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Quick Tap - analysing the round 21 teams

Welcome back to Quick Tap, as we look to pick up the pieces after the carnage that was Round 20. I covered the Cleary situation in the emergency edition of The Mercato, and be sure to look out for Riley’s article which will explore who you can replace him with.

Roosters v Broncos, Thursday 7.50pm at SCG


  • There’s not a lot to speak of in terms of relevancy besides recommending you hold onto your keepers in Angus Crichton, Joseph Manu and James Tedesco.

  • Nat Butcher scored 48 with a try but in a game that was low-scoring across the board it shouldn’t deter you from taking him as a scorer in your 17.


  • At the time of writing, Patrick Carrigan is yet to hear his fate. I’d expect a sentence that makes him a massive sell however if you’re under 2 trades he could end being a hold if he will return in round 25 or earlier.

  • Deine Mariner has kept his spot and could well do for the rest of the season as a CTR cash-out. He’s not 100% locked in, so Caveat Emptor.

Storm v Titans, Friday 6pm at AAMI Park


  • Loan signing David Nofoaluma is straight into the team on the wing although he’s too much of a wildcard for coaches with low/no trades.

  • Nick Meaney is out this week with a shoulder issue but apparently it isn’t too severe so he could be a hold.

  • Brandon Smith returns via the bench and is another green dot for coaches that held him.


  • Toby Sexton is being “managed” and is left out of the 17 this week, which should hopefully be only affecting the plans of Draft coaches.

  • Aaron Booth was given a low number of minutes, leaving owners scratching their heads. Given he’s a green dot, you may as well hold and try loop if you have the pieces to make it happen.

Sea Eagles v Eels, Friday 7.55pm at 4 Pines Park

Sea Eagles:

  • The Stood Down Seven are back in contention for selection but Josh Schuster misses the bench and isn’t worth consideration until 2023.

  • With more first-team calibre players around them, expect Daly Cherry-Evans and Reuben Garrick to revert to type.


  • With Mitchell Moses sidelined for at least a few weeks but not yet ruled out for the regular season, it may be worth holding a week to see what happens in round 21.

  • His regular halves partner Dylan Brown averages 58 (per 2022 scoring less OLTH and EFIG) when playing without Mitchell Moses across six games. A solid hold, but when you factor in he’s scored three tries in those games he doesn’t scream buy.

  • Clint Gutherson is another player that could benefit from Moses absence as he takes on the goalkicking, but it’s unlikely to get the needle moving enough for you to buy him.

Rabbitohs v Warriors, Saturday 3pm at Sunshine Coast Stadium


  • With Nathan Cleary gone for the season, expect Cameron Murray to be a popular trade in. The Souths skipper has averaged 66.5 when he’s played 50 minutes or more this season, which should have him pushing teammate Damien Cook for best scorer over the last 5 rounds.

  • Latrell Mitchell is still a decent option for those who want to re-tool their WFB when sending Nathan Cleary out the door. For those who don’t have positional or cash concerns; finally picking up Damien Cook is a top idea.


  • The coaching staff at the Warriors have done us a favour by sticking Josh Curran on the bench, which should help torpedo his starting price for 2023.

  • Euan Aitken is named at centre, but with low trades you may as well hold given he could shift to back row at a moment’s notice. Not to mention, he is capable of scoring well at centre.

  • There’s probably no real “buys” in this team, but Tohu Harris continues on his streak of 50+ scores and repaying the faith of those that purchased him for round 13.

Raiders v Panthers, Saturday 5.30pm at GIO Stadium


  • Adam Elliott is expected to play after taking a knock to the hip in the victory against the Titans. It may be worth trying to loop him out if you have the tools to do so, but otherwise most coaches will be playing him being a green dot.

  • Joseph Tapine managed a 93 despite a sin-bin. Despite the sinbin, he got a massive chunk of minutes which is a recent trend that has seen the Raiders put some wins together. In my opinion, he’s the best replacement for Nathan Cleary if position isn’t an issue. He just eats OLTH and TBs for breakfast.

  • Jamal Fogarty is another steady if not spectacular option for those looking to spread the cash around when sending Nathan Cleary packing. As I said on Buy, Sell Hold, Avoid last week, we’re expecting around the 53.5 for him down the stretch.


