Scout Report: Round 10 teams wrap
The ins and outs, injury and suspension news and NRL Fantasy form guide heading into the 10th round of the 2017 Telstra Premiership season.
Bulldogs: The hamstring injury to Josh Reynolds (Round 15) means Matt Frawley gets his chance in the starting side for the next few weeks, while Raymond Faitala-Mariner joins the bench. Mid-range cash cow Adam Elliott has been named on the bench but he was a late inclusion in the starting pack last round, scoring 65 (including two tries) in 80 minutes. Josh Morris, Aiden Tolman, Josh Jackson and Will Hopoate are all averaging more than 50 points across their past three games, while gun prop James Graham will dip in price in the next couple of weeks after an injury-affected 9 last round.
Cowboys: Johnathan Thurston is out with a shoulder injury but they have named Lachlan Coote (calf) and Jake Granville (leg) to return, meaning rookie sensation Kalyn Ponga is back to the reserves. John Asiata moves from halfback to prop this week with Ray Thompson to wear the No.7, although rookie half Kyle Laybutt is among the reserves. Coen Hess is on a lean run of form and with a break even in the mid-50s and could be a sell for those who have him, especially after being named on the bench. Ponga has scored 49 points a game and made a whopping $226,000 in price rises this season but might have to wait until Round 15 for his next appearance when the Cowboys lose their Origin stars. Jason Taumalolo is coming off a 37 in Round 9 but it's his only sub-50 score of the season and he's still averaging 60.
Dragons: Josh Dugan (fractured cheekbone, Round 13) is out, with Jason Nightingale moving to fullback, Taane Milne joining the wing and - interestingly - Jai Field included as the bench utility. Paul Vaughan is coming off his lowest score of the season - his 26 last round was his only score below 40 this year - but he remains a hold. The Dragons are likely to struggle without attacking weapons Dugan or Gareth Widdop but that could mean more defensive work for the likes of Cameron McInnes and Jack de Belin.
Sharks: Luke Lewis returns from a hamstring injury but Tony Williams is gone for the season with a knee injured suffered in the weekend's Tonga v Fiji Test. Paul Gallen is in great form at the moment and looks a good buy if he sticks to his plan to not play State of Origin this year. Jayden Brailey is coming off a 50 and is a hold for now - especially with the Sharks playing in the first two major bye rounds.
Wests Tigers: A major blow for the Tigers and Fantasy coaches with Jamal Idris ruled out for the season with a torn ACL while Aaron Woods will miss a few weeks with a groin injury. Sauaso Sue starts at prop this week with Tim Grant on the bench. James Tedesco should bounce back from his injury-affected 25 last round while teenage giant Moses Suli is coming off a 64 and is in solid form in the Tigers centres.
Rabbitohs: Robert Jennings has been replaced in the outside backs by Braidon Burns in bad news for those still with Jennings (although at least he won't lose money while out of the side). Aaron Gray is a chance of returning after being included in the extended bench, and could potentially bump out another misfiring cash cow centre in Siosifa Talakai. Adam Reynolds is somebody you expect to average about 50 points a game but he's produced some erratic scores this year: two scores in the 30s, two in the 40s, two in the 60s and one 80. Angus Crichton's prospects as a keeper took a hit with just 29 from 47 minutes last round, with his break even now in the 30s. He keeps a starting spot at least. Cody Walker's price is tumbling but he looms as a great bye-round pickup for overall points in a couple of weeks.
Panthers: James Fisher-Harris returns from his shoulder injury in the back row, bumping cash cow sensation Corey Harawira-Naera to the bench. CHN still has money to make, but his price rises will slow down now. Trent Merrin is coming off easily his best performance of the year - a 77 against Parramatta - but with a season average of 43 he remains a somewhat risky buy, even after a $143,000 drop in price. It's been a month since Nathan Cleary has scored 40 points in a game, but that's not a huge surprise for a halfback in a losing team.
