And welcome back to Quick Tap! Round 19 is the final round before coaches receive their “bonus” 4 trades which I spoke about previously in the Mercato. The DPP updates will also come in after this article is published, but it’s unlikely that we’ll see any fantasy relevant changes. But for now, let’s dive into the team lists.
Eels v Broncos, Thursday 7.50pm at CommBank Stadium
Ryan Matterson is back for the home side, which is great to see. Given the rib issues, price and concussion history I would avoid buying him.
Dylan Brown continues to frustrate owners with another sub-50 score. If you’ve held this long, you may as well continue given he should average 50+ with a big game due anytime soon.
Isaiah Papali’i defied my assessment last week and dropped another $18k. Definitely no panic stations, although you’d be annoyed if you bought him at the top of the market.
Reed Mahoney unsurprisingly got a rest once the Eels broke away from the Warriors. A 70-minute version of the hooker isn’t the worst thing given he loves an MT or Error in garbage time.
Payne Haas is back for the Broncos which is fantastic for owners. For non-owners, the coming weeks will be an interesting watch in case any of your current cattle go down with an injury.
At $697k, Patrick Carrigan stands as terrific value for anyone requiring another MID (not many teams) and can’t afford Cameron Murray.
Selwyn Cobbo misses another game after that horrific concussion in the Origin decider. Owners should be moving him on to any of the undervalued options on the trade table.
Star cash-out Zac Hosking returns to the reserves. Unfortunately his position doesn’t really lend to favourable looping options but he’s produced two big scores in vital rounds so that trade is already a win.
Dragons v Sea Eagles, Friday 6pm at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium
It’s unlikely anyone bought Andrew McCullough but if they did, Jayden Sullivan on the bench ensures the former Bronco won’t play the 80 despite Moses Mbye moving to centre.
Zac Lomax posted a big 67 on the weekend and is an interesting alternative to the main 3 DPP centre options. Ironically, his team Jack Bird is also $569k and to me is the better option for those without the bank to reach Burton, Manu or Aitken.
As I spoke about last week, the quartet of Reuben Garrick, Daly Cherry-Evans, Haumole Olakau’atu and Tolutau Koula are all scoring well for their owners and should continue to do so. Koula has probably exceeded his expected average for the rest of the season so is sellable should you need to free up coin to boost your best 17, but otherwise hold onto these players for dear life as they catapult you up the rankings.
Knights v Roosters, Friday 7.55pm at McDonald Jones Stadium
Kalyn Ponga took the intensity from his performance in the Origin decider and brought it to the NRL level, scoring 50 in a well-beaten side. At $495k, he’s a decent option for those without the team value to target the more expensive WFB options.
Kurt Mann returns to the side however via the bench, much to the chagrin of Mitchell Barnett owners. I wouldn’t be surprised if this team is moved around come kick-off, so hold the future Warrior for now.
Tyson Frizell was ticking along nicely until a knock to the ribs saw him exit early before the Knights imploded. Now down to $569k, it’s hard to sell him unless you got a large team value or like the look of another distressed asset in the same price bracket.
James Tedesco rescued what would’ve been a low score for a fullback in a team that scored 40+ with his second try. He’s still superb value at $714k if you want another premium WFB.
Luke Keary’s return to the halves sees Joseph Manu return to the centres. It’s a simple equation for the talented Kiwi; hold if you own, avoid if you don’t.
With Sitili Tupouniua doing his ACL, Nat Butcher becomes a solid option on the edge again. I wouldn’t be rushing out to buy just yet, but he’ll be a nice break glass in case of emergency signing as coaches run low on trades.
Raiders v Warriors, Saturday 3pm at GIO Stadium
Adam Elliott was a late move to the edge on the weekend but returns to start at lock. It’s a simple case of holding until he drops a couple of bad scores (hopefully never) as trades are too precious.
Xavier Savage picked up two try saves in a 38 which sees him lift to $441k. He’s a sellable asset now, the direction you go depends on what your team needs.
Jamal Fogarty keeps doing the business and is a great option for those needing another keeper. Despite moving to a team that produces fewer kick metres, the former Titan still gets the job done.
Tohu Harris rewards the owners that kept the faith with a tidy 65. It was another score boosted by attacking stats, but a skillful player will accrue those every now and then.
Euan Aitken powers on as 2 offloads-to-hand and a turnover really got the needle moving. There’s a reason a good chunk of the top coaches own him.
Josh Curran scored 48 in 65 minutes and continues to shed money and is probably not a look until he grabs an 70+ minute role as we all should have lots of EDG and MIDs that can score well.
