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The Playbook - TK's notes from NRL Fantasy round 14

Hey guys, thanks for another great week on the podcast. We hope you enjoyed all the added articles and new members to the team. The Thursday Live Q&A will be back this week on Facebook while Buy, Hold, Sell, Avoid will be back after rep round in round 16.

A huge week of scores with the guns having a nice round. I scored a 981 putting me at a rank of 530. All the Talking League boys are killing it before updates Corby is 358th, Kyle is 533rd, Tim is 952nd and Andy is 1537. I had 8 players riding into the last game and didn't Parra poo the bed. Strategy wise I think it might be wise to hold all trades for round 15 and reset post the rep round. It's really difficult to drop Max King (60), Kiraz (71), Elliott (66) if they continue to hold this form. Really it might be a case of going light into round 17 and holding some trades for the back end of the season.


  • Reece Robson another huge score of 71 and will put on another $30k upwards to $770k. Only has a top 5000 owner of 22% and top 100 of 45% so if you don’t want to wait for Harry Grant or Damien Cook lock him now as even they are talking about. Since moving into his big minute role in round 8 he’s averaging 61. You don’t want to be paying $800k so do we now or never.

  • Jason Taumalolo is the best value player currently under $600k. With a BE of 49 his 66 doesn’t put much onto his price. As expected with Cotter being managed he is going to play big minutes so the next 5 weeks will be a lot different to his back end of the season. Still seeing him averaging 50-55 with a more realistic role of 55-60 mins but lock him now especially for the Haas owners looking for talent. Only 18% owner for top 1000 coaches.

  • Drinkwater another nice 61 and will add around $30k to his price. Another great buy under $600k if you see him as a season hold. Only issue is whether he loses some back end minutes to Hammer when they field their best 17 players.

  • Connelly Lemuelu could be a wildcard. Came off the bench to fill Luki’s role when he got hurt. Luki averaged 43 minutes coming off the bench and there is a role to fill. His price of $344k and a dual ctr/wfb is tempting to add some depth to your squad. This is a high risk play though with also some rumours of the Cowboys trying to get Luciano Leilua early.

Injuries: Heilum Luki – ACL – Season is over. Jeremiah Nanai – Ankle in origin – TBC but doesn’t look too bad


  • Jack De Belin with his highest score of the season (64) even at the mid 600’s i’m still not keen especially with Lolo $100k lower.

  • Birdy is an interesting one. I started with him but sold him when he was moved to five-eighth. Jayden Su’a made a comeback and Sims didn’t play so i’d need to see how they all fit before a purchase. His price of $435k could see him as a handy straight swap for Tago but do I want a player in a struggling team vs the best team in the comp with all those attacking opportunities.

  • Ben Hunt starting to come into that fair value price of low $600’s. Timing isn’t the greatest because of origin but post if his in this range could be a nice pickup.

  • I thought of picking up Cody Ramsey but ended up going with Ezra Mam. Not a bad performance and he was dangerous so I could see him holding the spot for a long time.


  • Hats off to Tino as he deserves every cent he gets compared to Fifita. A huge 81 lifting him over 50 average. I’m just not interested in Origin players at the moment.

  • Toby Sexton owners should hold till at least 68. Since bottoming in round 10 at $429k he is averaging 55 in his last 5 so going great guns even without Jayden Campbell.

  • I’d be avoiding all Titans for now. Fermor is a sell coming up at or before round 17 and even Fifita would be hard to go near.


  • Cook at close to $900k is a little too expensive. With Harry Grant being managed he is more on my radar because of his price dropping unde $800k.

  • Cam Murray being managed is handy for non owners. I wouldn’t buy above $800k or any time before Origin is over.

  • Havili keeps punching out those handy 40’s but we have missed the boat on that one.

  • Cody Walker i wrote a line through 4 weeks ago but I just went over that with a permanent marker.


  • Somehow i’m a holder of Sam Walker. Tracking Luke Keary is going to be interesting to track as it may force Robo to make Walker the main playmaker. His two options are Hutchison to 7 or Manu to 6, I'd prefer to see the latter as Walker is a 7 not a 6. Don’t buy him but owners should hold.

  • Nat Butcher owners would be furious with a lot of coaches parking him in the emergencies or selling. Tupouina’s form probably means Butcher moves back to the bench on Rads return. Sell him then.

