Things have started to settle into a bit of a rhythm under the new rules and scoring but the return of Fantasy god Nathan Cleary has given coaches some fresh things to think about.
This week's big questions
Is Nathan Cleary a buy this round?
Nathan Cleary is always a buy, is the short answer to this question. Even though the grinding style of footy looks to have returned this year, to the scoring detriment of a few players like Tom Trbojevic, Cleary was dominant before the six-again rule was introduced and can be expected to dominate once again.
Having said that, it's still highly possible he will have a bit of a price correction, particularly as he returns to full match fitness. He needs to be scoring around 80 points per game just to hold value so you can probably afford to have a look for a week or two while you work out exactly how you're going to afford him.
That said, picking a captain is a bit tricky at the moment and the sooner you get Cleary in, the sooner you don't have to worry about that decision week to week.
Will Brandon Smith playing from the bench take minutes from Harry Grant?
It's impossible to know exactly what Craig Bellamy's plans are for the two. Smith rotated well with Grant last year but things have changed a bit now – the style of footy has changed and Smith has pledged his future to the Roosters, which could result in his responsibility being reduced. It will be a very interesting watch this week exactly how Smith is used, and how many minutes he takes off Grant – who is certainly a hold but possibly not a buy this week.
NRL Teams: Storm v Bulldogs
Is Josh King a buy?
Speaking of Brandon Smith going to the bench this week, it also has implications for possible cash cow Josh King, who has done very well in the absence of Grant and/or Smith in three games so far. He's averaged around 65 minutes so far (inflated somewhat by golden point games and mid-game injuries) and added $110k in value. If you knew he was going to keep getting 65 minutes per game he'd definitely be a buy but unfortunately we'll need to see how this weekend pans out to get a clearer idea of how many minutes he gets with Grant and Smith both available.
Is Brodie Jones worth picking up?
Knights back-rower Brodie Jones should have a solid six-week run at a starting spot with both Lachlan Fitzgibbon (knee) and Mitch Barnett (suspension) out for a while. He's shown in the past he can score pretty well when used in the forwards so while he will be a sell once those two return, he looks like a good option this week as a cash-down who can be used in your 17.
Should I keep Connor Watson?
If you've got Connor Watson there's probably no rush to get rid of him. He's always busy and can bust a tackle, although he tends to score better when he has a running role at lock or five-eighth rather than the tackle- and pass-heavy hooking duties. His score was a bit down in the Souths game due to an absence of attacking stats and his minutes could drop when Sam Verrills eventually returns so he'll probably be a sell pretty soon either way.
NRL Teams: Cowboys v Roosters
Thoughts on Pat Carrigan?
Pat Carrigan scored an excellent 69 in 68 minutes in Sunday's loss to the Cowboys, and his worst score in three games so far is 44. I wouldn't be surprised if he averages in the low to mid 50s from here on, in which case he is a slightly under-priced keeper.
Is Matt Burton a hold?
Bulldogs recruit Matt Burton now has one good score and two disappointing ones so far. I'm sticking with him for now – he's had a couple of games that haven't really suited him but he's got plenty of avenues for scoring Fantasy points and if the Bulldogs can improve their attack a bit he could really come into his own.
Is Nicho Hynes a must-have?
Pretty close to it. He's very much the dominant half at the Sharks and playing some excellent footy, which is translating into some serious Fantasy scoring with back-to-back 80-plus returns. You'd be paying a premium for him now but it's even more costly seeing him put up those sorts of scores and not having him in your team.
Is Leo Thompson a buy?
Knights forward Leo Thompson is probably one of the handier cash cows floating around at the moment. His work rate is excellent – he's scored at a PPM or better the past two games with close to 40 minutes on field in each. It's not clear how high up the pecking order he is once all the Newcastle forwards are available but he looks like a good little earner for now.
NRL Teams: Sharks v Knights
Should I hold Ethan Bullemor?
Now is the time to sell Ethan Bullemor. He was arguably a hold last week because he still had a low-ish break-even after a good round one score but his six points in 25 minutes off the bench should be enough to convince everyone to sell.