NRL Fantasy winners & losers: Round 24
It was a week for the next generation of Fantasy stars to thrive as the NRL season heads into its final weeks. Here are the success stories, flops and talking points to come out of this week's NRL Fantasy action.
It's the time of year when a lot of Fantasy coaches are already looking to 2018, with only a few teams still alive in head-to-head finals or the overall points race, so the Fantasy gods obliged with a glimpse of the game's future stars this week.
Knights second-rower Lachlan Fitzgibbon (90) and Rabbitohs lock Cameron Murray (84) led the way with the kinds of busy, tackle-busting performances that suggest they could both become long-time Fantasy guns. Meanwhile young Melbourne halfback Brodie Croft stepped into Cooper Cronk's shoes and promptly scored a hat-trick in a stunning individual effort against the Knights for 75 points.
Souths fullback Alex Johnston (82), Broncos forward Alex Glenn (75) and star locks Jake Trbojevic and Simon Mannering (both 74) were the other leading lights for Round 24, with Sharks stars Andrew Fifita and Paul Gallen (both 73) bouncing back after lean recent trots.
Panthers tackle-break specialist Josh Mansour (71) showed he can still be a wildcard in the last few rounds, Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (68) continued his strong late-season form, and Angus Crichton (65) edged Jason Taumalolo (64) and Cameron Smith (58) among the top captaincy options.
Another week brought another bunch of injury concerns, with Johnston (hamstring), Sione Mata'utia (concussion) and Bevan French (hamstring) among the players joining the casualty ward this week.
Cowboys youngster Kalyn Ponga made a rare appearance for the injury-ravaged side and promptly picked up an arm injury himself, finishing on -4 points by the time he left the field – which should at least drop his starting price a little when he joins the Newcastle Knights next season.
Elsewhere Matt Moylan (9) and Bryce Cartwright (10) didn't make much impact for the Panthers, Akuila Uate (15) was quiet in Manly's shock loss to the Bulldogs, while Jarrod Croker and Josh Dugan (both 17) were also kept quiet.
Daly Cherry-Evans was well below his best in the Sea Eagles' loss on Sunday after struggling with the flu, scoring just 28. Worryingly it's his fourth score below 30 this year so his Fantasy owners will be desperate for him to produce a much better effort in what looks like a must-win clash against the Warriors.
Fantasy team of the week
1. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (68)
2. Alex Johnston (82)
3. Blake Ferguson (69)
4. Curtis Scott (58)
5. Josh Mansour (71)
6. Michael Morgan (73)
7. Brodie Croft (75)
8. Andrew Fifita (73)
9. Cameron Smith (58)
10. Daniel Alvaro (71)
11. Lachlan Fitzgibbon (90)
12. Alex Glenn (75)
13. Cameron Murray (84)
14. Jake Trbojevic (74)
15. Simon Mannering (74)
16. Paul Gallen (73)
17. Anthony Milford (70)