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Tom Trbojevic and Jason Taumalolo are both are chance to play this week as a new crop of injuries and suspensions look set to wreak havoc on the NRL Fantasy finals.

Round 23 team news

Titans v Storm, Thursday 7.50pm at Cbus Super Stadium

Titans: AJ Brimson (jaw) and Moeaki Fotuaika are out so Jayden Campbell starts at fullback and Tino Fa'asuamaleaui shifts to prop, while Jamal Fogarty makes his long-awaited return in place of Toby Sexton at halfback. Erin Clark replaces Mitch Rein at hooker and Sam McIntyre starts at lock.

David Fifita (26) is coming off his worst score of the season, with no tries and just a single tackle bust against Souths last week, and could struggle again against the Storm. He's named to start at least so could be set to return to an 80-minute role. Tyrone Peachey (40) managed to go at better than a point a minute off the bench but remains a risky option when playing primarily at dummy-half.

Storm: Brandon Smith is out, along with Jahrome Hughes (head knock) and Dale Finucane (head knock). Ryan Papenhuyzen starts at fullback with Nicho Hynes at halfback, Harry Grant at hooker and Chris Lewis at lock. Jordan Grant, Tepai Moeroa and Cooper Johns join the bench.

A string of bench appearances means Papenhuyzen (13) has dropped a massive $391k in price after a stellar start to the season and now costs just $466k. In his four 80-minute games this year he's scored 77, 52, 124 and 70.

Hynes (57) played 70 minutes last week and could score well again in the halfback role while Cameron Munster (60) could also go large against the Titans.

Raiders v Sea Eagles, Friday 6pm at Suncorp Stadium

Raiders: Corey Harawira-Naera (suspension), Tom Starling (jaw) and Jarrod Croker (head knock) are out, with Sebastian Kris at centre and Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad and Matt Frawley added to the bench.

Bailey Simonsson (57) and Jack Wighton (53) both scored well last week but aren't reliable scorers against the stronger sides like Manly.

Sea Eagles: Tom Trbojevic (cheekbone) is in doubt but named to start at this stage, while Brad Parker (head knock) is replaced by Moses Suli in the centres. Josh Aloiai starts at prop, Toafofoa Sipley joins the bench and Kurt De Luis drops out.

Daly Cherry-Evans (59) could potentially take on a larger role in attack if Trbojevic is ruled out.

Josh Schuster (34) has only scored 50 once in his past four games and has only scored more than 50 once since round 10.

Panthers v Rabbitohs, Friday 8.05pm at Suncorp Stadium

Panthers: Api Koroisau is back, with Mitch Kenny shifting to the bench, while Kurt Capewell returns via the interchange. Izack Tago and Jaeman Salmon drop out of the 17, with Tevita Pangai jnr and James Fisher-Harris included in the reserves.

Nathan Cleary (74) had a very solid return from injury last week, and he's obviously a great buy despite a high price tag ($1.189m) and break even (119). Matt Burton (60) scored a try to offset his move out of the halves and into the centres.

Rabbitohs: Alex Johnston, Dane Gagai and Campbell Graham return to the backline with Taane Milne, Braidon Burns and Jaxson Paulo dropping out. Hame Sele replaces Jaydn Su'A on the bench.

Latrell Mitchell (92) and Cody Walker (88) were enormous against the Titans though they'll be up against a much better side this week – meaning it's likely to be a better week for busy middle defenders like Damien Cook (63) and Cameron Murray (41).

Wests Tigers v Sharks, Saturday 3pm at Browne Park, Rockhampton

Wests Tigers: Jacob Liddle and Tom Mikaele are suspended, with Jake Simpkin starting at hooker, James Tamou returning at prop and James Roberts joining the bench.

Adam Doueihi (85) has had an amazing second half of the season and is a legitimate captaincy option, while Shawn Blore (51) has been an excellent late-season bargain.

Sharks: Andrew Fifita (throat) and Aiden Tolman (suspension) are out. Mawene Hiroti starts at centre, Siosifa Talakai moves to the second row, Jack Williams shifts to lock, Toby Rudolf to prop and Braden Hamlin-Uele moves to the bench. Teig Wilton joins the interchange.

Jesse Ramien (59) is in excellent form and Braydon Trindall (60) has become a very solid scorer in the Cronulla halfback role.

