Welcome back to Quick Tap, the weekly segment from Talking League where we have a look at how TLT impacts your NRL Fantasy Team. The transition into round 17 starts now, which we will cover tomorrow in the first iteration of our new series, Mercato. But for now, let’s dig into round 14 TLT.
Cowboys v Dragons, Friday 7.55pm at Queensland Country Bank Stadium
The origin pair of Cotter and Nanai are going to be game-day decisions. Personally, I’d expect neither to play and would encourage Nanai owners to hold given that low BE and hopefully sell him before round 17 at around $675k. Cotter is likely to be managed and probably a sell unless you’ve got low trades.
Reece Robson kicks on and should continue to play the 80.
Jason Taumalolo rewarded his owners with a stellar 69 (nice) in round 13. With that lofty score, he will probably hover in the $550-575k range for 2-3 weeks and will continue to benefit with Cotter’s focus on the Maroons.
There’s not an awful lot of enthusiasm for the Red V. Talatau Amone is probably tempting some coaches as cheap halves depth but I feel like he just creates you a problem post round 17 when you need to trade him back out.
Cody Ramsey is attracting a lot of attention at $315k and looked very good in his two games at fullback this year. When it comes to consistent team selections, I couldn’t trust Hook as far as I could throw him. I feel like there’s a good chance anyone that picks him may be mimicking Zac Lomax’s impressions of his coach after Ramsey finds himself as the bench utility in a few weeks.
Titans v Rabbitohs, Saturday 3pm at CBUS Super Stadium
It’s not great news for Jayden Campbell owners, with the young fullback out for some time with a hamstring strain. AJ Brimson shifts back to fullback with Paul Turner coming in at 6. Turner is interesting, but too much of an unknown given Titans have the bye in round 17. The former Warrior is worth a watch just to see him Turner player inside out with his footwork, I’ll see myself out…..
Toby Sexton rescued his score with a try and was looking for a score in the mid-30s without it. At $548k and his bye playing round in the rear-view, the value equation has probably swung against him and I’d look elsewhere if you haven’t picked him up yet although he should continue to dominate the kick metres.
Predictably, most of the Fantasy relevance for this team comes from their Blues stars Damien Cook and Cameron Murray. Non-owners will be hoping the pair get fewer minutes than usual, but you’d think coach JD will need to get the win in this one to help stave off the in-from Raiders and rejuvenated Sea Eagles who are both in the hunt for that 8th place.
Anyone who opted for Siliva Havili in the past few weeks is cheering, as the versatile forward has clocked over 40 minutes in each of his past five matches. At $446k he’s sailed as an origin period enabler but provides owners some valuable Hooker cover over the next month. Speaking of hookers, Peter Mamouzelos has landed on the bench and should keep Cook owners from captaining him.
Roosters v Storm, Saturday 5:30pm at SCG
James Tedesco doesn’t mind a resting after origin 1, although with the Roosters only in the 8 on for and against they probably need to get their skipper out there. Should he miss out, Joseph Manu owners will light up like poker machines as another game at fullback should see the Kiwi international soar over $700k.
As mentioned last week, the return of Sitili Tupouniua to the right edge should’ve sounded alarm bells for potential new Nat Butcher owners. Hopefully you held off purchasing him, as owners face a tricky couple of weeks trying to get a hold on his minutes at 13. Tupouniua’s edge partner Angus Crichton is a neat VC option this week given he doesn’t have to back up from origin commitments.
Harry Grant is named which is good to see for owners, but with the Victorians having a good grasp on a top 4 spot it would not be a surprise to see him be a late out. Should he be managed as expected, Brandon Smith could be in for a big one in a future revenge game.
Jahrome Hughes is one of the Storm contingent that would’ve benefited from a week off as he looks to find some form and fitness. He’s one to keep an eye on, as a high BE means you can wait and see if he’s shaken off his injury worries ahead of steering the team around in round 17.
Broncos v Raiders, Saturday 7:35pm at Suncorp Stadium
Both Payne Haas and Patrick Carrigan are named in the Broncos starting line-up and you would think both will be right to back up albeit may take a haircut in minutes this week.
Skipper Adam Reynolds is named as he battles through the pain barrier. He’s yet to score below 47 this season and I’d be shocked if that stat changes this week.
Ezra Mam gets the 6 jersey as Tyson Gamble deals with a tricky shin injury. At $325k, Mam will be a popular in for coaches needing a round 17-relevant cashie and I wouldn’t talk people out of scooping up the excitement machine who is playing for keeps.
Tom Starling has been shifted to the departure gate after another small minute showing in Round 13. With a huge BE, the Central Coast Product could be below $500k coming into round 16 with Zac Woolford escaping with just a fine for a crusher tackle.
Adam Elliott benefited from Corey Harawira-Naera’s absence to chalk up a huge 67 points. That score buys owners plenty of time with him, the likely play being a hold until round 17 when he should be on or around $625k.
Xavier Savage owners will be hoping he continues on from round 13 and makes the #1 jersey his for good. There’s too much risk that Charnze Nicholl-Klokstad spoils it by returning on schedule, so I wouldn’t pick him up now.
