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NRL Fantasy teams analysis: Round 22

It's crunch time for NRL Fantasy coaches who are still alive in their head-to-head leagues or the overall points race, but there are more headaches on the way with Reed Mahoney and Jason Taumalolo returning to the casualty ward and Angus Crichton headlining a long list of suspensions.

Round 22 team news

Storm: Felise Kaufusi returns in the second row and Nelson Asofa-Solomona is back on the bench with Tom Eisenhuth and Tepai Moeroa dropping out of the side.

Nicho Hynes (24) is a sell after losing minutes to Ryan Papenhuyzen (23), while Cameron Munster (73), Jahrome Hughes (42) and Harry Grant (51) are likely to be Melbourne's best scorers for the run home.

Raiders: Bailey Simonsson returns on the wing, meaning Jordan Rapana remains at fullback with Semi Valemei out injured. Sia Soliola replaces Elijah Anderson on the bench.

Joe Tapine (59) and Tom Starling (50 with a try) were Canberra's only 50-point players last week, although Rapana (44) continued to be a solid contributor from fullback. Corey Harawira-Naera (25 points in 23 minutes) is a sell unless he earns back a starting spot fast.

Dragons: Tariq Sims is supended, with Tyrell Fuimaono starting in the second row and Josh Kerr returning on the bench.

Jack de Belin (73) scored 64 points through base stats alone in a 76-minute stint against Canberra, while Jack Bird (61) had 13 tackle breaks with the extra room to move at fullback.

Panthers: Nathan Cleary is again named on an extended bench in jersey No.21, but at least we should know how likely a starter he is when Penrith trim their squad to 19 at 6pm Thursday night (AET).

Kurt Capewell is suspended while Api Koroisau is facing a possible suspension at the judiciary on Tuesday night. Stephen Crichton returns at centre and Brent Naden replaces Taylan May on the wing.

In Cleary's absence Matt Burton (106) scored two tries and kicked four goals in a sublime performance against the Roosters.

Broncos: Keenan Palasia is out for the season with a fractured shoulder (and has also copped a two-match ban), while Selwyn Cobbo replaces Jesse Arthars at centre, Albert Kelly replaces Brodie Croft at halfback, Tom Flegler starts at prop and TC Robati joins the bench.

Payne Haas (57) had terrific base stats but no tackle breaks or offloads against Newcastle, with he and Jordan Riki (51) each making 48 tackles. Herbie Farnworth (61) had a try, five tackle breaks and two line breaks last week.

Roosters: Angus Crichton has copped a three-match ban for a crusher tackle, and is a sell, while Jared Waerea-Hargreaves is being rested

James Tedesco (85) had a season-high 14 tackle breaks against Penrith and after a below average first half of the year he's now averaging 77 points in his past three games. Joey Manu (64) has continued his stellar late-season Fantasy form while Victor Radley (72) scored his first try of the year last week.

Rabbitohs: No changes. Another big win for Souths over the Eels meant big scores for Josh Mansour (87 including two tries), Cameron Murray (70 with a try), Adam Reynolds (66 with eight goals) and Dane Gagai (60 with a try).

Titans: Tyrone Peachey returns on the bench in place of Erin Clark in the Gold Coast's only change, with Jamal Fogarty unable to break into the side ahead of Ash Taylor or Toby Sexton.

David Fifita (69) scored yet another try after coming off the bench against North Queensland, while the other big story for the Gold Coast is the continued presence of late-season moneymaker Toby Sexton (55) who has been a great scorer in his three games so far. Jamal Fogarty is waiting in the wings but hasn't been able to bump Sexton or Ash Taylor out of the starting side yet.

Cowboys: Jason Taumalolo has a broken hand for the third time this season and is out, with Murray Tualagi and Lachlan Burr also sidelined after suffering head knocks.

Daejarn Asi and Jake Granville are the new-look centre pairing, with Ben Hampton shifting to the wing and Connelly Lemuelu out of the 17. Francis Molo and Ben Condon are into the starting pack with Tom Gilbert benched, while Ieremia Nanai and Griffin Neame join the interchange.

The injury obviously didn't help but a switch from lock to an 80-minute edge role didn't improve the scoring of Taumalolo (36) last week, although new lock Coen Hess (53) scored well along with Valentine Holmes (54) and Kyle Feldt (60).

Wests Tigers: Unchanged. Luciano Leilua (93) had a try, four offloads and 11 tackle breaks against the Bulldogs, with Luke Brooks (80), Stefano Utoikamanu (65), Alex Twal (56) and Adam Doueihi (54) also getting amongst the points.

Second-rower Shawn Blore (45) remains a very solid cashout option at $253k.

Sea Eagles: Toafofoa Sipley is suspended and Taniela Paseka is injured, with Josh Aloiai starting at prop and Curtis Sironen and Kurt De Luis on the bench.

As predicted, Tom Trbojevic didn't have a monster game against Melbourne but he still did pretty well with 61 points, ahead of Daly Cherry-Evans (53) and Jake Trbojevic (52).

Eels: Reed Mahoney has a season-ending shoulder injury and Oregon Kaufusi (head knock) and Haze Dunster are also out, with Joey Lussick at hooker, Isaiah Papali'i starting at prop, Shaun Lane in the second row and Michael Oldfield on the wing. Makehesi Makatoa joins the bench.

Ryan Matterson (64) and Isaiah Papali'i (55) got through plenty of tackles in the loss to Souths while Mitchell Moses (56) had a line break and a try assist in his return to the side.

Warriors: Props Matt Lodge and Kane Evans are suspended, with Jackson Frei starting at prop and Jamayne Taunoa-Brown on the bench, while Adam Pompey returns for Viliami Vailea in the centres.

Josh Curran (83) had a try assist, six tackle busts, four offloads and 42 tackles against Cronulla while centre-turned-forward Euan Aitken (64) had another excellent score with help from a try. Reece Walsh (53) scored a try himself and could potentially go large against the likely wooden spooners.

Bulldogs: Raiders forwards Ryan James and Corey Horsburgh have been loaned to the Bulldogs, who are missing suspended front-rowers Dylan Napa and Jack Hetherington as well as back-rower Corey Waddell.

Ava Seumanufagai and James start up front and Matt Doorey is in the second row. Chris Patolo, Horsburgh and Joe Stimson join the bench.

Jake Averillo (56) has got his kick metres back and had two try assists against the Tigers, while Josh Jackson (55) has been excellent lately with an average of 60 points across his past five games.

Sharks: Will Chambers is dropped with Siosifa Talakai starting at centre, Braden Hamlin-Uele starting in a reshuffle forward pack and Billy Magoulias joining the bench.

Jesse Ramien (61) has a three-game average of 52 while bargain halfback Braydon Trindall (46) is producing reliable scores as Cronulla's dominant kicker in the absence of Shaun Johnson. Will Kennedy (66) and Briton Nikora (58) were the other big scorers against the Warriors last week.

Knights: Jayden Brailey returns for Chris Randall at hooker while Connor Watson is named at lock with Mitchell Barnett in the second row and Lachlan Fitzgibbon (shoulder) out of the 21. Nathanael Sasagi joins the bench.

Newcastle's big scores against Brisbane came through their tryscorers Mitchell Pearce (66), Jake Clifford (65), Fitzgibbon (60) and Barnett (59) with Kalyn Ponga (48) solid and Watson (32) kept quiet in a 51-minute stint off the bench. While Watson's dual-position flexibility provides valuable coverage for two of the less stacked positions in Fantasy this year, his scoring hasn't been at keeper-level lately.

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