There are no NRL games this weekend but there are still plenty of questions from NRL Fantasy coaches, so here are some answers as we get ready to hit the home straight.
This week's big questions
A lot of up and down players across the season. Who are the most reliable scorers this season that are 50+ or 55+? By that I mean players that are always close to their average week by week or would be if you took out there top and bottom scores (Harris comes to mind).
It would be great to have a filter for this, i.e. minimum variance between maximum and minimum scores.
From Brett Connell
There actually is a filter for this – it's called "consistency rating" and it's available through the Coach subscription. Basically it ranks players based on how many of their scores are within 20 points of their average.
Tohu Harris actually ranks second behind Jake Trbojevic (but Harris is a much better scorer), with Harry Grant, David Klemmer, Jordan McLean and Liam Knight also rating highly. The fact only two of those guys are keepers (Harris and eventually Grant if he gets the starting hooker role) shows how much variation there is in the scoring of most players this year.
Other keepers with high consistency scores are Angus Crichton, Tyson Frizell (currently injured), Payne Haas, Damien Cook, Andrew McCullough and Luke Thompson.
Consistency also isn't everything – Jake's brother Tom Tbrojevic has been a Fantasy weapon this year but is actually rated among the least consistent scorers, with just one of his last six scores being within 20 points of his 71-point average (he's also scored 50, 100, 99, 31 and 94 in that time).
Tackle of the Week - Round 15
Is Jayden Bradley still a keeper? He has a 5-game average of 40.
From Justin Lee
Brailey's Fantasy form has really trailed off after a sensational start to the season, which had his average up in the 70s after round seven. There are three potential explanations for this, one suggesting he's a trade and two suggest he's a hold.
Here's the argument that it's time to sell: His start to the year was an out-of-character purple patch for a player who usually scores in the mid-40s in Fantasy. That means he's now regressed back to his "usual" scores, and could score around 40 for the rest of the year.
Here's the argument why he's a hold: While he was only a 40-point player before 2020, this is the first season when he's played under the new six-again rules which have led to bigger Fantasy scores across the board (he was injured last year). He still has an average above 60 this season, which puts him among the best scorers at hooker.
His recent form slump could be due to fatigue (his tackle counts have dropped, and his missed tackles have increased) or the fact the Knights have been struggling with a lot of key injuries. Both those factors could be fixed shortly, with the Knights playing just one game in the next three weeks and welcoming back the likes of Mitchell Pearce and Kalyn Ponga.
I'd be tempted to hold at least through to round 18, with the option of trading to a cut-price Harry Grant after that if Brailey's scores don't improve.
Try of the Week - Round 15
Who are the best Round 17 players worth getting into your team?
From Mark Konkers
Tohu Harris, Luke Thompson, Corey Harawira-Naera, Adam Reynolds, Jesse Ramien, Jake Averillo, Reece Walsh (if not playing Origin), Joey Manu, Kodi Nikorima, Shaun Johnson, Josh Schuster, Josh Curran and Jason Taumalolo.
How many players do you think the top teams will have for round 17? I currently have 10 or 11.
From Nakea Franklin
That's a pretty good number for a round that will be missing most of the genuine keepers, and more important than getting a good round 17 score is having a quality team for the run home – plus a few trades up your sleeve to cover inevitable injuries and suspensions.
Every try from Round 15
Get rid of Reece Walsh now he's missing rd17?
From Andrew Pryor
Reece Walsh's selection in the Queensland side is certainly a surprise for those who picked him up in Fantasy but I wouldn't be ruling him out of the Warriors' round 17 line-up just yet. Kalyn Ponga is expected to return in round 16 and probably comes back into the Maroons team for Origin III unless Walsh has a blinder in a winning side on debut on Sunday.
Is Taumalolo going to finally get an increase in minutes? Playing 55-60 mins at the moment. Do you think he could play 65-70 minutes comfortably?
From Te Raina Richards-Coxhead
No, and the problem with Jason Taumalolo is that he's actually getting good minutes and still scoring less than usual. Last year Taumalolo averaged 61 minutes for 61 points a game, and in the last five weeks he's averaged 61 minutes for 50 points a game. That includes a bumper 84-point effort against Brisbane, his only score above 51 this year.
Cowboys coach Todd Payten said in the pre-season Taumalolo would be playing fewer minutes this year, so it's a win that he's now matching last-year's game time, but he's one of several middle forwards whose scoring has gone backwards this season. He's never averaged more than 65 minutes in a season and it's hard to see that starting now with a lack of stoppages leading to most teams giving their starting middles less game time than in previous years.
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