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NRL Fantasy teams analysis: Round 14

Several big guns are back while a new crop of cheapies are getting their chance as we head into the second half of the NRL Fantasy season.

You can use up to four trades this week as we're between the bye rounds, but it's also a time to start conserving trades unless you're planning to load up on players for round 16.

NRL Fantasy team news

Raiders v Sharks, Thursday 7.50pm at GIO Stadium

Raiders: Josh Papalii and Dunamis Lui start with Ryan Sutton and Sia Soliola moving back to the bench. Jack Wighton backed up from his Origin cameo with 58 points last round and is actually a sneaky borderline keeper, especially as a dual-position WFB/half, averaging 54.7 in his last three games and 48.5 for the season. John Bateman didn't end up losing much cash after all despite a high break even last week, scoring 63. Siliva Havili has another couple of price rises in him but his scoring has been a little underwhelming in Josh Hodgson's absence.

Sharks: Josh Morris's return bumps Aaron Gray out of the backline, Blayke Brailey replaces injured brother Jayden at hooker, Wade Graham remains on the bench and Shaun Johnson remains in the reserves. Bronson Xerri is hitting top form, and the points could keep coming if Wade Graham continues to put him into gaps like he did against the Eels last round. Kyle Flanagan has been a major success as a high-scoring cash cow, earning $248k in price rises. Andrew Fifita remains a captaincy option after scoring two 70s in the past three weeks.

Titans v Warriors, Friday 6pm at Cbus Super Stadium

Titans: Kevin Proctor (fractured eye socket) and Keegan Hipgrave (suspension) are out, with Bryce Cartwright and Tyrone Peachey to start in the back row and Shannon Boyd joining the bench. Mitch Rein's run as a cash cow is well and truly over after Nathan Peats bumped him to the bench last week. Dual-position centre Jesse Arthurs has jumped $104k in price so far but has plenty more to come after scores of 42 and 46 (without tries) in the last fortnight. Tyrone Roberts has averaged 65 in his past three games.

Warriors: Patrick Herbert and Jazz Tevaga return from injury with Gerard Beale and Chris Satae dropping out of the 17. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck's price is under $600k for the first time this season and it'll keep falling fast unless he produces a big performance – although he should get a chance to score well here.

Cowboys v Wests Tigers, Friday 7.55pm at 1300Smiles Stadium

Cowboys: Mitch Dunn (shoulder), Jordan McLean (hamstring) and Reuben Cotter are out with Enari Tuala and Scott Bolton replacing them in the starting side and Kurt Baptiste and Corey Jensen joining the bench. Jason Taumalolo has the best Fantasy average of any player in 2019. Michael Morgan played well last week but his Fantasy scoring dipped to 32 at fullback.

Wests Tigers: Robert Jennings returns on the wing with Mahe Fonua (foot) dropping out. Ryan Matterson scored 71 last round and is pushing his season average towards 55. Robbie Farah has now played the full 80 minutes just once in his last four games, scoring 46 in 66 minutes against Canberra.

The top five guns that fired in Round 13

Storm v Knights, Saturday 3pm at AAMI Park

Storm: Melbourne are unchanged. Ryan Papenhuyzen has jumped $230k on his starting price despite playing limited minutes for mid-20s scores in the past couple of weeks. Cameron Smith's season average is close to 60 after last week's 76, while Cameron Munster has only managed one 50+ score in his last five games (although that score was a pretty stunning 95 against Parramatta).

Knights: Kalyn Ponga is back, with Kurt Mann moving to five-eighth and Mason Lino dropping out. Josh King replaces Pasami Saulo on the interchange. Mitchell Pearce managed only 35 points in the win over Souths – it was his first game since round six when he didn't score a try but it was also the first time in that period when he didn't make a tackle break or kick for 380 metres. He should bounce back. Connor Watson is in terrific Fantasy form with 83 at hooker last round but it's hard to predict what his role will be when Danny Levi returns around round 18-20.

