The axe falls on a few popular Fantasy bargains at the Broncos and Tigers, a couple of new potential cash cows emerge while Tom Trbojevic and Jason Taumalolo headline some big-name inclusions.
Match: Broncos v Panthers
Round 6 -
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Broncos: Panic stations for some Fantasy coaches here with Anthony Milford and Tesi Niu dropped and Jordan Riki bumped to the bench, with Brodie Croft, Jesse Arthars and Pat Carrigan into the starting side and Tevita Pangai jnr taking Riki's edge role. Ethan Bullemore joins the bench.
Milford (55) was the only Bronco to score more than 50 Fantasy points last week, and there's still an argument he could be worth holding for future price rises if you think he'll be back in the Brisbane side in the next few rounds. He's made $124k in price rises so far and still has a break even around 20. "I expect him to be back playing with us in a month or so," is what Kevin Walters told The Australian on Tuesday.
Panthers: No changes. The dream run of Nathan Cleary (93) continues with a stupendous 90-point average through his first four matches of the season. Paul Momirovski (49) has been the best centre buy of the year so far, averaging 47 points and rising in value by $142k.
Cash cow Spencer Leniu (44) made a monstrous 200 run metres and four tackle breaks in a very busy 25-minute stint against the Raiders.
Match: Knights v Sharks
Round 6 -
Venue: McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle
Knights: Brayden Musgrove debuts on the wing in place of Starford To'a while Bradman Best, Kurt Mann and Jacob Saifiti return to the 17 for Gehamat Shibasaki, Chris Randall and Pasami Saulo. Mann's return means Connor Watson shifts back to his usual middle forward role after scoring just 37 last week.
Kalyn Ponga didn't take long to warm up in his first game of the year with 60 points including a runaway try against the Titans, with the year's best moneymaker Jayden Brailey (58 points, +$347k this season) the only other Knight to pass 50 points in that game.
Sharks: Josh Dugan and Wade Graham (both concussion) are out, with Connor Tracey and Briton Nikora coming into the starting side and Siosifa Talakai added to the bench.
Chad Townsend (69) has earned $187k in price rises this year while Will Kennedy (50) and Teig Wilton (50) have also been impressive, with average scores in the mid-40s.
Jesse Ramien (48) scored well without a try against the Roosters and could be a point of difference option in the centres with an ownership of less than 1%.
Match: Storm v Roosters
Round 6 -
Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne
Storm: No changes. Ryan Papenhuyzen (70) has averaged 82 points per game so far this season, while Harry Grant's price should dip a little despite a very promising 44 points in 53 minutes off the bench in his first game of the season. Grant has again been named on the bench this week but it seems only a matter of time before he's starting at hooker.
Grant's return means Brandon Smith (31) is a sell, with his price already on the way down after he played 43 minutes last week.
Roosters: Ben Marschke is named at hooker but is facing a possible suspension at the judiciary on Tuesday night, while Lindsay Collins and Adam Keighran join the bench. Sitili Tupouniua is named to start after coming off the interchange last round. Freddy Lussick (broken arm) and Fletcher Baker are out.
Rookie halfback Sam Walker (51) was targeted by the Sharks last week and had -18 in demerits (mostly via six missed tackles) but more than made up for it with three try assists and a try. Angus Crichton (67) remains reliably excellent while Brett Morris (64) now has a ridiculous 11 tries in five matches and Siosiua Taukeiaho (57) is still a solid option up front.
Match: Sea Eagles v Titans
Round 6 -
Venue: Glen Willow Oval, Mudgee
Sea Eagles: Tom Trbojevic is back! But after his latest hamstring problem, who is game to buy him straight away? Dylan Walker (hamstring) and Jack Gosiewski (foot) are out, with $292k cheapie Haumole Olakauatu straight into the starting side in the second row after recovering from his elbow injury. Cade Cust also returns on the bench in place of Tevita Funa.
Daly Cherry-Evans (93) kicked the match-winning field goal to cap his best game of the season so far, with two try assists and a massive 630 kick metres. Josh Schuster (69) is among the league's best cash cows with $207k in price rises so far and Lachlan Croker (52) continues to repay those who have held onto him.
Titans: Unchanged after last week's rout of Newcastle. David Fifita (104) was the star of the show on that day with the first hat-trick of his career.
Tyrone Peachey (69) is pushing his season average towards 50 and his Fantasy price towards $600k, while Jamal Fogarty (66) has dropped $68k on his starting price and could be a straight swap for those looking to trade out Milford.
Match: Rabbitohs v Wests Tigers
Round 6 -
Venue: Stadium Australia, Sydney
Rabbitohs: Cody Walker returns from suspension, bumping Benji Marshall back to the bench and Dean Hawkins out of the side.
Latrell Mitchell (95) produced his best score as a fullback in Souths' thrashing of the Broncos, taking his season average to 60. His attacking stats are off the charts, with five tries, six try assists, 28 tackle breaks and nine line-break assists in five matches.
Campbell Graham (63) remains a keeper option in the centres while Damien Cook (44) now has three scores under 50 and two above 80 this season.
