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Lone Scout's NRL Fantasy Q&A: Round 20

Shaun Johnson has joined Mitchell Moses and Nathan Cleary on the sidelines, while Fantasy coaches are again scrambling for decent centres with Jack Bird suspended and Tyrone Peachey down on form.

With the head-to-head Fantasy finals almost here and trades at a premium, it's another big week where every decision matters.

This week's big questions

Is Rapana worth a trade in for a POD for the run home?

From Darryl Jones

He looks very tempting on the surface after racking up a monster score of 102 against the Eels last week – but beware he could be back on the wing for Canberra very soon.

Bailey Simonsson, who played three games at fullback before suffering a toe injury in round 16, is back on the extended bench for the Raiders this week so could return to the fullback role this weekend or next.

Still, Rapana could have another big score this week and could still score well on the wing – where he averages 43 points a game this season. He also has three scores of 25 or less this year so don't be surprised if you trade him in and he has a quiet game or two.

Ranking RTS among New Zealand's all-time greatest

Mat Feagai. How's his job security?

From Mark Barwell

Not amazing.

Feagai has produced two excellent Fantasy scores (50 and 62) playing on the wing for the Dragons, is very cheap at $322k and available in the notoriously tricky centre position. He'll be a bargain if he can keep that form up and stay in the Dragons side.

He suffered an ankle injury on his debut in round 9 and only returned in round 19, at a time when the Red V were missing several players due to suspensions for a COVID breach. That's still the case this week, making it difficult to determine where exactly he stands in the pecking order.

But while his form has been good (albeit in two Dragons losses) he does have plenty of competition from more experienced players.

The Dragons have wingers Mikaela Ravalawa and Gerard Beale returning from suspensions next week and Cody Ramsey, Brayden Wiliame due back soon, along with centres Jack Bird and Zac Lomax. It won't be a surprise if Feagai is one player to make way in round 21 or 22.

Is Hynes a sell or an upgrade to like a Ben Hunt (who can play hooker also) or Cherry-Evans?

From Lexus Prince

Hynes still isn't a must-sell, considering he still has the Melbourne fullback spot despite the return of Ryan Papenhuyzen on the bench.

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But there is a chance he could spend some time on the bench when Papenhuyzen comes on this week, or switch roles with Papenhuyzen and come off the interchange next week – in which case trading now could make sense considering his price will drop unless he scores about 60 points this week.

If you are trading, I'd prefer to go with Cherry-Evans ahead of Hunt, unless you have no depth in the hooker position.

Best centre under $500k to replace Peachey?

From Craig Finkle

For under $500k, it's probably in-form Manly centre Morgan Harper, who scored a hat-trick last week, or Melbourne's Justin Olam who has the advantage of playing at the best-attacking team in the comp.

Beware they're both capable of bad scores – Harper scored 11 against the Cowboys last month and Olam scored just 2 against Canberra back in May.

Mat Feagai is the gamble at $322k – he's capable of busting tackles but is a risky option as a winger at a mid-table club whose job security isn't certain.

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The better option may be to either keep Peachey and hope his role reverts to more game time as a middle forward rather than a bench hooker, or free up cash elsewhere and pick up a genuine gun like Dane Gagai ($589k) or Jesse Ramien ($561k).

Matt Burton ($553k) should score well in the halves while Nathan Cleary remains on the sidelines (which may only be for another week), while Joey Manu ($632k) has been good this year but scores best when filling in at fullback or five-eighth.

Do RTS owners get a free trade? 

From John Sweetman

Sorry mate, no free trades.

Who would you keep one more week out of Schuster and Brailey?

From Brenton Vicary

I'd probably keep both unless you're flush with trades and have no fires to put out elsewhere. With the number of injuries we've had this season trading out players who score more than 50 points a week seems like a luxury. If one has to go, I'd probably err towards keeping Brailey at this point.


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