Another week, another big batch of questions from NRL Fantasy coaches looking to get the edge over their league rivals and climb the overall points ladder.
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First up, a couple of updates to the game came in this week, with player profile pages now up on the Fantasy site (including full game-by-game match stats for every player... very handy for trade research) and quick trade functionality is available on the website and mobile site. Just click the T on a player in your team you want to trade out then pick whoever you like to trade in. Complex two-player trades can still be made via the Trades tab as usual.
Now, onto this week's questions.
When will new DPPs be added? I read earlier in the season they'll be updated at Round 6?
From Cameron Ashcroft
New dual position player updates will kick in after round six, with the next batch of changes to come after round 12 and the final ones to come after round 18.
With Pita Godinet and Lachlan Croker looking like they've topped out who's the next bunch of cheapies... Gosiewski, Terepo? Both are starting.
From Ben Must
Jack Gosiewski has earned a starting spot in a Manly pack that has lost Curtis Sironen and Kelepi Tanginoa for the season, and for a starting second-rower he's very cheap at $264,000. That's the good news – the bad is he's never really been much of a Fantasy scorer in his limited NRL opportunities so far (seven matches). Of course that could change with a larger role and more experience in the top grade, but I'd probably wait and see how he scores this week before snapping him up.
Peni Terepo isn't as cheap at $367,000 and his job security in the starting side isn't as good with regular starter Daniel Alvaro waiting in the wings on the bench. He scored well with 45 in round four but 27 in 50 minutes last week is a bit of a concern so he's a wait as well in my book.
Pita Godinet and Lachlan Croker are both sells but they won't lose money this week (unless Croker scores very slow) so there's no rush to trade unless you're desperate for points.
Raymond Faitala-Mariner and Slade Griffin have just about peaked, so is it a good week to go to Gallen & Gosiewski? Do you think Gallen will hit 50s/60s from here on out?
From Dom Griffin
Paul Gallen only has one score above 50 this season (the same as Griffin and one less than Faitala-Mariner) and his average score after five rounds is lower than both the guys you're looking to sell. Obviously he's been an established gun in the past and he's a pretty good buy on that basis, but Faitala-Mariner and Griffin both have a bit of extra cash to make and I wouldn't be selling either just yet. Give it a week to see if Gallen can follow-up last week's 62 with another strong score.
Who to captain this week? Smith, Cook or McCullough. I've swung and missed every week so far.
From Ben Sheat
You've got three great options there (in the same position no less). Here's how I'd break it down:
- Andrew McCullough is Mr Reliable, with four scores in the 60s since regaining the starting hooker role at Brisbane. He's got a high base but not the best ceiling.
- Damien Cook has a lower base and a higher ceiling, so is slightly riskier but with the potential for a bigger payoff, with scores ranging from 49 to 77 so far.
- Smith, this season, has the lowest base but the highest ceiling – having scored 23 and 84 in the past two weeks. His second-best score of 61 has been beaten by McCullough in each of the past four rounds.
With a question mark still hanging over Smith due to the groin injury that has prevented him from kicking goals in the past fortnight, go with Cook if you're happy to gamble a little with the potential for a big payoff, or McCullough if you want a safe 65 (make that 130) from your skipper. If you're playing head-to-head, see how you match up against your opponent and take the riskier option if you're the underdog and play it safe if you're the favourite.
What do you think about trading Nathan Brown for Cameron Smith or Apisai Koroisau?
From Barefoot (on Twitter)
Brown is an established keeper based on last week's 75 and last season's performances, and as a rule you don't trade keepers for two-week injuries (Brown is expected back in round eight). So I'd try to keep him if possible and find another way to upgrade a mid-ranger for a keeper like Smith or Koroisau. It'd be a different story if you were chasing a cut-price keeper whose price was rising fast…
How important is it to get Arrow?
From Adam Thomas
Just ask the people who missed out on Angus Crichton last season. On current evidence you're going to want to get Arrow in your squad at some point this year, and he won't get any cheaper than he is right now.
Do you see Mitchell Moses's Fantasy form improving now that Clinton Gutherson and Bevan French are back?
From Connor Sainsbury
Maybe – Gutherson should help improve the Eels' attack, and the club can be expected to improve in general anyway – but Moses still isn't in the Fantasy keeper or cash cow categories. He does have a low break even and a low average so he's neither a sell nor a buy at this point.
What's a better trade, J.McGuire for Arrow or J.Trbojevic for Arrow?
From Lachlan Pendleton
If you have to sell one, McGuire. He's a borderline keeper while Trbojevic is a regular 55-point scorer.
How would you rate Dufty out and Gutherson in? Other WFBs I have are Turbo and Ponga.
From Benny Cronk
I wouldn't make that trade yet. Wait and see how Gutherson goes this week – and Dufty is still a potential keeper himself after scoring better than 40 points a game so far this year.
I have Luciano Leilua who got dropped and I'm looking to replace him with the price of 212k know any? Thanks.
Unfortunately no. Bargain basement cash cows don't come along every week, which is why you need to snap them up fast when they do arrive.
I'm trading Nelson Asofa-Solomona and will have $712k to play with. Do I go for a second row or a half? Thanks.
Get Jai Arrow ($669k) if you haven't already. Otherwise, Ryan Matterson ($678k) ticks both boxes but is probably a borderline keeper at best, albeit an undervalued one. Cameron Murray ($673k) would have been a good buy if he wasn't injured this week. The other likely keeper in that price bracket could well be Moses Mbye ($665k), who is available at half but will probably be among the elite Fantasy WFBs this season.
Is Jazz Tevaga someone worth considering? He's playing big mins and underpriced if he keeps scoring mid 40s.
From Sean McBae
Yeah he's been a surprise this year at the Warriors. He's already made $100k in price rises but if he keeps averaging 40+ he could make another $150k. At $462k he's no longer a super cheapie but a possible POD cash cow. Bear in mind, big-minute Fantasy gun Simon Mannering made his injury comeback off the bench last week and could command greater game time in the coming weeks – which could hamper the Fantasy scoring potential of the other Warriors middle forwards.
Hey Scout! When do you start planning for round 13? Is it a bad strategy if I trade out a round 13 players for round 18 players now e.g. Crichton to Arrow? If you can guesstimate, how many players will you be able/targeting to field for round 13? Is it possible to field 17 players in both bye rounds?
From David Brickell
I believe this is the first bye-related question since the season kicked off, and it's an interesting one. (Ignore this answer if you're only playing to win your head-to-head competition; scoring well in the bye rounds is only a consideration for overall points. Even if your head-to-head league is playing through the bye rounds it's better to cop a potential loss or two there than waste trades that would be more valuable come finals time.)
The new draw format (25 rounds and just two bye rounds) means we don't know exactly what the best approach for Fantasy will be, and in answer to your last question no it won't be possible to field a full 17-man team for both bye rounds. You get up to four trades ahead of the first bye week in round 13, and in an ideal world you'd then have 17 starters and four other players in your squad who would available for round 17 (the other buy round). You then get another four trades for round 15 and another four for round 17, with the usual two trades for rounds 14 and 16 – meaning you can bring in a total of 12 new players between the bye rounds – leaving you one short of having a full 17 in both rounds. And that's if you aren't carrying any Origin stars and avoid injuries and suspensions.
So I'd probably aim for around 13 good players in both those weeks rather than trying to shoehorn in 17 players into your team for the first bye round and 16 new players for the second. Remember these are just two rounds out of 25 – having a strong squad for the run home will be more important than getting a good score in round 17.