Jai Arrow and Shaun Johnson have been among the best NRL Fantasy performers of 2018 – and Fantasy coaches are itching to sell them now they're in the casualty ward.
Read on for answers on those two plus Cameron Murray, Rhyse Martin, Apisai Koroisau, centres and more.
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What's the word on Jai Arrow? I'm willing to hold for a week (my trades this week will be Sorenson to Martin and Murray to Fifita or Taumalolo) although if he's out for any longer and then with the bye coming up, I'm not certain I can hold.
From Cam O'Dwyer
The nature of Arrow's injury makes this a tricky one, but it appears he could be back next week. Arrow suffered a rib contusion but has been cleared of any serious or internal damage, with Titans coach Garth Brennan saying he's being "rested" this week. "I think it is best for him personally to hold him back and give him another week off and freshen him up for Newcastle or, if not, we have the bye the week after," Brennan said. (The Titans actually play the Roosters in round 12 after next week's clash with the Knights.)
So the injury isn't deemed serious enough that Arrow was automatically sidelined this week. Worst case scenario he is out until after the Titans' first bye in round 13, and then is troubled by back spasms or rib problems later in the season. Best case he only misses a week. Considering he's scoring like a keeper the smart move is to hold this week and see how he's tracking next week, but if you've got two big names out you may be forced into taking drastic measures...
I have Arrow and Shaun Johnson, both out for a week or two and both don't play round 13. I want to trade one of them for Taumalolo, which one and why?
From Nick Drysdale
This depends on the depth of your squad but the safest move long-term is probably to hold both. At this stage the word is Shaun Johnson will miss one or two weeks with an ankle injury, while Arrow could also return soon. You generally don't sell keepers for a two-week injury, and these two guys aren't just keepers – Johnson has been the best scorer in his position (he's actually the second-best scorer in Fantasy this season, behind Damien Cook), while Arrow was the highest-scoring second-rower in the game until his injury-affected score on Saturday.
The slight wrinkle to this is the availability of two or three in-form superstars in Andrew Fifita, Jason Taumalolo and Martin Taupau, who could all be good alternatives to Arrow. If you need to replace one of Arrow or Johnson to have a strong line-up this week then trading Arrow to one of those guys looks your best move.
Time to get rid of Cam Murray? Whose time is he likely to eat into from the bench? Who of a similar budget would be worth upgrading to?
From Graeme Lock
Murray's benching at the Rabbitohs is a real headache, coming a couple of weeks after he returned from injury. As a starter he's a Fantasy keeper – he has just one score below 50 when starting at lock in 2018 – but if his minutes shrink now that all three Burgess brothers are starting at Souths he's probably in need of upgrading. I'd wait this week and see how he scores (and what his game time is) especially as there's every chance he could be back in the starting pack by round 11.
What's Rhyse Martin's job security like?
From Mark Reid
It's pretty good. Aiden Tolman is out injured and could be back between round 13 and round 15, but apart from that Martin has won his starting spot at the Bulldogs on form. Last week's 80-minute, try-scoring performance didn't hurt his prospects either. He's unlikely to play the full 80 this week after being named at lock, but his work rate in the middle should increase. At worst he plays three rounds and makes some quick cash with a break even of -15 this week – he's projected to make around $190,000 in price rises if he scores 40 points a game in the next three weeks, and could easily surpass that if he sticks round for longer than round 12.
Thompson to Latrell or Turbo? Also Cogger out for which cash cow? Are Martin or Brimson worth it?
From James Kapaniris
Tom Trbojevic is probably a safer bet than Latrell Mitchell, although he's not in the best form. Jack Cogger out for Rhyse Martin would be the way I'd go.
What is AJ Brimson's job security? He is been killing in QCup but word is so is Elgey. Other options are Campbell Graham or Mahe Fonua? Thoughts?
From Matthew Julien
Yeah, the risk for Brimson is the presence of Kane Elgey in the Titans squad, plus the fact Brimson hasn't played a game in the NRL yet. There's no real way of knowing how he'll go until he's in action, and he's got a tough game first up against the reigning premiers in front of a big crowd in the first of a double-header at Suncorp Stadium. I'd take a look at how he performs this week and weigh up whether to trade him in next week.
Graham and Fonua both have the risk factors of being wingers – they've both scored well so far but there's always the risk of a single-digit score – so Rhyse Martin is a better cash cow option now if you haven't got him already. Brock Lamb's another one to keep an eye on assuming he'll take on the bulk of the kick metres at Newcastle and he's got $250,000 to make back if he can match last year's scores.
What is going on with Api? Seems to have lost his mojo and is missing a stack of tackles. Injury? Is it time to bail or hold fast and hope he turns it around?
Koroisau is a hooker who will always have a few missed tackles, although his three worst games in terms of missed tackles since round one have come in the past three weeks (they were also his three worst scores of the year, with back-to-back 23s before he made a solid 40 last week). Before that he was averaging an excellent 55 points a game, and his dip in form has coincided with Manly's woes.
I'd keep the faith. Last week against the Roosters – in a much-improved performance from the Sea Eagles – Koroisau made 41 tackles and had a try assist, so if he cuts out the errors and takes more runs from dummy-half he could easily get back to his 50s.
I have Hiku and Isaako as centres. Is it worth upgrading them to Croker and Aitken for 10 points average or upgrading Kikau or JFH to Lolo and Kapow?
From Geoff Urquhart
Peta Hiku is a sell, Jamayne Isaako has pretty much peaked, while Viliame Kikau and James Fisher-Harris are both still making cash (and scoring like borderline keepers). I'd make the centre trades.
With centres being a problem is Dylan Walker worth having a punt on? Scored 36 last week and will become DPP.
From Dylz Hall
It's not a bad idea. I'd probably wait and see for him to hit at least one score above 40 first – ideally you want your centres averaging around 40 a week – but if you think Walker will wear the No.6 at Manly for the rest of the year he's probably as reliable a scorer as anyone available at centre.