Injuries: Luke Keary – concussion – to be monitored


  • Handy two try debut from Grant Anderson. At $220k and Coates out 6-8 weeks your eyes could light up. The only issue I see is his lack of run metres (84) and even on the right wing you’re not going to score doubles every week. With low trades I’d like some more certainty. Paps return also could put Meaney on that wing.

  • For some reason I'm still keen on Hughes and Cheese. Hughes might have only had 27 points but two things really stood out. Two really nice try assists and him bombing a try. He will lose another $40k and his BE will be high. If he gets through round 15 and rep round and continues to add to the try assists I could be tempted.

  • Cheese despite starting the game at hooker only punched out a 20 in less than 40 minutes. He's going to lose another $20k and add to his BE. Similar to what I'm looking for in Hughes but as I said on the podcast if he ends up around $375k I might consider, but thats a big might. Scored 11 tries last year and has only scored 1 this year. I get that it was Covid ball but similar to Reece Walsh I don't think it will take much to get him going again. I could stomach an emergency scoring 30-35 and providing back up while we run the hooker gauntlet

Injuries: Xavier Coates – ankle surgery – 6-8 weeks


  • Joseph Tapine is close to the best mid in the NRL and finally fulfilling his fantasy promise. Will put on $60k to a mid $700k price but hats off to those who jumped on. Bit to pricey but I enjoy watching him.

  • Adam Elliott is nearly a must hold. Ripped out 66 to add another $40k and will go down as one of the fantasy buys of the year. Similar to Max King as you just ride their effort levels. Has a 53 average since we put a buy on him in round 8 and has added close to $250k. Even though I dislike his coach, I'll hold him until he starts messing with him.

  • Xavier Savage was struggling for points untill adding plenty in the final 20 minutes. Added around $60k so great for those who jumped on a few weeks back. Because of job security I'm hesitant to pick him up and I’m pretty happy with Reece Walsh.

  • Tom Starling cracked a 40 in his 32 minutes. Still glad to get rid of him, really needs 60 minutes to be relevant.


  • Pat Carrigan what a weapon. After his man of the match performance on Wednesday just backed it up with a big minute performance in Haas absence. I’m not touching Origin players but he's on my radar.

  • Great to see Brenko Lee back in the NRL. Had a high BE so even his 53 does little to his $377k price. I would take a look if I didn’t have so many centres already.

  • Adam Reynolds is the interesting one. At $803k if I was an owner and had a stack of trades I'd sell him down. His body seems to be breaking down and we are only at round 14. Really smart thing is to hold to round 17 and evaluate post Origin.

  • Ezra Mam was a nice pickup and added $60k for all of us who have him. Has X factor all over him and Corby brought up a great point of him being more of the Cody Walker to Reynolds then Gamble could ever be. Last chance to buy him is this week.

  • I told you guys to sell Haas on the first week of his injury. I sold him when he got suspended for fighting Albert Kelly. An off field incident, contract issues and two bad shoulders, what other reasons could you want for selling him. I have a feeling we will all buy him back at $650k post Origin.

Injuries: Payne Haas – AC joint – unknown at this stage, however rumors of a month. • Herbie Farnworth – Bicep injury – expected season. Adam Reynolds – Rib injury - expected 1-3 weeks if no fracture. Kotoni Staggs – shoulder injury – TBC. Cory Paix – Knee injury - TBC.


  • Haumole is a weapon and will move into the $700k mark. We all should of bought him instead of Tohu Harris but mistakes happen. Would leave it now.

  • Reuben Garrick continues to step up with another 70. Bit too expensive now but hats off to those who gave him a chance. Will be a top 5 wing fullback.

  • Koula with his first ever try in first grade and was the second leg in Snake Corby’s epic multi. He’s a massive hold. At his price and performance it's just not worth trading him out.

  • Keep Josh Schuster in your thoughts. Played in the halves for his 40 and his price keeps dipping. Will open around $460k and could be a handy 18th man if he returns to an 80 minute edge role.

Injuries: DCE – Minor quad strain – should be right for round 15


  • I was convinced on the drink on Saturday to sell out Hastings to Ipap. Thank god with him losing another $50k. All he does now is distribute as he is so limited by his injuries.

  • Given the change of coaches and lack of confidence in all the guys I had on my watchlist (Laurie, Nofa, Lucy) I'm a massive avoid on Tigers heading into the back end of the year.


  • I broke rule number 1 of not captaining Cleary and he punished us. Was always going to be a bounce back after his underperformance in Origin 1.

