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Lone Scout's NRL Fantasy Q&A: Averillo woes and a Cleary conundrum

This will be a crucial week to keep a close eye on the Late Mail as plenty of key Fantasy players look to back up from Origin while a couple more are named in their extended squads.

This week I discuss possible early returns for Tohu Harris and Nathan Cleary, best captaincy options plus answers on Jake Averillo, Jason Taumalolo, Dylan Walker and a couple of late-season cheapies.

This week's big questions

Tohu Harris, hold or trade?

From Stu Blok

This was the most-asked question last week and it rears its head again with Tohu Harris now named much earlier than expected in the Warriors extended reserves. He's unlikely to play this week but the fact he's in the squad is a good sign he is close and could well play next week, making him a definite hold.

Hamlin-Uele leads another big week of Try July celebrations

Hold or sell Jake Averillo now Lachlan Lewis is in the side?

From Tristan Beltrame

Averillo turned into one of the year's best cash cows after a slow start but his scores have tapered off lately with back-to-back 30s. Lachlan Lewis is now taking some of his kick metres and his price is falling quickly. That said, it's a bit late in the year to be worrying about players dropping in value; the real question is what do you gain by selling him. Even if he averages high 30s from here that's pretty good for a Fantasy CTR this year. Jesse Ramien is about the only option that looks like he will consistently score higher than that and is around $100k cheaper so there's a case for making that trade if you have a few to spare and no bigger issues to deal with, otherwise just hold Averillo.

Is Josh Schuster a sell? I have seven other halves and six other edges all as good or better.

From Peter N Leilani Lavell

The Manly five-eighth turned back-rower is finally back from a calf strain this week in good news for those that have held him. He's dual position and averages 50 so he's a handy option for your bench but if he's not in your best 17 or long term plans then feel free to sell.

Schuster and Turbo draw in the defence and Parker scores

Is Nathan Cleary still a sell?

From Tom Stunden

The latest update from the Panthers has Cleary a chance of returning as early as round 20. While it still seems likely it will be a bit later than that, round 20 would mean he misses only two more games. In that case anyone still holding him is better off hanging on for now, unless you're absolutely desperate for a H2H win this week or very flush with trades.

Sea Eagles v Dragons - Round 18

Thoughts on Dylan Walker as centre cover and/or potentially replacing Averillo if need be?

From Ben Champion

Dylan Walker scored well with 65 (including a try) as a starting half against the Raiders last week but is back on the bench this week with big questions over his minutes in that role. I'd much prefer Averillo.

Cowboys v Roosters - Round 18

Is Taumalolo now a buy? He's scored 50+ for the last three weeks in a row and is only $627K, but his next two games are against the Roosters and Storm.

From Matt Brock

I wouldn't be too worried about who he plays – as a busy middle forward Taumalolo shouldn't score much worse against the top teams. He's averaged around 60 over the past three weeks so is definitely value if you back him to keep that sort of form up. He's not a must-have but looks a good option if you're in the market for a possible cut-price keeper in the MID position for the run home.

Will Rocco Berry gain DPP? Do you think he holds his position in the Warriors team?

From Craig Finkle

The final round of dual position updates takes place after this weekend with Berry – who is only currently available at WFB but who has played four of his five games at centre – a big chance of getting CTR added. But while he is coming off a busy season-high 48 against the Sharks, he hasn't been picked in a full-strength 17 this year and has Euan Aitken coming back from a COVID isolation period so presents a pretty risky buy.

Who has better job security between Aaron Schoupp and Falakiko Manu? I want a cash-out DPP CTR/WFB but not sure if either is a good choice.

From David Brickell

Neither is a great option at this stage. Schoupp's job security looks pretty good – he held his spot despite Corey Allan returning and got straight back in the side despite his COVID breach and is coming off his best score in five games to date of 39. Manu may or may not hang around in the top side but in two 80 minute games he averages 18 and his price hasn't moved yet.