The key team changes and NRL Fantasy form guide for all 16 clubs heading into the fourth round of the Telstra Premiership season.
All kick-off times in AEDT unless otherwise specified.
NRL Fantasy team news
Roosters v Broncos, Thursday 8.05pm at the Sydney Cricket Ground
Roosters: James Tedesco is back, blasting 86 Fantasy points including two tries and an assist to make his round-one score of 18 a distant memory. With a break-even of 35, he probably won't be this cheap again for a while. Victor Radley scored a try in his 50 at hooker in place of Friend last week and is set to play 80 minutes at dummy-half against the Broncos. Hold off on Angus Crichton, who is named to drop back to the bench due to Cooper Cronk's return from a hamstring strain.
Broncos: Matt Lodge's return pushes Tevita Pangai jnr to lock, Matt Gillett to an edge and David Fifita to the bench. Gillett could see his minutes rise from about 60 to 80 but his tackle counts could slide a little, even if his running game improves. The bolstered pack isn't great news for cheapie Thomas Flegler's minutes either. Kotoni Staggs starts at centre for James Roberts (Achilles). Andrew McCullough hasn't looked like taking a huge leap in scoring this year that many of his Fantasy owners would have hoped for, and ranks sixth among hookers named to play round 4. Jack Bird is still making fast cash and putting up borderline keeper numbers after three rounds.
Top 5 Fantasy scorers: Round 3
Warriors v Titans, Friday 8pm NZT (6pm AEDT) at Mt Smart Stadium
Warriors: Adam Keighran's round one 68 against the Bulldogs is a distant memory and he now shapes as a sell after scores of 13 and 28 in the last fortnight, with the rookie playmaker now dropped for possible cash cow Chanel Harris-Tavita. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck was great against Manly with 59 and should be among the elite WFBs, while Lachlan Burr scored 45 from the bench and has made $111k in price rises and counting. Issac Luke (hamstring) and Nathaniel Roache (calf) will each be back in a week or two.
Titans: Mitch Rein is a buy after scoring 55 at hooker in place of Nathan Peats, who is out for around three months with a pec injury. A week after Jai Arrow smashed an 81 against Cronulla he was held to just 29 against Souths, with no tackle breaks and six missed tackles. Expect those numbers to change against the Warriors. Bryce Cartwright scored 52 in 80 minutes last week and has a break even of -1, if you're willing to gamble on a player who disappointed last season. Both first-choice halves, Ash Taylor and Tyrone Roberts, have been named to return as the Titans chase their first win of the season.
Panthers v Wests Tigers, Friday 8.05pm at Panthers Stadium
Panthers: Nathan Cleary's scoring remains solid for a halfback of a team that has struggled in attack. Hame Sele scored 33 last week to kick-start some price rises. Dylan Edwards' scoring has dropped off a cliff and he needs to drop out of your squad. Viliame Kikau returns to bolster the pack.
Wests Tigers: Luke Garner gave his Fantasy coaches a scare with an early injury on Sunday but returned to score his second try in three games and he's averaging a tick under 50 points a game, while his break even is still at 5. Robbie Farah's sensational start to the season continued with a tackle-heavy 62, while Esan Marsters is averaging 54 in the centres. Ryan Matterson has remarkably scored exactly 51 for three rounds running. Alex Twal is a PPM machine but his minutes were probably inflated by injury last week. Josh Reynolds gets his first game of the year with Benji Marshall (hamstring) to miss a few weeks.
Top 5 fantasy disappointments: Round 3
Sea Eagles v Rabbitohs, Sunday 3pm at Lottoland
Sea Eagles: He may have started slowly but rookie winger Reuben Garrick is earning some nice price rises after a couple of mid-30s scores, while Daly Cherry-Evans is averaging 66 thanks to a round-three 88. Tom Trbojevic was a sensation in his first game of the year with 85 while Marty Taupau and Jake Trbojevic each passed 50. Corey Waddell is making steady cash on the bench. Brendan Elliot replaces Moses Suli in the centres in the only team change.
