Lone Scout's NRL Fantasy Q&A: Round 19

The NRL Fantasy world should be settling down with the State of Origin period behind us – but instead people are considering trading out past and present Fantasy stars like Cameron Smith, Shaun Johnson, Andrew Fifita and Ryan Matterson.

To learn why those trades aren't all as crazy as they seem, and for why it could be time to consider Jarryd Hayne a Fantasy prospect again, check out my answers to this week's burning questions.

Round 19 NRL team lists | Teams analysis | Make your NRL Fantasy trades

With Josh Reynolds now out all season is Robbie Farah a must-have?
From Kai Spence

He's not a must-have if you already have a team packed full of keepers, but if you're chasing another one and don't mind what position it's in (Farah will either be your captain or a bench player) then Farah is a sensational buy – he's got the best average of any player in Fantasy this year, has a three-round average of 71 and costs about $200,000 less than Cameron Smith and Damien Cook.

Is it worth it cashing out Smith for Farah to get that extra 200k to grab another $800k player?
From Isaac Bishop

Generally, the rule is you don't trade keepers – and Cameron Smith is obviously a keeper – but at the end of the season you can justify novelty trades like this is if it suits your squad and you have a spare trade to burn. If you need a particular gun somewhere else in your team – say you want to upgrade a 40-point second-rower to a 55-point second-rower – and that's the only way you can fund it, and you're not going to run out of trades early, then that's probably a trade worth making. Otherwise, don't worry about it and just hope that Farah's huge scores take a dip soon.

Is Ryan Matterson a trade this week? And is Kalyn Ponga still a hold?
From Adam Cathro

Ryan Matterson has started every game he's played this season – until now. After being eased back from injury with 47 minutes last week he's been bumped back to the interchange for round 19, with Victor Radley – who has also started in the second row in his past four games – keeping a starting spot ahead of Matterson (Boyd Cordner's return is what's bumped Matterson out of the 13). Matterson was one of the best scorers in Fantasy before he was sidelined in round 11 but he needs big minutes to remain a Fantasy keeper and he probably won't get them with Radley on the rise. That means he's probably a sell, and with a break even of 80 this week you're better off selling him fast if money is tight. If cash isn't an issue for your side right now you could give him another week and see if he gets back into the starting side next round.

The Ponga question is a simpler one: he's a hold. He's set to return next week and has been the standout winger/fullback of the season.

Pearce or Johnson for last halves spot?
From Cameron Holden

On current form, probably Pearce. Shaun Johnson is a brilliant attacking player so can go big on any given week but he is coming off his two worst scores of the season, and is splitting the kicking in general play with Blake Green. (Last week Johnson had 156 kick metres while Green had 325, although Johnson usually gets the bulk of them.)

Meanwhile, Pearce made a massive 611 kick metres last week – the most he, and possibly anyone else, has had in a single game this year. Unlike Johnson, he doesn't kick goals but he is the chief playmaker at his club. His last four scores for the Knights are 61, 43, 80 and 73 (the last two scores including tries) and he's had a try assist in each of his last seven games. I wouldn't be trading Shaun Johnson out of my team but if you had to pick on to trade in now I'd go Pearce.

Hey Lone Scout, do you reckon Gallen to Taupau or upgrade Hiku to Hoppa, Marsters or Cotric? Maybe bring Aekens in as cheap option for Katoa to provide extra cash needed. 7 trades left, playing H2H.
From Darren King

Hold Gallen this week – he was coming off scores of 90, 54 and 62 before last week's 22 – and if he doesn't go back to playing big minutes this round then look to trade. Hiku is a sell, and Will Hopoate looks the best buy after scores of 51 and 96 at fullback for the Bulldogs.

Sell Fifita & TMM for Kikau & Cleary or another half around $600k, worth it?
From Lachlan Mead

Fifita is probably a hold at this point – he did score 50 last round, which is better than Kikau's season average – while Te Maire Martin isn't a keeper. There aren't many quality halves at the $600,000 mark, and Cleary's form hasn't been great, so see if there's another way you can free up cash for a genuine keeper.

Hoppa a keeper?
From Ben Elliott

Yep, especially in the centres.

Isaako to Hoppa?
From Ben Lewis

Sure.

Is Hayne worth a shot? Trade in for Hiku?
From Darren King

Hayne's been in great form in the past couple of weeks, so if you think he can maintain that kind of touch he's as good as anyone (probably bar Hopoate) as an option in the centres this round. Usual suspects Euan Aitken, Esan Marsters, Jesse Ramien, Blake Ferguson and Nick Cotric have outscored Hayne this year but Hayne is $100,000 cheaper than all of them. It's been just about impossible to tell which centres will post the best Fantasy scores on any given week but Hopoate and Hayne look the best value options this round.

I have Ponga. I have Tedesco. I have... Katoa? Who's the best value keeper at WFB?
From George Bright

Ponga and Tedesco are the must have at WFB, and then there's a four-way race to be the next best guy available. Moses Mbye ($654k) has the next best average but is also the next most expensive, Will Hopoate ($566k) is the cheapest of the four and coming off a monster game, while Tom Trbojevic and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck have both been genuine Fantasy guns in the past. Jarryd Hayne's probably the best of the risky options under $500,000, and with a break even of -18 he'll be a lot more expensive next week. Trbojevic is my third WFB but if money is tight then Hayne or Hopoate are worth looking at.

Who is a genuine captain option this week, Farah, Smith or Cook? I suppose all 3 are safe? Can I ask who you are choosing?
From Jordan Shaw

All three are great options. I'm going to go with Cook, so chances are either Smith or Farah will go massive this week.

Play NRL Fantasy presented by Youi. It's free, fun and totally addictive