Bulldogs v Knights, Saturday 5.30pm at Cbus Super Stadium

Bulldogs: Jake Averillo (hand) and Nick Meaney (head knock) have both been named to play despite injury concerns, while Corey Allan returns for Falakiko Manu on the wing and Kyle Flanagan returns at halfback with Bailey Biondi-Odo shifting to the bench.

Luke Thompson and Corey Waddell return in the starting pack, Ava Seumanufagai will come off the bench and Matt Doorey, Sione Katoa and Chris Patolo are out of the 17.

Josh Jackson (81) has averaged more than 60 in the second half of the season and 68 from his past three games, with terrific base stats, while rookie centre Aaron Schoupp (56) had his best score so far against the Warriors.

Knights: Tyson Frizell is suspended and Daniel Saifiti (knee) won't be back until the NRL finals, so David Klemmer and Brodie Jones join the starting pack. Simi Sasagi drops out of the 17 with Josh King, Jirah Momoisea and Chris Randall added to the bench.

Connor Watson (51), Jayden Brailey (54) and Mitch Barnett (66) all scored well last week, while attacking weapons like Kalyn Ponga (48) and Bradman Best (45) could get a boost against the wooden spooners this week.

Eels v Cowboys, Saturday 7.35pm at Cbus Super Stadium

Eels: Ryan Matterson is suspended and Tom Opacic and Michael Oldfield are out, with Will Penisini at centre, Haze Dunster on the wing and Marata Niukore in the second row. Oregon Kaufusi joins the bench.

Parramatta were hammered by Manly last week and their Fantasy scoring suffered with Isaiah Papali'i (46), Mitch Moses (31) and Clint Gutherson (21) all struggling. New hooker Joey Lussick scored 33 in 54 minutes.

Assuming the Eels turn things around against a weaker Cowboys team, expect to see their big guns improve their numbers this week.

Cowboys: Jason Taumalolo is some chance of returning from a broken hand after being included in the reserves.

Coen Hess switches to lock with Mitchell Dunn on the bench, while Reuben Cotter replaces the suspended Griffin Neame on the interchange.

Scott Drinkwater (63) had a big game against the Tigers while hooker Reece Robson (57) has now played the full 80 minutes in back-to-back games for the first time this year.

Dragons v Roosters, Sunday 2pm at Clive Berghofer Stadium, Toowoomba

Dragons: Andrew McCullough (ankle) and Blake Lawrie (hand) are out, while Matt Dufty has been recalled at fullback. Jack Bird moves back to centre, Gerard Beale drops out, Talatau Amone replaces Adam Clune in the halves, Kaide Ellis and Jack de Belin start at prop with Josh McGuire at hooker, and Tariq Sims returns at lock. Jayden Sullivan and Daniel Alvaro join the bench.

Bird (42) should remain a decent scorer at centre while de Belin (47 in 80 minutes) came back down to earth a little after the previous week's 73.

Roosters: Jared Waerea-Hargreaves returns to the starting pack in place of Victor Radley (suspension), while Ben Thomas replaces Naufahu Whyte on the bench.

James Tedesco (78) is hitting top form at the business end of the season while Sam Verrills (47) is coming off his best score of the year. Joey Manu (40) didn't get a try last week and had his first sub-60 score since round 16.

Broncos v Warriors, Sunday 4.05pm at Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Broncos: Tyson Gamble (suspension) and Xavier Willison (ACL) are out but Albert Kelly (knee) is named in the halves, alongside the returning Anthony Milford. Herbie Farnworth starts at centre with David Mead and Ethan Bullemor to come off the bench.

Payne Haas (69) is always a reliable captaincy option but there aren't too many other reliable scorers in this side, especially with Gamble out.

Warriors: Dallin Watene-Zelezniak replaces Edward Kosi on the wing, Jamayne Taunoa-Brown replaces Jackson Frei at prop, Bayley Sironen starts at lock and Jazz Tevaga moves to the bench.

There is still some good value for in-form keepers Josh Curran (97 with a try and three line breaks) and Euan Aitken (66), while Addin Fonua-Blake (63) is a dark horse option in the middle and Reece Walsh (39) could potentially have a big attacking game against his former club.

 

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