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Lone Scout's Fantasy Q&A: Round 19

The emergence of a couple of late-season WFB prospects, the re-emergence of Jackson Hastings and the dilemma surrounding a couple of players set to switch positions or spend time on the bench this week.

Lone Scout is here to answer your burning questions ahead of round 19, with the finals for many Fantasy leagues just a week away.

Lone Scout's NRL Fantasy Q&A

Is Joseph Manu a good buy at centre? - @turnermeister

At his current price of $778k – which has been inflated by some big scores while he was playing five-eighth – the answer is not really. When playing centre Manu still has the ability to produce some big scores, with multiple examples of high 50s or low 60s earlier in the year while playing out wide, but he doesn’t have the consistency of some CTR options in Fantasy who play other positions for their NRL sides. For less money you could get Bulldogs five-eighth Matt Burton ($776k), who has hit below 40 just once since round 7, or Warriors back-rower Euan Aitken, who rarely goes under 40 points when playing 80 minutes in the second row, which he should do more often than not for the rest of the year.

When do the extra trades come in? - @cameron_scully

Round 20 will see all sides given an extra four trades to use. For some it will allow for a few luxury moves, while for many they’ll be a much-needed lifeline, with a number of teams down to one or two trades remaining at this point of the season.

Who's the best WFB to bring in currently? - @jack_9_5_15

Wests Tigers half Adam Doueihi, who is listed as a WFB/HLF in Fantasy, will be among the most traded in players this week after his 83-point haul in round 18. If he can maintain anything close to that going forward, he’s an absolute bargain at $522k.

South Sydney fullback Latrell Mitchell is still reasonably affordable at $620K (but set to rise a chunk after this weekend) and looks like pushing into the elite category right now, while if you’re tight on money or feeling brave, Titans rookie Sosefo Fifita ($255k) managed a 50 on debut last week from mostly metres gained (208 for 20 points), tackle breaks (5 for 10 points) and tackles (7 for 7 points). They are very reachable stats for a player like him most weeks, if, and it’s a big if, he can keep his spot on the wing.

Doueihi or Latrell Mitchell? - @lachie._moore

Both are good options, but price and the way they got their big scores last week makes me lean towards Doueihi. At $522k the Wests Tigers star is almost $100k cheaper than Latrell ($620k) and his base stats suggest he should be a more consistent option if he stays in the halves, albeit with a lower ceiling. While he did score a try to inflate his 83 last week, Doueihi also racked up 17 points in kick metres and 22 points from tackles, which will be fairly reachable numbers each week. Mitchell on the other hand doesn’t have the chance to get those base points at fullback and relies more on dynamic attacking stats. When he gets them, as he did last week en route to 98 points, it results in monster scores, but may mean a few lower weeks in between.   

Is Hastings a buy? - @kristopher__

The new role which has been designed for Jackson Hastings at the Wests Tigers is unlike any other in the NRL right now. If round 18 is anything to go by, he might be the perfect Fantasy hybrid, with the ball-playing aspect giving him the potential for try assists and line-break assists, and the middle forward part meaning he’s there to clock up big metres and tackles. If the club are committed to keeping him in that role then he’s one of the bargains of the year at $533k and it’s easy to see him scoring consistently in the high 50s or even low 60s. But whether he stays there for the rest of the year, and whether can maintain it all while making 40-plus tackles a game on players who in most cases are much bigger then him, remains to be seen. If you have the trades up your sleeve then I think he’s worth bringing in.

Should I bring back Payne Haas? - @anthony_chadayda

With a break even of 59 this week, which is above his season average of 57.5 points per game, and continued uncertainty surrounding just how healthy his troublesome shoulders are, I’d be holding off for now. Those who kept Haas need not worry – he remains a good middle prospect and has shown he can still perform pretty well even when physically compromised – but if you were like me and got rid of him recently then he’s not a must have.

What do I do with Reece Walsh? - @samwansbone

Interim Warriors coach Stacey Jones has said Walsh’s demotion to the bench is intended to serve as a bit of a wake-up call for the youngster, so don’t be at all surprised if he returns to the fullback role as soon as next week. In saying that, he’s hit a score of 50 or above just three times all year and isn’t a good WFB option anyway, so I’d be moving off him and either upgrading to a more elite scorer or cashing down to someone like Sosefo Fifita.

Who should I captain this week? - @seth.hignett

I like the idea of a rested Cam Murray ahead of what will be a busy night in the middle against the Storm, but make sure you have a good vice captain selected, just incase he’s a late withdrawal after missing last week due to a head injury. You can’t go wrong with his Rabbitohs teammate Damien Cook either, and he should also be refreshed after being rested in round 18. The two players I have tended to give the C to this year, Nicho Hynes and Nathan Cleary, are facing each other in what could be a lower scoring encounter between two form teams. That doesn’t mean they won’t score well though and both remain good captaincy options, with Hynes having the edge for me.

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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