Some huge names return this week while a few surprise team changes will have NRL Fantasy coaches rethinking their trades once again.
Round 10 team news
Roosters v Raiders, Thursday 7.50pm at Sydney Cricket Ground
Roosters: Brett Morris and Boyd Cordner return to the side with Mitch Aubusson shifting to the bench and Ryan Hall and Poasa Faamausili to the reserves.
Matt Ikuvalu's five-try 98 against the Cowboys was clearly a one-off but it was also a terrific round for James Tedesco (76), Siosiua Taukeiaho (71), Angus Crichton (66), Joey Manu (57) and Nat Butcher (53). Kyle Flanagan's 48 was his first sub-50 score since round 3.
Raiders: With superstar No.9 Josh Hodgson (knee) gone for the season there are Fantasy opportunities for his usual understudy Siliva Havili and young speedster Tom Starling ($228k), with Havili starting and Starling named on the bench. Havili is a dual-position player with a break even below 20, but at $396k he's awkwardly priced for a cash cow option at this stage of the season.
Bailey Simonsson (shoulder) is also out for the season with Jordan Rapana on the wing and Curtis Scott on the bench. Joe Tapine is named to start as he was the last couple of weeks before being switched to the bench ahead of kick-off. Hudson Young (30) had a very quiet first half against Melbourne but is still projected to make money if he can get his scores back into the 40s.
Storm v Titans, Friday 6pm at Sunshine Coast Stadium
Storm: Cameron Munster and Felise Kaufusi return from injuries, Brandon Smith replaces Jesse Bromwich (knee) in starting pack, and Tino Faasuamaleaui moves to a reshuffed bench.
Ryan Papenhuyzen has rewarded Fantasy coaches who kept the faith with scores of 87 and 69 on either side of a solid enough 31 against the Roosters. After being a late inclusion in the starting side Faasuamaleaui scored 58 in 80 minutes against Canberra.
Titans: Beau Fermor gets another start in the forward pack with Kevin Proctor still not quite fit to return, with Brian Kelly and Phillip Sami the new centre combination and Bryce Cartwright and Sam Stone out of the 17.
Jamal Fogarty has proven to be a sensational buy, scoring a season-high 65 last week and closing in on $300k in price rises this year. A try helped Beau Fermor (31) post another reasonable score, while Mo Fotuaika (55) keeps delivering strong performances up front.
Wests Tigers v Broncos, Friday 7.55pm at Leichhardt Oval
Tigers: Tommy Talau returns from injury on the wing but the bigger news for the Tigers is that with Josh Reynolds suspended and Luke Brooks dropped to the bench Billy Walters and Benji Marshall form a new halves combination. Russell Packer replaces Oliver Clark at prop and Sam McIntyre and Chris McQueen replace Elijah Taylor and Michael Chee-Kam on the interchange.
Harry Grant (69 last week) is averaging 68 for the season, Matt Eisenhuth (65) again hit big numbers in the absence of Alex Twal and winger David Nofoaluma (47) continues to be a remarkably consistent performer at WFB, with an average of just under 52.
Broncos: Ben Teo replaces Alex Glenn (knee) in the back row and Joe Ofahengaue returns on the interchange. David Fifita remains a couple of weeks away.
It may have been a one-off but Payne Haas (57) was usurped by Pat Carrigan (85) as Brisbane's big-minute forward on the weekend, with the lock playing in every minute of the team's drought-breaking win over the Bulldogs.
Haas did score 79 in 66 minutes a week ago so remains a very reliable captaincy option. Tesi Niu (52) showed some scoring potential along with a $34k price boost against the Bulldogs.
Try of the Week: Round 9
Dragons v Bulldogs, Saturday 3pm at WIN Stadium
Dragons: Jason Saab replaces Jordan Pereira on the wing in the Dragons' only change. Starting lock Cameron McInnes (58) may be on his way to dual-position status but the real winner from the switch may be Ben Hunt, who unlike McInnes played the full 80 minutes on the weekend on the way to 76 points. At $654k he's a good value keeper option in the halves.
Corey Norman has a three-game average of 61 coinciding with an uptick in form for the team, Zac Lomax hit yet another 50 – having now scored tries in four straight games – while Tyrell Fuimaono (10) is a sell after $173k in price rises.
Bulldogs: After the axing of Dean Pay the Bulldogs have made some changes, with Brandon Wakeham replaced at halfback by Luke Lewis, Nick Meaney shifting to fullback, Kerrod Holland in the centres and Jeremy Marshall-King back at starting hooker.
Kieran Foran's 68 on the weekend – including two try assists and a career-high 352 kick metres – was the equal second-best score of his career.
