NRL Fantasy winners & losers: Round 23
With shock wins from the Knights and Tigers and some huge performances across the board, it turned out to be a good week to gamble on a few wildcard NRL Fantasy captaincy options with the head-to-head finals heating up. Here are the success stories, flops and talking points to come out of this week's NRL Fantasy action.
Not one, not two but three players passed the 90-point mark this week, with all three having big attacking performances in key wins. Tackle machine Cameron McInnes (94) got across the try-line twice as the Dragons thumped the Titans, Nathan Cleary (92) did the same and made a great try-saving tackle to deny Coen Hess against the Cowboys, and Dane Gagai (92) produced three try assists from fullback as Newcastle stunned the Eels.
McInnes's Dragons teammates Kurt Mann (87) and Joel Thompson (78) also thrived in the romp over the Gold Coast, while Cleary's fellow Panthers Reagan Campbell-Gillard (76) and Josh Mansour (76) wreaked havoc.
Cowboys star Jason Taumalolo proved to be the best of the regular captaincy options this week with 75, a score matched by in-form Parramatta workhorse Nathan Brown, while Knights playmaker Brock Lamb had probably his best game at NRL level for 73 points, James Graham bounced back into Fantasy form with 73 of his own, and Darius Boyd made a season-high 71 as Brisbane thrashed the Sharks.
Of course Cameron Smith (61) didn't do too badly for those who stuck with Mr Reliable as skipper, with big names James Tedesco (59), Simon Mannering (59), Mitchell Pearce (58), Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (58) and Daly Cherry-Evans (58) all continuing their good recent form.
Sam Burgess was again troubled by his ribs injury and left the field early against the Bulldogs for 43 points, in what's become a worrying trend for his Fantasy owners.
Popular Fantasy forward Jarrod Wallace (25) joined the casualty ward with a knee injury, while Michael Morgan (24) suffered a concussion in the first half of the Cowboy's loss to Penrith.
There were also injuries for barnstorming centres Joey Leilua (38, knee) and Solomone Kata (16, shoulder), while Manly young gun Brad Parker (31) suffered a possible ACL injury.
There were single-digit scores for popular Fantasy buys Sam Stone (4), James Maloney (5), Jordan Kahu (7), Lewis Brown (7) and Kane Elgey (8), while there were poor scores from star big men Paul Gallen (24) and Martin Taupau (33).
Fantasy team of the week
1. Darius Boyd (71)
2. Josh Mansour (76)
3. Dane Gagai (92)
4. Nick Cotric (66)
5. Kurt Mann (87)
6. Brock Lamb (73)
7. Nathan Cleary (92)
8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard (76)
9. Cameron McInnes (94)
10. James Graham (73)
11. Joel Thompson (78)
12. Jason Taumalolo (75)
13. Nathan Brown (75)
14. David Nofoaluma (68)
15. Lachlan Fitzgibbon (68)
16. Corey Harawira-Naera (67)
17. James Tamou (66)