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A tough bye round has already got tougher with two star players and Fantasy keepers called up for the Blues since team lists were announced on Tuesday.

With Mitchell Pearce and David Klemmer now out of action, alongside injured Bronco Anthony Milford, the rest of the Origin stars and half the NRL clubs, getting players on the field for your Fantasy side is as difficult as ever.

So which trades should be your priorities this week? Here are my answers.

This week's big questions

Is Shaun Johnson a valuable pickup for the remaining rounds with Mitchell Pearce now selected for Origin?

From Tim Burgess

Johnson's Fantasy stocks have skyrocketed in the space of one round. A week ago the Sharks playmaker had just come back from injury with a poor score of 21 and a mediocre season average of 39. Now he's coming off 73 points against the Bulldogs (albeit including a try) and is the last quality half standing for the second bye round. Add in the fact he's been a proven Fantasy gun in the past and comes at a $210k discount on his starting price and he suddenly looks like a must-have for the overall points race – especially for those who are carrying Pearce and Anthony Milford (like yours truly).

Tevaga tops Fantasy performers

Even though he is playing, is it worth trading Bronson Xerri out and Shaun Johnson in? I'm in desperate need of a quality half for the run home. Also, who is more likely to play on the wing for the Broncos after Round 16, Coates or Farnworth?

From Ben Lewis

For overall points, you'd ideally hold anybody who is playing this week, including Xerri, but if trading him is your only path to Johnson then it could be worth doing. Xerri's price is also dropping at the moment so if money is very tight (ie. if Xerri dropping in value by $20k next week will mean you can't afford a star player later on) then it also may be worth selling. I'll be keeping Xerri and trading Anthony Milford to Johnson.

On the second question, Coates is ahead of Farnworth in the pecking order on the wings for Brisbane, but the Broncos do also have Jamayne Isaako to come back and chances are he joins Darius Boyd and Corey Oates in the team's back three for the run home.

I've got Pearce and Cleary in my halves with SJ as backup. Playing for overall points. And need to make up some ground. Are they trades?

From Rama Hilton

Unless you've got a lot of trades left I wouldn't be trading out Pearce or Cleary, who are both likely to be back in action in round 17 or 18 – especially when you've already got Johnson who is probably the best alternative (Luke Brooks is the only other genuine option this week, averaging 49 points a game).

Is it worth holding off a week to bring Wighton in or jumping on RTS this week for the run home?

From Carl Fewquandie

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck is cheaper, has a slightly better average than Wighton, and is in great form recently after scores of 70 and 64. Plus Tuivasa-Sheck plays this week, which obviously helps for the overall points race. Unless you're desperate for Wighton's HLF/WFB dual-position flexibility I'd be getting RTS.

With the current halves crisis, is it worth running one major half alongside Ponga or find a second major half, put Ponga at WFB and leave out RTS?

From Cameron Holden

This one depends on your depth really. Have you got a decent back-up half or winger/fullback? If you've got at least a 30-point half in your reserves (like Dylan Brown), you can run Ponga as one of your halves and three strong WFBs. If you've got a decent WFB in reserve then put Ponga at the back and get a gun half – although most of those are out of action this week. What you don't want is to be stuck with only 16 scorers if one of your halves or WFBs cops a one-week injury or suspension in the run home.

Is Jacob Saifiti worth a look in as a cheapy trade down? Playing for overall.

From Dean Longley

Not really. At $244k he's certainly cheap, but he is a back-up option at Newcastle who's only starting in a forward pack that's missing Origin trio David Klemmer, Daniel Saifiti and Tim Glasby. Limited minutes off the bench is all you can really hope from him after this round. Even his brother Daniel – while obviously a good player – isn't a great Fantasy scorer with 27.5 points a game this year.

What round do H2H finals start?

From Kai Spence

For most head-to-head leagues, the finals start in round 22 and run through to round 25. So the key is to be in your league's top eight by the end of round 21. League admins can change these settings when they start a league though so some leagues may finish earlier.

How many trades you got left Scouty? I'm sitting in the top 50 with a good 18 but am worried about a couple major injuries.

From Cory Casbolt

I've got eight left going into this round.

How many trades would you consider enough for the run home if you're close to your final 17?

From Stefan West

About half a dozen should be fine, depending on your depth and how many injuries your team cops in the final rounds. Ideally, you can get 17 good scorers, decent back-ups for every position (at least good dual-position players on your bench then a decent 18th man) and have a handful of trades left over. If you're lucky you can get away with three or four trades left after reaching your ideal 17.

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