A Cameron-Smithless Storm managed to brush aside the Knights with a convincing display.
The game really belonged to Billy Slater who finished with 2 tries and 2 try assists to finish on 68* points. If you were smart enough to vice-captain him and are able to use the captains loophole, there are not many situations where you would not utilise that this week.
Anyone that kept the faith with Felise Kaufusi was rewarded with a try and 47* points. His try was worth about 18 points though so once again it wasn't a great score, however he did manage play the 80 minutes. You do have to remember that there were only 3 big forwards on the bench and Will Chambers only played 71 minutes so I would assume these were both contributing factors.
Cameron Munster had a reasonable 45* from doing absolutely nothing so I think he will be a very popular pick up next week with the Storm playing the two remaining major bye rounds.
Jesse Bromwich managed his highest score of the year with a reasonably respectable 42*. This came from a mammoth 59 minutes which he has been building too all season. He will also be a popular bye next week as his BE should be heading in the opposite direction to his scores.
Tohu Harris disappointed with only 37* points. He doesn't seem to be getting as involved as years past. Whether he builds into it or he has lost that aspect of his game remains to be seen but his price will continue to drop.
For the Knights, only Brock Lamb's 38* was any where near helpful. His ownership continues to drop but he'll make a little cash this week and have an achievable BE next week so he's probably a hold at the moment (unless you upgrade to Munster for example).
If you want to have a good laugh, check out tonights game thread for some cracker puns.
* Scores do not include updates
Now that was a game fantasy coaches can rejoice.
Sam Burgess and Angus Crichton both showed why they will be in a lot of teams come seasons end with 75 and 74 points respectively. I think the best thing from both of those scores is that neither of them had any attacking stats other than tackle breaks (5 a piece) ad offloads (3 for Burgess). With the Rabbitohs favourable bye schedule, you need both of these guys in your team asap!
Cameron Smith was good but not quite to the level of the two Bunnies back rowers. He finished on 61 points and added a polish to all those that didn't have the balls to switch to Fifita or Taumalolo. And also to all those that didn't have the misfortune of going with a McCullough or Graham type.
Just quietly, Robbie Farah has played 80 minutes for two weeks in a row and scored 49 in both those matches. He'll be priced just over $300,000 after this week and could be a good partner for Cameron Smith if you're willing to take the risk.
Felise Kaufusi was promoted to the starting line up but once again wasn't given the full 80 minutes. It definitely looks like this will be the norm for him and with a drop in price coming, I think the time to trade is now. Or next week, as the Storm don't play this week and he won't lose any more value.
Billy Slater did enough to hold value and will be a trade this week as he will miss 4 of the next 7 matches for the Storm. He's made a very handy $169,000 so far this season but is probably not quite a season long keeper.
Adam Reynolds had a stellar first half with 32 points but actually lost 1 point in his 23 minutes in the second stanza. He left the field for an HIA and did not return. He'll drop a bit of cash this week which is great for all those that were targetting to pick him up before the Oranges period.
Cody Walker was a slightly disappointing with only 31 points but he was up against the toughest defence in the NRL so I think he'll be fine.
As far as cheapies go, popular centre grab Tyrell Fuimaono managed 19 in 23 minutes and once again passed the eye test. It's a shame that the Rabbitohs don't have any Oranges bound forwards as he'd be a great player with more minutes.
*All scores do not include updates*
The Newcastle Knights held a team scoreless in the first half for the first time since 2014 but it wasn't enough as the Panthers once again came back in the second stanza to record a win.
There was a lot to like about the Knights today and the Feeney - Lamb halves combination seems to be growing nicely but the lack of experience could have been a deciding factor.
Fantasy scores from this game were very up and down. Generally up for those players that have low ownership and down for those popular players.
Trent Merrin once again attempted to restore faith in his ability, setting up the Panthers first try to Matt Moylan on his way to 75 points. This is Merrins 3rd 50+ score in a row and the majority of it came from base stats. I think it is safe to say that Merrin is back and as his price should settle around the $430,000 mark, he'll be a great value buy for the rest of the season. The Panthers do miss two of the major bye rounds though so you can definitely hold off for now. How about Whitehead to Merrin after next week? I'm in!
