And welcome back to Quick Tap for the final time in 2022. There wasn’t as much carnage in round 21 as there was in round 20, but let’s dive straight in!
Panthers v Storm, Thursday 7.50pm at BlueBet Stadium
James Fisher-Harris is out suspended with Matt Eisenhuth to start at prop. There’s not a lot of fantasy relevance about the ladder leaders although Taylan May is in significant doubt after sustaining an arm injury on Saturday.
Cameron Munster wiped the floor with the Titans and dropped a 93. He won’t get a hat trick every week but expect him to be a difference maker in the final 4 rounds, especially with Jahrome Hughes out for at least a week.
Harry Grant kept the negatives down and is a fine purchase if you don’t have the budget to go to the big guns.
Brandon Smith landed a 48 in 44 minutes on Friday, but keep in mind it included a massive 17-point run.
Warriors v Bulldogs, Friday 6pm at Mt Smart Stadium
Euan Aitken returns to the back row in a sensible move from Stacey Jones, rewarding those who kept the faith. Aside from his captain Tohu Harris, there’s not a heap of relevance in this team.
Much like a lot of teams at this stage, you may as well hold any Bulldogs that you currently own and shy away from buying any more.
Matt Burton may be a tidy POD captain if you’d love to send it.
Eels v Rabbitohs, Friday 7.55pm at CommBank Stadium
Dylan Brown capped off a fantastic night with a 60-metre effort to land an 81. He’s a decent compromise if you can’t afford the big guns, but not a must-have by any means.
Clint Gutherson had a “nice” game against his former club, scoring 69. He won’t score a breakaway try or make 3 try assists every week.
Cameron Murray showed he’s the man, absolutely braining it against the Warriors. He’s a very solid captaincy option and my pick to score the most points during the rest of the season.
Roosters v Cowboys, Saturday 3pm at Sydney Cricket Ground
The usual suspects in James Tedesco, Angus Crichton and Nat Butcher had a party against the Broncos last week. Butcher is still amazing value at $574k having secured the back row role for the rest of the season.
Joseph Manu may have “only” scored 40 last week, but is very much a solid hold.
Reuben Cotter is finally named to start albeit you probably want one look at his starting minutes before using one of your last trades on him.
Valentine Holmes came crashing back to earth with a 28 last week. He’s a centre, it was bound to happen eventually.
Wests Tigers v Sharks, Saturday 5.30pm at Scully Park, Tamworth
A second half revival from Adam Doueihi got him to 58. Like Butcher, he’s still great value if you haven’t got him yet.
Joe Ofahengaue benefited from the absence of Jackson Hastings and should continue on his way for the rest of the season.
Luke Garner has been named at 18th man, much to the chagrin of anyone who picked up Alex Seyfarth. With talk Kelma Tuilagi wants to stay at the Tigers, expect him to fire down the strectch.
Like most sides at this time of year, there’s no real buys outside the guys you already have. Siosifa Talakai is a concern for the game and could be a late out.
Kade Dykes had a slow start to life in NRL Fantasy, but you would’ve primarily bought him as a cash-out.
Broncos v Knights, Saturday 7.35pm at Suncorp Stadium
The Deine Mariner experiment is over, with Brenko Lee returning after a spell out of the team. Hopefully Mariner owners have enough CTRs to fill a team this week.
Te Maire Martin returns, which could be a big boost for Adam Reynolds’ fortunes after a scratchy score last week.
Payne Haas remains as the only player I would like to buy from this team if I didn’t already own them.
Mitch Barnett has a thumb injury and according to the Knights will attempt to return by season’s end. Depending on the depth in your squad, it may be worth holding a week just to see if any expensive players get a season-ender in round 22.
Dane Gagai showed that he does have an explosive game in him and still looms as a great “break glass in case of emergency” option in the outside backs.
Captain Jayden Brailey was again solid, scoring 60 as he looks to have bottomed out. With such great tackle efficiency, he’s a tidy budget option for those on the lookout for a solid scorer.
Raiders v Dragons, Sunday 2pm at GIO Stadium
Joseph Tapine succumbed to a rib injury last week, curtailing his game after 32 minutes and rules him out for round 22. If you have multiple trades, it’s probably worth moving him on whereas if you have just the one you best wait and hope he returns in round 23.
Xavier Savage comes back into the team, a huge relief for owners scrambling to field 17 players.
The NRL Fantasy punching back still doesn’t put up any real tempting buy options. With the carnage in round 21, a lot of coaches may be fielding Moses Mbye which is a sad state of affairs.
Titans v Sea Eagles, Sunday 4.05pm at Cbus Super Stadium
Toby Sexton is again “managed” by the home side despite Aaron Booth getting a season-ending knee injury which sends Erin Clark to hooker. A late change isn’t out of the question should Tanah Boyd be installed into the Hooker position.
It was far from a vintage performance from the Sea Eagles in the second half, which did the usual suspects no favours. Fun fact: DCE got his worst NRL Fantasy score in 2021 against the Titans (30) as the home side trounced the Titans in Mudgee.
And that’s all she wrote for Quick Tap in 2022! Be sure to join the series next season, as we’ll take you through every TLT as it happens. As mentioned last week, be on the lookout for a special edition of The Mercato; where I will go through how you can review your NRL Fantasy season and take your learnings into being a better coach in 2023. But until then, be sure to tune into Buy, Sell, Hold and Avoid where Andy, Kyle and I tackle the popular players of the moment.