Scout Report: Round 23 Fantasy Q&A
The finals series is here for most head-to-head NRL Fantasy leagues, making it a massive week for Fantasy coaches. With some big names ruled out or in doubt and the season going on the line for a lot of Fantasy teams, here are my answers to this week's big questions.
Cameron Munster out this week is a massive headache. Now that it's finals time, is it worth holding him and use AE in the halves? - From Michael Zhang
This is a really tough one this week. Munster is expected to return for the Storm next week and has been a keeper in the halves or winger/fullback this season – so if you can afford to, holding looks the smart move. But it's the "if you can afford to" but that's tricky.
If you're facing a sudden-death head-to-head match-up, and you're not the clear favourite, trading to someone like Daly Cherry-Evans, Mitchell Pearce or (if you can afford him) Nathan Cleary looks a safe move. Likewise if you've got a lot of trades left – any more than four – then it's fine to burn one to cover a one-week injury at this stage.
If you're low on trades, have got decent depth to cover for Munster this week, or look like cruising in your head-to-head match-up (or better yet, have earned a week off) then hold.
Hey LS, my big question for the week. Will Surgess be able to back up with another full performance against the tough Dogs pack? Was looking at one trade either Surgess to Gallen, or RTS to DCE via a Munster DPP. - From Kim Clayton
As I wrote here last week, Sam Burgess isn't a must-sell by any means but he could be a luxury trade worth making after going six games without hitting a 50. I actually upgraded him to Jack de Belin last week, and an upgrade to Paul Gallen could also be worth it if you've got the cash. In saying that, Burgess did score 41 in 44 minutes before going off injured in Round 22 and scored 41 despite being sin-binned last week, so a quality score may not be far away from a player that has been an elite gun in the past.
Cherry-Evans is in sublime form but Tuivasa-Sheck's probably a hold now; he scored 55 without a try last week and the Warriors' final four games are up against the Raiders, Rabbitohs, Sea Eagles and Tigers – four of the seven worst defensive teams in the league this season. Neither Burgess or Tuivasa-Sheck are that reliable these days but personally I've kept RTS and sold Burgess.
Hi Scout. I won my H2H, I have three trades left, one is a cash-out leaving heaps of cash. Thinking of tweaking either Surgess to Brown, or Keary to Cleary. This would leave me 19 keepers, two reserves and one trade for the rest of the finals. Better to hold off or go for it hoping to win the first semi and get a week off? - From Kevin Mulhearn
I'd probably go Keary (not a keeper) to Cleary (a keeper) and save the other trades this week. Sam Burgess probably would have posted decent scores in the past couple of weeks if it wasn't for an injury in Round 21 and a sin-bin last week, so a slight upgrade to Nathan Brown could be a sideways move. It's impossible to predict what injuries will hit your squad in the final few weeks but if they do then having trades up your sleeve will be priceless.
I've got three trades left, wanna ditch RTS, have Slater, who is the go-to? Should I keep Widdop or bring in Moses as well? - From Jimmy Penno
James Tedesco is the only real "must-have" fullback, but Tuivasa-Sheck is not necessarily a sell (especially after scoring 55 last week and with games against the Rabbitohs and Wests Tigers still to come). If you were looking to upgrade Widdop I'd prefer an established gun like Mitchell Pearce, Nathan Cleary or Daly Cherry-Evans. Mitch Moses is in great form and is cheap at $366,000, but keep in mind he scored only 19 a few weeks ago against the Tigers so is no sure thing to continue his recent run of big scores.
Any captaincy gambles? Need to make some points up in head-to-head. - From Tim Blake
Angus Crichton could do some damage against the Bulldogs on Thursday night, Paul Gallen might have a monster game against some of his old Origin rivals in Brisbane on Friday night, Paul Vaughan could bust a lot of tackles against a weak Titans defensive line on Saturday and Jason Taumalolo will be the go-to man for an even-more injury-hit Cowboys side against a Penrith outfit that has made the second-most missed tackles in the league this season. All those guys are worth gambling on, but the safe bet is always Cameron Smith.
What happens if there is a tie in the grand final? - From Joseph Grant
In the event of a tie in any Fantasy head-to-head finals game, the team that was ranked higher on the head-to-head league ladder gets the win.