James Tamou scored his first try for Penrith and was a monster in the stats with over 150 metres and 8 tackle busts. His 67 is a massive outlier though, I wouldn't expect any where close to that again this season.
Daniel Saifiti cracked his second straight 50 (+) score with a fantastic outing. Once again a dud bye schedule means he has no real attraction.
Nathan Cleary scored his first 50+ since round 6. That's not good enough for a player who a lot of people have as a premium half. At least he should start to make some of that lost cash back. He'll be a tasty $415,000 max after his first bye.
Sione Mata'utia scored an adequate 41. He's a great CTR option. He likely wont have many 50+ scores but that makes 6 games in a row where he has lasted 65 minutes and consistency is key.
CHN, your time is up. Cheers bro.
Yates, probs the same for you too. Thanks cobber.
Cartwright suuuuuuuuucks. 6 points with a BE of 56. He'll be sub 300 soon but do you really want his rat ass in your team? I sure as hell don't. Here's lookin at you Robbo.
Finally in round nine we had a match that wasn't so one-sided as the others so far.
The Bulldogs fought out a tough 16-10 win over the hapless Raiders who couldn't seem to find anything on attack in the second half.
- Will Hopoate enjoyed a fantastic return to football running for over 300 metres, having 9 tackle breaks and 6 offloads leading to a season high of 75* points. Personally not a huge fan as far as fantasy goes but he could be a POD moving forward
- Adam Elliot showed the potential that we can expect to see in two of the major bye rounds when Josh Jackson and David Klemmer are both out on Oranges duty. He may have received extra minutes with the Bulldogs suffering a few injuries but he looked good and scored 2 important tries on his way to 62* points. He'll be a cheap option around the $230,000 mark.
- Josh Morris scored 68 points and is coming off a couple of other decent games but is as close to a lock as the NSW side has in the backs. He'll miss 4 games over Oranges. Avoid.
- The Josh Papalii train keeps trucking on. If his recent drink driving charge affects his QLD chances at all he might be worthwhile picking up a bit sooner as he could play in round 12.
- How on earth did Elliot Whitehead nab a 50*? He spent 2 minutes on the sideline at the end of the first half for an HIA which was actually just a bleeding nose. He seemed to struggle through the majority of the game but did enough in the back end to see his score where it should be.
- Speaking of HIA tests. James Graham lasted all of 15 minutes. I'm cursed this week.
- Nick Cotric is a keeper. At least until after round 12. 45* points tonight is awesome. Cotric provided the Raiders only real spark. The more he gets his hands on the ball the better he will be. If Croker wasn't such a hog he could have had another try. Of course, with my track record this week, I had left him as an NPR. Woops.
- Joseph Leilua. 4* points. He's back to his Knights form. It's sad to see.
- Josh Reynolds suffered a hamstring injury tonight and could spend some extended time on the sideline. If he does, hello Matt Frawley.
Well, that was interesting. All those that thought the Knights overhaul was happening - not yet. The Titans really showed them how to play today.
As far as fantasy points of note;
- Jarryd Hayne looks good when he wants to get involved. Two tries and 46* fantasy points today and he's definitely one to look at. He played at left centre and whether that was Neil Henry's own decision or one that was proposed by Laurie Daley is another question. He played well and will still be good value next week at around $235,000.
- Sam Stone got the start and played 69 minutes on the way to 52 fantasy points that included the Knights sole try. He'll make some hefty cash with a break even of -2 meaning he should increase by about $40,000 this week.
- Nathan Peats played his second 80 minute game in a row and has averaged 48 in those two games. He scored bang on his 46 breakeven* and should be a possible NSW Oranges selection (perhaps as utility) so he probably doesn't have much fantasy value as yet.
- Kane Elgey, 40* points. I shit you not. Not, I will shit you. Look for yourself!
