The key team changes and NRL Fantasy form guide for all 16 clubs leading into round 10 of the Telstra Premiership.
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Wests Tigers v North Queensland Cowboys, Thursday 7.50pm at Leichhardt Oval
Wests Tigers: Russell Packer returns to the starting side with Sauaso Sue shifting to the bench, while Jacob Liddle replaces Pita Godinet on the interchange. Chris Lawrence has been named but is likely to be ruled out due to concussion. Mahe Fonua has a negative break even after a couple of solid scores on the wing and is available for under $300,000, while Matt Eisenhuth is averaging 53 across his past three games. Corey Thompson is a sell after hitting his peak last week and now has a break even in the 40s.
Cowboys: Scott Bolton was charged with indecent assault over an incident in Bondi on Saturday night but has been named to play this week in an unchanged North Queensland side. Jason Taumalolo is currently matching his 2017 form, averaging a whopping 67 over the past month, and he's still a little cheaper than he was at the start of the season. Ben Hampton is scoring almost 44 points a game in the centres but is unfortunately only available at half or hooker in Fantasy.
Newcastle Knights v Penrith Panthers, Friday 6pm at McDonald Jones Stadium
Knights: Jack Cogger's reign in the halves has come and gone with Brock Lamb returning to the side in the No.7 jersey, having dropped $253,000 on his starting price this season due to a string of cameos off the bench (he's now available for $318,000). He's not the only change with Josh King starting and Luke Yates and Danny Levi joining the bench with Jamie Buhrer and Jacob Saifiti making way. Slade Griffin has upped his scoring in the absence of Mitchell Pearce and has a bit more cash to make.
Panthers: Trent Merrin has been named at prop despite a compound dislocation of his finger while Moses Leota will miss eight weeks with a pec injury and Jack Hetherington is suspended. Jarome Luai and Kaide Ellis are on the bench. Tyrone Phillips scored 51 with two tries last week and has a negative break even, and is a decent cash cow option if you're happy to gamble on a winger. As a comparison, fellow winger Christian Crichton is still stuck on $235,000 with an average score under 16 from three games. James Maloney hasn't quite hit peak price but he's getting close.
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs v Parramatta Eels, Friday 7.55pm at ANZ Stadium
Bulldogs: Rhyse Martin made a dream start to his Fantasy career with a try and 63 points in 80 minutes in the second row, and he's named to start at lock this week. He earned a $56,000 price rise first up and will make plenty more if he holds that starting spot. Josh Jackson moves back to the edge with Renouf Toomaga replacing Clay Priest on the bench. Jeremy Marshall-King failed to score 30 playing at hooker but is probably a hold for now, while Raymond Faitala-Mariner has passed the $700,000 mark and is ready to be upgraded to a big gun if you don't consider him a keeper this season. Moses Mbye is coming off his two worst (non injury-affected) scores of the season, with just 24 against the Broncos last week.
Eels: Kaysa Pritchard is out with a groin injury, replaced at hooker by Will Smith as Beau Scott returns on the bench. Siosaia Vave is also into the squad on the interchange with Tim Mannah out with a fractured eye socket. David Gower is guaranteed a hefty price rise after a surprise 65 last week while George Jennings continues to earn handy cash on the wing. Corey Norman is averaging 65 in his last three games but remains a risky buy alongside an equally dominant half in Mitch Moses.
New Zealand Warriors v Sydney Roosters, Saturday 3pm at Mt Smart Stadium
Warriors: Shaun Johnson's injury woes continued on the weekend when he picked up an ankle injury and he's been replaced once again by Mason Lino, with Issac Luke (shoulder) and Adam Blair (ankle) named despite injury concerns. Simon Mannering returns to the starting side after playing off the bench last week. Karl Lawton ($368,000) scored a double with Luke on the sidelines in his first game in Warriors colours for 62 points, while Roger Tuivasa-Sheck also made 62 and is again one of the most sought-after WFBs in Fantasy. His scores have improved significantly this year when Shaun Johnson is on the field, making his Fantasy prospects contingent on the fitness of his star halfback.
Roosters: Victor Radley has copped a one-match suspension for a high tackle at the judiciary on Tuesday night so will drop out of an otherwise unchanged side. Ryan Matterson's 39 against Manly was just his second sub-40 score all season – and included 42 tackles and six missed tackles – while James Tedesco's 23 and Latrell Mitchell's 26 were both season lows for them.
