Saturday, 01 July 2017 00:00

What We Learnt - Sea Eagles vs Warriors

Manly mow down weak Warriors.

1. SBW

Stupid. Bloody. Warriors. Only one team I know could be up 16-0 at the 18th minute and lose. New Zealand, maybe they'll blame the 5343km trip to Perth, maybe they'll blame the weather. But the facts are this club lets their fans down on the regular so we don't need an explanation. 

2. Manly the real deal?

Manly have slotted themselves into 3rd place with this win today and led by captain and Origin hopeful DCE they are looking red hot, excuse the 18 minute late start to this match (they are playing in Perth) but this team was tipped to finish bottom 4 and that is certainly not looking like happening.

3. Trent Barrett let's chat...

Martin Taupau, the 550k DPP forward with no byes left. 5 round average of 63.8... all owners excited and salivating at the thoughts of him running right through the middle of this powderpuff warrior pack. Then, Barrett goes in dry and benches him at the 19th minute not to return until the 55th before leaving the field again, does he not enjoy the wet track or is there an injury we aren't aware of. 

4. Lewis Brown!!!

Lewis gets a pass mark with a respectable 29 in the wet in his first start of the season. Good cash out option that will help you in R18 and can ever fill in at CTR for you for the run home, with Curtis Sironen not due back until finals time. Shows that you can't learn everything about fantasy reading a spreadsheet on the lounge. 

5. SJ reigns supreme.

He may come under constant criticism by fans and commentators for going missing during games (and seasons), but his high energy hot and cold style certainly suits NRL fantasy, because when he's hot, he's hot. 84 points today outstanding!!

Published in NRL Fantasy
Saturday, 01 July 2017 00:00

What We Learnt - Roosters vs Sharks

Sneaky Sharks destroy Rascally Roosters 

1. Sharks win battle of the heavyweights. 

With today likely being a preview of a match you'll see deep into September, Cronulla have made a statement and given us something to look forward to. James Maloney and Mitchell Pearce putting in typical origin performances was a key factor in the Sharkies getting the points today. 

2. K5 grabs another beast.

Jake Friend has now scored 82, 70, 67 and 56, since the origin period started (if you leave out his HIA 0). Proving once again if K5 is blowing smoke, there is usually fire. Definitely one to watch with McInnes and McCullough not living up to earlier season hopes. Notching up 65 tackles today, with 50 of them coming in the first 50 minutes.

3. Ryan Matterson - Fluke or For Real?

Ryan Matterson could be pushing to secure an edge second row spot for 2018 when Aiden Guerra departs the club. With a few starts during the origin period he has shown he has fantasy pedigree and is keen to show us. Averaging 57 over the last 3 weeks; starting and scoring 79 today, albeit attacking stats assisted with his mid 30s average could see him as a well priced pick up next season. 

4. Fifita was a trade through origin. 

This has been discussed at lengths over the past couple months and it looks like the points are with the TRADE camp. With another lacklustre score of 45 today, pairing with his other scores of 45 and 43 since origin started, your 550k+ could've definitely been better invested in somebody that would've played more than 3 games in this 6 game period.

5. G-Train stops short.

Don't stress this one. Gal has carried this Sharks side through a tough Origin period where his team has been without up to 5 stars in some matches. Much to the dismay of many Gal owners he has earned this break and this won't happen every week, we hope. 

Suck it Grubby Roosters @Nick Gibbs.

Published in NRL Fantasy
Sunday, 25 June 2017 00:00

What We Learnt - Sharks vs Sea Eagles

The clinical Manly Sea Eagles held off the Cronulla Sharks winning 35-18 away from home to leapfrog their southern rivals into the top 4.

Cronulla are getting used to chasing down their opponents but couldn't muster a come back today with some costly errors and nasty injuries. Jayden Brailey reportedly left the stadium in an ambulance with concerns that he has a broken jaw. If so, it would be season over for the youngster who has been a handy pick at hooker.

