The casualty ward is filling up as one cash cow joins several big names at the Rabbitohs and Roosters, while James Tedesco heads up the big names returning to action this week.
This week's team news
Match: Rabbitohs v Storm
Round 9 -
Venue: Stadium Australia, Sydney
Rabbitohs: Souths have been smashed by injuries with Cameron Murray (ankle) and Campbell Graham (broken hand) to miss a month, Adam Reynolds (thumb) to miss 2-4 weeks and Jaxson Paulo (wrist) out for 6-8 weeks.
In their absence Cody Walker and Benji Marshall are the new halves duo with Alex Johnston shifting to fullback and Steven Marsters, Braidon Burns and Taane Milne joining the backline. Tevita Tatola returns at prop and Jai Arrow moves to lock.
Damien Cook (58) is now scoring consistently after an up-and-down start to the year while Keaon Koloamatangi is flying with back-to-back scores of 67.
Storm: Still no sign of Ryan Papenhuyzen yet, with George Jennings replacing Dean Ieremia in the backline and Nelson Asofa-Solomona returning in place of Chris Lewis on the bench.
Reimis Smith (82) scored a hat-trick in the centres with the kind of game that will get his price moving for a while yet, while Harry Grant (61) had two more try assists in an excellent 68-minute performance. He's $122k cheaper than he was ahead of round 1 and looms as a buy in the next few weeks assuming he resumes an 80-minute role.
Match: Panthers v Sharks
Round 9 -
Venue: BlueBet Stadium, Penrith
Panthers: No changes, with Kurt Capewell named despite a ribs injury last week.
Nathan Cleary (61) is finally falling in price after peaking at $1.138 million, following his first sub-80 score of the season. Api Koroisau (43) is also getting cheaper after playing 60 minutes at hooker last week.
Brian To'o (65) is still moving in the opposite direction, rising by $172k so far in 2021 with an average of 62 points a game.
Sharks: Jesse Ramien returns at centre, bumping Teig Wilton to the bench, while prop Braden Hamlin-Uele (ankle) is set to miss eight weeks. Matt Moylan and Josh Dugan still can't make the 17.
Back-rowers Briton Nikora (58) and Wade Graham (56) were Cronulla's best scorers last round while Chad Townsend (49) saw his price dip a little despite a solid score.
Match: Eels v Roosters
Round 9 -
Venue: Bankwest Stadium, Sydney
Eels: Nathan Brown is named despite a hip injury, with Parramatta's 17 unchanged apart from Junior Paulo being named to start after being benched for Oregon Kaufusi before kick-off last week.
Clint Gutherson (91) threatened the century mark in Saturday's rout of the Bulldogs while the dream season of Isaiah Papali'i (80) continued. Papali'i didn't play the full 80 minutes but still produced his best score without a try of the year.
Usual suspects Reed Mahoney (62) and the still-well-priced Mitch Moses (60) also scored well and like Papali'i could be big targets for Fantasy coaches chasing overall points in the first bye round.
Roosters: The Tricolours' horror run of injuries continued on the weekend with Brett Morris and Lindsay Collins both suffering season-ending ACL injuries, while Sam Verrills is also out with a semi-detached retina and Sitili Tupouniua is suspended.
The good news is James Tedesco is back, while Siosiua Taukeiaho, Ben Marschke and Nat Butcher return to the starting side and Adam Keighran, Fletcher Baker and Daniel Suluka-Fifita are on the bench.
Sam Walker (88) produced a sublime attacking display last week and is averaging 55 in his rookie season so far, with Angus Crichton (70) also having a big game.
Match: Raiders v Knights
Round 9 -
Venue: McDonalds Park, Wagga Wagga
Raiders: Josh Papalii returns after being rested last week and George Williams is also back in the side, with Hudson Young shifting to the bench and Ryan James and Iosia Soliola out of the side.
Jack Wighton (49) and Tom Starling (57) both scored well in last week's loss to the Rabbitohs, while Jordan Rapana (40) has eight tries in eight games.
Corey Harawira-Naera (30) was one of last week's popular cash cows but had a whopping -20 in demerits due to six missed tackles and four penalties conceded.
Knights: Blake Green (broken rib) is replaced by Phoenix Crossland at halfback while Hymel Hunt returns on the wing for Starford To'a. Lachlan Fitzgibbon could be a late inclusion from the reserves.
A heavy loss to an injury-ravaged Roosters side led to decent scores for tackle-hungry forwards Mitch Barnett (54), Connor Watson (52) and David Klemmer (50) but poor numbers for Kalyn Ponga (33) and Bradman Best (31).
