A captaincy crisis headlines the issues Fantasy owners face in Round 17, while there are decisions to be made on a couple of traditional keepers facing form slumps and time on the sideline.
Lone Scout is here to answer the big questions, including who to captain, whether to get rid of Payne Haas and what to do with Harry Grant, Cameron McInnes and Latrell Mitchell.
Lone Scout's Fantasy Q&A: Round 17
Is Latrell Mitchell a buy? - @t.ewhetukihohepa
A score of 43 in his first game back since Round 5, which importantly included 10 points from goalkicking duties, was promising for Latrell. While I don’t see him being a top tier WFB this year, if he can produce scores in the mid 40s more regularly then he’s good value for money at $557k. With a break even of 59 he’s unlikely to go up too much this round anyway, so you can afford to hold off for now and see how he goes against the Knights.
The five players you must consider for Round 17
What's the ideal amount of trades to have left? - @austin_keates
The first point here is to remind owners that trade help is on the way, with all teams getting four additional trades from Round 20, which will come as a huge relief to some, including yours truly. Ideally you’ll want at least four trades at your disposal for the finals to cover for injuries, or let you make a crucial upgrade which could be the difference between winning or losing. In saying that you also don’t want to be the richest person in the Fantasy graveyard, sitting on a stack of trades, but having missed out on the finals because you were too conservative. If you’ve got somewhere between 7-11 trades left at this point then you’re probably in a good spot.
Who should I captain for the bye round? - @abbie_equestrian_nz
With other popular captaincy options Nathan Cleary, Daly Cherry-Evans and Damien Cook already out this week, news of Nicho Hynes’ positive COVID test came as a blow to many Fantasy owners. The answer to your question may sit in the Parramatta forward pack, with Isaiah Papali’i, Ryan Matterson and even Shaun Lane all looking like good options against a Wests Tigers side who are struggling at the bottom end of the ladder.
Of that group Matterson would be my pick, with scores of 60 and above in five of his last six matches where he has played 50 minutes or more, which he should do in a starting lock role. If you like to live more dangerously then Storm fullback Ryan Papenhuyzen is a player with a high ceiling, but beware he comes with more risk than the other options discussed.
Melbourne surge almost steals it
What do we do with Payne Haas? - @_seb.y_
It’s been a wild ride for Haas owners following a string of weeks where he looked set to be ruled out for the Broncos, only to play through the pain of AC joint issues in both shoulders. But it’s finally caught up with the powerhouse prop and Brisbane are now saying he will miss at least the next couple of games. If you are sitting pretty in your H2H league then you might be able to wait a fortnight and see what happens with Haas, but otherwise his $676k is too much to hold and he’s a sell.
Is Xavier Savage a sell? - @sethclenshaw
Fellow fullback Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad’s presence on the Raiders’ bench didn’t end up having a big impact on Savage last week, with the youngster playing all but the last six minutes. But even so he’s shaping as a sell in the next couple of weeks. If he keeps the starting role then he probably still has a a couple of price rises left in him, but ultimately you’ll want a WFB with better job security and bigger base stats for the run home (Savage scored 37 in Round 16 with a try and a try save).
Savage proving the X factor once again
Is Joe Ofahengaue a buy? - @baileymichael111
The Wests Tigers lock ranks in the top five middle forwards in Fantasy over the last three weeks with an average of 65.3 and is a good player to bring in this week before he jumps in price, with his break even set at 34. He is consistently playing up over 60 minutes and picking up plenty of base stats from tackles and yardage, so while he won’t repeat his haul of 84 against the Warriors every game, he looks good to keep scoring at least in the high 50s in the long run.
Should I sell Cameron McInnes? - @josh_polky
After clocking consecutive scores of 66 and 60 in rounds 12 and 14, McInnes shaped as a possible cut-price keeper in the middle about a month ago, but the return of Dale Finucane has coincided with his minutes and scores dropping in his last two matches. He remains a point per minute machine and busted out 49 in a 41-minute stint last week, meaning it’s far from a disaster for those who did pick him up. He isn’t a must sell and I wouldn’t be doing anything with him this week given he’s a valuable green dot for your side. But owners will have to accept that he’s now shaping as someone who is probably going to average in the mid 40s to low 50s for the remainder of the year, rather than those elite middle scores.
Should I hold Harry Grant? - @adam_hedges21
If you’ve kept Grant for this long then I’d be sticking with him, despite the fact that he’s hit a score over 50 just once in his last five matches. The Storm rake is still the second best hooker in Fantasy behind Damien Cook, and unless you are flush with trades it’s hard to justify trading out a player like that. He is part of my team and I’m backing him to make a return to form in Fantasy once the Origin period is over.