As far as fantasy performances go, Wade Graham led the way with 75* points. He ran for 177 metres and tackled with his usual gusto, but also nabbed himself a try which boosted his score.

Curtis Sironen nabbed two tries in the opening quarter and finished on 59* points. Please don't tell me you still own him. OUTLIER.

Daly Cherry-Evans was back to his solid best with 58*. DCE made 21 tackles which is pretty high for a half. He also laid on two tries for his team mates but only kicked for 108m which is his lowest of the season.

Big Marty Taupau continued his streak of 200+ metre games with 210 on his way to 53* points. He stormed his way through the Cronulla defence, finishing with 4 tackle breaks and 5 off loads. Having finished their byes for the season, Taupau is looming as a must buy for the run home.

A lot of people would have the C on Paul Gallen and will be feeling rather embarrassed after he only mustered 47* points. He finished the first half on 33 but couldn't roll that productivity into the second spell before coming off with 15 minutes to go. The Sharks couldn't seem to get much front foot ball and Gallen was a big part of that, only running for 88 metres.

Andrew Fifita was another who disappointed, finishing on 41* points. Fifita went off after about 33 minutes in the first half on a whopping 12 points. Yep, 12! He made a few tackles but also missed a whole bunch which really hurt his score. His second stint saw him amass 17 points in the first 7 minutes and he did reasonably well to finish on 41. This is the second sub 50 score in a row for Fifita but with his capability of hitting 60+ on a regular basis, you take the good with the bad and hope he sorts himself out sooner rather than later.

Published in NRL Fantasy
Sunday, 25 June 2017 00:00

What We Learnt - Dragons vs Knights

A fantastic game at Kogarah that ebbed and flowed worse than the Solent was eventually won by the Dragons.

After opening the game with two Nightingale tries to take his career tally over 100, the Knights stormed back into the contest with 5 tries in a purple 18 minute patch that included a hat-trick to Nathan Ross. 

While Nightingale (60*) and Ross (70*) are largely fantasy irrelevant, big Paul Vaughan is not. He lasted all of 3 minutes before leaving the field with what was later reported to be a torn calf. Depending on the grading, Vaughan could be out for up to the rest of the season so keep your eyes and ears open for any news. Oh, and he finished on 2* points.

Gareth Widdop led the Dragons back into the contest after trailing 10-28 at half time. Widdop provided four try assists in the second half to finish on 47* points. After starting the season on fire, Widdop has fallen away in recent weeks and is not really an option anymore.

Josh Dugan was at his tackle breaking best with 11 and added a try to join Nathan Ross at the top of the standings with 70*. Dugan has a proven history of being a gun WFB for fantasy and priced around $420,000 next week could be an interesting POD for the run home but will miss rd 18 with his Origin commitments. 

With Vaughan on the sideline and Taane Milne on the bench, the Dragons big boppers got extra minutes and provided nicely with Ah Mau (67* in 60 minutes) and Packer (56* in 57 minutes) returning some nice scores. Again, these guys are all but irrelevant in fantasy terms, even if Vaughan misses a lot of time.

As far as other guys that ARE fantasy relevant, Cameron McInnes may aswell have spent a long period on the sideline. He was very quiet today and other than one dart in the second half, I think I didn't hear his name called once. He finished on 35* points which is frankly not good enough. He was definitely hindered by the all the tries scored as both teams were more than happy to spread the ball out wide.

Published in NRL Fantasy
Friday, 23 June 2017 00:00

What We Learnt - Warriors vs Bulldogs

Simon Says - 60 tackles, zero misses; that's the Mannering we all know and love. 80pts is a just reward for anyone who has kept the faith.

Steady Shaun - SJ keeps ticking along with a tidy 61. 590 kick metres is no surprise given no player has put foot to ball more often this season than the Kiwi sneaky boy. Non-owners could consider him over a second hooker should they not be keen on anyone but CS9.

