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NRL Fantasy teams analysis: Round 5

Tom Trbojevic heads the list of tricky outs heading into round five as Fantasy coaches start to ponder when and how to get Nathan Cleary into their sides.


Round 5 Fantasy Analysis

Knights: Jacob Saifiti returns to the run-on side with Leo Thompson on the bench. Tyson Frizell (hamstring) has been named.

Kurt Mann is working into the season at lock and has two big-minute tackle-heavy scores in a row. It's too late to buy Leo Thompson but he's a hold for now despite a reduced score in the run-on side last week. Dane Gagai, Jake Clifford and Dom Young have tapered off after strong opening fortnights while Ponga's last-start six-point return is a huge concern. Brodie Jones getting interchanged for half an hour wasn't ideal for owners and he's probably not a buy this week as a result.

Sea Eagles: Tom Trbojevic will miss 4-6 weeks with a knee injury. Tolutau Koula moves to fullback with Christian Tuipulotu called up at centre.

Turbo sadly must be sold now, with even the four-week best-case return too long to hold someone of that value. Koula is a low-risk cash-down who should make some short-term profits. Andrew Davey is a slightly riskier cash-down given the looming return of Josh Schuster but should also make money in the immediate term. Ethan Bullemor was omitted from the game-day 17 altogether in round four after just 25 minutes in round three and is a sell. Daly Cherry-Evans has scored in the 60s every week so far.

Warriors: Plenty of shifting around of the forwards with Bayley Sironen and Bunty Afoa starting, Jazz Tevaga suspended, Addin Fonua-Blake in doubt and listed in the reserves and Aaron Pene and Jack Murchie called up on the bench.

Euan Aitken has three straight scores in the 40s but as an 80-minute back-rower available at CTR is a definite hold. It's getting a bit late to be worth jumping on Jesse Arthars but his last-start 50 was welcome news for owners. Josh Curran is in the top 10 Fantasy scorers through four rounds.

Cowboys: Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow is out injured with Scott Drinkwater at fullback, while Jamayne Taunoa-Brown starts in the middle pushing Reuben Cotter to the bench.

The Hammer is a sell but Jason Taumalolo is a hold after finding his best score of the year in round four. Valentine Holmes' 74 in round three looks like an anomaly with two other scores under 15. Jeremiah Nanai could still make another $100k before levelling out.

Broncos: Billy Walters starts for Albert Kelly (foot, mid-late season) and Keenan Palasia returns to the starting side with Tom Flegler suspended again. Kurt Capewell also returns in the back row with TC Robati benched and Kobe Hetherington replaces the injured Pat Carrigan (knee, 4-6 weeks) at lock. Cory Paix and Corey Jensen join the bench with Brenko Lee also out.

Haas has been named despite being interviewed by the Integrity Unit through the week in a relief for Fantasy coaches. Those who still have Billy Walters have done well with the coach's son getting first crack at Kelly's five-eighth role, and he is potentially still a buy. Carrigan is out too long to be worth holding.

Roosters: No changes, with Billy Smith nowhere in the squad and Connor Watson against listed to start although that is likely to change on game day.

Victor Radley and Joey Manu put up great scores against the Cowboys but each tends to mix in too many poor Fantasy scores to be worthwhile pick-ups. James Tedesco is playing pretty well without getting huge scores but is definitely a hold. Angus Crichton is a sell, as is Billy Smith who suddenly looks a long way off a recall with Joseph Suaalii in the extended squad.

Raiders: Unchanged, with Tom Starling likely to revert to the bench on game day again.

Brad Schneider is still making quick money despite a lower score in round four. Starling has played big minutes in all four games this year but only has one score over 40. Jack Wighton is the only Raider averaging over 50.

