The key ins and outs and NRL Fantasy form guide for all 16 clubs in the Telstra Premiership.
Round 2 team news
Dragons v Rabbitohs, Thursday 7.50pm at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium
Dragons: Blake Lawrie starts for the injured Tyson Frizell (one of the more painful injuries in recent times) while Josh Kerr is the new man on the bench. Lawrie (50) and Jacob Host (40) should get good scoring chances in the coming weeks with Frizell sidelined, although Korbin Sims could bump Lawrie out of the starting side when he's available next week. Paul Vaughan (57) scored almost exclusively through tackles and run metres at better than a point-a-minute last week.
Rabbitohs: Just one change for Souths with Kyle Turner replacing Corey Allan on the interchange. A win first up against the Roosters has Souths among the early title favourites and it was a strong start in Fantasy from them as well with Adam Reynolds (63), Damien Cook (57), Cameron Murray (56) and Sam Burgess (54) all starring. Braidon Burns (39) had half a dozen tackle breaks and racked up good numbers for an outside back who wasn't directly involved in a try. Available at WFB as well as CTR, he's an interesting alternative to fellow cash cow Jack Bird.
Raiders v Storm, Friday 6pm at GIO Stadium
Raiders: Cheapie Bailey Simonsson is gone already with Jordan Rapana a shock inclusion on the wing. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad (40) did his job well at fullback first up and looks a handy cash cow but the real story of round one at Canberra was the performance of fellow new signing John Bateman (60), who made 36 tackles, 154 metres and five tackle breaks in an 80-minute display at lock. He started as a tricky price but the early evidence suggests he's a guaranteed keeper at centre and probably as a second-rower too – and he may not get any cheaper than his current price.
Storm: The luckless Tom Eisenhuth is out with a fractured larynx and is replaced on the bench by Pat Kaufusi. Back-up hooker Brandon Smith (43) played 39 minutes as a middle forward last week but Cameron Smith (61) still played 80 and remains one of the safest captaincy options you can find. Cameron Munster (50) and Brodie Croft (45) both impressed first-up and could be borderline keepers in the halves. Don't get too carried away with big scores from the Bromwich brothers which both included tries.
Broncos v Cowboys, Friday 6.55pm local (7.55pm AEDT) at Suncorp Stadium
Broncos: Potential guns Tevita Pangai jnr and David Fifita are promoted to the starting side this week with Matt Lodge suspended for two weeks and Jaydn Su'A moving to the bench. Former Fantasy god Shaun Fensom gets a spot on the interchange. Jack Bird looks the good as a 2019 cash cow with 48 in his return from injury, and Matt Gillett exceeded expectations even more in his return with 60 points in 69 minutes at lock. Both earned good price rises and should continue to rise in the next few weeks.
Cowboys: Josh McGuire is named on the bench, with Gavin Cooper to start, but the pair could be switched again on game day as they were on Saturday. Jason Taumalolo (75) was monstrous with ball in hand last week but Michael Morgan (68, +$45k) is the must-have in this side after a terrific first-up game from the halfback in Johnathan Thurston's absence. Jordan Kahu ended up on 22 points after a handy post-game upgrade once stats were finalised, and he's worth holding considering he did spend 15 minutes on the sideline with an HIA.
Sharks v Titans, Saturday 3pm at Shark Park
Sharks: No changes. Andrew Fifita (69) lived up to his billing as a captaincy option on Friday, while Briton Nikora (61) far exceeded his hopes as a cash cow rookie. Kurt Capewell (42) wasn't as spectacular but also has plenty of price rises ahead of him.
Titans: Ryley Jacks gets his chance in the halves with Ash Taylor and Tyrone Roberts both in the casualty ward, while Anthony Don returns on the wing and Phillip Sami is the bench utility. Nathan Peats (57) played the full 80 minutes with AJ Brimson the team's bench utility last week (rather than a specialist hooker) and is an interesting mid-range alternative to Reed Mahoney. Jai Arrow scored 45 in 55 minutes and is worth persisting with.
