The king lives! Cameron Smith's stunning revival is just one of several big NRL Fantasy success stories for round five, with Jai Arrow establishing himself as a new star and Daly Cherry-Evans and Anthony Milford going large.
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Arrow was already a great buy before this week but his ownership will go through the roof now after he scored two tries in a stunning 99 as the Gold Coast Titans beat Manly on Sunday. He's surely secured the No.13 jersey at the Titans and has shown in the last fortnight he's able to score well in both attack (190m, nine tackle busts this week) and defence (39 tackles in round four).
Cherry-Evans was the week's next best despite playing in the losing side on Sunday, with a long-range try, four goals and a season-high 368 kick metres helping him to 91 points.
Anthony Milford threatened to steal a late win for Brisbane against the Knights on Saturday night and finished on 87, while Tigers half Luke Brooks (77), Rabbitohs hooker Damien Cook (77), Newcastle forward Lachlan Fitzgibbon (77) and Eels lock Nathan Brown (75) all starred this week.
There were also season-best performances from Sharks Fantasy superstars Andrew Fifita (70) and Paul Gallen (62), with Gallen's first score above 50 for the season meaning his price has bottomed out at $715,000 after dropping by $145,000 in the opening month of the campaign.
But the big headline was always going to be the performance of Fantasy legend Smith, who was sent packing from thousands of teams after scoring just 23 points in round four. Still hampered by a groin injury, Smith didn't kick goals for the Storm on Saturday but he did kick in general play (269 kick metres – his best return of the season so far) while also making 57 tackles in a grinding loss to the Wests Tigers for a bumper score of 84. It immediately puts a halt to his price drops after his value had slid by about $100,000 in the opening rounds, and once again establishes him as a captaincy option – especially once he gets the goal-kicking duties back again.
Trade-happy Fantasy coaches were also winners this week, with lockout lifting at about 9.30pm Sunday night once the final stats of the round were finalised. Expect to see lockout lifting at around the same time most weeks now with the final game of the round wrapping up at 6pm Sunday (AET).
Brett Morris (-2), Anthony Gelling (-1) and Ata Hingano (-3) were the unlucky trio to play limited minutes and finish on negative scores this week, with Morris suffering a concussion and a gash to the face 11 minutes into the Bulldogs' loss to Canberra.
Cash cow Adam Doueihi's price has peaked after $171,000 in rises after he scored just 9 off the bench for the Rabbitohs, and it might be a similar story for fellow cash cows Lachlan Croker (18) and Jamayne Isaako (21).
Bryce Cartwright remains one of the most-owned players in Fantasy despite his relegation to the Titans bench but after he scored 28 he received his first price drop of the season.
And after last week's superb 85, Panthers halfback James Maloney came back down to earth with 26 in Sunday's win over Parramatta. As usual his attacking game was good but a whopping 12 missed tackles cost him 24 points. It was still good enough to earn him a $50,000 price jump (and he'll get another price rise with any positive score this week) but his 15,684 Fantasy owners will have to accept inconsistent scores from him and just remain hopeful another big score is around the corner.
NRL Fantasy Team of the Week
1. James Tedesco (58)
2. Kyle Feldt (58)
3. Joey Leilua (56)
4. David Fusitua (53)
5. Kalyn Ponga (57)
6. Anthony Milfordd (87)
7. Daly Cherry-Evans (91)
8. Andrew Fifita (70)
9. Cameron Smith (84)
10. Jai Arrow (99)
11. Lachlan Fitzgibbon (77)
12. Ryan Matterson (71)
13. Nathan Brown (75)
14. Luke Brooks (77)
15. Damien Cook (77)
16. Issac Luke (68)
17. Paul Gallen (62)