Warriors: Solomone Kata is back from a hamstring injury meaning cheapie Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad drops out of the 17. Simon Mannering is back smashing out regular 50s and playing 80 minutes each week, while Shaun Johnson has been superb with 58 points a game and remarkably consistent as well with a season-low of 44. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck is looking like a keeper, while Bodene Thompson is still yet to really get going this season as a Fantasy scorer by his usual standards.
Storm: Tohu Harris is back on the bench, so Felise Kaufusi and Kenny Bromwich both keep their starting spots in the second row while Tim Glasby starts at prop with Jesse Bromwich stood down by the club. Cameron Munster hit 47 and 62 in his two 80-minute performances since returning from injury and is an interesting dual-position option if he can keep producing big run metre totals and a lot of tackle breaks. Felise Kaufusi is worth holding for now, as is Billy Slater who keeps pumping out 40+ efforts.
Titans: Kevin Proctor has been stood down by the Titans, with Joe Greenwood starting in the back row, while Dale Copley joins the bench and Jarryd Hayne remains in the centres. Ryan James is back in form after scores of 70, 56 and 61 and is good value at $479,000, while Jarrod Wallace is still a likely keeper despite a concussion-effected 19 last round. Kane Elgey has another price rise or two in him.
Sea Eagles: Unchanged. Jake Trbojevic is in fine touch with scores of 74, 62 and 62 in recent weeks while Martin Taupau is also on fire after hitting 67 and 64 since returning from injury. Dylan Walker will be a popular buy after his superb 84 against the Rabbitohs but keep in mind he was averaging less than 40 points a game before that. Daly Cherry-Evans is coming off back-to-back scores in the low 30s and could now potentially get a run for Queensland if Johnathan Thurston is out of Origin I.
Broncos: With James Roberts out with an ankle injury and Ben Hunt still out of action David Mead gets a start on the wing and Kodi Nikorima holds his starting spot at halfback. Nikorima has a break even in the single digits so should earn another strong price rise this week, but there's speculation Hunt could return sooner than expected. Josh McGuire is a keeper with Brisbane's Origin stars only guaranteed to miss three games in total over the bye period.
Knights: Cash cow Luke Yates is named in the No.13 jersey this week in good news for his owners, although he was before Round 9 as well and ended up being bumped to the bench. Trent Hodkinson could be a late inclusion after being included in the reserves. Sam Stone has scored back-to-back 50s but at $282,000 he's already risen a lot in value and he won't be a keeper once Mitch Barnett and Jamie Buhrer return. Sione Mata'utia has been a bit underwhelming this year due mainly to a few head knocks and positional switches but I'll be keeping him in my centres in the hope he can average 40+.
Raiders: Josh Papalii has been stood down this week with Sia Soliola moving into the starting pack. Joey Leilua is a hold despite his disastrous Fantasy form in the past couple of games, considering he hit back-to-back 60s before that. Nick Cotric avoided a price drop with a 45 last round and is probably a hold now until Round 12 (with Canberra in action during the first bye round) if you're playing for overall points.
Roosters: Latrell Mitchell is back in the side at centre, replacing Shaun Kenny-Dowall who has been stood down, while Mitchell Aubusson starts ahead of Aidan Guerra after being benched last round. Mitchell Pearce rivals Shaun Johnson as the best half in Fantasy this year but with State of Origin drawing closer he's starting to become a risky buy for overall points (the Roosters' Origin players will miss Round 12, 15, 18 and 19). Boyd Cordner is in great Fantasy form but is a certainty for NSW.
Eels: Unchanged. Considering Parrmatta's perfect bye schedule Corey Norman and Nathan Brown are looking like just-about must-haves for overall points ahead of the bye rounds - unless Norman gets picked for Queensland as cover for Johnathan Thurston. Clint Gutherson continues to score well meanwhile despite his move to fullback, while Kaysa Pritchard's run of good scoring came to an end with a 29 against the Cowboys last round.