With one round down it's a crucial time for snapping up those value NRL Fantasy buys you missed out on last week. Which players are the real deal and who are the traps you should avoid?
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Stick or flick Paul Gallen since his break even is 74 and price will drop another $20k+ and probably won't play the big minutes he normally does?
From David Le
The urge to trade is strong after the opening week of a Fantasy season, but one of the golden rules of Fantasy is to never trade keepers – and Paul Gallen is an established keeper. Yes, he only scored 36 last week after being surprisingly relegated to the bench before kick-off, but he's named to start this week and could easily hit 60 or more like his old self.
If low scores or significant minutes on the bench become a regular issue for Gallen then consider trading, but for now he's a definite hold.
Match: Sharks v Dragons
Round 2 -
Venue: Southern Cross Group Stadium
Is Sam Williams worth the pick up given the Raiders have Blake Austin and Aidan Sezer in the 17? Was Raymond Faitala-Mariner's 61 a one-off or could we see him posting similar scores around the 50 mark?
From Chris Adams
Williams was one of round one's surprise success stories, scoring 48 points for a $35,000 price boost after being a late inclusion in the Raiders starting side at halfback. If he holds that spot he looks very good value at $333,000. The risk is there that Sezer could come back into the side at any time (Canberra blew a lead while Sezer was on the field playing at hooker, which could help or hurt his chances of returning to the halves depending on how you look at it). If the Raiders start winning with Williams at halfback you can expect him to stay there, but he remains a riskier option in terms of job security than, say, Lachlan Croker who has less competition for spots at Manly.
Faitala-Mariner scored a try in that 61 so you can't expect that every week, but even if he scores around 40 points a game he looks good value. The fact he played the full 80 minutes makes him a very promising buy.
Brodie Croft for Williams? With a break-even of 3 he's going to make more money but is it worth burning a trade if Croft could still potentially be a low-level keeper?
From Dylan Mitchell
There's a lot to like about Williams (job security questions aside), but I'd probably hold Brodie Croft for now. He had a very rough first half against the Bulldogs and finished with seven missed tackles and two errors for a combined -18 in demerit points. He'll always have a few missed tackles but if he cuts out a few of them and adds an assist or two he could easily hit 40+ this week, and considering he scored better than 50 points a game in his few appearances last season he could still become a borderline keeper.
NRL Fantasy Preview - Round 2
Want to hold SST but also want RFM, is SST to RFM a good trade, also trading Katoa to Thompson?
From Nick Drysdale
I'm loving all the acronyms in this question. Sio Siua Taukeiaho is one player who didn't live up to expectations last week, finishing on 28 points from 49 minutes and not kicking goals. He's not an urgent trade considering his $526,000 price tag but I like the option of trading to a cut-price 80-minute forward in Raymond Faitala-Mariner. I also like the Sione Katoa to Corey Thompson trade, with Thompson having a negative break even after smashing 60 points against the Roosters.
Is Slade Griffin's spot secure given Danny Levi is still at the Knights? I know Nathan Brown wants an 80-minute hooker, but I feel like Levi could still creep his way in if Griffin has a bad game or two.
From Bruski Kaihe-Sayers TeWheau
It can't be ruled out but the fact that Nathan Brown not only picked Griffin to start in round one but had the confidence in him to leave Levi (a New Zealand international) out of the 17-man side altogether suggest Griffin's job security is pretty good. Add the fact he was one of Newcastle's best in the win over Manly and he should get good minutes for the foreseeable future (and should be a good Fantasy buy as well).
Match: Raiders v Knights
Round 2 -
Venue: GIO Stadium
Early days yet and I can't believe I am about to ask this question... but is Ash be Taylor a half to consider? And what are your thoughts also on Corey Norman's 50+ effort in a losing game is he worth considering?
