The hits keep coming for NRL Fantasy coaches but this season's Fantasy stars have started to separate themselves from the pack after what was a challenging round three.
Sharks recruit Nicho Hynes (89) top-scored the round and is now the top scorer in Fantasy after three rounds. You'd have been a brave coach to captain him once you saw the rain around Wollongong on Thursday night but Hynes was immense in guiding his new club to a hard-fought win.
Both Dylan Brown (83) and Cam Murray (81) have had enormous fortnights after quiet season openers while Cam Munster (81), Isaiah Papali'i (79) and Val Holmes (74) went large in round three.
Kurt Mann (73) scored almost as many points in a hard-fought loss to the Panthers than in his first two games combined and suddenly looks a lot more appealing.
Pat Carrigan (69) had his longest stint and best score of the year so far, Damien Cook (66) was busy and Payne Haas (64) looked like being a disastrous captaincy pick until saving his score with close to 30 points in the final 10 minutes against the Cowboys.
Two of this week's likely trade-ins went well as Beau Fermor (61) made it two great scores in a row and Tom Starling (56) had his best score of the year despite being benched on game day. Josh King (55) is doing well for his owners while he still has a starting spot.
Brad Schneider (55) showed no ill-effects from his COVID lay-off and still looks like the year's premier cash cow, while Panthers centre duo Stephen Crichton (54) and Izack Tago (53) continue to make money and replacement winger Taylan May (52) started his season with a hat-trick.
At the cheaper end, Billy Smith (40) finally came good, Leo Thompson (37) now has his price moving up nicely and Chris Randall (38) is still making steady cash even if his scores have dropped off a bit.
Try of the Week: Round 3
More trouble this week for Fantasy coaches, which included the pre-game withdrawal of Xavier Coates and big scoring drop-offs from the likes of Viliame Kikau (17), Matt Burton (34), Jake Clifford (37), Will Penisini (9), Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow (23 in a big win), Dane Gagai (37), Mitch Moses (33), Kurt Capewell (26) and Tevita Pangai jnr (20).
Tom Trbojevic (45) had his best score and first try of the season but it wasn't enough to stop another massive price drop, Angus Crichton (25) shapes as an urgent sell after being given less than 40 minutes off the bench, and Ethan Bullemor (6) didn't get on until the final 25 minutes and is definitely an urgent sell now.
Max King's (29) points-per-minute were still great but his time on field plummeted for some reason while it could be time to part ways with Jason Taumalolo (36 with a try-assist in a still-low 51 minutes).
Talatau Amone (17) and Lachlan Ilias (21) are testing the patience of their owners, as was the case with Stefano Utoikamanu (31) who was on track for his best score of the season before suffering what looks to be a long-term ankle injury.
Spencer Leniu (14) actually started this week in the absence of James Fisher-Harris but it had the opposite of the desired effect for coaches who snapped him up as a possible cash cow.
Nanai claims a hat-trick
Round 3 Team of the Week
- Nicho Hynes (89)
- Ryan Papenhuyzen (62)
- Valentine Holmes (74)
- Herbie Farnworth (55)
- Stephen Crichton (54)
- Dylan Brown (83)
- Cameron Munster (81)
- Kurt Mann (73)
- Damien Cook (66)
- Pat Carrigan (69)
- Isaiah Papali'i (79)
- Briton Nikora/Jeremiah Nanai (62)
- Cameron Murray (81)
- Daly Cherry-Evans (65)
- Payne Haas (64)
- Brandon Smith (62)
- Tino Fa'asuamaleaui (62)