NRL Fantasy winners & losers: Round 8
There were massive scores from a few cash cows while it was a tough time for the outside backs in the eighth round of the Telstra Premiership season. Here are the success stories, flops and talking points to come out of this week's NRL Fantasy action.
After a couple of lean weeks Corey Norman bounced back into form in a big way with a two-try 85 in Parramatta's win over Penrith, re-establishing his keeper status and ensuring he'll be a popular pickup for Fantasy teams chasing overall points considering the Eels' great bye schedule.
Rabbitohs young gun Angus Crichton is quickly becoming a Fantasy favourite with a season-high 84, earning the back-rower another big price rise and moving his season average past 50 points (he's averaging a massive 73.3 in his last three games).
Storm forward Felise Kaufusi is developing from cash cow to potential keeper with back-to-back scores in the 70s, hitting 77 with a try against the Warriors on Anzac Day. Fellow fast-moving back-row cash cow Corey Harawira-Naera is also piling on the points, replacing the injured James Fisher-Harris in Penrith's starting side and scoring yet another try for 69 points, while Raiders gun Josh Papalii continued a brilliant individual start to the season with a season-high 79.
Martin Taupau returned with a bang for the Sea Eagles with 67 points, Mitchell Pearce's tremendous form continued with a 67 of his own, Joel Thompson made 69 including a barnstorming try against the Roosters, Jarrod Wallace's rise from mid-range to likely keeper continued with 67, Jake Trbojevic followed up last week's 74 with a 62, David Nofoaluma tackle-busted his way to 60 and hookers Andrew McCullough (64) and Kaysa Pritchard (60) excelled again.
Ryley Jacks' time as a cash cow is over with the Storm five-eighth replaced in the starting side by Cameron Munster on Tuesday night and then given just a few minutes off the bench at the end of the game for a meagre 2 Fantasy points.
It wasn't a great week for the outside backs with semi-popular buys Dale Copley (4), Dean Whare (7), Jaelen Feeney (8) and Jack Bird (8) all registering scores in the single digits while potential cash cow Matt Frawley made his second straight score of 10 after again coming off the bench for the Bulldogs.
Joey Leilua was a very popular buy last week but unfortunately produced his quietest game of the season with just 14 points in Canberra's shock loss at home to Manly, but he could easily bust out a 60+ effort in Round 9.
Raiders winger Nick Cotric also had a quiet game with 16 points in a week when a lot of Fantasy coaches played him in their 17s, while Brian Kelly (17), Curtis Sironen (18), Robert Jennings (21) and the out-of-form Trent Merrin (21) were also disappointing.
Fantasy team of the week - Round 8
1 Kalyn Ponga (58)
2 David Nofoaluma (60)
3 Dylan Walker (56)
4 Will Chambers/Ricky Leutele (47)
5 Corey Oates (53)
6 Corey Norman (85)
7 Mitchell Pearce (67)
8 Felise Kaufusi (77)
9 Andrew McCullough (64)
10 Jarrod Wallace (67)
11 Angus Crichton (84)
12 Josh Papalii (79)
13. Joel Thompson (69)
14 Corey Harawira-Naera (69)
15 Martin Taupau (69)
16 Jake Trbojevic (62)
17 Cameron Smith (62)