This week’s team lists may have created more questions than answers for our Fantasy teams, with plenty of eyes on the pending return of some big name players.
Round 9 NRL Fantasy Teams Analysis
Rabbitohs v Broncos, Thursday at Accor Stadium
Rabbitohs: Cheapie Isaiah Tass retains his place in the centres, with Taane Milne named among the reserves in his return from suspension. Jaxson Paulo has been named on the bench, along with three middle forwards — suggesting another 80-minute stint from Jai Arrow on the edge. Cody Walker owners would have been delighted with the five-eighth’s return in his milestone game last week, while Damien Cook and Cameron Murray have both risen by more than $140K this year.
Broncos: No Payne Haas. Repeat, no Payne Haas. Patrick Carrigan returns in a timely boost for the Broncos and swaps straight in at prop in the only change to the side. Haas is likely to only miss this week’s game with his shoulder complaint. Jake Turpin has been named among the reserves, meaning it’s almost time to move on Billy Walters or Cory Paix for those that haven’t already. Te Maire Martin only scored 22 last week and may not be the intriguing purchase we thought a fortnight ago.
Raiders v Bulldogs, Friday at GIO Stadium
Raiders: Captain Jarrod Croker returns, which could affect the goal-kicking hopes of Brad Schneider. Schneider is looming as a sell regardless, having risen by $247K and pretty much peaked in price. Tom Starling’s ownership (and price) continue to rise as he chalked up another 50-plus score despite Adam Elliott starting at hooker. Xavier Savage and Harry Rushton have been popular selections in the past few weeks, but aren’t in the 17 at all this week. Corey Harawira-Naera is a no-go despite scoring 46 last week — Elliott Whitehead’s return sees him elevated straight back into the starting side.
Bulldogs: Tevita Pangai jnr continues to see price rises after churning out another 50-plus score last weekend. He remains on an edge with captain Josh Jackson back at lock — meaning its decision time with cheapie-turned-star Max King. King has risen nearly $300K since the start of the year and has peaked in price, but there’s no rush to sell him given he covers Round 13. Having dropped in price, Josh Addo-Carr has scored 115 points in the past fortnight and has duly risen back up by $75K.
Panthers v Eels, Friday at BlueBet Stadium
Panthers: Unchanged from last week but all eyes will be on the reserves list after the inclusion of both Brian To’o and Moses Leota. The pending inclusion of To’o has big ramifications on the job security of either Taylan May or Charlie Staines, while Leota’s return could affect Jaeman Salmon. Soni Luke’s inclusion on the bench is starting to become a worry for Apisai Koroisau owners, with the hooker dropping $43K in price over the past fortnight following two scores in the 20’s.
Eels: Tom Opacic’s return is a welcome sight for Dylan Brown owners, who returns to the halves alongside Mitchell Moses. Isaiah Papali’i’s ownership is closing in on 20% but needs to be higher despite the $873K price tag. Ryan Matterson top scored for the Eels last week with 61 points off the bench — he would be close to a must-have if he can win the starting lock role from Nathan Brown. Will Penisini’s price continues to rise after another 38 points and should be kept for now.
Sea Eagles v Wests Tigers, Saturday at 4 Pines Park
Sea Eagles: A huge boost for the Sea Eagles with Tom Trbojevic named to return. With no Jason Saab for the next few weeks, Christian Tuipulotu’s job security has taken a huge up-swing while Tolu Koula owners will also be cheering after Morgan Harper was named among the reserves. Josh Schuster has been named in the back row again and was heavily involved in last week’s defeat, scoring 45 in his return from injury. Daly Cherry-Evans delivered a timely reminder as to his elite keeper status too despite a recent dip in form, scoring 72 points in a beaten side. Ethan Bullemor is starting to leak cash now and needs to be moved on despite Karl Lawton copping a four-week ban.
Wests Tigers: Alex Seyfarth replaces Luciano Leilua on the edge, but it’s worth waiting to see how bad the Samoan international’s injury is before bringing the young forward in. Jackson Hastings and Luke Brooks both delivered 70-plus scores last week and continue to rise in price following their good form. With his running game, attacking play and goal-kicking, Hastings is proving close to a must-have at $575K. James Tamou is quietly ticking along with scores of 55, 48 and 62 in the past three weeks but with Stefano Utoikamanu back from injury and joining two other middle forwards the bench, Tamou might not be the trade-in target that he appears. Tyrone Peachey’s return to the team means Jake Simpkin likely won’t play 80 minutes, while Jock Madden is out of the team completely and should be sold.