Mammoth Maumalo; Big Ken put on a dominant display of wing play, amassing 69 points of which 36 came from a barnstorming run from his own 30. Despite a 5RA of 47.6, there's better options at WFB.

Roger to the Rescue - On 12 at HT, and only on 25 before snaring a try from dummy-half to finish on 41. Given he was inches off clutching a SJ snap-kick in the first half for a try, I wouldn't be rushing to trade out RTS given his ability to create something from nothing.

G'Day Graham - Owners of the English Prop would be relieved for the Bulldogs Captain to make it through the game. 41 in 53 minutes isn't anything to write home about, but hopefully for coaches who held him he can finish out the season.

Lastly, round 18 can't come soon enough for Adam Elliot owners. After getting clocked by Gavet in the 46th minute, Elliot did not return and only churned out 24 points for his owners

Published in NRL Fantasy
Saturday, 17 June 2017 00:00

What We Learnt - Sharks vs Tigers

How do we go from the thrill of the previous match to the mostly dour crawl of this one? Who knows. At one point I even changed channels to watch the Wallabies lose to Scotland, admittedly it was half-time but that's not the point. Cronulla twice came from two tries down to send it to the wire but everything seemed to be in slo-mo compared to the earlier game. At the end of it all, Jayson Bukuya scored a try for the Sharks to take the lead with two minutes to go.

There was one great fantasy note: Kurt Capewell score the rounds second 100+ score. With 2 tries, 8 tackle busts and 250+ running metres to finish on 107* points.

Anyone that still owns Elijah Taylor will be quietly frothing. 76* points that included a try, 52 tackles made and only one missed. One can only assume that he was being held for this round and you can definitely sell on a high now.

Paul Gallen did what Paul Gallen does on his way to 59* points. Coaches like me that neglected to vice-captain Angus Crichton and don't own Jason Taumalolo would have been hoping for more. FYI, if you own all 3 and captained Gallen, you end up 63 points behind those that captained Crichton. Yup, that hurts. 

There were a number of impressive scores from guys that just don't matter in fantasy terms. Jayson Bukuya scored a try and ran hard for 64* points. Chad Townsend took control in the absence of James Maloney with 435 kicking metres on his way to 59* points.

Malakai Watene-Zelezniak once again proved that cheapies can provide points with 40* points from the wing (including one try).

Jayden Brailey was only on the field for 48 minutes but made 40 tackles to end on 40* points. I assume that 99.9% of Brailey owners will be ready to trade right about now.

You could say the same for Moses Suli who spudded his wat to 20*. Gross. Get out of my team! NOW!

*Scores do not include updates.
Published in NRL Fantasy
Saturday, 17 June 2017 00:00

What We Learnt - Storm vs Cowboys

An exhilarating match at AAMI Park made it to golden point with a penalty goal after the full-time siren for Kyle Feldt and the Cowboys.

After taking a 10-6 lead into the half, the Storm's young guns first brought them back into the game before grabbing the lead, only to concede a late try to the repositioned Kane Linnett. Referee Ben Cummins made a brave and correct decision just before the 80 minutes were up as Nelson Asofa-Solomona took out the legs of Jake Granville after a chip kick. Some Brodie Croft magic sealed it for the Storm in extra time first with an amazing chip kick which pulled up like a Sergio Garcia lob wedge and then with an arrow straight field goal.

Jason Taumalolo had a brilliant game as many expected. Once again he ran for a massive 300 metres and included a few off loads to finish on a very captain worthy score of 80*. All those that had the misfortune not to put the VC on Crichton will be jumping all over the loophole here.

There were some big scores all across the board with Tohu Harris (64*), Jesse Bromwich (63*), Cameron Munster (60*), Brandon Smith (60*) and Curtis Scott (54*) all impressing immensely.

Harris will struggle to find his way into teams this season due to the high volume of big scorers in the 2RF position.

