The injuries and suspensions are stacking up as the Fantasy season heads towards the final bend ahead of the run home to the finals.
What should you do with Nathan Cleary and Jai Arrow? Can Tom Trbojevic keep his electric form going? Is DCE still the top halves target? The Lone Scout has the answers.
This week's big questions
Is Cleary a sell?
From Jonathan Flavell
If you're playing to win your head-to-head league, no; if you're aiming to climb the overall ranks, probably yes.
Nathan Cleary suffered a lateral ankle sprain in State of Origin II and will miss three or four weeks, but even if he's out for a month that equates to three NRL matches with Penrith having the bye in round 16. If head-to-head is your priority and you can stay in the top eight race in your league while holding him for that time, you're best off saving the trade.
For overall points though, you have the opportunity to trade Cleary to a gun scorer who will play in the next four rounds. Anthony Milford is the best option, ahead of Shaun Johnson and (if he doesn't get picked for Origin) Mitchell Pearce.
We help you navigate the current prop crisis
RTS or Turbo? Or both with Ponga at half? Not too keen on this option because RTS and Turbo don’t seem to be as good as the best half options if you're looking at the best possible 17. Reynolds, DCE, Milf and Cleary all seem like better options.
From Anthony Hall
Tom Trbojevic is in irresistible form right now, scoring 100 in his last game for Manly and starring for the Blues on Sunday in a performance worth 66 Fantasy points. He's averaged 62 in four NRL games this season and is a good chance of scoring around 50 points a game or better from here on in, as he did last season.
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck scored 70 against the Titans last round and is averaging 49 this year, but has only scored more than 45 points a game throughout an entire season once – when he averaged a whopping 58 in his final year as a Rooster in 2015. He's very good value at $593k ($170k cheaper than Trbojevic) but is unlikely to outscore Trbojevic this year.
You're right that Adam Reynolds, Daly Cherry-Evans, Anthony Milford and the injured Nathan Cleary are safer bets to score 50 points a game than RTS, but I'd have Trbojevic on par with those guys right now.
Anyone good buys around $300k-400k? Someone who will show some growth. Will go straight to my bench so positions aren't super important.
From Matt Webber
Dylan Brown costs $328k and should hold the Eels five-eighth spot from here on and has a break even of 5. He looks the best option in that price bracket this week.
Arrow, Dearden and Lomax. Who needs to be traded? I've got 11 trades left
From Stephen Donohue
Jai Arrow is set to miss 6-8 weeks and is taking up a good chunk of your salary cap so he's the first one to sell. At his price you should also be able to make a straight swap with a keeper. Dearden and Lomax aren't as urgent but should probably be cashed out when you find a good cut-price target, or upgraded if you've got money to spend.
What to do with Arrow? So many options but looking at averages and PPM you would say Taupau with the added bonus of DPP?
From Gary Brown
Martin Taupau has been a great points-per-minute scorer this year, but he generally doesn't get huge minutes (he's only played more than 55 minutes once, and that was last round when he scored 72 – with Jake Trbojevic getting a spell late in the game ahead of Origin II). So his PPM isn't that relevant unless you expect his role to suddenly change.
Still, the fact he covers both front row and second row is very handy on weeks like this one with players like Andrew Fifita sidelined. Depending on how many front-rowers you already have, that versatility probably gives Taupau an edge over Jake Trbojevic.
For overall points Ryan Matterson is another great option considering he plays in round 16. Elsewhere Jason Taumalolo is the standout 2RF option (although he doesn't come cheap) and John Bateman is a must-have in your squad.
Would you be happy with Munster and Ponga as your final halves (running Teddy, RTS, Turbo as my WFB) or is DCE a must?
From Jake Maddison
Cherry-Evans is no longer a must after losing the goal-kicking duties at Manly to Reuben Garrick. Munster and Ponga are fine as a halves duo – although ideally you have another solid half in your squad in case one of those two cop a one-week injury or suspension in the run home.
The last few rounds have shot me to bits (no reserves left, Cleary, Dearden and Ponga were my 3 halves options). Who should I turn to with Fifita, Cleary and Arrow now gone as well? I'm thinking Arrow to Turbo so I can put Ponga in the halves and Hudson Young to Dylan Brown?
From Lachlan Smith
Yep last round was brutal. Those trades look good. Fifita is a hold.