  • Nathan Cleary is done for the season after trying to bury Dylan Brown in the dirt. He’s knocked 5 points off his average, so hopefully he’s a bit cheaper in 2023!

  • Sean O’Sullivan becomes more pivotal to this Panthers’ side and is full of what we love at Talking League – POD POTENTIAL! He’ll probably kick goals until Kurt Falls is good to go after suffering a knock a few weeks ago.

  • Isaah Yeo was given a big rest as the game went out of reach last week. I wouldn’t be concerned about that if you own him; he’ll be back munching up big minutes this week as his co-captain sits on the sidelines.

Sharks v Dragons, Saturday 7.35pm at PointsBet Stadium


  • Cameron McInnes was a beneficiary of the absence of Dale Finucane and extra-time, racking up a big score. He’s another player that fits in the “yeah, you’ll do” when it comes to retaining players you own.

  • Nicho Hynes probably becomes the “safest” captain in the game now with Nathan Cleary on the sidelines. Since Adam Doueihi became relevant, Hynes’ DPP is less of a reason to keep the C/VC off him.

  • Kade Dykes makes his debut at fullback, leaving anyone who owns Lachie Miller stranded on an island.


  • The merger still don’t boast a player that’s averaging 50 or higher, which says a lot. Jack Bird and Zac Lomax are somewhat relevant at CTR, but otherwise this team is only good for cash-outs.

Bulldogs v Cowboys, Sunday 2pm at Salter Oval, Bundaberg


  • The likes of Max King and Josh Jackson remain in a lot of NRL Fantasy teams for one reason: availability. Jackson may have got inflated minutes as Jake Averillo failed his HIA, but you may as well keep a guy that should provide a decent score each week.

  • Jackson Topine was super impressive on the weekend and it puzzles me as to why he hasn’t had more of a crack this season. One for the blackbook if he gets a good role in 2023.

  • Jacob Kiraz scored 98, well done if you still own him. To average 47.6 as a rookie winger is outstanding.


  • Reuben Cotter made the bench in the final cut and does so here on TLT. That could change come kick-off, but there’s no rush to buy a player with a chunky BE.

  • Luciano Leilua has slotted into the bench-back row role filled by Heilum Luki earlier in the season. That’s where he’ll stay, as Tom Gilbert and Jeremiah Nanai are just playing too well to be dropped.

  • Valentine Holmes continues on his late-season tear, averaging 66 in his last 4 games. I struggle to recommend buying someone who’s on a hot streak which could end at any moment, but you only need 2-3 big games from him to be worth it.

Wests Tigers v Knights, Sunday 4.05pm at Campbelltown Stadium


  • The Adam Doueihi train picks up momentum after a 70 against the Broncos last week. He’s still a great price if you need another HLF or WFB asset.

  • With Jackson Hastings gone for the season, Fonua Pole will pick up any minutes that aren’t given to Joe Ofahengaue. Expect this pair to score really well in the last five weeks.

  • Jock Madden retains his spot at halfback; although probably is too expensive to be a cash-out.

  • Alex Seyfarth has patchy job security but if Luke Garner is a long-term absentee, he could be a great wildcard in the last five weeks.


  • It’s looking pretty dire for the Novocastrians. David Klemmer is out with a shoulder injury and should be back next week. He has been given a show cause notice by the Knights, so keep an eye on the results of that.

  • Tyson Frizell finally delivered a respectable score for the first time since I said we should all buy him. If you got him, you may as well hold the Knights captain.

  • Mitchell Barnett has been named at lock, although he did play out the 80 minutes despite playing in the middle early doors against the Bulldogs. With a lack of trades, you may as well hold him in the hope he does something in attack.

And that’s it for Quick Tap for Round 21! This will likely be the penultimate Quick Tap edition for 2022 before I release the final edition of The Mercato where I talk about how you can review your season and take onboard the lessons learned into 2023. Until then, be sure to catch me on Buy, Sell, Hold, Avoid where I will join Andy and Kyle to dissect the players that you should or shouldn’t be bringing in this week.


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