Just five rounds remain in the NRL Fantasy season and every trade could make or break your team from here.
In round 21 Fantasy coaches are re-evaluating Robbie Farah, Latrell Mitchell and Ryan Matterson as buys, and planning their head-to-head finals campaigns.
This week's Fantasy questions
Is Farah going to keep the 80-minute hooker role at the Tigers?
From Michael Keyman Collier
As long as the Tigers keep winning, it's hard to see them changing things up. Farah's minutes plunged in the middle part of the season when he was sharing game time with young hooker Jacob Liddle (who has signed a new contract extension with the club), but since Farah's 300th NRL game he's gone back to playing the full 80 and he's thrived – scoring tries in his past two games. The Tigers are clinging to eighth spot and are playing for a finals berth, so at this point it appears running with one hooker is the way Michael Maguire will go for the run home.
With Liddle available there's always some risk Farah's minutes could dip at some point, but I'd be 85% confident he won't miss a minute from here. (I don't expect his try-scoring run to continue, however, so he's still behind Cook, Smith, McInnes and Tevaga in the Fantasy hooker pecking order).
In the H2H finals, who plays who in week one? 1v4 or 1v8?
From Adam Whitbread
The Fantasy finals run the same way as the NRL Telstra Premiership finals, so in week one it's 1v4, 2v3, 5v8 and 6v7, with the top four teams getting a second chance if they lose. The winners from the top four get the second week off, and it's sudden death for everyone after that.
Latrell is hitting form and Roosters don't have the hardest run home. Worth bringing Latrell in for Nikora for a POD?
From Dylz Hall
I don't think so, unless you have trades to burn. Briton Nikora is an edge forward averaging 48 points a game this year, who has a season-low score of 32 and scored 75 a couple of weeks ago against the Warriors. Latrell Mitchell costs $40k more but averages 45, and in the last three games when he hasn't found the tryline he's scored 25, 42 and 31. Obviously he grabbed two tries in a 70-point effort in a thrashing of the Titans last week, and while the Roosters are capable of towelling up more teams they do have tricky contests against the Raiders this week and Souths in round 25.
A trade could pay off if you expect him to rack up the points against the Warriors, Dragons and Panthers but the more likely scenario is it's a sideways trade at a time when having spare trades up your sleeve can be crucial.
Is Matterson a genuine keeper – he hasn't scored over 50 for a month?
From Andrew Alan Wilkinson
Ryan Matterson has shifted from an edge forward at the Tigers to a role in the middle in the past few weeks, with his game time dropping from 80 minutes to about 60 per game. His workrate has lifted so his base stats are about the same – making more than 35 tackles and 120 metres in both weeks – but his missed tackles have also risen a little and his attacking stats have dipped.
Still, his past two scores are 49 and 45 – nothing to panic about really, when established back-row keepers like Jake Trbojevic and Cameron Murray both have several scores in the mid-40s this year. I'd hold him for at least another week and re-evaluate his position after that.
How long is Nikorima out for?
From Mary Weekers
He's expected back next week.
Who will you be running as your captain for this round? Considering the line-ups: Smith vs Cook, Haas vs Lolo... is CM9 the best option?
From Ngasti Whart
It's yet another tough week for captaincy selections. Cameron Smith may well be the best option – he's got four scores above 74 in his past five games (two including tries) and according to Coach he's projected to score 64 this week, more than the other contenders. For mine it's between him and Payne Haas – he made "only" 55 last week as the Broncos were thrashed by Melbourne but Brisbane should be much more competitive against the Cowboys, and in his previous four games Haas averaged 75. Take your pick of those two – but beware my captaincy choices have been lousy this season.
Will James Graham get his DPP for playing in lock?
From Nathan Heard
Not this season – the three time slots for updating player positions (after round 6, round 12, round 18) are all behind us now.
Can rep round players and State of Origin players in 2020 be included in Fantasy scores? Early in the season you will get rewarded if you select an Origin player. This year Ponga if not selected would have been on a bye round, but because he played Origin just after round 12 his points could have counted. These rep players could be more valuable or a risk if not scoring as well in Origin.
From Matteo Grande
It's actually an idea that was considered before the start of last season, but the arrival of the standalone rep weekend killed it off. With Origin II being played on a week when there are no NRL games, it would mean Origin players would be eligible to play a whole extra game compared to non-Origin players – so either Origin I and III would count for Fantasy, but Origin II wouldn't; or Origin II would become its own round for Fantasy and non-Origin players would score zero; or Origin II would effectively become part of round 15 for Fantasy purposes and Origin players could have their scores counted twice. In short, it wouldn't work.
How good is Jazz Tevaga?
From Timothy Burton