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NRL Fantasy teams analysis: Round 15 – cavalry returns

There is finally some good news on the team list from with a host of big-name players returning to action for round 15.

Fantasy coaches aiming to shake up their team ahead of the next bye round also have the option of making four trades this week (and in round 17), although in a year when most teams have been hit hard by injuries and suspensions it's a wise move to keep trades up your sleeve.

This week's team news

Broncos: Xavier Coates returns in place of Dale Copley but Albert Kelly will miss another week with his hamstring injury, while Keenan Palasia replaces Corey Paix on the bench.

Kelly's injury gave Tyson Gamble a reprieve at halfback last week and he impressed with a season-high 61 points, pipping Jake Turpin (55), Matt Lodge (53), Payne Haas (48) and Tevita Pangai jnr (45). Tom Flegler (33) is struggling to make much impact as a cash cow. Kobe Hetherington finished on -6 after being on the wrong end of a controversial send-off decision.

Rabbitohs: Dane Gagai, Damien Cook, Jai Arrow and Cameron Murray return, with Braidon Burns, Jacob Host and Hame Sele moving to the bench and Benji Marshall, Jaydn Su'A, Liam Knight and Peter Mamouzelos dropping out.

Adam Reynolds (64) looms as a handy pickup ahead of the round 17 bye week. Alex Johnston (78) racked up plenty of points against Newcastle but won't score a hat-trick every week.

Cowboys: Kyle Feldt returns on the wing in place of Justin O'Neill, Coen Hess shifts to prop, Mitch Dunn starts in the second row, Tom Gilbert moves to the bench and Peta Hola drops out.

No North Queensland players reached 50 points in Friday's heavy loss to Manly. Jason Taumalolo (39) has scored less than 40 points in four of his six appearances this season, and at this point there's no guarantee he'll turn things around and become a keeper again this year.

Sharks: Siosifa Talakai replaces Wade Graham (HIA) in the second row and Teig Wilton joins the interchange.

Shaun Johnson (71) scored a try and the match-winning field goal against Penrith last week and at $619k is a cut-price half option who plays in round 17.

Panthers: Nathan Cleary, Jarome Luai, Brian To'o, Kurt Capewell and Isaah Yeo return with Matt Burton going back to the centres, Scott Sorensen moving to the bench and Viliame Kikau (ankle), Paul Momirovski, Robert Jennings, Tyrone May, and J'maine Hopgood dropping out of the side.

Burton (77) has been a valuable scorer in the past month with seven tries in four games, including a double on the weekend, while Api Koroisau (70) is coming off his best two scores of the season thanks to increased tackle counts without Penrith's Origin stars.

Roosters: James Tedesco, Siosiua Taukeiaho are back in the starting side and Sam Verrills returns via the bench, with Joseph Suaalii, Ben Marschke (suspension) and Ben Thomas dropping out.

Angus Crichton (61) scored well despite a season-high 11 missed tackles and three penalties conceded against the Titans – costing him 28 points in demerits – and has now scored four tries in his past three games. Sam Walker (28) spent almost half an hour on the sideline last week due to a shoulder problem and his price is trending downwards.

Joey Manu (59) has excelled filling in at five-eighth and fullbacks in recent weeks and is a keeper option at centre who will play round 17, while Jared Waerea-Hargreaves (70) produced a marathon 80-minute effort against the Titans.

Knights: Bradman Best (ankle) is out but Kalyn Ponga, Mitchell Pearce, Hymel Hunt and David Klemmer are back. Mitch Barnett starts at lock, Klemmer and Connor Watson are on the bench, with Tex Hoy, Josh King and Matt Croker out of the 17.

Watson (24) had his worst score of the season against Souths but should score better in the forward rotation, Mitch Barnett (59) and Jayden Brailey (52) bounced back from a few underwhelming scores while cash cow Brodie Jones (43) is travelling along nicely.

Warriors: Reece Walsh is back at fullback with Roger Tuivasa-Sheck moving to the wing again in place of Ken Maumalo who is now a Tiger. Sean O'Sullivan is back in the halves in place of Chanel Harris-Tavita (pectoral), Jazz Tevaga replaces Wayde Egan (HIA) at hooker, and Rocco Berry replaces Edward Kosi in the backline.

Addin Fonua-Blake starts at prop, Leeson Ah Mau goes back to the bench, and Eliesa Katoa replaces Jack Murchie on the interchange.

