The next Paul Gallen and an increase in minutes for Tariq Sims are among the NRL Fantasy talking points of the day.

Cronulla Sharks coach Shane Flanagan has tipped hard-working young lock Billy Magoulias as a possible successor to tireless skipper Paul Gallen. Long-term NRL Fantasy star Gallen will leave a hole in the back row of plenty of Fantasy sides when he eventually hangs up the boots. Flanagan said Magoulias's appetite for metres and offloads marks him as something of a Gallen clone with the former NYC star to get a run against Manly in this weekend's trial.

Controversial Broncos prop Matt Lodge has already found his way into plenty of Fantasy teams this pre-season and continues to impress in an on-field sense with Troy Lindsay – a former prop and current director of the Redcliffe Dolphins (where Lodge played last season) likening the former Wests Tiger to a halfback in a prop's body. Lindsay also backed the 22-year-old (who will make his club debut in this weekend's trial against the Titans) to be a regular starter at the Broncos.

Dragons back-rower Tariq Sims starts 2018 at a discount compared to his Fantasy potential (break-even 38) due to playing most of 2017 off the bench, but he produced a few eye-catching performances in a starting role at the back end of the season. Sims told NRL.com he is putting up the best numbers of his career in training and is desperate to nail down a starting role this season in the absence of Manly-bound Joel Thompson. That campaign gets underway against Hull FC at ANZ Stadium on Saturday.

Johnathan Thurston isn't just one of the best halfbacks of the modern era, he's a former Fantasy gun whose output has been diminished by injury of late. Teammate Ethan Lowe says the 34-year-old is bursting out of his skin at training and with no rep duty on the horizon this year, the signs are good that Thurston could present an appealing option as a cut-price keeper.

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