Rabbitohs v Panthers, Saturday 5.30pm at ANZ Stadium

Rabbitohs: Dane Gagai moves to the wing with Kyle Turner back from injury at centre and Mawene Hiroti dropping to the reserves. Cody Walker returns at five-eighth in place of Connor Tracey, while Liam Knight and Ethan Lowe start for Tom Burgess (suspension) and Sam Burgess (shoulder surgery) with Mark Nicholls, Dean Britt and newcomer Tom Amone joining the bench. Sam Burgess is a definite sell if he wasn't already. Damien Cook's 29 last Friday can be put down to post-Origin blues and he should improve this week against Penrith.

Panthers: Unchanged. Mitch Kenny starts at hooker again and remains good value at $310k. Nathan Cleary was overshadowed by James Maloney last round but still managed to score a solid 45, with Maloney making 57 (steer clear of Maloney anyway though – he's the king of penalties and missed tackles). Winger Brian To'o has jumped $105k in value so far and has more price rises to come with a break even of -4.

Get Caught Up: Round 13

Eels v Broncos, Saturday 7.35pm at Bankwest Stadium

Eels: Jaeman Salmon replaces Will Smith at five-eighth and Nathan Brown starts at lock, with Ray Stone joining the bench and Tepai Moeroa dropping out. Mitchell Moses had a season-high nine missed tackles against Cronulla and still scored 55, thanks to a couple of try assists and 405 kick metres. Reed Mahoney on the other hand didn't have the attacking stats to offset eight missed tackles and scored just 35 – his lowest 80-minute score of the year. Maika Sivo has scored nine tries in his past seven games but still lost $10k in value last round.

Broncos: Sean O'Sullivan replaces the injured Tom Dearden, while Origin duo Corey Oates and Matt Gillett return with Richie Kennar and Alex Glenn (knee) dropping out. Dearden's ankle injury was a huge blow last round to Brisbane and Fantasy coaches alike, and he's set to miss at least five weeks now. He still has money to make but that period on the sidelines makes him a sell. Andrew McCullough scored 61 off the bench after coming on very early to replace Dearden, but is again on the interchange behind Jake Turpin. One player who didn't struggle backing up from Origin was the unstoppable Payne Haas, who is now coming off scores of 77, 81, 51 and 65 (his latest effort coming from 48 minutes).

Sea Eagles v Dragons, Sunday 2pm at Lottoland

Sea Eagles: No changes for Manly. Martin Taupau has the most points-per-minute of any starter in the NRL, and is averaging 59 in his past three games. Daly Cherry-Evans lost a whopping $51k on his price tag this week and is likely to drop below $800k next week due a break even in the high 80s. Jake Trbojevic backed up from Origin with a typically impressive 71, while Tom Tbrojevic was a little rusty in his return from injury with 28 – including five errors and two try assists.

Dragons: No changes to the 17 that will line up for the Dragons after their big win over Canterbury. Zac Lomax earned $58k with 66 points against the Bulldogs and has a break even of -3. Ben Hunt is in barely any teams (about 2.5%) but is the fifth-best Fantasy half this year, averaging almost 54 points a game after hitting 70 on Sunday. Cameron McInnes remains an elite scorer with 80 minutes against Canterbury despite the presence of hooker Reece Robson on the bench.

Roosters v Bulldogs, Sunday 4.05pm at the Sydney Cricket Ground

Roosters: Blues duo Latrell Mitchell and Angus Crichton return, Victor Radley starts at hooker and Sam Verrills and Matt Ikuvalu drop out of the 17. James Tedesco scored 50 points by half-time then round out of puff last week.

Bulldogs: New signing Dallin Watene-Zelezniak is named in the centres with Nick Meaney holding the fullback jersey, with Marcelo Montoya shifting to the wing and Christian Crichton out. Corey Harawira-Naera returns on the bench in place of Ofahiki Ogden. Despite being on the wrong end of another big loss the Bulldogs got big performances out of Kieran Foran (77) and Jeremy Marshall-King (72) last round, but neither are consistent enough scorers to be Fantasy options. Aiden Tolman scored a season-low 33 against the Dragons, just his second sub-40 score of the year.

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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