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Lone Scout's NRL Fantasy Q&A: Round 7

Underperforming centres, a possible new cash cow and how to get in Nathan Cleary headline this week's NRL Fantasy questions.

This week's big questions

Is Talakai a good pickup at CTR?

From @iamttran

Sharks back-rower-turned-centre Siosifa Talakai picked up dual position status this week and has averaged almost 63 in three games since moving out wide. If he stays there he could end up being one of, if not the, best-scoring centres in Fantasy this year. The real question is what happens when all of the Sharks backline players are fit, with Connor Tracey and Matt Ikuvalu due back in the next week or so. If Talakai is forced back into the pack where he is competing with Briton Nikora, Teig Wilton and Wade Graham for minutes he'll end up a sell. His excellent form at centre will make it tough for Craig Fitzgibbon to move him, just be aware it's at least a possibility.

Is Nathan Cleary a must-have this early?

From @reececorlett95

He's pretty close to it, yeah. The ease with which he peeled off a 93 in his third game back shows that while he may not quite maintain the heights of last year, he will probably again be comfortably the best player in Fantasy. The sooner you get him in, the sooner you have a set-and-forget captain and don't have to worry about everyone else getting Cleary's points while you miss out.

Cowboys v Titans

Is Nanai a hold or sell?

From @austen_hoswell

Cowboys back-rower Jeremiah Nanai has taken Fantasy coaches on a wild ride through six rounds so far, with a season high of 62 including a hat-trick, a season-low of 17 (which still included a try) while topping the entire NRL for missed tackles and penalties conceded. He's averaging 40, and if that's what he continues to average then he's peaked. If he can keep scoring the odd try while cutting down on the demerits he could still scrape out another $50-$100k but it would be a slow burn. There's no urgency to get rid of him but if you can improve your squad by cashing him out or upgrading him then go for it.

Thoughts on Harry Rushton?

From @prince_jarming

The latest of Canberra's English prospects, Harry Rushton debuts for the Green Machine off the bench this week following an impressive season-to-date in the Knock On Effect NSW Cup. Playing prop or lock, the 20-year-old would be averaging almost 60 Fantasy points this year including 201 tackles and three tries in his five games. That's while playing an average of 67 minutes – he'll get far less than that in first grade but his excellent work rate is at least a great sign. Be aware that coaches often blood a youngster in first grade to give them a taste for a few weeks before putting them back in reserve grade. Ideally you'd see how he goes for a week at least but he's certainly a future Fantasy star if his recent form is anything to go by.

Panthers v Raiders

Is it time to trade out Tago?

From @cameronpaenga

The answer to this question is almost identical to the next one, which is…

Is Stephen Crichton a sell?

From @pwerhouse

Both Panthers centres, Izack Tago and Stephen Crichton, had huge starts to the year and made plenty of cash early before their scores tailed off over the past fortnight. Each has now comfortably peaked price-wise and can be sold if you don't view them as keepers. With Tago averaging 47 and Crichton averaging 40, and each having dual-position flexibility, there's an argument to keep one or both longer term for depth. Tago would be the better of the two to keep if you're tossing up between the two.

Broncos v Bulldogs

Is Kotoni Staggs a buy?

From @_seb.y_

Broncos centre Kotoni Staggs has shown what he's capable of over the past fortnight, with scores of 79 and 69, tries in each game and a total of 22 tackle busts and 312 metres. He's made back most of the money he lost in the opening month (he's currently $33k below his starting price) and looks like he will jump a fair bit again this week. The drawback is that opening month, with four scores between 20 and 33. He's already very pricey for a player that could get you a low 20s score on an off day but if you're happy to ride the lows as well as the highs there could be a payoff there.

Is Burton a trade?

From @dylan.pederson1

I think there has been some form of this question every week this year but for the first time this year, I'm now leaning towards selling him. He had been averaging 45 in an underperforming team and holding his value. But 23 on the weekend – which included time out in the centres thanks to Braidon Burns's hamstring injury – dropped his average to 41, dropped his price below its starting value for the first time since round one, and pushed his break even up high enough that he will probably keep losing value unless his form improves. I'd still say there's no rush to sell him and he may come good against the 14th-placed Broncos but with a few other players around the same value performing better, there are better options out there now.

Sharks v Sea Eagles

Would you upgrade DCE to Cleary?

From @mattjollie

As much as I would recommend getting Cleary in as soon as possible, I'd try to avoid selling the third-highest scoring player in Fantasy. Daly Cherry-Evans has been ultra-consistent, with an average of 63.5, a season-low of 56 and $46k in price rises. Even if it takes an extra week or two, try not to break your team up or sell keepers if you can possibly avoid it.

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