The ever-reliable Tohu Harris (71) is the No.1 target for overall points heading towards round 17.

Dragons: No changes to the 17, although Zac Lomax and fullback Tyrell Sloan are available to be late inclusions from the reserves.

St George Illawarra were terrible against the Bulldogs on Monday but that defensive work led to good scores from Andrew McCullough (58), Paul Vaughan (52) and Jack Bird (47), while Cody Ramsey (51) made nine tackle breaks and Corey Norman (57) took the bulk of the general play kicking  - which hurt the scoring of Ben Hunt (31).

Raiders: Ryan Sutton is named at lock with Iosia Soliola on the bench in Canberra's only change.

Bailey Simonsson (66) was an instant success at fullback against the Broncos and could hold that role for the rest of the season with Caleb Aekins dropped and Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad injured. It's priceless for those who have kept him all year, but at $358k he's probably too expensive as a cash cow option now (and keep in mind Canberra don't get to play Brisbane every week).

Josh Papalii (70) and Jack Wighton (63) were among the Green Machine's other big scorers last week, while Corey Harawira-Naera (38) needed a try to get his score above 30.

Storm: George Jennings replaces Dean Ieremia on the wing, Nelson Asofa-Solomona and Christian Welch return in the front row, Tui Kamikamica shifts to the bench and Jesse Bromwich (elbow) and Trent Loiero are out.

Nicho Hynes (45) gets at least one more game in the fullback role ahead of Ryan Papenhuyzen's return, although with a break even of 60 he looms as a potential sell this week or next. Jahrome Hughes (76) and Brandon Smith (69) are both in sensational form lately. Cameron Munster (32), meanwhile, had his lowest score of the season in the win over the Warriors.

Wests Tigers: Adam Doueihi (HIA) is out and is a definite sell after a score of -4, while Ken Maumalo makes his club debut on the wing, James Roberts shifts to centre and Moses Mbye returns at five-eighth.

Daine Laurie (21) was on track for a very low score against Parramatta before some helpful late updates. Jacob Liddle (58) and Luke Brooks (50) scored well despite being on the wrong end of a heavy loss to the Eels on Sunday.

Eels: Maika Sivo is suspended but Blake Ferguson still hasn't earned a reprieve with debutant Sean Russell joining fellow rookie Haze Dunster on the wings. Bryce Cartwright and Oregon Kaufusi drop off the bench with Keegan Hipgrave and Nathaniel Roache coming in.  

Isaiah Papali'i got sin-binned but still managed to shake off the previous week's season-low score to score 77 points against the Tigers on Sunday, while Mitch Moses scored one try and bombed another on the way to 74.

Joey Lussick also scored a try on the way to 61 points at hooker in the absence of Reed Mahoney and is still cheap at $240k, although he's only set to get one or two more games at hooker before Mahoney returns.

Bulldogs: Unchanged. Jake Averillo (96) has been one of the year's Fantasy success stories for those who held on to him despite his early-season struggles, with an average just under 50 making him a keeper in the centres (and potentially in the halves).

Adam Elliott (75) and Jeremy Marshall-King (63) also had big scores in Monday's win over the Dragons.

Titans: Moeaki Fotuaika is back but Kevin Proctor (suspension) is out, while David Fifita and Tino Fa'asuamaleaui return to the starting side. Jaimin Joliffe and Sam McIntyre shift to the bench while Jai Whitbread replaces Joseph Vuna on the interchange.

Greg Marzhew (46) and Jayden Campbell (35) keep their starting spots for now although Anthony Don and AJ Brimson could be late inclusions from the reserves.

Jamal Fogarty (92) scored two tries and five goals to go with a couple of try assists as the Titans staged a comeback that fell just short against the Roosters, while Fa'asuamaleaui (61) and Fifita (55) both managed good scores off the bench.

Sea Eagles: Tom Trbojevic is back, with Reuben Garrick shifting to the wing, Brad Parker to centre and Moses Suli to the reserves. Sean Keppie replaces Kurt De Luis on the bench.

Daly Cherry-Evans (122) posted one of the great all-time Fantasy scores with 13 tackle breaks and three try assists as Manly showed they could win without Trbojevic by blitzing the Cowboys.

Jason Saab (9) is a definite sell for the 19% of Fantasy coaches who have him.

 

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