From Shan Bouguerra
Taylor and Norman are both quality players so are capable of scoring 50 Fantasy points in a game (they both had scores over 70 last season) but you can't expect them to do it consistently this year based on round one alone. I'd be concentrating on grabbing the right cash cows at this stage of the year rather than snapping up players who are a chance of becoming borderline keepers.
Who would be a better trade for Katoa? I'm looking at the Rabbitohs' new half Adam Doueihi or Manly's Kelepi Tanginoa.
From Trent Dalziel
Doueihi was in good touch for the Rabbitohs during the pre-season and could be an instant scorer in Fantasy, but job security is his major issue – Adam Reynolds is expected to miss 2-3 weeks with a knee injury, or 4-6 weeks, depending on who you ask. If Doueihi was guaranteed six weeks I'd be snapping him up but if he is gone in a fortnight he won't make enough cash to be worth two trades (considering you'll be trading him out later to make use of that cash).
Tanginoa, meanwhile, scored 38 points in about 40 minutes off the bench for Manly and as one of the Sea Eagles' best impact big men against Newcastle he could be a consistent contributor this year. He looks a safer long-term bet.
Match: Sea Eagles v Eels
Round 2 -
Best cashy to bring in out of Papali'i/Rochow/Murray or another 2RF I have missed? When Mannering returns is it possible he plays lock rather than on an edge?
From Adam Cathro
Of those three Isaiah Papali'i has the most potential to make money, Cameron Murray is likely to be the best scorer (if he holds the starting lock position at Souths) but I'd go for Robbie Rochow who is cheaper than Murray and has arguably better job security than Papali'i, who could easily lose his spot to Simon Mannering in a few weeks. Mannering can play lock as well but word is he'll be lining up in the second row, where Papali'i would be the man to make way rather than star recruit Tohu Harris.
I have both Luciano Leilua and Sam Cook in my emergencies – will their minutes improve? Looking at this new Souths halfback… surely he would be worth trading one for even if he's only there for three weeks as he could make money?
From Cam O'Dwyer
Leilua and Cook both look like only getting limited minutes off the bench so I would look elsewhere (not that they are urgent sells at their price). I've covered the risks with buying Doueihi above, but he's still a potential bargain if you've already got prized cash cows Viliame Kikau and Corey Thompson.
Match: Panthers v Rabbitohs
Round 2 -
Venue: Panthers Stadium
I was thinking of trading Tariq Sims for Faitala-Mariner, is this a good trade? Then trading Hiku for Kennar, but was wondering if Kennar can keep getting points.
From Chris Dumas
Good trades. Hiku's not an urgent sell and Kennar isn't guaranteed to keep scoring well (he won't get two tries every week like he did against the Warriors) but both Kennar and Faitala-Mariner are in my side and won't be moving on for a while.
I have Kodi Nikorima and Bryce Cartwright in my halves with no cover. Should I fork out now to go Johnson/Pearce/Munster, or jump on Williams or another value half?
From Te Huia Paniora-Hepi
Shaun Johnson, Mitchell Pearce and Cameron Munster are all quality Fantasy scorers and likely keepers, so there's never a bad time to buy them, but they are also not going to get much more expensive than they are now while round two is a great time to get value buys into your squad. I'd probably lean towards Williams, Doueihi or even someone like Lachlan Croker at this point for Nikorima (or as an extra half in your squad).
Is Latu to Rochow a safe trade do you think? What's your thoughts on Rochow's minutes going forward?
From Dom Griffin
Rochow played 80 minutes in a winning side (against the Roosters no less) so his game time should be fairly safe in the short term at least, so I like him as a cash cow buy. Leilani Latu was disappointing last week, so I'd trade.
Match: Storm v Wests Tigers
Round 2 -
Venue: AAMI Park
Mitch Aubusson. In or out for Draft? If out, good player to pick up that isn't likely to have already been taken.
From Nick Frohloff
I'm famously against the idea of buying Mitchell Aubusson in regular NRL Fantasy but in Draft I don't mind him at all as an option for the always tricky centre position. Snap him up.