Rabbitohs v Knights, Saturday 5.30pm at Bankwest Stadium
Rabbitohs: Latrell Mitchell (suspension) and Campbell Graham (facial fracture) are out, with Alex Johnston at fullback, Jaxson Paulo debuting on the wing, Corey Allan on the other wing and Dane Gagai in the centres.
Adam Reynolds and hat-trick hero Dane Gagai both scored 72 against the Tigers last week, with Damien Cook bang on his season average with 66. Bailey Sironen delivered a handy 32 considering his $240k price tag a week ago.
Knights: Daniel Saifiti (knee) is out with brother Jacob starting in his place, while Connor Watson, Mitch Barnett and Sione Mata'utia all return on the bench. Tex Hoy and Brodie Jones drop out.
Kalyn Ponga scored 57 without any tries or assists and despite going off for an HIA against the Eels, bouncing back from the previous week's 17. Kurt Mann's terrific season continued with another 57, while the rest of the backline suffered from the team's poor attacking performance with Mitchell Pearce (35) and Bradman Best (6) the notable strugglers.
2020 players' poll results: Part 1
Sea Eagles v Eels, Saturday 7.35pm at Lottoland
Sea Eagles: Taniela Paseka replaces Morgan Boyle at prop with Corey Waddell joining the bench.
The Manly attack may be misfiring without Tom Tbrojevic but Daly Cherry-Evans' attempts to carry the team himself have at least led to improved Fantasy scores, with 63 against the Dragons after last week's 86 against Newcastle. Martin Taupau is now $191k cheaper than he was at the start of the year but he hasn't scored more than 47 since round three.
Eels: Unchanged. Nathan Brown (83) played the full 80 minutes for the first time this season due to a back injury to Junior Paulo. He looks decent value at $660k, having scored a more typical 59 from 61 minutes a week earlier.
Dylan Brown (63) again excelled in the absence of Mitch Moses, while Clint Gutherson (51) produced the match-winning try assist against Newcastle and is averaging 52 at the back. Jai Field (42) has jumped in value by $104k in two weeks.
Warriors v Sharks, Sunday 2pm at Central Coast Stadium
Warriors: Cash cow Eliesa Katoa is back in the forward pack in place of Jack Murchie, and Kodi Nikorima returns for the injured Chanel Harris-Tevita.
Those who snapped up Roger Tuivasa-Sheck after $174k in price drops this year picked the right time to do it with the fullback racking up 82 points against the Titans – easily his best score of the season. He's now got a season average of 45 and a three-game average of 52 (but he won't play the Titans every week).
Tohu Harris (69) wasn't hurt by the presence on the bench of Jazz Tevaga, whose price has started to dip after a 31-minute cameo for 33 points last week.
Sharks: Ronaldo Mulitalo returns for Nene Macdonald on the wing, Toby Rudolf replaces Jack Williams at lock, Andrew Fifita is out with a hamstring injury and Connor Tracey and Scott Sorensen join the bench.
Rudolf scored 23 in 48 minutes against Penrith – oddly his worst score of the year despite being the most game time he's had in 2020. It's his second mid-20s score in the past three weeks and with a break even around 40 he's probably a sell unless you expect the new role to take his scores towards 50. Blayke Brailey has stunningly scored in each of the past three games after going tryless in his first six.
2020 players' poll results: Part 2
Panthers v Cowboys, Sunday 4.05pm at Panthers Stadium
Panthers: Dean Whare returns for four-try debutant Charlie Staines, who is sidelined anyway after a COVID-19 protocol breach.
A few tries is helping Stephen Crichton (74 last week) rise in value nicely, while Nathan Cleary (54) recovered from a slow start and a minor ankle injury against the Sharks. After a string of 80-minute games Isaah Yeo has played 64 minutes for 46 points in both the past two games – quite a drop off after he was averaging 65 points a game a fortnight ago.
Cowboys: A syndesmosis injury will sideline Val Holmes for 8-10 weeks, meaning Hamiso Tabaui-Fidow will get an extended run at fullback. Scott Drinkwater (knee) is also out of the side, with Mitch Dunn named at five-eighth. Justin O'Neill replaces Holmes on the wing while rookie Daejarn Asi replaces Peter Hola (wrist) on the bench.
Last week's heavy loss didn't make for good scoring opportunities for North Queensland's backs with Drinkwater (17), Tabuai-Fidow (9) and the injured Holmes (4) all scoring poorly. Ben Hampton was defending five-try hero Matt Ikuvalu and finished on -5.
On the plus side two tries helped Reece Robson to a monstrous 95 points and in the five games he's played 80 minutes he averages 66 points a game. Jason Taumalolo (58) had a quiet game by his standards but still averages 67 for the season.