Wests Tigers v Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles, 2pm at Campbelltown Sports Stadium
Jackson Hastings owners will be hoping a revival is on the cards against his former employers. With a massive break even, you’d want to see him nice and involved which is a chance given he’s just had a week off.
I’ll speak more about Luke Garner in Mercato this week and I think he could be worth the gamble. He’s certainly not risk-free, but he does buy you a lot of flexibility at the CTR position should you wish you cash-out the likes of Tago or Koula closer to round 17.
Reuben Garrick was the headline act in round 13 with an impressive 70. He racked up almost 40 points in goals, run metres and kick defusals and whilst he won’t accrue that much every week, 25+ from this base isn’t beyond him on a weekly basis. At $655k, this is probably the last stop of the Garrick Express before it sails out to sea.
Tolutau Koula came put in another decent display and keeps rising in value at a steady pace. He could reach as high as $450k leading into round 17 which would leave coaches with a decision on whether to cash him out or hold as DPP cover. For now, a DPP CTR/WFB averaging 30 at centre despite no tries is a solid hold.
Daly Cherry-Evans went into the bye round off the back of a quiet 3 rounds by his lofty standards (3RA of 49). Non-owners would be hoping the captain gets a rest, owners would be hoping for a repeat of the 65 points he got against these opponents in round 9. I don’t see much difference between him and Munster for the run home, and at $74k cheaper he’d be the premium half to target for Cleary owners.
Newcastle Knights v Penrith Panthers, 4:05pm at Hunter Stadium
David Klemmer is probably the only final 17 worthy player from this team. But at $793k and plenty of cheaper MIDs and EDGs that will score in proximity to him, he seems a bit of a luxury unless your team value is $13.5m or above.
Kalyn Ponga is probably the next closest thing to a final 17 worthy player playing in Red and Blue but given he’s facing the reigning premiers it’s probably not the week to go chasing him.
#FunFact time – Nathan Cleary has only played against the Knights once in the past three years as he’s either being out hurt, rested from origin or suspended for being a #TikTokTalent. Let’s hope he brings out the dance moves when he repeats his round 25 effort in 2019 when he scored 4 tries and 120 points, sending yours truly crashing out of the top 100 overall at the final hurdle.
It’s decision time for a lot of Panthers such as Izack Tago, Stephen Crichton and Taylan May. There’s no harm on keeping any of these trio given they play for the ladder leaders, but they’ve done their job and could be shifted on for round 17 relevant players. Tago is probably the most dispensable of the three given he doesn’t have that coveted WFB tag.
New Zealand Warriors v Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks, Sunday 6:15pm at Moreton Daily Stadium
I put a massive Jonx on Tohu Harris last week by saying he’d bottomed out, only for him to drop 4 missed tackles, 4 penalties conceded and 1 error. A performance like that would’ve only been harmful for owners who captained him in round 13 given his high ownership percentage in the relevant ranks. For non-owners, he probably won’t get above $700k before round 18 which would be outstanding value for the run home.
Jazz Tevaga owners have ridden the wave, enjoying some big scores before a couple of poorer ones in the past fortnight. With Josh Curran back, it’s now time to quit while you’re ahead whilst the fellow round 13 mid-range players Elliott and King will do more than tread water over the upcoming rounds.
Euan Aitken owners would’ve been puzzled to see him come off when Marcelo Montoya returned from his HIA. Most owners would not be too worried about him; and why would they when 85%, 75% and 68% of the top 100, 1k and 5k are lucky to have him in their team. Non-owners would be hoping for a couple of quiet weeks should they be eyeing him off as a final piece in the jigsaw in round 18.
We expect Nicho Hynes to back up for the Sharks and whilst he may not bag another 137 against the Warriors, he is a fair Captain choice if you think Cleary won’t back up.
Cameron McInnes is a still a great pickup and will gain in popularity the closer we get to round 17. Siosifa Talakai is worth a watch as he could be a nice wildcard should he have the spring in his step back.
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs v Paramatta Eels, Monday 4pm at Accor Stadium
Max King is doing more than just treading water now with two 50s back-to-back. He’s benefited from the recent absences of Luke Thompson and Tevita Pangai Jr, with the latter potentially returning this week and pinching some minutes back. With a low BE, those who held strong are hoping he can top out over $600k before being sold in the coming weeks.
Jake Averillo is named at fullback and 2021’s hero could be a nice cash-down despite not playing in round 13. Given the volatility at the kennel, you’d need a lot of trades up your sleeve to take him on.
Round 17’s heavy hitters will populate the trade boards this week, with Reed Mahoney likely the most popular buy this round. Most strong teams will have him, Papali’i and one of Moses or Brown for round 17, all shaping up as great captaincy options in that round. Given they play the cellar dwellers, they all look great this week as well given the uncertainty around the origin stars.
A decent portion of coaches still own Will Penisini and will be hoping he can dine out on a couple of tries as he firms as a hold until at least round 18.
So that’s all 16 teams covered for round 14! A word to the wise this week is to make sure one of your VC/C tiles is placed on a player that is not required to back up from origin, making the likes of Papali’i, Burton and Crichton sensible options for at least a VC. Be sure to keep your eyes peeled to the Talking League website as tomorrow sees the launch of our new series, Mercato. Before that drops, make sure you listen to TK and the crew as they preview round 14 on Tuesday’s Pod!