Scout Report: Round 11 Fantasy Q&A
With Tom Trbojevic and Corey Norman sidelined through injury and a few popular NRL Fantasy players hitting form slumps, there are plenty of questions worth answering heading into Round 11.
Here are my answers to some of this week's key dilemmas.
Considering trading Norman for Gutherson? Will he get pushed back to centre once Norman returns with Moses at the Eels? And how will his scores be affected?
From Kevin Mulhearn
Yeah Norman is a risk now with Bevan French fit again and Mitchell Moses now the Eels' long-term five-eighth. Gutherson should still score well in the short term but when Corey Norman returns from injury in Round 17 Gutherson is likely to get shifted to the wing or centre where his scores will drop. For that reason I'd avoid him unless you're happy to spend two trades on him in the next couple of months.
What have you heard about Cody Walker? Do we avoid him while this contract drama is going on? Is Gutherson better to target to bring in as DPP half instead of Cody Walker?
From Ants Pullan
The speculation Walker is keen for an upgraded contract or a release from the Rabbitohs isn't a good distraction for him, but I can't see him leaving the club at this stage so he remains a strong bye-round pickup, especially considering his dual-position versatility. For the reasons mentioned above I still rate him above Gutherson. If you just need a half with good bye coverage, Adam Reynolds is another strong option.
 Walker Cody - Rabbitohs
Should we just bite the bullet with Leilua and stick it out with him? Surely the Raiders will go on a run soon like they did last year.
From Dom Griffin
Yep, with few standout centres in Fantasy this year and Leilua having the potential to go big on any given week, I think you need to hold. Leilua was the only centre to average better than 45 points a game last season and while he won't do that this year he can easily be a 40-point player from here on in once his form improves.
Thinking about bringing in James Graham, I have enough cap to afford any front-rower but he looks the best value for money. Or should I spend more and get Fifita/Taupau?
From Lance Naera
Graham is a very safe bet up front, and for overall points, he's got the added bonus of playing in two major bye rounds - Round 12 and Round 18. Fifita is usually the best prop in Fantasy but will miss four games over Origin (including Round 12 and Round 13) while Taupau is in sensational form but traditionally is closer to a 50-point player. He could be a point-of-difference option, although he doesn't come cheap this week. Ryan James is another good option after returning to form in the past month.
With Graham set to lose more money this week, but with Felise Kaufusi also set to lose money, I am thinking of bringing Graham in early - this week rather than next. Is this a good move? Or bite the bullet and wait a week then trade?
And with the byes, who do you think is the best replacement for Norman?
From Jono How
Yeah I like the Kaufusu to Graham trade. Graham's a keeper so it doesn't matter so much how his price changes once you get him, plus he'll outscore Kaufusi this week and if he gets a quality score his price probably won't drop as much as Kaufusi's anyway.
As far as Norman replacements go, Shaun Johnson is the best half in Fantasy this year and will play in Round 12, while Adam Reynolds and Cody Walker will play in all three major bye rounds and Cameron Munster is the left-field choice and will play in Round 15 and 18.
 Johnson Shaun - Warriors
What should be done about Tedesco? He's not performing and losing money and usually I would trade out a player who does that but I have to trade out Trbojevic and still have RTS & Slater.
From Heather Harris
Tedesco is the best fullback in Fantasy and over the course of the season his scores will almost certainly reflect that, so you've just got to put up with the lean run of form and keep him. Same goes for Roger Tuivasa-Sheck at this stage.
Can we trust Merrin to start being a solid scorer again? He looks good value.
From Matt Flanagan
Merrin certainly has been strong of late, coming off scores of 77 and 54, but keep in mind he averaged less than 39 before that so is still a bit of a risk. But having turned his form around and dropped $123,000 in value this season he could be a risk worth taking. Even if he's picked for NSW he'll only miss three matches (the Panthers have the bye in Round 12 and 15 anyway) so if you expect those mid-50s scores to continue now is the time to snap him up.
 Merrin Trent - Panthers
Is Fuimaono likely to get good minutes and potentially be a cash out option? Or am I better off going with Croker?
From Ryan Turner
Tyrell Fuimaono's NRL debut was one of several impressive things to come out of the Rabbitohs' Round 10 win over the Wests Tigers, but I still wouldn't expect big minutes from him necessarily. Still, he only needed 34 minutes to score 42 in his first game in the top grade, thanks largely to half a dozen tackle breaks, so if he holds onto a bench spot for the Bunnies long-term he'll be a good cash-out option with great bye coverage.
But he's a potential cash cow, not a keeper. Jarrod Croker is a keeper, so if that's what you want in your centres - solid scores in your top 17, rather than cash - then go for Croker instead.
Is McGuire a sell coming into Origin period? Would be for either Burgess or Gallen.
From Nathan Sheaff
Even though he'll play Origin, McGuire isn't a sell in my book - as he'll miss just three games in total over the Origin period.
Last week I had a quick guide to which teams to focus on during the bye rounds, but with people looking at selling players based on the byes as well here's a quick guide to each club's prospects in the next couple of months, for Origin and non-Origin players.
Keep in mind every club will miss two rounds between Round 12 and Round 19, and Origin players (who play in all three games) will miss Round 12, Round 15 and Round 18.
|Team||Origin players||Non-Origin players|
|Broncos||Miss three games||Play Round 12, miss Round 15 & 18|
|Raiders||Miss three games||Play Round 12, miss Round 15 & 18|
|Bulldogs||Miss four games||Play Round 12 & 18, miss Round 15 & 19|
|Sharks||Miss four games||Play Round 12 & 15, miss Round 13 & 18|
|Titans||Miss three games||Miss Round 12 & 18, play Round 15|
|Sea Eagles||Miss three games||Miss Round 12 & 15, play Round 18|
|Storm||Miss four games||Miss Round 12 & 19, play Round 15 & 18|
|Knights||Miss three games||Miss Round 12 & 15, play Round 18|
|Cowboys||Miss three games||Miss Round 12 & 18, play Round 15|
|Eels||Miss five games||Play Round 12, 15 & 18, miss Round 16 & 19|
|Panthers||Miss three games||Miss Round 12 & 15, play Round 18|
|Rabbitohs||Miss five games||Play Round 12, 15 & 18, miss Round 13 & 16|
|Dragons||Miss three games||Miss Round 12 & 18, play Round 15|
|Roosters||Miss four games||Play Round 12 & 18, miss Round 15 & 19|
|Warriors||Miss three games||Play Round 12, miss Round 15 & 18|
|Wests Tigers||Miss three games||Miss Round 12 & 18, play Round 15|
From this we can see that Origin players from the Bulldogs, Sharks, Storm, Roosters and especially the Rabbitohs and Eels are players to avoid over the bye rounds, but Origin players from all other clubs only miss three games in total so are worth holding. Only consider trading Origin stars from clubs missing four or five games if you've got a good number of trades remaining and are playing for overall points.
Also (if you're playing for overall) hold any non-Origin players who play in Round 12.