While the Storm v Knights trial last week had plenty of good news for Fantasy coaches, a possible cheapie at the Broncos has been struck off the watch-list after suffering a knee injury in the trial against CQ Capras.
English import Andre Savelio is out for the season after injuring his knee, but rookies Payne Haas and David Fifita impressed.
Popular mid-range buy Greg Inglis has found his way into plenty of pre-season teams as coaches hope to see him wind back the clock at fullback but unfortunately, early indications are that he may not play round one at all and his early games could well be in the centres as he looks to regain his match fitness. If that happens, Alex Johnston may creep into a few more teams but be warned – a stint at fullback could be short-lived and is no guarantee to dramatically boost his price on the evidence of the half a season he spent in the No.1 jersey last year.
The sixth-highest averaging centre from 2017, Tim Lafai, has told NRL.com of his plans to moderate his attacking game to avoid placing his team under pressure early in sets. It's probably a good thing for Red V fans but it's bad for his Fantasy output. A possible slight reduction in demerit points from errors would not cancel out the potential loss of attacking numbers and it could have flow-on effects for likely right-side winger Jason Nightingale – himself a generally reliable Fantasy scorer – who may not get as many chances in open space if Lafai dials down the offloads.
Bryce Cartwright's move north to the Titans has Fantasy coaches salivating at the prospect of him playing a big-minute roving lock role. Cartwright's price plummeted in his underwhelming 2016 season which has him nice and cheap ahead of 2018 and a big chance of earning a wad of cash back.
The down-side of the move is that one of the most popular back-rowers in the game to date – ex-Bronco Jai Arrow – was slated for the Titans' starting No.13 jersey. However, speaking to foxsports.com.au, coach Garth Brennan confirmed the hard-working lock will definitely still be in the Titans' round one team somewhere.
The back-line puzzle at the Wests Tigers may be starting to get a little clearer – at least if prop Tim Grant is to be believed – with the 29-year-old heaping praise on the pre-season efforts of fellow former Panther Malakai Watene-Zelezniak as he looks to edge out the likes of Mahe Fonua and Corey Thompson.