Lone Scout is back for another week of big answers to even bigger questions as NRL Fantasy coaches look to ensure it's another successful points-scoring week for their team!
Your burning questions answered
Is it time to move on Chris Randall? —@dylan.pedersen1
Having made just shy of $250k, it's definitely time to thank Chris Randall for his services and move him on. The Knights hooker is no longer playing 80 minutes, and with the likes of Jake Clifford and Kurt Mann coming back into the team in the coming weeks — along with the arrival of Anthony Milford — that doesn't look like changing. You can trade up to Reed Mahoney or Reece Robson for less than $100k more than Clifford, or $120k more will see you land Reuben Cotter... who we'll get to in a minute. Randall has done well but it's time to go.
Should I sell Talakai? —@nathanielroma_
Siosifa Talakai will lose a bit of the cash he has made, so I can understand the thinking behind wanting to move him on. But he's still got the second best average of any centre and has shown that he's capable of producing some massive scores on any given day. The Sharks have been hampered by injury and suspension, which has hurt their attacking output, but I don't think it's worth moving on Talakai — especially when you're potentially going to want to bring him back in later on. I'd be holding for now with a friendly run of the Warriors, Titans, Bulldogs and an Origin-affected Storm, coming up after his Round 13 bye.
Turbo Tom declares himself fully fit ahead of Eels clash
What do I do with Tom Trbojevic? —@josh.beehre
The key point with Tom Trbojevic is whether you believe there's an obvious player to move him on to. If you don't have Nicho Hynes or Taylan May, then I can get around the argument for selling — he's losing cash, plays the Eels, Storm and then misses Round 13 with Origin, and didn't look 100 percent healthy against the Broncos. But if you do have both of those guys, then there's no reason to move him on. You're going to want to have him back at some point, James Tedesco has Origin looming while Ryan Papenhuyzen and Latrell Mitchell are out injured, and the man himself confirmed to media this week that he was affected by a cork, and nothing more, at Magic Round. Last week's loss was about the worst case scenario he could have had and he scored 23... which even the likes of Hynes, Papenhuyzen and Tedesco have all produced at some point this year.
Is Max King a sell? —@haydo107_
He is, but not just yet. King has been one of the most faithful servants in teams this year, making the third most money of any player heading into Round 11. He's certainly peaked in price at $532k but is still performing well and averaging consistently enough that he should be held for Round 13, and then moved on. He might lose you $10-20k over the next two weeks, but is worth holding until the bye.
Bye-round thinking: How should you attack it?
Who should I captain this week? —@nick_camilo
There's certainly the obvious contenders if you're feeling safe — Nicho Hynes should do better (fingers crossed) with a return to the halves, while Nathan Cleary will always be heavily involved despite a touch matchup. Isaiah Papali'i will do well at home against a Manly side that just conceded 38 points to the Broncos and has averaged 33.5 points against in the last month. If you're after a little adventure in your life, Jackson Hastings against the Bulldogs has the potential to produce the goods. He's at the heart of everything Wests Tigers are doing in attack (which will only increase with Luke Brooks sidelined with a hamstring injury), has the goal-kicking and general play kicking duties, has a great matchup against the cellar dwelling Dogs and will be up for his first ever game at Leichhardt Oval.
The best NRL plays from Magic Round
Is Reuben Cotter a buy? —@oscarsowman
He was perhaps more of a buy three weeks ago, but you're going to want Reuben Cotter at some point this year so you may as well go now. If he misses Origin selection, Cotter will be the number one hooking option in Round 13; if he does make the Maroons side, he'll be doing it off the back of great form in the next two weeks and will certainly be handy to have in either the middle or second hooker slot alongside Harry Grant or Damien Cook for the rest of the season.
Is Zac Woolford worth picking up? —@ethan.hemingray
With Canberra changing their number nines (and halves) nearly every week at this point, it's definitely worth waiting on Zac Woolford. There's definitely some upside there given the fact that Starling might not completely take his minutes as we've seen in his rotation with Adam Elliott, but it's just a bit complicated now. The price certainly isn't going to go up $100k or something ridiculous like that this week, so you've got time to have a look and make a better judgment next week.
What stop are we at with the Tago train?
Is Payne Haas worth trading out? —@elijahwalkerrr
No. You're just burning two trades if you do — one to take him out and one to bring him back. He's not injured, has a great matchup this week against the Knights followed by a derby against the Titans before Origin, but he should back up after playing for the Blues given the Broncos don't play until Saturday night in Round 14.
Should I sell Tuilagi now that he’s on the bench? —@_liam.bright
It's a sad time to see all our loyal cheapies move on, but Kelma Tuilagi certainly fits into the Chris Randall and (soon to be) Max King stage of needing to go from our teams. After picking up a bit in price, Tuilagi has now averaged under 40 in his last five games and should be cashed in a tidy $150k profit on his original starting price. The future Sea Eagles forward isn't in this week's starting team after Luke Garner returned from the centres to the back row, and will start to lose cash with reduced minutes over the coming weeks. Tuilagi doesn't play the first bye, so there's no more reasons to hold — thank you for your service, Kelma, and all the best this year.
NRL Casualty Ward ahead of Round 11
Is Nat Butcher worth picking up with Radley missing for an extended period? —@aounzz
A fantastic question to end and one I cannot endorse enough. Nat Butcher was the first trade target for me this week with Victor Radley set to miss the next six weeks, and potentially more. Available for less than $500k, Butcher has dual position flexibility with selection as a middle or edge, and should see an increase in minutes in Radley's absence. The PPM (points-per-minute) is good, sitting at 0.72 with an average of 55 minutes per game this year. If that can go up to 62 or 65, then you're looking at another 5-10 points on average with the upside for attacking stats. Butcher isn't going to make you $150k or something ridiculous in the next six weeks so certainly temper your expectations if that's what you want, but what you will get is an incredibly reliable and consistent forward who covers the first bye and you can set and forget each week.