It was a week dominated by injuries, dramatic falls from grace from a couple of super-popular Fantasy options and a shock No.1 performance of the week.
Penrith playmaker James Maloney scored a combined 37 Fantasy points across the opening three rounds of the season, including a -4 in round one, so it's fair not many were predicting him to score a whopping 85 as he led the Panthers to a shock win over the Cowboys. In the absence of Nathan Cleary (knee, round 13), Maloney produced two try assists, a try, eight goals and a whopping 492 kick metres in a stunning solo effort.
Manly fullback Tom Tbrojevic was also outstanding in a winning side, laying on four tries for teammates, scoring one himself and making three line breaks for 84 points in 72 minutes before leaving the field with an ankle injury. He's likely to be back in three weeks.
Titans forward Jai Arrow switched to lock and showed he could potentially live up to "the next Corey Parker" tag from his days at the Broncos with an excellent 65 in 59 minutes, while teammate Phillip Sami bagged a hat-trick and 71 Fantasy points.
Elsewhere Andrew McCullough scored 64 and looks a genuine captaincy option at hooker, considering a high-profile flop I'll get to shortly, while Kalyn Ponga (63) excelled again with 10 tackle breaks and a try assist, Wests Tigers cash cow Robbie Rochow grabbed a try in another strong effort for 62, Cowboys duo Ben Hampton (62) and Coen Hess (61) were standouts in a losing side, Rabbitohs lock Cameron Murray (61) scored the match-winning try against the Bulldogs and Panthers forward James Fisher-Harris (59) made 50 tackles in a terrific individual effort.
Sign up for a free NRL Account to access this video and other exclusive content.
Already have an NRL Account?
Not sure? Learn more about NRL Account
Cameron Smith scored just under 63 points a game last season. In previous seasons he averaged 66, 61, 66 and 71. In 2017 he scored less than 50 just twice, and one of those scores was a round-one 47. His only mediocre score was a 36 in 44 minutes following State of Origin III.
This year he has two scores below 50 already, with Friday night's 23 against the Sharks – including his first ever stint in the sin bin – a new low. His average score this season is 45.5, about the same as Blake Ferguson's, and he doesn't look like the automatic captaincy choice he once was. Smith price dropped by $56,000 this week, it's has fallen $102,000 for the season so far and he'll need a monster score to prevent another fall next week.
There was an even more popular Fantasy buy with an even worse score this week with Bryce Cartwright managing just 3 points in a very brief stint off the bench for the Titans. He dropped from most-owned player in NRL Fantasy to the second-most owned last week, and will almost certainly plummet down those rankings this week.
And it gets worse – those poor souls who snapped up Moses Mbye after last week's stunning 101 copped a horror 102-point swing from the Bulldogs fullback in round four, with Mbye leaving the field after a head clash in the opening minutes for a score of -1.
It was a quiet week for cash cows Jeremy Marshall-King (8), Lachlan Croker (15) and Jamayne Isaako (17), while Nelson Asofa-Solomona followed up last week's impressive 56 with an underwhelming 9 and Johnathan Thurston's Fantasy struggles continued with a season-low 19.
Even Roger Tuivasa-Sheck struggled for points despite his side's win against his old club the Roosters, finishing on just 14.
NRL Fantasy Team of the Week
1. Tom Trbojevic (84)
2. Phillip Sami (71)
3. Euan Aitken (57)
4. Nene Macdonald (54)
5. Kalyn Ponga (63)
6. Ben Hampton (62)
7. James Maloney (85)
8. Jai Arrow (65)
9. Andrew McCullough (64)
10. Robbie Rochow (62)
11. Coen Hess (61)
12. James Fisher-Harris (50)
13. Cameron Murray (61)
14. Michael Lichaa (58)
15. Leeson Ah Mau (58)
16. Addin Fonua-Blake (58)
17. Jake Trbojevic/Matt Gillett/James Graham (56)