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Dragons hooker Cameron McInnes

It's crunch time for NRL Fantasy coaches, with captaincy decisions and last-minute trades likely to determine which teams advance to the final round of the year and which bow out of contention.

Here are my answers to some of this week's big questions.

This week's Fantasy questions

Is Cam McInnes now a set and forget as a captaincy option as Smith, Haas and Cook? Only two per cent seem to think so but his average says otherwise.

From Bilent Peel

Yes. McInnes is now level with Payne Haas as the most expensive player in NRL Fantasy, at $899k, with a five-game average of 73 points a game (10 points above his season average). He's in terrific form, making at least 50 tackles every match since he was injured in round 14. He's also running the ball more of late, and regularly notching a few tackle breaks.

He's not necessarily ahead of the Haas in the Fantasy pecking order, but he's certainly alongside him, Cameron Smith and Damien Cook as the game's premier Fantasy options. The fact he's only the eighth most popular captain in Fantasy certainly makes him a good point-of-difference option.

David Fifita raises the bat

Best player for under $700k for last bench spot?

From Corbin Giddy

Luke Brooks is in very good form after last week's 95, although while he could get a lot of attacking stats again against the Dragons his Tigers have a tougher contest against Cronulla next round. Connor Watson could be a huge scorer against the Titans this round but may potentially lose his starting spot if Danny Levi is fit for round 25.

David Fifita is fresh from an even 100 and costs $701k. Josh Jackson isn't traditionally a big Fantasy scorer but is in good touch at the moment, while Kenny Bromwich averages 51 for the season and scored 63 last week. Guys like the Trbojevic brothers, Martin Taupau and Jai Arrow are all proven Fantasy performers.

Weigh up which position would suit your team best in terms of injury cover for next round, but if positions aren't a concern I'd lean towards Watson if your main priority is scoring well this week, or someone like Jake Trbojevic if you're after a more reliable option.

Best player for $600k?

From Ben Must

Nathan Peats could be a big scorer at hooker this week when the Titans visit Newcastle, although is likely to return to lock when Mitch Rein is available next round. Josh Dugan and Bronson Xerri are in good attacking form for the Sharks, although Dugan's injury history is always a concern.

The wildcard is Ryan Papenhuyzen, who has been named to start at fullback for the second straight week and averages 66 points a game in his four 80-minute appearances this year. His best scores come against weak opposition though, so there's no guarantee he scores well against the Sea Eagles in Manly this round. I'd be considering him or Peats in that price bracket.

Last spot on the bench, Connor Watson or Paps?

From Luke Maddaford

I'd say Watson, considering the opposition both those players are facing this round.

Will JFH's minutes be affected by moving to lock?

From Nick James

James Fisher-Harris has primarily played close to 80 minutes at lock so if anything his game time should increase this week.

Big guns fail to fire

Who are you making captain this week? Will you be making any trades or holding till the last round?

From Reg Hawkins

I'll almost certainly be sticking with Payne Haas as captain, unless I have a late change of heart and switch to Cameron McInnes. I have some cash in the bank as well so will probably bring in Daly Cherry-Evans over the weekend, but will leave that decision late to see how the early games play out first.

Is Cam Murray to Mitchell Moses an upgrade or too sideways?

From Rachael-Robert Jane

A month ago I'd say that's trading one keeper for another, and therefore a sideways move, but in these final rounds every point matters – and Mitch Moses has been the clear standout half in Fantasy for the second half of the season. If your team hasn't got any other problems elsewhere that looks like a good upgrade.