys-benchie Shaun Fensom (3), an error-prone Latrell Mitchell (7), and a few players who tend to rely on tries for points in Dale Copley (9), Suliasi Vunivalu (9), Brian Kelly (13) and Semi Radradra (13).
Clint Gutherson's shift from five-eighth to fullback to cover for the injured Bevan French resulted in a season-low score of 17, while Titans pivot Kane Elgey is a sell after only just hitting his break even of 19.
Fantasy team of the week
1. Cody Walker (67)
2. Jordan Rapana (117)
3. Dane Gagai (80)
4. Joseph Leilua (65)
5. Jorge Taufua (66)
6. Gareth Widdop (71)
7. Adam Reynolds (85)
8. Aiden Tolman (69)
9. Andrew McCullough (76)
10. James Graham (67)
11. Angus Crichton (78)
12. Simon Mannering (75)
13. Jason Taumalolo (88)
14. Matt Gillett (70)
15. Sam Burgess (69)
16. Josh Papalii (69)
17. Andrew Fifita (66)