Melbourne Storm v Gold Coast Titans, Saturday 5.30pm at Suncorp Stadium
Storm: Surely Josh Addo-Carr can't keep this try-scoring run up, can he? The Origin-bound speedster has scored at least two tries in each of his past four games and has 11 in nine matches this season, and his price jumped by a massive $107,000 this week alone. Curtis Scott returns from an ankle injury in the centres this week while Dale Finucane is back in the starting side at lock with Kenny Bromwich shifting to the bench. Meanwhile Cameron Smith's 37 on Sunday will be enough for many Fantasy coaches to take the captaincy off him this round.
Titans: Jai Arrow is out with a rib problem following back spasms in the past couple of rounds, and there are plenty of other changes for Garth Brennan's side with Bryce Cartwright benched and Konrad Hurrell, Brendan Elliott and Ryan Simpkins all dropping out, while Dale Copley and Brenko Lee start in the centres and base price rookie AJ Brimson gets his chance at five-eighth. Nathan Peats is named in the reserves, suggesting time's almost up for Mitch Rein in the No.9 jersey. Ryan James shifted to the second row and made 73 in 80 minutes against the Raiders, including a try, but he's back at prop this week.
Manly Sea Eagles v Brisbane Broncos, Saturday 7.35pm at Suncorp Stadium
Sea Eagles: No changes. Martin Taupau is playing like a man possessed, running for a staggering 290 metres against the Roosters on Sunday after his 104-point effort at Newcastle the week before. His current form screams "buy" – but beware he has had patches of terrific form in previous seasons only to slide back towards mid-40s scores for the final part of the year. By comparison, Daly Cherry-Evans and Jake Trbojevic are both solid bets (and now cheaper than Taupau) while Tom Trbojevic owners wouldn't have been too disappointed that he managed 36 points despite a whopping five errors against the Roosters.
Broncos: Payne Haas has been named despite speculation he will miss a month with an ankle injury, while Jack Bird has been moved back to the centres with Kodi Nikorima returning to the halves and Tom Opacic benched. Tevita Pangai jnr is making the most of his move to lock, playing a season-high 61 minutes last week for 57 points, and he's still got money to make. The same goes for Jaydn Su'A who is scoring nicely in the 40s in the second row.
South Sydney Rabbitohs v St George Illawarra Dragons, Sunday 2pm at ANZ Stadium
Rabbitohs: Sam Burgess is back from suspension and bumps Fantasy favourite Cameron Murray out of the starting side, after Murray got back to his usual self with a no-frills 53 last week. Fingers crossed Murray can still play big minutes from the bench, with the three Burgess brothers to start together for just the second time this season. Adam Reynolds produced a season-high 72 against Newcastle last week but Angus Crichton is coming off a season-low 35 and now has a three-round average of just 40.
Dragons: Rookie Zac Lomax replaces Reece Robson on the bench in St George Illawarra's only change. Euan Aitken's reliance on tries for Fantasy scores is looking like less of a problem if the Dragons are capable of tearing teams apart like they did to the Storm on Sunday, with Aitken grabbing a double. Aitken's now the only regular centre in the game with an average above 40.
Canberra Raiders v Cronulla Sharks, Sunday 4.10pm at GIO Stadium
Raiders: Junior Paulo will miss two months with a foot injury, with Charlie Gubb joining the 17 and Shannon Boyd starting at prop. There's no need to trade out cash cow Siliva Havili just yet, with the Canberra hooker coming off back-to-back 50+ scores after he averaged just 35 a fortnight ago. Nick Cotric is joining the conversation as a potential keeper in the centres after making 54 against the Gold Coast.
Sharks: Wade Graham (hamstring) and Scott Sorensen (broken hand) are out but Paul Gallen and Jayson Bukuya return in the second row, with Joseph Paulo moving back to the bench. Kurt Capewell ($385,000) could be a short-term cash cow in Graham's absence considering he has a tiny break even and is available at centre – although Luke Lewis and Graham are due back in a couple of weeks. Andrew Fifita now has the third best average in Fantasy among players with more than one game under their belt this season, behind Damien Cook and Shaun Johnson.