Wests Tigers: Despite playing the full 80 minutes last week for 62 points, Jacob Liddle has been dropped with youngster Jake Simpkin starting at hooker. He's an enticing prospect at $228k, though unlikely to play the full 80 with Moses Mbye on the bench. There's good news for cash cow Stefano Utoikamanu (44) who is promoted to starting prop, with Zane Musgrove benched, while Asu Kepaoa replaces Joey Leilua (head knock) at centre.
Daine Laurie (46) scored his second try in as many weeks in the loss to the Cowboys while James Roberts managed only 8 points last week – the worst 80-minute score of his career. It's an especially disappointing return after a couple of decent high-30s scores.
Match: Raiders v Eels
Round 6 -
Venue: GIO Stadium, Canberra
Raiders: Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad (neck) is replaced by Caleb Aekins at fullback. Ryan James and Sebastian Kris are also out of the side with Curtis Scott at centre, Joseph Tapine at lock and Emre Guler onto the bench.
Jack Wighton (77) had his best score of the season against Penrith last week, Josh Papalii (54) has scored 50 or better in each of his past four games while Jordan Rapana (25) had his first "normal" winger score of the year after averaging 51 points a game through four rounds.
Eels: Dylan Brown has copped a one-match ban for a crusher tackle, with Will Smith starting at five-eighth. Ryan Matterson has again been named to return from concussion in the second row after being a late withdrawal in recent weeks, and Isaiah Papali'i goes back to the interchange. Keegan Hipgrave replaces Ray Stone on the bench.
Papali'i's incredible season with the Eels continued with 88 points against the Dragons including his second try in as many weeks, with huge involvement in Matterson's usual edge role with 42 tackles, 141 metres and six tackle breaks.
There were more good scores last week for Reed Mahoney (54), Clint Gutherson (57) and Tom Opacic (39) but Mitch Moses owners may be slightly disappointed with his 41 points. He's now $79k cheaper than he was in the pre-season and could be a value option for those overall points coaches looking for a keeper with an eye on the first bye week in round 13. He could also pick up a ton of kick metres this round without Brown in the side.
Match: Dragons v Warriors
Round 6 -
Venue: Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, Sydney
Dragons: No changes in the 17 for the Red V, although new recruit Josh McGuire could be a late inclusion after being included in the reserves. There's a good chance he cuts into the game time of Tyrell Fuimaono and potentially the team's other middle forwards.
Jack Bird (63) had his first try and first score above 40 of the year against the Eels last week, with a massive nine tackle breaks making up for four missed tackles and two errors. He's also produced five forced turnovers in his past three games.
Andrew McCullough (62) was as consistent as ever, Zac Lomax (53) is again on track to be among the elite Fantasy centres and Daniel Alvaro (49) has now jumped in value by $145k this season.
Warriors: Peta Hiku and Josh Curran replace David Fusitu'a (hamstring) and Eliesa Katoa in the starting side, with Bunty Afoa bumping Tom Ale off the interchange. Jamayne Taunoa-Brown is on the extended bench following suspension and could be a late inclusion.
Sean O'Sullivan (73) scored his first try in Warriors colours and has now made four tackle breaks in each of his three appearances at the club, earning $135k in price rises so far. Jazz Tevaga (70) got through a lot of work in a season-high 57 minutes with middle men Addin Fonua-Blake, Jamayne Taunoa-Brown and Bunty Afoa out of the side.
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (68) was excellent against Manly and is averaging 53 for the season while the uber-consistent Tohu Harris (61) has now scored between 61 and 63 points every week for five matches.
Match: Cowboys v Bulldogs
Round 6 -
Venue: Queensland Country Bank Stadium, Townsville
Cowboys: Jason Taumalolo's return shifts Coen Hess to prop and Francis Molo to the bench, while Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow (ankle) is replaced by Justin O'Neill at centre and Corey Jensen drops out of the 17.
Ben Hampton (51) has emerged as a sub-$300k option in the centres after scoring very nicely at halfback last week following the injury-forced retirement of Michael Morgan. He keeps the spot again ahead of Jake Clifford after the Cowboys' win over the Tigers, with Hampton's 351 kick metres very promising (he also had a try assist, three tackle breaks and two forced turnovers last round). He's never been a primary playmaker for a long run of games at NRL level but if he keeps his spot he should be good value and a handy scorer at centre.
Bulldogs: Josh Jackson (torn calf) is out, with Luke Thompson starting at lock and Chris Smith joining the bench.
Jake Averillo (63) bounced back in a big way after replacing Lachlan Lewis (concussion) at five-eighth last week, with a try, a try assist, two line breaks and easily his best score of the season against Melbourne. He's now due some handy price rises for those who kept him.
Kyle Flanagan (63) and Thompson (60) also scored well, while Adam Elliott (55) returned to Fantasy form after a quiet score the previous round.
Nick Cotric (19) scored poorly after being switched to the wing while cheapie Jackson Topine (30) got a 35-minute stint off the bench after scoring 60 in 73 minutes on debut.