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Quick Tap - Analysing the Round 16 teams

And welcome back to Quick Tap! Round 16 is upon us and for a lot of coaches shapes up as a week to ease off the trades before some bye-round trades in round 17 and final team trades in rounds 18 and onwards. Players of interest for both these scenarios have been covered in the first and second editions of The Mercato, but for now let’s look at TLT!

Manly Sea Eagles v Melbourne Storm, 7:55pm at 4 Pines Park

Sea Eagles:

  • There’s not a lot new with the hosts, for anyone eyeing off Sean Keppie you need to remember that Josh Aloiai is out due to concussion. The usual suspects in DCE, Garrick and Olakau’atu are holds but given they don’t play round 17 are not buys for this week.


  • Ryan Papenhuyzen is named in jersey 19 and looks a decent shot of playing. As we’ve said all along, he’s a wait and watch until he gets at least 60 minutes under his belt. If he plays, watch for three things: how he moves, does he goal kick and how does he handle kick returns.

  • Harry Grant is shaping up as a fantastic buy in round 18. With a BE north of 70 and a 4-day turnaround, you would expect him to shave even more of that $755k pricetag.

  • Cameron Munster is another player with a large BE that coaches will be looking to acquire in round 18. Similar to the Manly trio above, I’d hold off until round 18 before purchasing him.

Knights v Titans, Friday 6.00pm at McDonald Jones Stadium


  • Kalyn Ponga is out with a concussion and is undergoing further monitoring due to suffering 2 within a 3-week period. Owners should hold this week, as they could use him and Hynes to execute a starting slot loop (provided at least one of these players plays before Hynes).

  • David Klemmer got great minutes against the Raiders and should continue to be a keeper in the MID despite him failing to lodge any offloads. With a high BE, the former Bulldog could be an astute purchase next week.

  • Tyson Frizell and Mitch Barnett will be covered on this week’s Buy, Sell, Hold Avoid. Be sure to tune to see what Kyle and I say about two players that must be on your radar for round 17.


  • As hinted at in the previous Quick Tap, the Titans completion percentage returned to a more realistic level and saw Toby Sexton’s kick metres halved. It’s not yet panic stations for owners, but this is why we warded you off him last week.

  • David Fifita returns this week and is named to come off the bench. Should this eventuate, he could drop like a stone thanks to a BE north of 80 and potentially be a cheap 18th man option in round 19 – seems odd saying that about a gun player.

Panthers v Roosters, Friday 7.55pm at BlueBet Stadium


  • Nathan Cleary had a field night out at Optus Stadium on Sunday and is the only “must-have” in this Panthers side. Given you’ll want to spare Nicho Hynes a C/VC tile to maximise your loop options, Cleary is an important piece of the jigsaw that is your final team.

  • Izack Tago’s ownership continues to drop, which we’ll cover why on Buy, Sell, Hold, Avoid along with his teammate Brian To’o. Taylan May and Stephen Crichton can be sold if you have an excess of outside backs in your 21-man squad.


  • As advised during the past few weeks, Nat Butcher’s time on the chopping block would arrive as soon as Victor Radley returns. We didn’t predict a HIA but with a BE in the 60s, you probably want to move him on for a keeper sooner rather than later.

  • After a couple of quiet games by his standards, James Tedesco could be well under $750k come round 18. Like a lot of players spoken about in this piece, he’s one to collect post origin.

Bulldogs v Sharks, Saturday 3.00pm at CommBank Stadium


  • Max King continues to start and until Luke Thompson returns, is a solid hold. Thompson is still dealng with concussion issues and has reportedly returned to England to attend to some personal matters.

  • Much like the other popular Bulldogs, there’s no need to sell any of them just yet. With the Aitken news (see below), Matt Burton just got that much more important.


  • As mentioned above, Ponga owners may want to hold off Hynes as a C/VC option to open up their looping options. If looping isn’t on the cards, he’s a great chance to be a top scorer for the round.

  • With a four-forward bench, Cameron McInnes owners will be nervous but there’s little point jumping off before round 17. If this trend continues, Brayden Trindall could be the perfect cash-out in round 17 as he gobbles up all of Hynes’ kick metres before returning to the bench in round 18 to become a loop option.

  • Speaking of cheap Sharks backs, William Kennedy will be discussed on this week’s Buy, Sell, Hold, Avoid Podcast on Wednesday Night.

Cowboys v Broncos, Saturday 5.30pm at Queensland Country Bank Stadium


  • New recruit Luciano Leilua gets his first appearance from the bench, where one would assume he takes on the role vacated by Heilum Luki. With a BE close to 70, Leilua probably needs a three-date ruling before he’s even worth canvassing as a bench depth option.

  • Jeremiah Nanai is slowly reaching that point where he becomes an upgrade target as his BE approaches his average. Owners might choose to hold for one more week, hoping that he bags another hattrick against the Broncos.

