It's another brutal week for NRL Fantasy coaches with several popular players out of action this week, but it's also a big opportunity with cheapies like Tom Starling and Bayley Sironen and value buys like Ben Hunt and Jazz Tevaga up for grabs.
This week's big questions
With the injury to Koroisau is he looking like a trade or hold on to him and wait for him to come back have him on my interchange?
From Connor Sainsbury
The Panthers said on Wednesday they expected Koroisau to miss "at least a couple of weeks" before starting strengthening work after suffering an elbow sprain last round. It means he could be out for around 3-6 weeks, which creates a real dilemma for Fantasy coaches.
If you're playing head-to-head and are sitting pretty at the top of the league, and are running short on trades, you can hold. But if you need points now, or could do with strengthening a weaker position by trading out a hooker who could miss more than a month, there's a strong argument for trading Koroisau.
Who are the better buys out of Ponga, Tevaga and Bayley Sironen? Who's set to make more money?
From Trevor Maggs
Those are three quality buys who all fill different roles. Kalyn Ponga is probably a must-have as the second-best WFB option behind James Tedesco. Jazz Tevaga is a quality keeper at a good price ($690k). Both those two have break evens around 50, so unless they have very big scores their prices shouldn't get too out of reach.
Sironen will make the most money of that trio – with a price of $296k, a starting second-row spot after a season-ending injury to Ethan Lowe and a break even of 7 he looks like a very good cash cow option.
Bailey's points-per-minute has been excellent this season: if he continues the scoring rate he's shown in limited minutes off the bench he'd produce 72 points in 80 minutes. Of course, he won't do that (it's easier to be busy in a limited-minute role in the middle of the park than across a full game on an edge) but if he can eke out 45 points a game he'll be a steal.
Farah predicts extra spice when Matterson faces old teammates
Best cashies this week?
From Adrian Repole
Raiders bench hooker Tom Starling scored 48 points in 48 minutes against the Roosters last week and is probably just ahead of Sironen, unless you need more cover at 2RF, with Cowboys rookie Daejarn Asi – playing five-eighth but available at centre – a nice cheap option who looked impressive on debut last week.
Reece Robson and his minutes? Is he done playing 80?
From Jordan Marathon
It looks like it. The big question mark here is the Cowboys have a new coach, and Josh Hannay may prefer to go back to an 80-minute hooker role or split the time between Robson and Reuben Cotter as Paul Green did last week.
The fact Hannay has named an unchanged side suggests it'll be the latter, and Cotter looked very sharp in his time on the field last round which isn't great news for Robson.
After jumping $207k in value this year, Robson may be a sell either this week or in the next few rounds. But keep an eye on the late mail before Friday night's game and hold Robson if Cotter drops off the bench before kick-off.
NRL players open to SBW return
What to do with Hudson Young?
From Johnny Williams
Young hasn't quite been the mid-range moneymaker many of us were hoping for, with a couple of scores in the 30s despite playing the full 80 minutes in recent weeks. With a break even in the high 30s, and with John Bateman almost ready to turn in the Canberra back row, Young is a sell either this week or soon.
Centres are a real headache. Just so inconsistent, just don't know who to put in there week by week.
From Darren King
Yes, they are. With Zac Lomax the only consistent scorer at centre this season – and even that could change as soon as his attacking stats dry up – the smart move is to just get a couple of players with a decent average and don't stress if they don't score well every single week.
Someone like Bradman Best is a season keeper at centre, and his scores tend to be either below 30 or above 55.
Could the Warriors play all games in New Zealand next season?
What are your thoughts on Aubusson at $330k dual position with Crichton out for over a month?
From Lachlan Delforce
Many years ago I coined The Mitchell Aubusson Rule ("Never buy Mitchell Aubusson"), and it's a simple rule I stand by to this day. He always looks tempting as a dual-position 2RF/centre with a good price tag, but he's also likely to be shifted out of the starting pack when the Roosters are at full strength – and if Angus Crichton is back after two weeks you'll need to make yet another trade in the centres with not much to show for it.
If you need a cheapie in the centres consider Cowboys rookie Daejarn Asi instead, who's priced at $263k and has a break even of -5 (although he also has job security issues when Michael Morgan eventually comes back). Better yet grab a 40-point keeper you can set and forget in the centres, with trades running low for most teams.
What to do with Sione Mata'utia? Niu and Crichton are my other centre options.
From Marty Evitt-Aitken
Now that Mata'utia appears to be stuck in a bench role at the Knights – and a low-minute role at that – he's a sell.
Fotuaikia a trade for Ben Hunt?
From Paul Messell
No, Mo Fotuaika is a definite hold – he had one bad game in a heavy loss to the Melbourne Storm but was averaging 56 points a game before that. He's still averaging 53 for the season and most of his scores have been above 55, so that's definite keeper level in the front row.
Who will be your captain this week Scout?
From Mark Jackman