Match: Wests Tigers v Titans
Round 9 -
Venue: Campbelltown Sports Stadium, Sydney
Wests Tigers: James Roberts (shoulder/chest) is sidelined for a month and Tommy Talau is suspended, so Moses Mbye moves to centre and Jacob Liddle returns to the side on the bench.
The big Fantasy winners from Sunday's win over the Dragons were Luke Brooks (82), Daine Laurie (69) and Adam Douihi (61), and also rookie Zac Cini (45) who had a try, a try save and two line breaks on debut. He's only available at centre in Fantasy but could be a decent cash cow, especially for those looking to sell Roberts.
Titans: Corey Thompson is out for at least eight weeks following ankle surgery. Phillip Sami moves to the wing in Thompson's place and Beau Fermor is named at centre, although Esan Marsters could be a late inclusion in the starting side after joining the club from the Cowboys on Tuesday morning.
Tino Fa'asuamaleaui returns at prop, with Moeaki Fotuaika moving to the bench while Erin Clark replaces Sam McIntyre on the interchange.
There were plenty of points on offer in last week's tryfest against Brisbane with AJ Brimson (69), Jamal Fogarty (62), Mitch Rein (61) and Tyrone Peachey (56) cashing in. Even David Fifita (48) scored OK despite a very quiet performance by his usual standards.
Match: Cowboys v Broncos
Round 9 -
Venue: Queensland Country Bank Stadium, Townsville
Cowboys: Cash cow Ben Hampton (pec) is out for an "extended stint on the sidelines", with Jake Clifford replacing him at halfback. Javid Bowen plays his first game in two years in place of Justin O'Neill (knee). Updates on Hampton and O'Neill are expected from the Cowboys on Wednesday.
Valentine Holmes (46) has been scoring well of late but the player to watch here is Jason Taumalolo (36), who is going to get much, much cheaper after starting with two scores in the 30s. He could be available at something close to a $150k discount in a few weeks' time.
Broncos: Unchanged after last week's stunner of a win over the Titans. Jamayne Isaako (86) recovered from a poor start to produce an unbelievable attacking display in the Broncos' best ever comeback win, with Tevita Pangai jnr (67) and Payne Haas (62) Brisbane's other standout scorers.
Tyson Gamble (43) made a very promising start at halfback and is a potential cash cow at $269k – assuming he does what no other Broncos half has managed this year and hold his spot.
Match: Sea Eagles v Warriors
Round 9 -
Venue: 4 Pines Park, Sydney
Sea Eagles: Josh Aloiai (wrist) is set for a three-month stint on the sidelines. Martin Taupau (head knock) is also out, with Sean Keppie moving to prop and Moses Suli and Zac Saddler joining the bench.
Tom Trbojevic (50) continued his superb 2021 campaign and has scored a try in all three appearances so far, while Josh Schuster is a mega cash cow about to pass $300k in price rises.
Jake Trbojevic (63) had his best score of the year against Penrith while Daly Cherry-Evans only managed 40 including a try and is $95k cheaper than he was in the pre-season.
Warriors: Eliesa Katoa replaces Ben Murdoch-Masila (head knock) in the starting side, with Chanel Harris-Tavita and Euan Aitken included in the reserves. David Fusitu'a remains sidelined with a hamstring injury.
Reece Walsh (51) is in about a quarter of NRL Fantasy teams already and has made a superb start to his Fantasy career, with 478 kick metres at five-eighth against the Cowboys and three try assists in his first two games. Josh Curran (48) is also proving an excellent cash cow.
Tohu Harris (69) was also back to his usual self after missing a week following a head knock and Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (67) bounced back in his return to a full-time fullback role.
Match: Dragons v Bulldogs
Round 9 -
Venue: Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, Sydney
Dragons: Zac Lomax (dislocated thumb) is out injured with Tyrell Fuimaono shifting to centre and Poasa Faamausili joining the bench.
Daniel Alvaro (30) has had his game time reduced in the last couple of weeks with Josh McGuire (51) now the team's big-minute middle. McGuire actually played the full 80 against the Tigers, while Alvaro is shaping as a sell. Billy Burns (13) scored poorly after coming off the bench to replace Lomax last week, while Jack Bird (29) also had his worst score since round 1 with -14 in demerits.
Bulldogs: Another backline reshuffle with Dallin Watene Zelezniak named at fullback and Nick Meaney on the wing, while Dylan Napa is named despite a shoulder complaint last week.
Jake Averillo (49) has been a great scorer in the past month and is surging towards $200k in price rises – and is a potential keeper option in the centres. Corey Waddell (57) and cheapie Ava Seumanufagai (51) were Canterbury's best scorers last round and are also making a bit of cash. Meanwhile Nick Cotric (33) has just about had his price bottom out at $368k.