- Baa-bye Lamb. For real. No turning back. He was going great at half time but he sucks.
- Ryan James scored 57* with a trademark try. Last year he would have scored 70+ in those circumstances. He does have a 3 match average of 61 so perhaps things are looking up for the Titans captain.
- Jaelen Feeney reminded us why he is so widely cursed. 5* measley points. Konrad Hurrell tried to kill him a couple of times. We might be better off if he had succeeded (Not really, I would never wish that upon anyone. Okay maybe not anyone, but definitely not an NRL player I have never met).
- Jarrod Wallace went off for an HIA and didn't come back on. His PPM was also down compared to normal.
- Mata'utia also went off but he managed to come back and miss a few tackles to finish the game.
* Before updates.
The Roosters and Dragons turned in another classic ANZAC day match that went right down to the wire.
With the Dragons suffering a number of injuries to key players, they were run down in the second half after leading 6-0 at half time. A fantastic try to Nene MacDonald and a clutch sideline conversion from Josh Dugan tied it up at 12s with seconds remaining on the clock. In extra time, Mitchell Pearce did the unthinkable and kicked his first field goal in 20 attempts.
Pearce once again showed his appeal with 67* points and at the same time you would have to think that he cemented his place in the NSW team for Oranges which means he will miss 4 matches over the bye period. This makes Adam Reynolds very enticing.
Boyd Cordner also had a strong game running for over 200 metres and scoring 55* fantasy points. That will push his average up to close to 50 and he could be an interesting POD post byes.
Sio Siua Taukeiaho impressed with 44 points in 47 minutes. If and when he returns to a bigger minute role, these couple of low scores will make him a rather enticing POD.
That's about as far as the good points go in this match with a number of disappointing scores.
Jack De Belin headlines this with 47* points. He went off the field for 6 minutes with a bung knee and also spent some time in the halves and at centre when Gareth Widdop and Josh Dugan left the field.
Cameron McInnes has also disappointed recently with an average of 45 in the last 3 weeks. I know of many that upgraded Brailey to McInnes when Segeyaro made his return and they'll be scratching their heads wondering what went wrong.
Gareth Widdop came from the field in the 39th minute with a Grade 1 Medial Ligament Tear. While this should not hinder his aspirations to play for England, but he may struggle to back up next week against the Storm.
Oh and it would be remiss of me not to mention Mitchell Aubusson who did not play due to illness. It has taken 8 weeks but the Black Widow strikes again!
An exciting game at Shark Park, no, Remondis, no, Southern Cross Group Stadium was not so the same for NRL Fantasy coaches.
While the game see-sawed back and forth, neither team grabbed any real ascendancy and this led to some rather disappointing fantasy scores.
Andrew Fifita (38*) was kept in check for the majority of the game and the Titans seemed to spread it just wide enough to avoid the Fifita Flop regularly.
Jayden Brailey (29*) was another who failed to impress. While he made 37 tackles (plus 4 missed), that was the sole source of his scores with no points for run metres, kick metres or any attacking stats whatsoever. After last weeks effort, I for one was definitely expecting another positive outing and was left wanting a lot more.
I'd like to know if its standard for hookers and middle forwards to score lower than usual against the Titans. This is definitely something I could find out but I'm far too lazy for that.
Let's look at some positives though.
Paul Gallen (58*) continues to impress and will increase in price to just under $540k after this week. He'll play two of the three major bye rounds (12 & 15) and is a definite buy (provided he doesn't play Oranges... the rumour mill is turning).
Jarrod Wallace was, once again, the main benificiary of injuries to the Titans forward pack with Grevsmuhl and McQueen both succumbing. This seems to be the norm in the Titans pack and I'd hazard a guess that it will continue for the remainder of the season, meaning Wallace is basically a keeper that you picked up for less than $300,000 (just like CHN or #KaufusiTackle).
Another benificiary of the Titans injuries was Ryan Simpkins who scored 51* points in 72 minutes. If he can secure the lock role and an increase in minutes, he could be a handy cash maker through the bye period.