Knights v Panthers, Saturday 5.30pm at McDonald Jones Stadium
Knights: Daniel Saifiti's knee and foot injuries gives Herman Ese'ese his chance to impress off the bench in Newcastle's only change. David Klemmer (58) was the team's best last Friday, with only a couple of other players passing 40 in a low-scoring contest. Sione Mata'utia played 80 minutes in the second row and managed a solid but unspectacular 34. Connor Watson (18) and Lachlan Fitzgibbon (26) should improve.
Panthers: Sione Katoa's return from concussion ends Wayde Egan's brief stint as starting hooker, while Frank Winterstein joins the bench and Jarome Lui and Tyrell Fuimaono are out of the 17. Cheapie Hame Sele left the field early last week but has been cleared of a broken arm and named to start at lock. Nathan Cleary did well to still score 49 in a losing side, while tackle breakers Dylan Edwards (20) and Josh Mansour (19) weren't as lucky.
Sea Eagles v Roosters, Saturday 7.35pm at Lottoland
Sea Eagles: Addin Fonua-Blake (suspension) is replaced by Toafofoa Sipley at prop while 2018 cash cow Manase Fainu replaces Trent Hodkinson on the bench and Corey Waddell joins the interchange. Manly's middle forwards got through plenty of defence in their loss to the Tigers, although Martin Taupau's owners will be hopeful he gets through more than 46 minutes with Fonua-Blake suspended. Cheapie Rueben Garrick isn't an urgent sell despite making just 10 on debut on the wing.
Roosters: Unchanged, with Angus Crichton again named on the bench and likely to plummet in value if he stays there on game day. A round one defeat coincided with poor scores from several Fantasy big guns – James Tedesco (18), Victor Radley (28), Brett Morris (20) – but Jake Friend had a wow of a game with 68 tackles, two line breaks and a try for 92 points. His break even is now down around 20 and is projected to make close to $100k if he can average 55 in the next three weeks.
Bulldogs v Eels, Sunday 4.05pm at ANZ Stadium
Bulldogs: Unchanged. Dylan Napa hit his break even but only just in his first game as a Bulldog and with 27 points in 43 minutes doesn't look set for rapid price rises any time soon. Aiden Tolman on the other hand got through a lot of work against the Warriors with a point a minute in base stats for 51. Lachlan Lewis (56) was a surprise success story from that game due to a high defensive workload and a lot of kick metres while popular centre Kerrod Holland (25) didn't get many attacking chances in a lopsided defeat.
Eels: A few changes here with Nathan Brown (pec, long-term), Will Smith (broken arm) and Michael Jennings (one-week suspension) out. In come Junior Paulo and Will Hoffman, with Jaeman Salmon's presence on the bench probably good news for Reed Mahoney's 80-minute chances. Mahoney was excellent with 55 first-up from 67 minutes (including a try) and should continue to get good game time even if the Eels sign Matt McIlwrick. Dylan Brown was kept busy in defence on debut with 27 tackles but had only one miss for a rock-solid 30-point effort, and he'd make plenty of coin with similar scores in the next few weeks. Maika Sivo is rock bottom price so stay patient with him despite a quiet debut.
Wests Tigers v Warriors, Sunday 6.10pm at Campbelltown Stadium
Wests Tigers: The top 17 is unchanged but Moses Mbye joins Josh Reynolds on the reserves list. Young forwards Luke Garner (55) and Thomas Mikaele (36) both impressed in the win over Manly and look like handy cash cows, while Ryan Matterson (51) and Esan Marsters (45) met early expectations as likely keepers in their positions. Robbie Farah (76) was the star of the show but won't score two tries in many games this year.
Warriors: Isaiah Papali'i makes his return to the side via the bench, with Blake Ayshford dropping out, while Issac Luke is in the reserves. Adam Keighran had a wow of a debut with 68 points and a $66k price rise and is a must have. Lachlan Burr also earned a good price boost but could be on borrowed time in the starting side with Papali'i now available. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck shone with 59 points last week and will probably be one of the three WFBs you want to finish the season with.