Storm: No changes. After a quiet opening fortnight, Ryan Papenhuyzen has shown it will at times be painful not to own him this year. Xavier Coates finally hit a good score in the romp over Canterbury in a match that suited him. Both Brandon Smith and Josh King suffered minutes-wise with Smith and Harry Grant available in the same game for the first time, with Grant playing 80 minutes and the other two around 50. King is a hold for now but Smith is losing value. Jahrome Hughes is a hold for now despite a three-round average under 45.

Rabbitohs: Mark Nicholls (ankle), Jaxson Paulo (head knock) and Siliva Havili are out with Josh Mansour in, Tom Burgess starting and Blake Taaffe and Davvy Moale called up on the bench.

Cam Murray is one point behind overall leader Payne Haas for most Fantasy points this year but Jai Arrow is averaging just 45 over the past three rounds. Lachlan Ilias might be starting to come good after last round's 33 while Damien Cook's 77 was one of the best scores of round four – in large part thanks to 61 tackles.

Dragons: Coach Anthony Griffin is sticking with Jack Bird at five-eighth and Moses Mbye at fullback, despite the latter's woes against the Eels. Jaydn Su'A returns from suspension in place of Jack Gosiewski and Aaron Woods moves into the starting side for Blake Lawrie.

Ben Hunt (55.5) is the only Dragon averaging more than Jack Bird's 42.5, and they are probably the only two Dragons that aren't a sell at this stage

Titans: Phil Sami, Isaac Liu and Beau Fermor return with Brian Kelly, Sam Lisone and Sam McIntyre out and Kevin Proctor and Jaimin Jolliffe going to the bench.

David Fifita hasn't bettered round one's 51 points yet; there is a case to sell but be prepared for the tackle busts and tries to roll in if you do. Fermor was a late out last week but will spike in price if he maintains recent form. Erin Clark is a sell but not yet an urgent one.

Eels: Shaun Lane returns in the back row, pushing Ryan Matterson to the bench and last week's flick-pass hero Bryce Cartwright out of the 17. Mitch Rein gets his first NRL game for the Eels with Wiremu Greig dropping off the bench.

Will Penisini came good after seeing some good attacking ball against the Dragons. Dylan Brown is the fourth highest scorer in Fantasy after four games and shapes as an excellent POD while his halves partner Mitch Moses also scored heavily last week. All the Eels' attacking players have a favourable run of games coming up. Reed Mahoney is playing excellent footy but a four-game average under 44 is now officially a concern, especially with Mitch Rein on the bench. Isaiah Papali'i will be an elite scorer once again this year.

Sharks: Unchanged, with Siosifa Talakai still at centre and neither Matt Ikuvalu nor Connor Tracey in the extended squad.

Nicho Hynes's 43 last week was his lowest score of the year so far, but with an average of 67 it's no cause for concern. Andrew Fifita and Dale Finucane probably have a game or so each until their price peaks. Talakai busted 17 tackles in his 75 last week and would be an interesting buy if you knew he was going to hold on to the centre spot.

Wests Tigers: Unchanged, with Kelma Tuilagi (shoulder) named. Tuilagi was on track for a good score last week until he went off at half time and is probably the only Tigers player you should entertain having in your 21 right now. Jock Madden would be an elite cash cow if he wasn't likely to lose his spot to Jackson Hastings next week.

Bulldogs: Kyle Flanagan gets his first chance of the year at halfback in place of Brandon Wakeham, who displaces Bayley Biondi-Odo on the bench.

Max King got back to his reliable scoring after reduced minutes in round three while Matt Burton ground out an acceptable score but is yet to hit his stride at his new club. Tevita Pangai jnr's past three games have yielded seven offloads, zero offloads and seven offloads but his 80 points in 70 minutes in round four was an encouraging sign with season-highs in both figures.

Panthers: Unchanged. Nathan Cleary should be a fair bit cheaper in a few weeks after a first-up 44. Taylan May (57), Izack Tago (55) and Stephen Crichton (49.5) are all in the top four averaging Fantasy CTRs but it's arguably already a bit late to jump on May after five tries and $100k of price rises in two games.

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