The hits keep on coming for Fantasy coaches with Tohu Harris sidelined and two of the most popular Fantasy centres suffering from coaching decisions in round 16.
This week I've delved into what to do with Tohu Harris, the implications for Tyrone Peachey and Matt Burton of last round's surprise role changes, bye-week captaincy options and late-season cheapies.
This week's big questions
Should I hold Tohu Harris or sell?
From Ryan Wall
Tohu Harris's shoulder injury last round was a huge blow for his owners, especially if you captained him. At time of writing there is nothing official from the club but it's expected he will miss around a month, although it could be less than that.
It's right on the cusp of whether it's worth holding or not and will likely come down to your position. If you're a head-to-head focused player and you're cruising towards your league finals but low on trades, it makes sense to hold him. If you're battling to make your league finals, have plenty of trades or desperate for a score this round, it makes sense to sell.
Coach Nathan Brown on Wednesday said of Harris (and Chad Townsend, who suffered a very similar injury): "We're thinking a two or three week period before we can even think about getting them back in."
There's still a chance Harris only misses two head-to-head Fantasy rounds if he is back after three weeks so at this stage I'll be holding and hoping for some good news.
The playmakers set to take charge in State of Origin III
Is Tyrone Peachey a trade or was that a once off?
From Paul Messell
The Titans utility forward had peeled off three consecutive 50-plus scores – two of those from the bench – before last week's reshuffle that left him as a bench hooker rather than bench lock. He had been playing around 55 minutes per game whether starting or on the bench and last week's 25 minutes was easily his least time on field in a game this year.
The fact the Titans were racking up a huge score against the Raiders also meant there was less need for Peachey to come on and add some spark. When he did get on at hooker he basically just passed and tackled rather than being free to focus on his running game which is where he racks up his points.
Don't forget the Titans will have a few players either missing or backing up from Origin in round 18 so there's a big chance Peachey has a bigger role to play then. I reckon one bad score if a bit early to jump off a possible keeper in a tricky position but if it turns into a trend then he'll certainly become a sell quickly.
Round 17 - Vaughan sacked, Walsh and Radley return
Is it time to sell Matt Burton?
From Peter N Leilani Lavell
No, is the short answer. Burton was surprisingly shifted back out to the centres against the Eels with Tyrone May given a chance to partner Jarome Luai in the halves in Nathan Cleary's absence. Ivan Cleary said it was to keep the continuity in the team's left side going so he may have even persisted with May in the halves for the duration of Nathan's injury.
We won't find out though because Luai unfortunately picked up an injury of his own against the Eels and is set for a stint on the sidelines himself. That could be good news for Fantasy coaches though because it means Burton – surely – returns to the halves in round 18, a position where he has started three times this year for scores of 73, 55 and 77 with three tries and an average 476 kick metres.
So while last week's score was a huge disappointment for his owners and in particular those who only bought him after Cleary was injured, it looks like he'll be back in the halves next round.
Is Wayde Egan looking like a good pick with increased minutes and strong attacking qualities?
From Ben Champion
Warriors hooker Wayde Egan hasn't been a huge Fantasy factor in the past, although he made a bit of money as a cash cow last year. However his form has spiked of late with 69, 61, 47 then 85 over the past month. That 85 was inflated by a try and there's also been three turnover tackles but the 54 average tackles in that period has been significant too.
He's already made $181k this year and costs over $600k so he's not huge value even if he does keep scoring close to 60 per week.
It's also worth bearing in mind that once Townsend and Chanel Harris-Tavita come back – which could be in the next three or four weeks for both – there's a strong chance Harris-Tavita or Nikorima ends up in the dummy-half rotation and cuts into Egan's minutes which would be a late-season blow to anyone who buys him now.
Who should be my captain in round 17 if all the origin players aren't playing and neither is Tohu Harris?
From Hugh D-J
Obviously it will depend on who's in your team but the best bye-week captaincy options – that is, players who should score well this week but who you may also want in your team beyond this week – look to be Shaun Johnson, Corey Harawira-Naera, Reece Walsh and Jason Taumalolo.
Who are the best cheapies that are playing the bye round?
From Frankie Parrino
There's not a lot on offer. Arguably the most enticing would be min-price Raiders rookie Xavier Savage, who could potentially keep the fullback spot for the rest of the year after Bailey Simonsson joined Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad on the injured list and Savage got picked over Caleb Aekins. The teen speedster scored -1 in 11 minutes in his unofficial debut in round 15 but don't read too much into that. There's no concrete guarantees over his spot or scoring but if you're desperate for a cheap player who definitely plays this week and may hang around he's one to consider.
Sam Verrills is less cheap and unlikely to average anything above around 40 but as a sub-$300k starting hooker he has some merit.
Joe Stimson is in the starting side at Canterbury this week and is also base price but Matt Doorey (head knock) could return next week while Adam Elliott and Chris Smith are both expected back in roughly a month.