There were monster scores for some and mediocre returns for a few big names in the third week of the NRL Fantasy season.
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The Bulldogs earned their first win of the season against Penrith on Friday night and one of their biggest success stories of 2018 so far has been Moses Mbye's switch to fullback, with the speedster becoming the first player to crack the NRL Fantasy ton this season.
Mbye's 101 – featuring two tries, three line breaks and a massive 17 tackle breaks – edged out Gareth Widdop's 99 to be the Fantasy performance of the week. Widdop had a huge five try assists, two line breaks and nine goals in the Dragons' thrashing of the Titans on Sunday, with Matt Dufty (81) and Tim Lafai (66) both scoring hat-tricks in that match.
Rabbitohs winger Robert Jennings also scored a hat-trick in Souths' win over Manly for 83 points, while Cowboys wrecking ball Coen Hess scored twice against Melbourne for 80 and Nick Cotric had a try and 13 tackle busts for 70 in another narrow loss for Canberra, this time against the Warriors.
Roosters hooker Jake Friend somehow managed to make 56 tackles in a 38-8 victory over Newcastle on the way to 70 Fantasy points while Broncos duo Andrew McCullough (65) and Josh McGuire (64), former Bronco Ben Hunt (65) and Sharks prop Andrew Fifita (64) were the week's next best.
And kudos to @Naly_D on twitter for pointing out that Warriors veteran and long-time Fantasy gun Simon Mannering has now become the most expensive player in the game despite not playing a minute yet in 2018. (Cameron Smith, Jason Taumalolo, Angus Crichton and now Shaun Johnson have all had their prices dip below Mannering's this season.)
NRL Fantasy Review Show Round 3
Knights five-eighth Connor Watson (5) suffered a shoulder injury on Sunday night with fears surgery could rule him out for 12 weeks, while Nathan Cleary's Origin prospects have been put on hold with a knee injury set to rule him out until Round 13. Cleary finished on 22 this week and both he and Watson are must-sells given the time they'll spend on the sidelines.
Brisbane's rising star Tevita Pangai jnr (25) suffered a hamstring injury at just the wrong time for the NRL Fantasy coaches who picked him up last week, while a hip flexor injury (2-4 weeks) continued what has been a rocky return for Jarryd Hayne (4) at the Eels.
They weren't the only stars to struggle this week, with James Tedesco restricted to just 26 against the Knights and the game's most-owned player Bryce Cartwright struggling to make much impact again at lock with 27.
Johnathan Thurston (24) played alongside returning halves partner Michael Morgan (8) for the first time this season and neither made much impact against the dominant Melbourne Storm, while Shaun Johnson could only manage 30 points in a late win over the Raiders despite earning 10 of those points through a couple of crucial field goals.
Sharks winger Valentine Holmes meanwhile tripled his Fantasy tally for the season in one hit, but the fact that came with a season-high score of 14 suggests his price will continue to plummet for another few weeks at least.
Round 3 Fantasy Team of the Week
1. Moses Mbye (101)
2. Matt Dufty (81)
3. Robert Jennings (83)
4. Tim Lafai (66)
5. Nick Cotric (70)
6. Gareth Widdop (99)
7. Ben Hunt (65)
8. Josh McGuire (65)
9. Jake Friend (70)
10. Andrew Fifita (64)
11. Coen Hess (80)
12. Angus Crichton (62)
13. Tohu Harris (61)
14. Andrew McCullough (65)
15. Daniel Alvaro (62)
16. Cameron Murray (60)
17. Elliott Whitehead (60)
- Vote: NRL.com Team of the Week - Round 3
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