As we get set for a big Saturday of NRL, PlayON has all your daily fantasy needs covered. The following preview is produced by their analysis guru’s and can also be found here
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Gold Coast Titans vs. Penrith Panthers
So we’ve arrived at the Panthers. The club made the long overdue decision to sack Anthony Griffin midweek, a move many had believed was coming since the end of last season. For whatever reason, they waited until a month out from the finals, a finals series they will be featuring in. I actually applaud what they’ve done here, the only thing that matters for Penrith going forward is re-signing Nathan Cleary. So really, who cares what the media or fans think? They’ve identified Ivan Cleary as the key to keeping Nathan, so if that’s what it takes then that’s what they need to do. Yes, it’s a complete mess and looks terrible, but if it helps them keep their superstar young halfback no one will care and no one will remember.
Gun: Tyrone Peachey ($16.5m)
I hope you listened to me and got on Tyrone Peachey last week. He is made for the fullback role, getting the ball wide off the ruck, having one-on-one opportunities against defenders and in a position where he doesn’t need to be thinking pass first. He was electric in the role, scoring a try and creating chance after chance on his way to 1725, one of the best scores of the week. I think he goes around 1400 every time he wears the no.1. My lock of the week against a team that leak points.
Dud: Corey Harawira-Naera ($17m)
After a stunning breakout year last year, Corey Harawira-Naera’s season hasn’t quite taken off. Even when coming off the bench last year CHN was unstoppable, putting up numbers similar to Villame Kikau this year. He’s just struggled to find the same impact this year with Penrith’s forward pack a little more crowded. His average has fallen below 1000 and he couldn’t muster 700 off the bench last week, he’s far too expensive.
Point of Difference: Josh Mansour ($14.5m)
Josh Mansour has perennially been one of the best fantasy wingers in the game for a long time because of his fantastic base stats combined with a constant try-scoring threat. He’s taken a bit of time to really look comfortable back in first grade since yet another injury derailed his season, but he looks a lot stronger now and Mansour should be a part of your plans. He put up 1318 with a try last week and if he can cross the line again he could go even bigger.
Manly Sea Eagles vs. Canterbury Bulldogs
Manly stunned the Sharks last week thank’s to a left-footed golden boot winner from Daly Cherry-Evans, marking a much stronger month of footy from the worst defensive team in the competition. This is a bit of a bludger of a game, with neither team having any finals relevancy, but there are certainly highly-relevant fantasy players. Let’s hope it’s an open game so we can reap the rewards.
Gun: Jake Trbojevic ($23.7m)
He was setting the standard as the best scorer in PlayON earlier this season, but Jake Trbojevic fell away just slightly over the Origin period. He looks to be returning to the early season form, dragging his average back up towards 1500. There should be plenty of work for Jake regardless of the style of game.
Dud: Josh Jackson ($19.1m)
Josh Jackson has suddenly emerged as a relevant fantasy player but I don’t think it’s sustainable. He has perennially been an average scorer, with moderate base stats but a near total lack of attack. That has changed in the last month or two, seeing his average skyrocket to 1338. Manly are far from a strong defensive team, but what goes up must come down and Jackson does not have the pedigree to keep doing this.
Point of Difference: Shaun Lane ($15.7m)
Never chase last week’s points, but Shaun Lane has had a really strong season for Manly when he’s had prolonged time on the field. The gigantic back rower runs fantastic lines and is a complete handful for the opposition defence. He and DCE have struck up a strong combination, and at $15.7 he presents a strong mid-range buy with a 1200 average.
Parramatta Eels vs. St George Illawarra Dragons
This may prove to be the most pivotal game of the Dragons’ season. If they can easily knock aside the Eels like they should, perhaps it can get their season back on track. Anything short of that will surely only compound the pressure and lack of belief that appears to have infected the team as well as the fanbase. Parramatta are last on the table, while the Dragons were first just a few weeks ago. It should only go one way, but I have a feeling it won’t be that simple.
Gun: Tyson Frizell ($16.8m)
Tyson Frizell appears like he may be the one to pick up the Paul Vaughan slack, putting in huge minutes and work last week on his way to a score above 1600. He’s had a brilliant season on the right edge, and may become an 80 minute player as the Dragons chase a top 4 place. Base stats are there and if he can add a line break or try he will go massive.
Dud: Jarryd Hayne ($13.8m)
Jarryd Hayne has had his best month of footy since re-joining the NRL from the NFL. I can’t see it continuing. He looks to have been given more freedom in the Eels attack, but they come up against a team that up until recently was one of the best in the league, and in particular he comes up against a very solid defensive centre in Euan Aitken. Yes, Latrell Mitchell destroyed him a couple of weeks ago, but that’s Latrell Mitchell, he’ll do that to anyone. I’d look elsewhere than Hayne, I think this might be a conservative game.
Point of Difference: Tariq Sims ($17.6m)
Tariq Sims very quietly has become one of the best fantasy forwards in the game, now boasting a 1400 average. The back rower continually has an extremely low ownership, and I understand why, but you can’t deny the facts any longer, Tariq is legit. With Paul Vaughan out for at least a month, he should see a minutes increase too and maybe finds himself spending time in the middle where he will rack up more base stats than being on the edge.