Some big names have been sidelined at a crucial time in the NRL Fantasy season, with head-to-head league finals underway and trades at a premium.
This week's Fantasy news
Sea Eagles v Wests Tigers, Thursday 7.50pm at Lottoland
Sea Eagles: Brad Parker (knee) and Curtis Sironen (hamstring) are out, with Brendan Elliot and Jack Gosiewski replacing them in the starting side. Tom Trbojevic should bounce back from last week's 25 while Daly Cherry-Evans, Jake Trbojevic and Martin Taupau all have three-game averages in the high 50s. Cherry-Evans is named despite suffering a minor ankle injury last round.
Wests Tigers: Robbie Farah (broken leg) and Moses Mbye (hip) are replaced by Jacob Liddle and Tommy Talau. Ryan Matterson produced easily his best score since switching to the middle, with 82 – thanks to increased game time (from 60 minutes up to 76) after the Tigers lost Farah and Mbye to injuries. Alex Twal meanwhile has gone from keeper to non-factor in Fantasy since his demotion to the bench, playing a season-low 36 minutes (for 36 points) last week.
Titans v Eels, Friday 6pm at Cbus Super Stadium
Titans: Michael Gordon returns on the bench in place of Leilani Latu. Jai Arrow scored 52 in his return from injury last week. Nathan Peats was a late out last week due to injury, with Mitch Rein scoring 67 in his absence and should score well again if Peats (who is named in the reserves this week) is out again.
Eels: Kane Evans returns from food poisoning, bumping Daniel Alvaro to the bench and Tepai Moeroa to the reserves. Mitchell Moses's season just keeps getting better, scoring 76 against the Knights to take his five game average past 65. Parramatta also have the easiest draw of any team in the run home. Manu Ma'u (72) has also been a terrific scorer lately, while Nathan Brown has scored at least 60 three times in his past five games – averaging 58 in that time.
Broncos v Panthers, Friday 7.55pm at Suncorp Stadium
Broncos: Brisbane are unchanged. Payne Haas delivered as a captaincy option again last round with 67 against the Cowboys, with the in-form David Fifita (72) and Anthony Milford (50) also performing well. Jake Turpin scored a try, made seven tackle busts and had a season-high 362 kick metres for 77 Fantasy points.
Panthers: James Maloney returns from suspension, Isaah Yeo is named at lock, Moses Leota moves back to the bench and Matt Burton drops out. James Fisher-Harris had his lowest score in a couple of months with 43, thanks to nine missed tackles against the Sharks, but Nathan Cleary stepped up in the absence of Maloney to score 79.
Knights v Cowboys, Saturday 3pm at McDonald Jones Stadium
Knights: Danny Levi drops out with Connor Watson set for 80 minutes at hooker. Josh King replaces the injured Tim Glasby (concussion) at lock and Jacob Saifiti joins the bench. David Klemmer (63) continues to be the standout for Newcastle with Kalyn Ponga now having just one 50+ score in his past five games and Mitchell Pearce having only one in his past eight. Watson played 40 minutes last week, scoring 43.
Cowboys: Josh McGuire has copped a three-match ban with Jordan McLean returning in his place at prop. Jordan Kahu replaces Gideon Gela-Mosby on the wing while Reuben Cotter replaces Peter Hola on the bench. Jason Taumalolo's 41-point effort against Brisbane was his second-worst score all season, and his only sub-50 score apart from when he was injured in round 2. He did also score 41 in his only game against the Knights last season.
Storm v Raiders, Saturday 5.30pm at AAMI Park
Storm: Jahrome Hughes (back spasms) and Ryan Papenhuyzen (foot sprain) are back, bumping Nicho Hynes and Billy Walters out of the side. Cameron Munster proved why he's worth having with a massive 94-point effort including an excellent solo try against Souths, while Cameron Smith scored 65.
Raiders: Joey Leilua returns, with Nick Cotric moving to the wing, Bailey Simonsson dropping to the bench and Siliva Havili out of the 17. With Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad's scoring taking a dip recently John Bateman (three-game average: 75) and Jack Wighton (three-game average: 58) are the key Fantasy players in this Canberra team.
Rabbitohs v Bulldogs, Saturday 7.35pm at ANZ Stadium
Rabbitohs: Sam Burgess (quad) and Braidon Burns (hamstring) return, along with Jaydn Su'A, with Kyle Turner (corked hamstring), Mark Nicholls and Corey Allan dropping out of the 17. Adam Reynolds is named despite picking up a back injury last week. Damien Cook (52) was well contained by the Storm on Sunday but the last time he ran for more than 100 metres this year it was against this week's opponents the Bulldogs, back in round six. Cameron Murray has a five-game average of 64.
Bulldogs: No changes for the Bulldogs, although Kieran Foran is in the reserves so his return isn't far away. Aiden Tolman (59) and Josh Jackson (63) were standouts last week.
Roosters v Warriors, Sunday 2pm at SCG
Roosters: The Roosters have named the same 17 that defeated Canberra, although Boyd Cordner could return after being included in the reserves. Sam Verrills is named after leaving the field after 40 minutes due to a thigh injury on Sunday. Angus Crichton made the most of his second straight 80-minute game, scoring 70 points including nine tackle busts. James Tedesco (54) and Latrell Mitchell (50) both impressed last round.
Warriors: Unchanged. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck hasn't gone three straight games without scoring 50 this season, but it could happen here after he made 42 against Canberra and 33 against Manly.
Sharks v Dragons, Sunday 4.05pm at PointsBet Stadium
Sharks: Andrew Fifita (knee) is out. Matt Moylan returns at fullback, with Josh Dugan moving to centre, Josh Morris to the wing and Ronaldo Mulitalo dropping to the reserves. Shaun Johnson's Fantasy scoring continues to excel, with 70 last week taking his five-game average to 65. It's a massive turnaround considering he had scored less than 40 points per game through the first 14 rounds. Bronson Xerri has scored 60 and 50 since Wade Graham's return from injury.
Dragons: Tariq Sims (groin) is out for the season. Luciano Leilua starts at lock, while Blake Lawrie returns on the bench. Cameron McInnes has scored 88 and 82 in the past two rounds, with a combined 105 tackles and 13 tackle breaks in that fortnight. He's a genuine captaincy option – especially if you want a point of difference in your head-to-head match-up.