Bromwich was always expected to have a bigger input this week with Glasby on Origin duty. The big Kiwi prop ended up playing 78 of the 85 minutes on offer and was in everything. If he played like that every week he'd be a keeper but I expect him to go back to mediocrity next week.

Munster was shaping as a POD for the run home but his current form (3 round average of 54.67) may mean he is more of a 'must-have'. He was out of his normal position this week with Billy Slater in Queensland camp but he has also impressed in the halves this season and I wouldn't be surprised to see him continue that form.

Brandon Smith had a magical game for all those that were thinking of running a single hooker for the rest of the season. He scored his second try in as many games and seemed to provide the spark that the Storm needed to get back into the contest. Hopefully Bellamy notices that in both games that Griffin and Smith have shared the hooking duties, they have conceded a lot more and scored a lot less with Griffin on the field. Hey, I just want that cash!

This weeks most popular cash out Curtis Scott nabbed himself a double (and probably should have had a hat-trick if not for a selfish Kaufusi) and managed an extremely handy 54 points. 

* Scores do not include updates.

** Hate all y'all with Crichton VC or Lolo VC

*** Also hate all y'all with Crichton C or Lolo C

Published in NRL Fantasy
Monday, 12 June 2017 00:00

What We Learnt - Bulldogs vs Dragons

A bruising encounter at ANZ Stadium was highlighted by a near flawless first half performance by Jack de Belin.

The Dragons lock finished the half on 49 points and was involved in absolutely everything. He had his standard 15 minute rest after half time but didn't get as involved in his second stint and finished the night on 70* points.

Cameron McInnes also had a stellar night. He made 61 tackles as the Bulldogs used their big men up the middle to try and establish a platform from which to attack. While that made up pretty much all of his final 67* points, his owners will not be unhappy in any way. All those that were thinking of only running one hooker 
for the rest of the season might want to rethink that strategy, I know I will.

Josh Dugan showed his wares as a possible POD for the run home with a handy 51*. He has a knack of beating the first defender which always results in good tackle bust numbers (he had 7 tonight). 

Paul Vaughan was slightly disappointing, finishing with 45* points. Considering the amount of game played in the middle of the field, I would have expected more from him. Assuming he won't play Origin (which is no guarantee), he'll be a popular buy for the run home.

Bulldogs captain James Graham also disappointed with only 40* points. This came from 25 tackles and 153 running metres with no negative stats. In his second half stint it seemed like he spent the majority of the time just shifting the ball out to the backs and didn't take too many hit ups. It's a possibility that this was a result of his sore shoulder. With the bye in round 15, all those that held Graham through this period will be desperately hoping the rest gets him back to 100% fitness.

Tim Lafai and Gareth Widdop found themselves near the bottom of the points table tonight with 21* points each. Lafai has been a star at centre this year so anyone that has him will be feeling let down. Widdop was shaping as a POD contender but tonights performance may have put a few coaches off him.

Thats all from tonight. How did your score finish up for the week? I know quite a few of you made it over the 1000 mark. Head over to our Facebook group to tell us all about it!

Published in NRL Fantasy
Sunday, 11 June 2017 00:00

What We Learnt - Tigers vs Roosters

The Roosters continued their dominance over the Tigers by running away in the second half to eventually win 40-12. With this win and the Sharks loss, the Bondi side find themselves in second place on the ladder and well placed to make a run at the Premiership.

Doubles to Aidan Guerra, Mitchell Pearce and Connor Watson left the Tigers in disarray after going to the break only down 16-12.

Despite losing Jake Friend to a failed HIA in the 4th minute, the Roosters never really looked out of step as they prevented the Tigers from even coming close to a second half try until Sauaso Sue nabbed a lucky one 5 minutes from full-time.

Mitchell Pearce was really the only fantasy prospect that did well in this match, scoring two tries on his way to 55* points.

Jake Friends 4 minutes on the field amounted to a whopping 0 points. Before you ask, no, you don't get an auto emergency for Friend.

