The first bye round is over but the Fantasy headaches continue with one or two key injuries, a few players dropped and all State of Origin players racing the clock to back up from Wednesday night's series opener.
This week's team news
Match: Sea Eagles v Cowboys
Round 14 -
Venue: 4 Pines Park, Sydney
Sea Eagles: Josh Schuster (calf) is out this week and replaced by the returning Kieran Foran but Tom and Jake Trbojevic and Daly Cherry-Evans have all been named to back up from Origin at this stage, although there are reserves waiting in the wings should any or all of the trio be rested.
Cherry-Evans (three-game average: 68) and Tom Trbojevic (three-game average: 63) are the clear standout Fantasy players in this team while Schuster remains a hold with a season average above 50, especially for overall points with Manly to play in the next bye week in round 17. Karl Lawton is averaging 55 from two games so far and starts in the second row again, but is awkwardly priced at $503k.
Cowboys: Tom Dearden gets his first run in the Cowboys No.7 jersey this week, while Jason Taumalolo returns from suspension and Coen Hess is named to back up from Origin in the second row.
Taumalolo is coming off a season-low score of 29 from 60 minutes in round 11, and his price is projected to drop to around $600,000 in the next three weeks on current form. Heilum Luki made a promising start to his rookie season with scores of 41 and 38 off the bench but has been dropped for failing to "meet club standards for the past 10 days".
Match: Sharks v Panthers
Round 14 -
Venue: Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, Sydney
Sharks: Andrew Fifita is named to replace Franklin Pele on the bench in Cronulla's only change.
Jesse Ramien has a three-game average of 52 which is excellent for a centre and he's the best buy in this Sharks side, although Shaun Johnson is good value at $606k following a last-start 57, having dropped $116k on his starting price. With a break even in the 50s you can wait another week or two to see if he's going to produce some consistent scores.
Panthers: Get a good vice captain ready this week with Ivan Cleary naming all his Origin stars (apart from Blues 18th man Api Koroisau) in the reserves rather than the top 17 this week, meaning we won't know until closer to kick-off whether Fantasy king Nathan Cleary will be rested. The signs don't look good, with Stephen Crichton telling NRL.com on Tuesday, "We're not expecting any of the boys to play".
Matt Burton (55) didn't collect the monster score his owners were hoping for in the halves against the Tigers but a try did help him pass 50, with his halves partner Tyrone May (57) scoring better thanks to a whopping 44 tackles. The pair may line up in the halves again this week. Centres Paul Momirovski (28) and Stephen Crichton (24) both struggled for points in Penrith's first loss of the season.
Match: Titans v Roosters
Round 14 -
Venue: Cbus Super Stadium, Gold Coast
Titans: AJ Brimson, Moeaki Fotuaika, David Fifita and Tino Fa'asuamaleaui are named to back up from Origin with Jaimin Jolliffe and Sam McIntyre going back to the bench and Jayden Campbell, Sam Stone, Jai Whitbread and Joseph Vuna out of the 17.
Tyrone Peachey's bench role didn't hurt his scoring at all last week, with 57 points in 53 minutes including 126 metres and three tackle breaks. Debutants Campbell and Greg Marzhew made five tackle breaks each on the way to scores of 42 and 46 respectively last week, while Jamal Fogarty (36) has had two straight underwhelming scores in the past couple of games.
Roosters: Will James Tedesco play? He's been named in the starting side at this stage along with the returning Sam Walker, while Angus Crichton is back from suspension. Joseph Manu shifts back to the centres with Joseph Suaalii out of the 17.
Walker is a tricky prospect for those who have him – he's got a three-game average of 24 and a break even of 70, so he'll need a big game (like last month's 88 against Newcastle) to kick-start his price rises again.
Match: Rabbitohs v Knights
Round 14 -
Venue: Accor Stadium, Sydney
Rabbitohs: The four most-owned Souths players are all Origin players, with Blues trio Damien Cook, Latrell Mitchell, Cameron Murray named to back up but Queensland's Dane Gagai and Jai Arrow will be rested. Maroons forward Jaydn Su'A is also included on the bench.
Knights: Kalyn Ponga will spend yet another week on the sidelines with his groin injury, while Enari Tuala replaces Star Toa on the wing, Kurt Mann moves to centre and Phoenix Crossland returns in the halves. Daniel Saifiti is named to back up from Origin, pushing Sauaso Sue to the interchange and Matt Croker to the reserves.
Mitch Barnett (53) and Connor Watson (53) both got good game time last week and scored accordingly, but Jayden Brailey's price is tumbling after recent scores of 45, 39 and 42. He had averaged 69 points a game before this scoring slump, but if you don't expect him to average 50+ from here you could jump off board after $284k in price rises.
Speaking of cash cows, Brodie Jones (42) keeps his spot in the second row in the absence of the injury to Tyson Frizell and has a break even of -1 this week.