Roosters v Titans, Saturday at BB Print Stadium, Mackay
Roosters: Daniel Tupou returns from suspension while Paul Momirovski is in for the injured Adam Keighran. Keighran’s exclusion will likely see Sam Walker take back over the goal-kicking — a potential much-needed boost after he scored just 28 last week. James Tedesco (81) and Angus Crichton (66) both look to be back after starting the year slow and owners will no doubt be eyeing off ways to get them in.
Titans: With no David Fifita, Kevin Proctor starts in the back row opposite Beau Fermor, who has peaked in price but could be a hold for those that need him in Round 13. AJ Brimson remains at fullback, which is good news for those that took a punt on Will Smith as a short-term cash grab. The five-eighth rose $30K in price last week, taking him beyond the $100K mark for the season. Phillip Sami, Jayden Campbell and Jamayne Isaako have all been named among the reserves so it’s worth keeping an eye on late mail, but Greg Marzhew continues to deliver for those that own — trotting out the fourth highest score of any wing/fullback in Round 8.
Cowboys v Knights, Saturday at Queensland Country Bank Stadium
Cowboys: Unchanged from last week’s win over the Eels. Reece Robson could be a great pick-up with no hooker named on the bench — he scored 63 points in last week’s victory. Just when we thought Reuben Cotter may have peaked, he churned out an incredible 71 points to rise another $26K, while Jason Taumalolo cracked above the $700K mark with another 50-point score. Jeremiah Nanai and Heilum Luki continue to look strong on the edge, with their minutes likely to remain steady at the bare minimum given Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow’s inclusion on the bench.
Knights: It was another horror week for the Knights and Fantasy teams alike in Round 8, and a trip north to face the Cowboys isn’t any easier. David Klemmer’s 71 points was the lone highlight of last week, but seeing Chris Randall return to 80 minutes was also a pleasing sight for the 33 percent who own. He remains a borderline keeper if he is playing big minutes. It’s time to move on Kurt Mann and Jake Clifford, but Brodie Jones still has another rise or two left in him. Kalyn Ponga owners are desperate for some attacking returns with just one 50-plus score this year.
Storm v Dragons, Sunday at AAMI Park
Storm: The Storm are really starting to hurt teams that don’t have Ryan Papenhuyzen, Cameron Munster, Jahrome Hughes and Harry Grant. Good luck finding the funds to get them all. Xavier Coates rose by another $50K last week and is a hold for at least another fortnight for those riding the price wave. Josh King has peaked in price but is a luxury sell. His 41 points in Round 8 was bang on his average for the year and there’s absolutely no rush to move him.
Dragons: Jack Bird’s return is a boost for the Dragons, but there’s not much to note on the Fantasy side of things. Josh McGuire should again see good minutes with two middle forwards and a utility playmaker on the bench, having played 80 minutes against the Roosters and Wests Tigers.
Sharks v Warriors, Sunday at PointsBet Stadium
Sharks: Cameron McInnes is the talking point for Cronulla after he was named on the bench. Dale Finucane shifts to lock as his replacement with Aiden Tolman set to start. McInnes scored 60 points in 73 minutes last week and has fallen in price by $191K since the start of the season and is looming as a potential bargain if he can snare consistent minutes. Teig Wilton starts in the back row but, with Wade Graham on the bench, is looming as a sell with his minutes impacted. He’s made more than $120K so far this year but saw his biggest price drop last week after scoring 31.
Warriors: Euan Aitken is proving to be a must-have at CTR this year, scoring 77 points and rising by another $38K last week against the Raiders. His job security — not that there was a doubt to begin with — is also incredibly secure with edge forwards Josh Curran, Bayley Sironen and Tohu Harris all out. Daejarn Asi rose by $16K last week and is one to watch after scoring 35 on his club debut. We warned you about jumping back in on Viliami Vailea, who only scored 13 last week. Eliesa Katoa is worth watching, however, after he was named in the back row. Katoa scored 110 points in the opening two weeks when he played more than 60 minutes — something which hasn’t happened since but could be on the cards this weekend.