  • Brian To’o is the Origin player I would most like to own. I like his involvement in Origin 1 but the Panthers attack seemed much more balanced yesterday. He scored a season high of 76 including 2 tries, 268 metres and 11 tackle breaks and looked like To’o 2021. Will add $30k in around $550k and has the Warriors in the next game. I could be very tempted to buy him this week. The only Origin player I could make an exemption for.

  • Tago I could be tempted to sell out around round 17. But really do I want to lose a dual player who plays in the best team in the comp.


  • Frizell is tempted under $700k, I would just want more certainty around his Origin status for game 2. Given Sims' performance I can see him replacing him.

  • Mitch Barnett with a handy 53 in his 55 minutes. Ponga’s injury forced Kurt Mann to fullback so its hard to know what the rotation would be. Not rushing to get him and would prefer him on an edge.

  • After starting the season on fire, Gagai is averaging 20 from his last four games.

  • Ponga lost close to $50k due to his HIA score of 2. Pushes him close to $500k and will have a very high BE which is nice for non owners. A lot of chat on his fantasy relevance and a lot of people would have got sucked in after his 102 vs the Dragons. But then in 7 games he has averaged 32, so there’s not much of an argument on his current relevance.


  • My boy Reece Walsh finally rewarding me with a cheeky 59. Finally scored a try and really looks the only Warriors player to be threatening.

  • Tohu is a massive concern with only 42 in his 75 minutes. Euan Aitken only got 58 minutes also and with him joining the Dolphins could become a casualty from the starting team as they look to next season. Don't sell yet but have a plan. Really from here on don't be adding Warriors players.

Injuries: Ben Murdoch-Masila, dislocated elbow. Injury length TBA.


  • Need to invest in Daryl Halligan for Nicho Hynes. His goal kicking is costing us 6-10 points weekly.

  • Sifa Talakai is on my radar. I didn't want to buy him at the top of the market. Back in form and scored a try. Will lose another $10k. I'm interested in one of Sifa or Jesse Ramien who scored a 37 and will be similar prices. I really like the Sharks draw coming up and I think you will need one of the pair.

  • Will Kennedy was potentially looking at a third negative game in a row but played really well in the second half. Any interesting proposition if you need a cash down. Will lose another $30k to around $260k and with another high BE game coming ahead could be a nice one for the emergency. His got good attacking upside and actually has job security as he is a big part of their attacking shape. I could live with him in my emergencies for anything under $260k.

  • Cam Mciness continue his elite fantasy scoring. I'm just not sure I want to spend $700k on him with Finucan and Hamlin Uele pending returns. In saying that he is a lot more reliable than TPJ.

  • Blake Brailey failed my test for this round at least. Just didn't do enough to warrant a $650k spend.


  • Mitch Moses drop over the line summed up his day. The harder he tried the worse it was becoming. Got a decent 39 in the end and when I say decent was was riding a negative at one point. Hold if you have him, he always bounces back hard from a poor loss. Parra's draw is the Roosters, Bunnies, Tigers, NZ and Broncos.

  • Dyl Bags looked out of sort and I think they should of rested him. I wouldn't consider buying him till after rep round.

  • I traded in Ipap this week and I think Parra getting flogged will make BA see that he will need to delete app if he doesn't move him back to the edge. These loses happen, I remember in 2016 when the Sharks won the comp we lost to the Dragons who were like third last at the time and they smashed us. Ipap only played 52 minutes and for $913k we need him playing the full 80 minutes.

  • Reed still punched out a 49 with 10 demerits so still some quality coming from him. Penisini is a hold till round 17 and I wouldn't touch any of the other Eels.


  • Matt Burton about to become an $800k centre, you've missed the boat if you don't have him.

  • Max King continue to hold such a gun.

  • Jake Averillo 2 tries in his 58 so getting a bit pricey now towards $400k so I would give him a miss.

  • RFM a nice 42 from 61 minutes starting from the bench. Made some really nice runs and is getting back to his best. Not a bad cash down for his price but he won't play round 17.

  • TPJ is so annoying. Finally comes back and has 12 demerits. He used 4 interchanges like does the bloke do any cardio. He is on his last warning, if he doesn't score 50 in round 15 I am going to punt him.

Be sure to check out our round 14 wrap where Kyle and Andy joined me to review the round. We buzz Corby who was out on the drink in Newcastle and we introduce you to our new member of the team, a Queensland lad named Jake.


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