It's starting to get to that point in our Fantasy season where one bold move can set you apart from the pack or see you trailing behind it, so making the right moves with your trades is critical.
Lone Scout returns to answer your burning questions ahead of Round 15 including what to do with Payne Haas, Tohu Harris and Euan Aitken.
Lone Scout's Fantasy Q&A: Round 15
Is it time to sell Payne Haas? —@anthony_chadayda
Having been named to play, it's worth waiting as long as you can before making a decision on Payne Haas, who has hurt the other shoulder now and must be in some doubt to play. Given he could miss this week and then Round 17 with Origin commitments, I can definitely see the decision to move Payne Haas on with the likes of Jason Taumalolo and Cam McInnes available. The big winner from Haas' injury could be Patrick Carrigan (despite himself missing Round 17), who has been on an absolute sensational run of form lately with a three-round average of nearly 60.
Ezra on the edge
Is Ezra Mam a buy this week? —@_fredhawken
No. Ezra Mam was a buy two weeks ago, or even last week, but I think you need to hold fire and hope for the best now. His price has already risen to nearly $400k, and while there's a bit more to come, he's not going to make you a huge amount of money from now on. What's perhaps more interesting is the scores — Mam has been averaging nearly 50 but a lot of that has been made up of attacking contributions that might dry up with games against the Storm and Cowboys in the next fortnight. It's tempting fate a little, but I don't think Mam will go huge given the base stat numbers aren't quite there for the dynamic Broncos playmaker.
Is it worth holding Tohu Harris? —@billy_minn1
It's a fair question given some underwhelming scores in the past few weeks after he was a very popular buy a few weeks back. 42 points isn't quite what we wanted from a "premium" forward, but it's not the end of the world and there's probably bigger issues in your team to sort out. He doesn't play Round 17, so I can see the thinking behind selling him now, but I'd be giving it two more weeks and reassessing.
Should I sell Kalyn Ponga? —@karhnrobertsss
I can get around this one. The head knock he picked up last week means he is no certainty to play this week and, even if he did, faces the Raiders in Canberra with a breakeven in the mid 60's. He's not kicking goals now that Jake Clifford has returned, and the attacking potency we've become familiar with just hasn't been there this year. With no help in Round 17 due to Origin, followed by a tricky run in 18 and 19 against the Sea Eagles and Roosters, he's a sell for mine.
Tapine's powerful performance against the Broncos recognised
Is Joseph Tapine a buy? —@cody_kingcott10
Having been on a run of form with the equal-best three-round average of any player (75.7 along with Nathan Cleary), Joseph Tapine is a very good pickup this week despite not providing any bye-round coverage. The price is high at $758k now, but the base stats have provided such an incredibly safe floor that any attacking stats Tapine provides will take him from very good to elite. At worst, he's a great stepping stone to someone like Cameron Murray for the run home, or a great option to move Payne Haas on to this week.
Should I sell Euan Aitken? —@andyyreid
Yes, Euan Aitken will miss this week with concussion. Yes, he won't play Round 17 with the bye. But I can't see why you'd move on Euan Aitken, who we know is one of the best centre options this year along with the likes of Matt Burton, Campbell Graham and Joseph Manu. If you do sell him, you're going to want to have him back for the run home — when the Warriors will be playing games back out of Mount Smart Stadium and will surely be producing better than what they have of late.
NRL Casualty Ward ahead of Round 15
Who are the top Round 17 targets? —@joshharrod
Ryan Matterson is one to watch if he misses State of Origin selection for Game Three, as will Ryan Papenhuyzen — who should be back in the Storm team and staking his claim for a bench spot for the Blues by then. Campbell Graham is another strong outside back who has a favourable matchup in Round 17 against a Knights side without Ponga. In the forwards, Cam McInnes will be popular as long as the return of Dale Finucane doesn't affect his 80-minute role at lock, Joe Ofahengaue has been flying under the radar at Wests Tigers and could be in for even more minutes now judging on their bench this week, while David Klemmer is as safe as they come. The key for Round 17 will be trying to get players that you want for longer than just that week — trades are starting to run low for many teams (including yours truly) so you don't want to be just bringing players in and out like you were at the start of the season. Look for guys who will help you now, during the bye and after it too, and that you're comfortable owning for multiple weeks, even if they're not genuine keepers through to the end of the season.