Jarryd Hayne returned to form with 38* points and is definitely a cheap option at WFB. He spent part of the game playing in the halves with Tyrone Roberts shifting to fullback and I can see that change continuing as it was only once Hayne was in the halves that the Titans scored a couple of tries. Unfortunately the Titans have the worst possible bye schedule, missing rounds 12 and 18 meaning he's not a great option unless you're willing to sit on him. At $200,000(ish) it wouldn't be the worst thing though.
1. Baaaaa-bye Lamb.
Three weeks in a row and now, I have definitely had enough. He might go okay behind a decent pack but Lamb just doesn't get enough time or space. If, like me, you've held him, hoping, for this long. Please, give up. Trade that spud. I hear some guy called Corey from the Eels goes okay.
2. Team list confusion
How strange were the team lists tonight? Hampton was dropped in favour of the returning Ray Thompson (which sucks for idiots like me who brought Hampton in last week). Mata'utia played the majority of the game in the halves, and his score suffered accordingly (27*). Luke Yates got another start in the back row and flourished accordingly (44* in 59 minutes) - he'll make some nice cash.
3. Coen Hess really isn't that good for fantasy...
...unless he is carrying 5 guys over the try line with him. Credit where credit is due, he's good at that but he reminds me very much of Ethan Lowe in that he'll score around 35 to 40 in base stats but wont crack 50 unless he gets some attacking stats. I think it's probably time to look at bye friendly guns as trade options (think Crichton, Burgess or Brown)
4. The Knights have heart.
Undisputidely. Unfortunately they are lacking in the skill column and without a bit of help they will continue to struggle. With Kalyn Ponga arriving and the bank account full, I would expect some decent signings that will lead to them being rather competitive... next year.
5. Kalyn Ponga is good
I think tonight was the first time I have had the pleasure of watching Ponga play and my goodness he certainly impressed. He is definitely a bit on the small side but he is going to be a bloody good fullback for the next 10 plus years.
6. Keep an eye on...
Jaelen Feeney. If Hodgkinsonalea'asina is left out of the side for an extended he could be a legitimate option as a cash out in the halves. 14* in 20 minutes tonight showed a part of what he is capable of when he is played in his proper position. Don't go diving in too soon but definitely keep an eye on him.
1. Cronulla can go back to back
They're definitely the only team that can achieve this elusive feat in 2017 and currently they're playing well enough aswell. Having held two strong teams try-less in the last 2 weeks, their defense stood up strong today. Penrith had all the early running but couldn't breach the Sharks line. The lack of a decent short kicking game definitely hindered the Panthers aswell.
2. Everyone makes at least one terrible trade per year.
So many people would have traded Jayden Brailey out following James Segeyaro's strong showings despite his limited minutes. With a low break even, he was still a valid hold and that faith paid off when Segeyaro broke his arm last week against the Storm, giving Brailey a run of big minute games at hooker which led to his best score of the year (54*).
3. CHN could get another shot.
Surely. Following tonight's poor showing combined with James Fisher-Harris' injury, you would hope he can find his way onto the bench at least and take advantage of that low BE.
4. Fifita finally gets on the score sheet.
Despite not dragging some defenders over with him, it was good to see Fifita score a try. It's been a long time coming this season. He's also cleaned up his act when it comes to needless penalties and went 54 minutes penalty free today. A round of applause is due.
5. Time to buy...
Paul Gallen. I've bagged him enough. He's going to be a fantastic option, especially over Oranges. He'll cost you around $540,000 next week but he's in the top echelon of second rowers this year. Let us pray he can stay injury free.
1. Jarrod Wallace is unbreakable
Despite the constant injuries in the Titans forward pack, Wallace just keeps on trucking. Last week showed what will happen to Wallace's minutes and scores if the Titans pack remains on the field but that looks very unlikely to happen. You may aswell hold him because he'll end up playing 80 minutes sooner rather than later.