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Lone Scout's NRL Fantasy Q&A: Round 15

Finally we have a round that hasn't been decimated by injuries and suspensions, but Fantasy coaches are still planning trades as they get closer to their final squad for the run home.

Which players are worth scrapping now, and which new cash cows are worth taking the plunge on?

This week's big questions

Time to sell Doueihi? Can get Jahrome Hughes as a replacement.

From John Bezgovšek

Yes, Adam Doueihi is definitely a sell, with his switch to the centres hurting his scoring potential even before last week's injury-affected -4.

He was averaging 57 points a game at five-eighth then scored two tries in his first game at centre, but only has one score above 40 in four games since then. He's no longer a keeper option at half or WFB, and with a break even close to 100 he'll lose more value in the next few weeks.  

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Bailey Simonsson's prospects? Is Daine Laurie a sell?

From Matil Jammal

At this stage my guess is Bailey Simonsson keeps the Raiders fullback spot all year and scores around 40 points a game. Whether that makes him a good buy or not probably depends on whether your team needs another cash cow and/or a decent scorer at winger/fullback.

In terms of job security, Simonsson looks good. He's the front-runner to keep the fullback spot at Canberra for the rest of the season, having impressed in his first game there against Brisbane on the weekend.

His only real rival for the spot are Caleb Aekins, who struggled there in seven games this year, with Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad out for the year with a neck injury. A mid-season move for Matt Dufty could be another option but that looks unlikely.

So assuming Simonsson holds the spot all year, is he a buy? He scored 66 in his first game at fullback this season, and 37 in his only other start at the back at the end of 2019.

That 66 came against Brisbane, the worst defensive team in the league this year, so his average across the season may be closer to 40 – unlikely to be a keeper, but possibly a cash cow at $358k.

If he can match the 43-point average of someone like Laurie he could reach Laurie's current price tag of $522k, which would be $164k in price rises. That kind of money would make Simonsson worth it as a cash cow.

The question then is: do you need another cash cow, especially one who isn't base price? Unless you expect him to be a keeper you need to factor in using another trade to sell Simonsson later, and most Fantasy coaches are running out of trades fast. Or are you happy to spend $348k on someone who may end up being a back-up WFB for your squad?

To'o and Luai mic'd up

The advantage of bringing in a cheaper player (like Brodie Jones a couple of weeks ago, or potentially Sam Verrills if he gets the starting hooker role at the Roosters) is that you free up an extra $100k or more with the initial trade, and still have the option of selling them for a profit later.

If they never earn enough price rises to be worth selling you just save yourself a trade, having got maximum value out of the initial trade away.

Laurie, another WFB who isn't quite a keeper and whose price appears to have peaked, with a break even in the mid-40s, is someone you can afford to sell this week or in the next few rounds.

Would you hold Watson if he's back in the middle this week?

From Daniel Chapman

Connor Watson returns to his bench role this week where he tends to get around 50 minutes as a middle forward, and where he's averaged 52 points from 52 minutes this season.

There's some risk his game time drops a little if the Knights remain at full strength, but at this point I'd recommend holding a player who is likely to average 50 points or more for the run home.

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Could you rank trade options Lussick, Timoko and Simonsson, and who would you keep over Moses or Brooks?

From Erik Wells

None of Lussick, Timoko and Simonsson are must-buys, and both Moses and Brooks are probably holds for now.

If I had to rank the first three I'd go Simonsson, Timoko, then Lussick, who is set to only get two more games in the Eels' starting side before Reed Mahoneey returns.

I rate Mitchell Moses ahead of Luke Brooks but with both of them scoring more than 50 points a game you don't need to sell either one.

What would you do with Haas and Watson? Is Peachey to Averillo sideways or smart with Peachey on the bench?

From Angus Weaver

I'd hold Haas, Watson and Peachey. Haas is an established Fantasy gun, while Watson and Peachey can both produce keeper-level scores around 50 with their bench middle roles. Peachey has actually scored slightly better off the bench than he does as a starting lock so I wouldn't be spooked by the fact he's an interchange player.

Averillo mesmerises the Dragons for his double

Is Averillo worth buying at his price tag?

From Lexus Prince

If you need a new starting centre, then yes. Otherwise he's not a must-have.

Who are the best hookers to have now? Brailey still? Api? Cook? Hunt? JMK even?

From Jono Subritzky

For the first time in recent memory we don't have a ton of high-scoring options at hooker this year, but the good news is you really only need two of them in your squad unless you get hit hard by injuries.

With Reed Mahoney sidelined with a shoulder injury, Jayden Brailey still has the best season average among hookers at 62, ahead of Damien Cook (59).

Andrew McCullough should remain a solid 55-point player for the run home, while Harry Grant could still be a great value gun if he gets an 80-minute hooker role at Melbourne after State of Origin wraps up. Connor Watson is available at hooker and a handy back-up option.

There are risks around the likes of Brandon Smith (could lose minutes to Grant), Karl Lawton (job security when Josh Schuster is back), Ben Hunt (losing kick metres to Corey Norman), Jake Turpin (losing minutes to Cory Paix) and Api Koroisau (tackle counts are low when the Panthers win big).


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