Rabbitohs: Braidon Burns is sadly a sell after picking up hamstring and foot injuries last week. Adam Reynolds meanwhile is flying with 80 last week and an average of 63 so far in 2019. Corey Allan scored 26 with a try on debut on the wing. Cody Walker and Greg Inglis have both been named despite shoulder concerns. George Burgess returns from suspension.
Cowboys v Raiders, Saturday 4.30pm AEST (5.30pm AEDT) at 1300Smiles Stadium
Cowboys: Jordan Kahu is very, very slowly rising in value, while Michael Morgan has been good value for money with an average of 45 even if he's not matching the scores of the best halves in Fantasy this year just yet.
Raiders: It's the Bateman and CNK show, with John Bateman absolutely thriving as an edge-running second-rower against an (admittedly flimsy) Knights defence last round for 89 points and will line up there again with Joe Tapine (thumb) named in the reserves and unlikely to return this week. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad pumped out 71 points at fullback. Both have made more than $100,000 in price rises this season and are scoring like keepers.
Eels v Sharks, Saturday 7.35pm at ANZ Stadium
Eels: The most popular player in Fantasy, Dylan Brown, has been sidelined indefinitely with a back issue right as his price started to really get moving in a huge blow for coaches. Jaeman Salmon is the new five-eighth with Tepai Moeroa back at prop and Matt McIlwrick in the reserves. Reed Mahoney's time as a money earner may be coming to an end after his attacking stats dried up against the Roostesr but Maika Sivo is just getting started, earning a $75k price boost with a two-try 72 against the Roosters. Shaun Lane is a hold despite an underwhelming 34.
Sharks: Pre-season cash cow Bronson Xerri finally makes his debut, replacing Josh Dugan in the centres with Dugan dropping back to replace Matt Moylan (hamstring, 4-6 weeks). Briton Nikora's price tag is soaring, up another $81k this week and $236k for the season. Shaun Johnson edged his season average above 50 with 56 points against the Cowboys. Kurt Capewell is putting in serviceable scores and making slow cash. Andrew Fifita was an underwhelming captaincy option in last week's try-fest against the Cowboys.
Storm v Bulldogs, Sunday 4.05pm at AAMI Park
Storm: Cameron Smith is averaging 60 points a game while Cameron Munster is averaging 50 and has a break even in the high 30s. Kenny Bromwich has been a solid early-season money earner and has at least one more week in the starting side before Joe Stimson potentially returns.
Bulldogs: The ankle injury to Kieran Foran opens the door for Jack Cogger but the former Knight is already priced at 30. Dylan Napa has surpassed expectations so far thanks to a couple of tries, and he's matching Aiden Tolman with 48.3 points a game. Lachlan Lewis has been a surprise Fantasy gun so far with 61 last week and an average of 55. Rookie Jayden Okunbor scored 32 on the wing on debut, while fullback Nick Meaney scored 34 in his first game as a Bulldog.
Ponga set for switch back to fullback
Knights v Dragons, Sunday 6.10pm at McDonald Jones Stadium
Knights: Fantasy coaches will be hoping Ponga's return to fullback revives his scoring, with a 30-point average so far this year resulting to a $117k price slump. His price will drop again unless he scores in the high 60s or better this round. Mason Lino makes his club debut in the halves. David Klemmer never scored three 50s in a row at the Bulldogs last season but he's done it already at the Knights, scoring primarily through base stats (run metres and tackles).
Dragons: Cameron McInnes had a great game last round and scored 87, with an 80-minute hooker role all but certain for the rest of the season. Mikaele Ravalawa continues to bust tackles and make money, while Jacob Host is chugging along slowly with 29 last week and Blake Lawrie is doing a little better after his 43. Both are again named in the starting 13 but beware Tyson Frizell (lacerated testicle) is named in the reserves. Zac Lomax's price rises will be delayed a little by a 5 off the bench last week, where he is named again this week with Matt Dufty to slot straight in at fullback for Gareth Widdop (shoulder, 3-6 months).