  • Jason Taumalolo should continue to play big minutes whilst Cotter recovers and is a comfortable hold for owners. With a BE in the 30s, owners will be hoping for a big score to restart those price rises.


  • Payne Haas is named despite a low-level high ankle sprain (bit of a loaded condition) and is hopeful of playing in the derby. It leaves owners in a pickle, given a further drop in price below $700k almost erodes any point in selling him now.

  • Adam Reynolds is back! Despite being a super-consistent player this season, you probably want to hold off buying until you’re certain he’ll suit up in round 17 as he continues his pain management.

  • Kotoni Staggs is probably not going to get a look-in for Origin III so looms as an interesting option at $535k. With a BE near 50, you can probably afford to wait a week to make sure he doesn’t become one of Freddie’s 8 changes for the next origin game.

Rabbitohs v Eels, Saturday 7.35pm at Accor Stadium


  • Latrell Mitchell returns for the hosts, who are much need of inspiration after an insipid performance against the Dragons. His 2022 output doesn’t really scream keeper WFB, the earliest you’d want him is round 17 given his BE is around 75.

  • Damien Cook is the third most expensive player in NRL Fantasy and probably out of reach for any team without a team value north of $13.75m. Otherwise, it’d take big sacrifices to get him in but with the way he’s scoring, it could be worthwhile.

  • A horror showing for Lachlan Ilias in round 15 threw a spanner in the works for owners. With a BE north of 60, you almost have to forego a round 17 score just to prevent further value leakage.


  • Everyone’s favourite round 17 team have plenty of the usual suspects that can either be brought in this week or next given their BE situations. Ryan Matterson will be put under the lens in this week’s Buy, Sell, Hold, Avoid and alongside Papali’i are probably the best two captaincy options in round 17.

  • Will Penisini’s relevance got bigger thanks to the Euan Aitken news (see below) and might just be good enough as a keeper CTR if he can continue to offload the ball.

  • Ky Rodwell played a huge 3 minutes against the Roosters and is named on the bench again. He’s one to watch, given he amassed a score of 44 in 52 minutes against the Panthers in round 25 last year, all base. Thanks to his 0 in round 15, his BE is over 30 so you can have a look before opting for him as a cash-out option in round 17.

Warriors v Wests Tigers, Sunday 2.00pm at Mt Smart Stadium


  • It will be an emotional occasion as the Warriors play at home for the first time since round 24 in 2019 when they were carved up by you guessed it….South Sydney!

  • Euan Aitken shifts to the centres as his owners realise their worst fear. Unless you’ve got plenty of trades and CTRs in your 21-man squad, you just have to hold at this stage.

  • Josh Curran stunted his price decreases after nabbing a consolation try against the Panthers. Like Tohu, they’re not players you’d be rushing to buy before round 18 at the earliest.

  • Ronald Volkman keeps his spot and could nail his name to the #6 jersey with a strong showing against a team that’s not the Panthers. For me, I think there’s better cash-out options that might help you in round 17.


  • Corby’s OG love interest Stefano Utoikamanu is back! At $396k, the former Eel could be a nice 19th/20th man for the run home that could also boost your round 17 count. He’ll be worth a watch this week to see how many of Alex Twal’s minutes become his.

  • Fa'amanu Brown picks up the #9 jersey this week, but given how inconsistent the team selection is there you’d have more fun putting your phone in a microwave than picking him up outside draft.

  • Adam Doueihi is again named on the bench and should continue to tumble in price. Until he plays close to 80 minutes, just picture him being a great player to start with in NRL Fantasy 2023.

Dragons v Raiders, Sunday 4.05pm at WIN Stadium


  • There’s not a lot of inspiring picks in this Dragons team. Cody Ramsey is doing well for anyone who picked him up, but at $394k that ship has sailed.

  • Zac Lomax has had a solid season to date and is a fantastic pick-up at CTR if you’re swimming with cash. Given most coaches have a plethora of CTR options, he’ll stay a POD for that reason.


  • The consistent performers in Joseph Tapine, Adam Elliott and Hudson Young are at price points where you keep them if you own them and look elsewhere if you don’t.

  • I spoke about Jamal Fogarty in a previous Quick Tap and he’s a great option as an 18th man if your budget allows. For those who aren’t likely to get a team value north of $13.25m, he’s a fantastic compromise.

  • Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad returns via the bench, which could spell the end of Xavier Savage’s price rises. Savage should rise above $400k, an excellent return for anyone who nabbed him on or around round 13 at basement price.

And there we go, a chunkier version of Quick Tap for round 16. Be sure to check out this week podcasts where you’ll be lucky (or unlucky, take your pick) to hear me make my debut to the audio ranks in Buy, Sell, Hold, Avoid! Otherwise, enjoy the rest of our written content through the week before making some sensible trade decisions.


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