Sharks winger Sione Katoa.

Lone Scout's NRL Fantasy Q&A: Round 14

The State of Origin period is underway and that means it's a crucial time for NRL Fantasy coaches, aiming to get their ideal 17 together quickly while handling the latest bout of tricky injuries.

What's happening with Matterson and once he returns do you see him holding big minutes and regaining form, should I be holding? Also is it worth trading Tuivasa-Sheck for Turbo?
From Jesse Page

Ryan Matterson is unfortunately struggling to overcome a head knock a few weeks back, which can happen with concussions. He has also underdone minor wrist surgery which will now sideline him for the next two weeks. It's a real dilemma for his Fantasy owners but he has been so good for the Roosters that he should get back to big minutes once he does return. The only doubts are the emergence of Victor Radley as a quality option at hooker or the back row off the bench, and the return of Mitchell Aubusson to a second-row bench role now that Joseph Manu is fit and back in the side.

The smart move is probably to hold him if you've got him, and if you can cover for him for another fortnight – he's still one of the few reliable 50+ scorers available in the halves in Fantasy – but if you're desperate for a scorer now and spooked by the presence of Radley and Aubusson on the bench I could understand making the trade.

Who would be your top cash cow buy right now? Low on trades so looking for a potential keeper till the last rounds.
From Jamie Campbell

I picked up Sione Katoa ($215k) and Enari Tuala ($261k) last week and both produced good scores and held their starting spots for the Sharks and Cowboys respectively this week. The other option – who's probably a more reliable one – is John Olive ($266k) at the Bulldogs who should stay in the centres until Josh Morris returns in about six weeks, and who will also play round 17.

Any idea on Mannering? He's gone from an 80-minute gun to barely making the 17. I traded him in last week so I'm a bit nervous.
From Todd Warren

Yeah you're right to be nervous – Simon Mannering has only played the full 80 three times in eight matches this season and with Isaiah Papali'i fit again the former Warriors skipper has been shifted back to the bench this week. He's still good for about 45 points a game but he doesn't look like a keeper if he's not playing big minutes this season.

I know it keeps coming but is Sammy Burgess worth holding onto? I have both him and Cam Murray so was thinking of upgrading one to Fifita. What's the best option?
From Hayden McLaren

Burgess is still a borderline keeper at best this year but at least his starting spot is safe for the rest of the season, which you can't say about Cameron Murray. For that reason I'd say Murray is the one to trade to Fifita this week.

Is TPJ still a good buy this week considering he plays Rd 17. Even though he has been moved back to the bench?
From Grant O'Hehir

Tevita Pangai jnr was one of the losers from the round 14 team lists, bumped back to the bench behind the returning Alex Glenn despite some excellent displays in the second row in the past couple of Broncos games. He does play round 17 and he's got a fairly low break even, so there's no urgent need to trade him out if you already had him, but at this point he doesn't look like a keeper or a cash cow so I wouldn't be trading him in.

Best cash out option for this round? RFM a must trade? If so it Sam Burgess the best value for money straight swap?
From Kieran Waters

See above for the cash-out options (Sione Katoa, Enari Tuala, John Olive). Raymond Faitala-Mariner isn't a must-trade but if you don't rate him as a keeper you're better to trade him now before his price starts falling. If you do trade, Sam Burgess is another borderline keeper these days so I'd look for a genuine upgrade instead – cash out another mid-range scorer if you need to free up cash.

Bulldogs back-rower Raymond Faitala-Mariner.
Bulldogs back-rower Raymond Faitala-Mariner. ©Robb Cox/NRL Photo/Robb Cox/NRL Photos

I'm starting to think of upgrading Havili to Smith but I already have two hookers (Cook and Koroisau) is it worth the trade or should I upgrade to a keeper forward? I only have one on the bench.

From Joshua Vergos

Yeah Api Koroisau is better used in the halves anyway and Cameron Smith and Damien Cook will both be must-have players in the long run. Now that he's not playing for the Maroons, Smith could be the best scorer in the league between now and the end of the Origin period.

Richie Kennar to Enari Tuala and Murray to Smith or Johnson? Also is Dufty a hold for the next few weeks?
From James Kapaniris

Good trades. Matt Dufty is probably someone to upgrade at some stage but there's no urgent rush at this point.

What's the go with Rhyse Martin? Will he win back that starting spot?
From Stephen Anderson

The signs aren't good, with Adam Elliott bumping him out of the starting side this week and Aiden Tolman another possible contender for the starting pack currently on the bench. He's a hold for now with a few more weeks of price rises in him but may not be the surprise keeper we were hoping for.

Thoughts on Murray, TPJ, JFH, Thompson and Katoa (Sharks)
From Nick James

Sell, hold, sell or hold, hold, buy (if you need a cash-out and are not too worried about long-term scores).

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