Lone Scout's NRL Fantasy Q&A: Round 14

NRL Fantasy coaches are considering pulling the plug on Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Adam Reynolds, and puzzling which rookie hooker is worth snapping up.

And is Viliame Kikau finally about to become a reliable scorer? 

Here are answers to some of the week's big questions from NRL.com's resident Fantasy guru the Lone Scout.

This week's questions

Is RTS a sell?

From King Jeke Fatafehi

Not yet. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck may be coming off his worst two Fantasy scores of the year (15 and 28) but after 10 rounds he was averaging 53 points a game. Only two players (James Tedesco and Kalyn Ponga) have an average above 50 and are available at winger/fullback. Even after his recent slump RTS is still ranked fifth among WFBs, behind Tedesco, Ponga, Tom Trbojevic and dual-position Raider Jack Wighton. Hold and hope he gets his groove back – particularly considering his Fantasy record against this week's opponents the Titans is better than his record against any other team. Tuivasa-Sheck scored 66 against the Gold Coast in round 4 and 90 against them in round 2 last year.

Should I hold Adam Reynolds?

From Daniel Chapman

The time frame on Reynolds' back injury is the definition of "indefinite" – he could be back in a couple of weeks or in another month or more, with the club essentially waiting for the pain in his back to subside. However even with another four weeks out Reynolds would only miss two games, with the rep round scheduled before round 15 and Souths having a bye in round 16. If you've still got him there's no huge disadvantage in continuing to hold, unless you're in the overall points race and would prefer to bring in a round 16 scorer now.

Is Blayke Brailey worth considering as he is named No.9 this week?

From Tim Burgess

No. Blayke is replacing his brother Jayden in the Cronulla starting side this round but with Jayden expected back from a hyper-extended knee in round 15 (which is two full weeks away), chances are Blayke will go back to scoring around 20 points a game as a bench hooker very soon.

I want to get rid of CNK but don't have enough money for Tedesco, who's the next best option? (Already have Ponga and Walker.) Should I grab Turbo this week or wait a week for a further price drop?

From Jacob Newton

Tom Trbojevic is your man, so the only issue is the timing of the trade. He only scored 28 in his return from injury last round and with a break even in the 70s is expected to drop in price significantly next week. If money is tight and an extra $20-30k would help you elsewhere, wait a week. Otherwise it's never too soon to get a keeper so feel free to trade now.

Thoughts on Jesse Arthars as a cash cow/centre option?

From Trevor Penney

He looks a good option. The main downside is he's already risen $104k in value so at $316k he's no longer dirt cheap, but his recent scoring (42 and 46 in the past two weeks, with no tries and just one assist) looks very solid. His average is still 30 from five games this season so don't rely on 40 points from him every week but as far as cash cows go he's among the best options for round 14.

Watson a buy at hooker if he plays 16 and Levi doesn't return until 18?

From Charles Walters

With 83 points last round and a break even of 4, Watson looks a tempting buy. The problem is he's in the middle ground between a cash cow and a keeper. At his $518k price tag he's projected to make around $100k in the next three rounds if he can score 45 points a game (and he's only scored above 40 three times in 2019). Ideally Watson starts for at least a few more weeks after that, and earns upwards of $150k. That's handy money, but not on the same league as the genuine cash cows like Bronson Xerri, Maika Sivo and Lachlan Burr who have made $300k or more in price rises. And if he has one or two quiet scores his price rises could peak around $100k. 

Plus when Danny Levi returns there's every chance Watson goes back to the bench, so he's unlikely to be a keeper. In the short term Watson will give you points plus some cash but I'd probably prefer to get a genuine cheapie who has the possibility of making big money, or spend a bit more on a reliable 50-point player.

Is Villi Kikau now a buy if the Panthers can start going well?

From Dean Josephs

Kikau's best scores this year (all of which included tries) are 92, 75 and 50. His worst three are 20, 22 and 25. That 92 came last week, and the 22 came in his previous game – in a win over Parramatta, in which he played 80 minutes.

That is a very inconsistent scoring trend, especially for an 80-minute forward, so even if the Panthers keep winning – and there's no guarantee of that – it's hard to be confident that Kikau will lift his 45-point average into the 50s. If he was an outside back with that kind of scoring I might take the gamble but with so many quality second-rowers available (Kikau is ranked 22nd among Fantasy 2RFs) I'd be cautious about using up a spot in my squad for him.

Is Luke Brooks a good option? Plays round 16, has had six consecutive scores over 50 with only two tries during that time. Will he get even better once the Tigers start winning again?

From Lachlan Smith

If you're playing for overall points, maybe. But there are risks. Brooks's scoring this season is easily the best of his career (he scored 40 points a game last year, which was the first time he scored that high) so there's as much chance of his scoring dropping into the 40s as climbing into the mid-50s. Plus there's the fact that Mitchell Pearce and Anthony Milford are better options who will both play in round 16 unless they get picked for Origin, which looks unlikely. Brooks could still prove to be an inspired point-of-difference buy, but for just $40k more you could grab a more reliable scorer.

Is Mitch Kenny or Reece Robson the better cash cow option?

From Alessandro Tilocca

As a starting hooker, I'd take Kenny over Robson. Robson's scoring off the bench has been quite good so far, but his 44 in 46 minutes in round 11 came in a game when the Dragons lost three players to injury in the first half. Last week he scored 32 in 39 minutes. Meanwhile Kenny has been promoted to Penrith's top 30 squad after the exit of Dallin Watene-Zelezniak and is currently the team's first-choice hooker, so his game time looks pretty safe.