The final bye round was another tough one for NRL Fantasy coaches, but a few stars stood up to shine in a low-scoring round. Here are the success stories, flops and talking points to come out of this week's NRL Fantasy action.
Semi Radradra has been a popular bye-round pickup for Fantasy coaches and he paid them back handsomely in Round 18 with his best score of the year (and the best score of the round) with 81 points including four line breaks and 10 tackle busts.
Jake Friend thrived yet again with Mitchell Pearce out of the Roosters side, making 61 tackles and two try assists for 73 points, while in-form Eels lock was another great captaincy option with 71 from another 80-minute performance.
Manly duo Tom Trbojevic (70) and Daly Cherry-Evans (68) both excelled despite their Manly side losing to Penrith, with Storm forward Nelson Asofa-Solomona (65), Panthers halfback Nathan Cleary (63) and Bulldogs trio Aiden Tolman (64), Moses Mbye (61) and Raymond Faitala-Mariner (61) all impressing.
First, the late withdrawal – boom Storm youngster Curtis Scott succumbed to illness before Melbourne's loss to Parramatta and was unavailable, although his spot looks safe in the long run now with Cheyse Blair suffering a potentially season-ending ankle injury. Cashout option Jaelen Feeney was also cut by the Knights squad before kick-off for those who were relying on a few points from him.
Points-wise, it was a quiet week for Knights forward Luke Yates (9), Panthers prop Reagan Campbell-Gillard (9) and Manly centre Brian Kelly (11), while Michael Lichaa was bumped to the bench by the Bulldogs and scored just 1. Michael Gordon (pec) and Sione Mata'uitia (finger) also picked up injuries while Tim Mannah suffered a concussion.
The bye rounds are almost behind us now – four teams will be sitting out Round 19 (the Storm, Roosters, Eels and Bulldogs) and then it's clear sailing for the run home.
Fantasy team of the week
1. Tom Tbrojevic (70)
2. Semi Radradra (81)
3. Peter Mata'utia (61)
4. Kerrod Holland (57)
5. Clint Gutherson (60)
6. Nathan Cleary (63)
7. Daly Cherry-Evans (68)
8. Aiden Tolman (64)
9. Jake Friend (73)
10. James Tamou (60)
11. Nelson Asofa-Solomona (65)
12. Raymond Faitala-Mariner (61)
13. Nathan Brown (71)
14. Moses Mbye (61)
15. Shaun Lane (57)
16. Aidan Guerra (57)
17. Bevan French/Kenny Edwards (56)
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