Panthers v Sharks, Saturday 5.30pm at BlueBet Stadium
All the origin players return for the reigning premiers. Of these seven, the only two I’d be actively looking to bring in would be Nathan Cleary and Isaah Yeo who should smash the rest of the season.
Stephen Crichton, Izack Tago and Taylan May are all sellable assets if you have sufficient depth in the outside backs. Like with Savage, the direction you go depends on you team’s needs.
Cameron McInnes continues to shed coin and I wouldn’t talk anyone out of selling the former Dragon if they need a sacrificial lamb for an upgrade. He should continue to score okay but with 50 minutes being the most he can expect, it’s hard to keep him.
Nicho Hynes returned from Health & Safety Protocols to post a solid 65. That’s what I expect him to average down the stretch and I would hold the C/VC off him as I explained in The Mercato.
Rabbitohs v Storm, Saturday 7.35pm at Accor Stadium
We spoke last week about the value posed by Latrell Mitchell before he put on a magical 98 points and boosted his price by $63k. He’s still decent value, but don’t expect more than a 50-55 average for the magic man down the stretch.
Damien Cook returns from a rest. Cook is another example of why you don’t put the C or VC on a player that you’re trading in that doesn’t play the first game of the round, as you can’t reverse their trade-in. Expect Cook to continue to dominate, much like his club captain Cameron Murray.
Isaiah Tass continues to chug along as a cashie, and could be a nice hold when you sell the more expensive depth assets like Koula and May.
Ryan Papenhuyzen’s season is over, much to the despair of plenty of coaches that picked him up for round 17. If you’re in the market for another WFB, take your pick from Mitchell, Doueihi or Ponga.
Cameron Munster showed why he is still a great alternative to DCE, with a whopping 76 points. He may not have the kick metres of his fellow Queenslander, but pencil him in for a high 50s average at minimum down the stretch.
Harry Grant annoying grabbed a try from dummy-half to avoid another $20k in price drops. He’s close to bottoming out, so pull the trigger as and when you like.
Bulldogs v Titans, Sunday 2pm at CommBank Stadium
The darlings of NRL Fantasy during the middle of the season are starting to taper off a little bit, but it’s probably still too early to sell Max King which I will discuss on this week’s Buy, Sell, Hold, Avoid.
Josh Jackson’s minutes were a concern on the weekend and he probably falls into the Cameron McInnes zone of being sellable without being a “must-sell”. Jackson uses makes plenty of tackles in the wet so it could be prudent to hold him this week.
Raymond Faitala-Mariner rewarded his owners with an error-free 55 in 59 minutes on the weekend which should help him continue to rise in price. If you’ve got the team value to do so, he’s upgradeable unless you think these 50+ scores will be regular (I don’t).
David Fifita was super impressive in an 80-minute game and is a very undervalued asset. Definitely look to bring him in if you think he’ll stay fit for most of the rest of the season.
Erin Clark had another random game where he goes nuts, scoring 76 in 58 minutes of the back of a line break, 8 tackle busts and 2 offloads. I’d still stay clear as Tino Fa’asuamaleaui won’t play just 29 minutes every week.
Anyone who cashed out to Aaron Booth will be laughing as he scored 47 in 60 minutes. I didn’t mind him as a cash-out option last week and he’s still cheap enough this week to pick up.
Cowboys v Wests Tigers, Sunday 4.05pm at Queensland County Bank Stadium
The origin men are back for the team in 2nd place, which I think will benefit Scott Drinkwater a lot. I wouldn’t be buying Drinkwater as he’ll probably be a high 40s player down the stretch but he will serve as an ideal 18th man.
Luciano Leilua is rewarded for a fantastic performance against the Sharks with another start, this time named in the middle in his revenge game. I wouldn’t be surprised if he and Gilbert play the opposite roles come 4pm Sunday, but until Cotter returns (next week per nrl.com) I’d be holding off a player that just made his highest tackle count since round 2.
The new spine came up trumps for the fortunes of Adam Doueihi and Jackson Hastings, who both went massive. Douehi is probably the more buyable asset of the two; which I’ll also cover on these week’s Buy, Sell, Hold, Avoid.
Joe Ofahengaue missed an enormous 8 tackles which is very much unlike him. The tackles he actually made and the run metres were still both strong, so I wouldn’t be selling him as who knows how long this Hastings lock experiment will continue.
Luke Garner was a last minute return to starting edge, and is named there again after I moved him on. For those who still have him, I’d only sell if he doesn’t fit your team as a starting CTR or 18th man.
And that’s all for this week’s iteration of Quick Tap! Be sure to listen in to Buy, Sell, Hold, Avoid where I will be talking about Adam Doueihi, Tyson Frizell and Max King. All the best for your trades this week and remember: there’s nothing wrong with believing your own narrative!