Match: Raiders v Broncos
Round 14 -
Venue: GIO Stadium, Canberra
Raiders: Bailey Simonsson gets a shot at the fullback role with Caleb Aekins dropped this week, with Semi Valemei coming onto the wing and Matthew Timoko replacing Curtis Scott at centre. Josh Papalii returns at prop, Josh Hodgson again starts at hooker meaning Tom Starling and Emre Guler are on the bench alongside the returning Joseph Tapine.
Corey Harawira-Naera has scored 57, 60 and 87 in his past three games on the way to $250k in price rises, and is still underpriced at $560k if you expect him to maintain an average above 50. Tom Starling has a break even of 60 and could be a sell if he's only going to get limited minutes from the interchange.
Broncos: Plenty of changes here. Jamayne Isaako has been dropped with Herbie Farnworth moving to fullback and Dale Copley starting at centre. Karmichael Hunt replaces Tyson Gamble in the halves, Xavier Coates replaces David Mead on the wing, and Payne Haas returns to push John Asiata to the bench.
Albert Kelly (67), Tevita Pangai jnr (63) and Jake Turpin (53) scored well despite another poor result for Brisbane last week, with Kelly providing three try assists. Cash cow Tom Flegler (45) racked up decent numbers as well, while Tyson Gamble (44) could suddenly be a sell.
Isaako (10) who had a game to forget, while outside backs Herbie Farnworth (21), Jesse Arthars (21), David Mead (16) and debutant Selwyn Cobbo (15) all scored poorly.
Match: Warriors v Storm
Round 14 -
Venue: Central Coast Stadium, Gosford
Warriors: Reece Walsh is suspended so Roger Tuivasa-Sheck returns to fullback and Edward Kosi is on the wing, while Rocco Berry replaces Adam Pompey at centre. Bailey Sironen and Josh Curran are back in the starting side, with Jack Murchie benched and Eliesa Katoa dropping out.
Jazz Tevaga drops off the bench, while Addin Fonua-Blake is some chance to return after being included in the reserves.
Tohu Harris's last-start 55 is his only time he's scored less than 60 this season, and he looms as a key pickup for the round 17 bye week.
Storm: Kenny Bromwich (ribs) is out but Origin stars Cameron Munster, Josh Addo-Carr, Harry Grant and Christian Welch are named to back up, while Nicho Hynes again fills in for the injured Ryan Papenhuyzen at fullback. Reimis Smith and Nelson Asofa-Solomona are facing possible suspensions at the judiciary on Tuesday night
It says something about Hynes's rapid rise up the Fantasy pecking order that his owners were disappointed the back-up Storm fullback managed "only" 49 points last week, with Jahrome Hughes (81) in red-hot form and Brandon Smith (69) scoring his third try in the past two weeks.
Match: Eels v Wests Tigers
Round 14 -
Venue: CommBank Stadium, Sydney
Eels: Reed Mahoney (shoulder) is out for a couple of weeks and replaced at hooker by Joey Lussick, while Junior Paulo is named to back up at prop.
Ryan Matterson (73) scored one try and set up another against Newcastle while Clint Gutherson (79) scored one and had two assists and Maika Sivo (77) scored two. More worryingly Isaiah Papali'i (34) is coming off his worst score of the year and his second sub-40 score in the past month.
Wests Tigers: Alex Seyfarth replaces Thomas Mikaele (knee) on the bench while Moses Mbye is named despite his knee complaint.
Daine Laurie (49) scored a try in another good score last week while Alex Twal (67), Luciano Leilua (55) and Luke Brooks (54) were the Tigers' best Fantasy scorers in the win over Penirth. Stefano Utoikamanu (53) grabbed his third try of the season in his first game in four weeks.
Match: Bulldogs v Dragons
Round 14 -
Venue: Accor Stadium, Sydney
Bulldogs: New dummy-half options for Canterbury this week with Jeremy Marshall-King and Sione Katoa replacing Brad Deitz and Jackson Topine in the 17.
Jake Averillo has a three-game average of 65, easily the best of any Fantasy centre right now, although dual-position outside backs Will Hopoate (three-game average: 49) and Nick Cotric (three-game average: 47) are also scoring like keepers lately.
Luke Thompson has scored 57 points a game this year and at $686k is a cut-price alternative to someone like Tohu Harris as a keeper who will play in round 17.
Dragons: St George Illawarra have named an unchanged 17 although Tariq Sims could back up from Origin via the reserves – which in turn could push Jack Bird back to the centres.
Matt Dufty (76) was sensational last week while popular Fantasy options Ben Hunt (70), Bird (53) and Jackson Ford (56) all excelled, with Hunt and Bird scoring tries and Ford getting 67 minutes despite the arrival of Jack de Belin on the bench. De Belin only played 26 minutes and is likely to increase his game time over the course of the season.
Bargain price outside back Brayden Wiliame (43) also got over the tryline in a boost for 11% of Fantasy teams, while Andrew McCullough (42) didn't have to get through his usual defensive workload as the Dragons piled on 52 points against Brisbane.
Gerard Beale has scores of 50 and 43 and is a cheap dual-position centre, but could find himself struggling for a spot if Bird returns to the centres with Zac Lomax also due back from injury in the next week or two.