State of Origin and the bye rounds are behind us, so it's full steam ahead for the final two months of the NRL Fantasy season.
Here are my answers to this week's big questions.
Is Rhyse Martin a keeper? Also who is better, Cameron McInnes or Nathan Brown?
From Ben Elliott
Yep, with guaranteed base stats as an 80-minute second-rower, plus goal-kicking, plus the ability to break tackles and find the line – as he did three times last week – Rhyse Martin is a keeper. Martin already had a 55-point average before he took on the goal-kicking duties at the Bulldogs and that average is now up to 61 after his stunning 103 in round 17.
Brown and McInnes are hard to split – they're both in my side. Brown probably gets a slight edge on the potential for a monster score plus he plays in the back row and you may already have a couple of hookers in your side in Damien Cook and Cameron Smith.
Sam Burgess or Bill Kikau for the run home?
From Jimmy Heath
I wouldn't necessarily be trading in either of those guys unless cash is tight, but if it's a decision out of those two I'd get Kikau.
NRL Fantasy Preview - Round 18
Harris is a trade, but Papalii's not necessarily the best replacement. Jake Trbojevic, Jai Arrow and Nathan Brown are more consistent scorers in the same price bracket, Paul Gallen is a little cheaper and appears to have his old form back, and Rhyse Martin is $100,000 cheaper. If you've got all those guys Papalii's a solid extra option.
Is Farah worth getting as a keeper or is it better upgrading Tohu to Brown or JT and which one and why?
From Keaton Ivamy
Farah will be a keeper if he keeps an 80-minute role all season. He is likely to do that, especially with speculation Josh Reynolds could be out long-term with a shoulder issue, and even if Reynolds returns and plays as a bench utility the Tigers could still keep Farah on the field for the full 80 each week. He's $200,000 cheaper than Jason Taumalolo so if that spare cash would help your squad then Farah is your man.
If your team is set apart from your Tohu Harris replacement and cash isn't an issue then Taumalolo is the safest replacement – he's expensive for a reason and has averaged almost 63 in his last five games. Nathan Brown is halfway between the two – his minutes aren't at risk like Farah's still could be but he's not quite as good a scorer as Taumalolo.
Who's the better keeper Tom Turbo or RTS? I have Ponga, Teddy, RTS and Turbo and looking trade one.
From Geoff Urquhart
With Ponga sidelined this week I wouldn't be trading any of them now, and unless you've got another solid back-up WFB in your squad I'd consider holding all four for the run home. If you absolutely need to trade I'd keep Tom Trbojevic over Roger Tuivasa-Sheck.
Are Johnson and Cleary keepers for the run home?
From Michael Potusa
Johnson is – his average is still in the 50s for the season despite last week's 19 – while Cleary hasn't really looked a keeper since he returned from injury and lost his goal-kicking duties to James Maloney, with just one 50+ score in that time.
Trade Johnson for Pearce?
From Veni Tuku'aho
Mitchell Pearce was an elite Fantasy scorer last year but he made a slow start to the season with the Knights before his pec injury. He could still outscore Johnson from here but I'd wait and see how he goes this week at the very least, and would only trade one keeper for another if you've got trades to burn.
Is it time to trade out Fifita for someone like Brown? Or a waste of a trade?
From Ryan Gutsell
Last week was probably the time to trade Fifita if you wanted to, for the sake of overall points. You might only get an extra three points a week upgrading from Fifita to Brown – or, worse still, no extra points – so it's hard to justify what looks like a sideways trade just yet. Closer to the end of the season if you've still got spare trades you could safely make those kinds of slight upgrades without the risk of running out of trades early.
Last trade, keep or trade to who? Can get up to Surgess [Sam Burgess].
From Hepa Tatana
KEEP. There are still eight rounds of footy to be played, and injuries can strike at any time. There's every chance somebody in your top 17 cops a season-ending injury at some point in the next two months, and that's when you're going to want to have that trade handy.
Which of McInnes/Brown/Crichton/JTurbo would you trade Alvaro for?
From Lachlan Camilleri
All good options, but I'd go Jake Trbojevic. Alvaro's a borderline keeper anyway but Trbojevic should get you five more points a week at least.
Assuming he backs up from Origin do you pick up Latrell this week or next? (Means running Hiku or Holland this week)
From Michael Surplice
As a rule it's best to get your final 17 together as quickly as possible, so if Latrell Mitchell plays I'd get him this week. The Roosters are playing the Gold Coast Titans on Sunday and Mitchell should get a few good try-scoring chances.
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