Latrell Mitchell could find himself as a POD for the run home but is very very up and down. He had a superb game and laid on two tries to finish on 60* points.

Aidan Guerra (81*) and Connor Watson (73*) should not be considered for your team despite their very strong games. Both were the beneficiaries of injuries and will likely not score the same for a long time to come.

Popular cheapie Tui Lolohea battled his way to 41* points. For sub-$250k, this was a great score and all those that grabbed him will feel justified. He has now averaged close to 50 in his two matches at the Tigers. A solid 18th man perhaps?

Moses Suli was disappointing with only 24* points. His running metres were well down on previous matches and he fell just short of his 28 BE. I think the majority of Suli owners will be looking to offload after round 15.

Finally, WFB gun James Tedesco finished on 46* which I guess is nothing to laugh at but when you look at the scores of Slater, RTS, Edwards and Munster, there is much better value out there.

Thanks for reading, I'm gonna go get drunk with RNGD legend Heath Moore. Peace.

* Scores do not include updates.

** I apologise in advance for anything I say or do in my intoxicated state.

*** If Heath does anything, it's coz he's a cunt.

Published in NRL Fantasy
Friday, 02 June 2017 00:00

What We Learnt - Eels vs Warriors

As a Warriors fan, this isn't going to be the most enjoyable review to write. Despite being only two points behind with two minutes remaining on the clock, I never really felt like the Warriors were in that game. They got some very Warriors tries and could have nabbed it at the end. The Eels lost Pritchard in the first 10 minutes to a bad HIA, then Josh Hoffman later in the first half to a medial ligament problem. Add to the a reported dislocated finger to David Gower in the second half and it goes some way to explaining the closeness at the end. Anyway... to Fantasy...

Simon Mannering had a great game including the Warriors first try on his way to 73* points. Despite making 48 tackles, if you deduct the metres which he was dragged by Eels players, his score would be a lot lower. That wasn't just Mannering, the Warriors defense was very soft tonight.

Clinton Gutherson reminded Brad Arthur just how tough a job he will have on Tuesday with the impending return of Corey Norman. Personally, I'd just drop Mitchell Moses. Unfortunately, Arthur wants him in his team and so it is likely that Gutherson may find himself on a wing. The five-eighth had a fantastic 67* points that included the match sealing try on full time.

Issac Luke had one of his best games in a Warriors jersey with a fantastic running game that lead to 141m, one line-break and two line-break assists. It seemed that every time there was a quick play the ball for the Warriors, Luke was there to follow up with a great run (so that means there were THREE fast play the balls). He finished on 58* points but don't be fooled, it is unlikely to continue.

Last week I saw some people talking about Semi Radradra. I had a spare trade with Billy Slater not being named for Queensland, and some spare cash, so I upgraded Brad Abbey. What a stroke of genius that turned out to be. A solid score last week followed up with another brilliant score of 55* tonight. It could just be that with his off-field issues behind him, Semi is ready to rip back into form. His BE next week will be silly low.

RTS scored a late try to bump his score up to 45*. I made a comment in the first half that it might be time to trade him out with Johnson looking like taking his roaming role on attack. I think it would be best just to hold for now.

Speaking of Shaun Johnson, he turned in his lowest score of the year, spudding his way to 32*. Despite a try assist and a host of other attacking stats, Johnson's base stats were lacking a bit with only 30 run metres and 260 kick metres. In years past, a seaosn low of 32 from Johnson was nothing to worry about. Continue to feel that way even now.

As far as other disappointing scores, there was some Eels hooker who scored 6. I'm sorry. Other than that, it was business as susual for a lot of players.

Oh wait. Nathan Brown played 80 minutes tonight! I forgot to mention that... It may be because he only scored 47 points. He was averaging a lot more when he was playing around 60-65 minutes so you can be almost certain that the fatigue factor set in at some stage.

* Scores do not include updates
Published in NRL Fantasy
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