Scout Report: Finals Week 1 teams wrap
NRL Finals Match Day Fantasy is here, with $2000 up for grabs for one savvy NRL Fantasy coach.
In the finals, NRL Fantasy is simple - pick six players from each finals game, including a captain who will earn triple points and a vice captain who will earn double points.
The Fantasy coach with the best total score across the four-week finals series will take out the prize.
There is no salary cap and no "trades" as such - justs pick your best six from each game (one player from each of the six designated positions) and the prize could be yours.
You can also set up leagues just like the Classic and Draft games, so get your mates signed up and start picking your sides.
Here's my guide to the players to watch in the opening week of the finals.
Roosters: Dylan Napa and Aidan Guerra return and move straight into the starting side, with Zane Tetevano out suspended, Sio Siua Taukeiaho and Ryan Matterson moving back to the bench and Victor Radley in the reserves. Mitchell Pearce has been the Roosters' best scorer all season and is in good form, averaging 57 in his last five games.
Broncos: Darius Boyd and Tevita Pangai Junior are both out with hamstring injuries, with Benji Marshall joining the starting side in the halves and Kodi Nikorima named to replace Boyd at fullback. David Mead and Jai Arrow join the bench. Matt Gillett has four scores above 70 this season, including one against the Roosters. Ben Hunt played the 80 after starting at hooker last week and scored 54.
Storm: Dale Finucane and Tim Glasby are back in the 17, with Robbie Rochow and Nate Myles dropping out. Cameron Smith is a must-pick and should get one of your captaincy spots, but the Storm's in-form Fantasy player is actually winger Suliasi Vunivalu is has smashed out scores of 56, 115 and 52 in the last three weeks. Tohu Harris scored twice last week for 96 while Cameron Munster and Billy Slater will be popular buys with both averaging scores in the mid-40s this year.
Eels: Unchanged. Nathan Brown is Parramatta's top workhorse and should be in your team in the front or second row, with Semi Radradra the wildcard after scoring eight tries in the past three weeks for scores of 42, 104 and 60. Michael Jennings is in good touch of late and probably pips Storm young gun Curits Scott to the centre spot.
Sea Eagles: Unchanged. Jake and Tom Trbojevic are the two most in-form Fantasy players from either team in this match-up, averaging 69 and 55 in their last three games respectively, and will both be popular buys. Martin Taupau seems to have refound his consistency with three straight scores of 50 or more, while Brian Kelly scored a whopping 75 last week and could be worth a gamble in the centres. The Daly Cherry-Evans v Nathan Cleary pick is a big decision here, with DCE just outgunned by his rival halfback last week despite Manly's win.
Panthers: Unchanged. Nathan Cleary is Penrith's best Fantasy prospect and remains a great base-stats scorer with usual halves partner Matt Moylan out of the side. Josh Mansour is averaging 50 in his last three games and could be a good selection at the back (especially as you can slot Tom Trbojevic in at centre). Tyrone May knows his way to the tryline and is the wildcard option at half or the back row, while tackle-busting fullback Dylan Edwards is some chance of playing after being included in the reserves.
Sharks: Cronulla have been boosted by the return of Origin stars Jack Bird and Wade Graham, with Jesse Ramien and Kurt Capewell dropping out. Paul Gallen has been sensational recently, running for more than 300 metres for 97 points last week after hitting 73 against the Cowboys in Round 24. But to pick him, you'll need to leave Jason Taumalolo out. Andrew Fifita is a must-pick in the front row after a great run of form, while Valentine Holmes scored 61 in their last clash with North Queensland.
Cowboys: Unchanged. Jason Taumalolo is looking for his third straight score above 70 and will again need to carry the team on his back if they are to stay alive here. Michael Morgan is the best of the halves in tis match-up, having scored 73 against the Sharks a fortnight ago. Coen Hess and Ethan Lowe both scored above 60 in that game but it'd be a brave coach to pick either of them ahead of Taumalolo and Gallen in the 2RF spot. Kyle Fedt is coming off a couple of good scores and could be worth gambling on ahead of Valentine Holmes at the back.