Quick Tap - analysing the top 20 teams
And welcome back to Quick Tap, our review of the TLT news. Round 20 sees coaches unlock another four trades and be sure to look out for Riley’s article covering that exact topic. But for now, let’s dive into the TLT that was!
Sea Eagles v Roosters, Thursday 7.50pm at 4 Pines Park
The home side are without 7 players who have refused to wear a jersey supporting equal human rights for the LGBT+ community. The club has not imposed sanctions on these players, so they will be available for selection next week.
With so many changes to the squad, I wouldn’t get too invested in the cheapies picked this week as only Daly Cherry-Evans and Reuben Garrick are fantasy relevant.
James Tedesco filled his boots against the Knights could well do so here. A perfect VC option and an interesting C option for anyone who wants the roll the dice.
Joseph Manu is named to play after the Chooks elected to let him rest his calf. Like we said last week, he’s a hold if you have him and an avoid if you don’t.
Nat Butcher looks a fantastic option as a low-end keeper. HIA aside, he would’ve played the 80 minutes out for a monster score. With his BE still high, there’s no rush to grab him just yet.
Warriors v Storm, Friday 6pm at Mt Smart Stadium
Reece Walsh is back at fullback, making him a hold for anyone who still unfortunately owns him.
Ronald Volkman is in the reserves, unhelpful for owners who probably need to backfill missing Manly players.
Tohu Harris looks like a solid hold although non-owners could probably do better elsewhere.
Not a vintage game from Harry Grant, missing 8 tackles on his way to 55 points. If the Storm can play more on the front foot this weekend, a big score will be on the cards.
Nick Meaney did well to score 50 off the back of a massive line break. At $579k, he’s in no man’s land being too expensive to be depth and not good enough to be a starting WFB.
Cameron Munster is probably the most fantasy relevant player in this team and is a fine alternative to DCE for your HLF to pair with Cleary.
Eels v Panthers, Friday 7.55pm at CommBank Stadium
Jakob Arthur makes way for Bryce Cartwright, an indication that Reed Mahoney may be back to an 80-minute gig. He’s still one of the most frustrating players to own in Fantasy and must be tempting many coaches to sell him.
Will Penisini has shed $119k in 3 weeks and is almost cheap enough to just keep around. Despite a sin-binning, he notched up 35 points which isn’t horrible for an emergency in your team.
A lengthy absence is on the cards for Jarome Luai, which may concern some Nathan Cleary captainers. If anything, I think Cleary will dominate the play even more and rack up big scores down the stretch.
Stephen Crichton is out due to that nasty injury suffered against the Sharks. I think most people have sold him, but he’s probably out for a short absence.
Titans v Raiders, Saturday 3pm at Cbus Super Stadium
Erin Clark named at lock spells great news for him and Aaron Booth. I probably wouldn’t be raging these players in if you’ve only got the 4 trades left.
Two great scores in a row for Toby Sexton; one to chuck on your watchlist for 2023 where another pre-season sees a more mature player become a reasonable prospect of becoming a gun half.
Jamal Fogarty is chugging along nicely and should be a solid low-end keeper. At $652k you wouldn’t want to pay much more that he currently is; expect a big effort in a revenge game.
The usual suspects in Elliott and Tapine are the only two other players worth owning from the Green Machine.
Sharks v Rabbitohs, Saturday 5.30pm at PointsBet Stadium
All eyes on the judiciary as Dale Finucane could be suspended for three games, which would make Cameron McInnes a solid hold.
The outside backs for the Sharks are interesting, although I probably be in a rush to buy any of them.
There’s not an awful lot outside the dynamic duo Cameron Murray and Damien Cook that screams buy.
Keaon Kolomatangi will land some big scores down the stretch but he’s probably not an upgrade on the players you already own.
Broncos v Wests Tigers, Saturday 7.35pm at Suncorp Stadium
Payne Haas was exceptional against the Eels and it looks like the break has done him the world of good. At $702k, he’s a bargain much like his fellow middle Pat Carrigan ($675k).
Deine Mariner gets his debut and will be another one for the blackbook in 2023.
Adam Reynolds was all class against the Eels and should tally up another big score. With the pain management a concern, I probably wouldn’t rush out to buy him.
Joe Ofahengaue culled the missed tackles down to a 2 and shock horror, he scored well again. Owners should continue to hold the former Bronco into a revenge game.
Adam Doueihi was far from impressive in Fantasy terms as the Tigers found plenty of joy down the left hand side. I wouldn’t expect him to miss 5 tackles every week.
Knights v Bulldogs, Sunday 2pm at McDonald Jones Stadium
Kalyn Ponga is likely out of the season after several concussions in a short period of time. He’s a sell and probably one of your first picks in 2023.
Mitchell Barnett returns to the edge and firms as a hold until further notice.
Tyson Frizell started well last week before it fell apart for the Knights. With players dropping like flies across the comp, you probably have to keep holding.
Jayden Brailey is destroying his price for 2023 and is someone I’d stay away from.
Still no sign of Luke Thompson, which means Max King remains a hold and probably will be for the rest of the season.
Raymond Faitala-Mariner is out with a rib issue and is a hold until we know more about the severity of the injury.
Josh Jackson is another frustrating fantasy asset, but given his availability you may as well keep him.
Dragons v Cowboys, Sunday 4.05pm at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium
Jack Bird has been named to play at centre, which is unfortunate for owners. He does have the capacity to score well at centre, so I would just hold him given the severity of Ramsey's injury.
Cody Ramsey is out for two weeks and Moses Mbye has been drafted in as a replacement. I’d expect him to hover in the Dragons’ 17 for the rest of the season, so I don’t mind him as a CTR/WFB cash-out.
Reuben Cotter is named in the reserves and I would expect him to suit up and cause last-minute changes to the 17 named. I expect him to be a great POD in 2-3 weeks once he’s back up to speed.
Luciano Leilua returned back to earth this week and probably returns to the bench as soon as Cotter returns and remains a solid avoid for now.
Valentine Holmes has gone massive in the past 3 weeks with scores of 66, 50 and 76. 0% ownership in the top 1k and 0.04% ownership in the top 5k; there’s a POD for you if you’re desperate for one.
Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow is another to chuck on the list for 2023; his average is low and won’t go much higher if he continues off the bench.
And that’s all for Quick Tap in Round 20. Be sure to use your 4 trades wisely as we still have six rounds to go. But if you use them, remember: “there’s nothing wrong in believing your own narrative.”