We are finally here, the first of the two bye rounds has landed, and there are a few surprises in the announced teams. I hope that you’ve been planning well!
The biggest tip I have is to limit your trades if possible and don’t waste one just for the addition of 20-40 points. In the long run, it’s not worth it as tempting as it may be.
Let’s get into it.
DRAGONS v BRONCOS
Thursday, 7.50pm, Jubilee Stadium, Sydney
Dragons: 1. Matt Dufty 2. Cody Ramsey 3. Brayden Wiliame 4. Gerard Beale 5. Mikaele Ravalawa 6. Corey Norman 7. Ben Hunt 8. Blake Lawrie 9. Andrew McCullough 10. Paul Vaughan 11. Josh Kerr 12. Jack Bird 13. Jackson Ford
Bench: 14. Talatau Amone 15. Poasa Faamausili 16. Daniel Alvaro 17. Jack de Belin
Reserves: 18. Kaide Ellis 19. Adam Clune 20. Jayden Sullivan 21. Jordan Pereira
- Max Feagai (head knock, round 13)
- Zac Lomax (thumb, round 14-15)
- Josh McGuire (suspension, round 16)
- Tyrell Fuimaono (suspension, round 16)
- Mat Feagai (ankle, round 17)
- Cameron McInnes (knee, season)
- Adam Clune
- Jack De Belin
- Jayden Sullivan
- Josh Kerr
- Matthew Dufty
- Mikaele Ravalawa
- Billy Burns
- Jaiyden Hunt
- Tariq Sims
The return of Matt Dufty has cancelled out Cody Ramsey as an option.
Ben Hunt is somewhat interesting given the Origin omission and his dual positioned flexibility at hooker and halfback. Outside of a 22 in round 4, he’s been quite consistent this year but would need to be traded out at some stage.
Interestingly, Jack Bird has been named in the second row but will likely shift back to the centres when Tariq Sims returns in round 14.
Jack de Belin is one to monitor on a go forward basis.
Broncos: 1. Jamayne Isaako 2. Selwyn Cobbo 3. Herbie Farnworth 4. Jesse Arthurs 5. David Mead 6. Albert Kelly 7. Tyson Gamble 8. Matt Lodge 9. Jake Turpin 10. Thomas Flegler 11. Alex Glenn 12. Tevita Pangai Junior 13. John Asiata
Bench: 14. Kobe Hetherington 15. Keenan Palasia 16. Ethan Bullemor 17. TC Robati
Reserves: 18. Jordan Riki 19. Tesi Niu 20. Dale Copley 21. Cory Paix
- Kotoni Staggs (knee, round 13-14)
- Payne Haas (knee, Origin I)
- Brodie Croft (knee, round 15-17)
- Ben Te’o (biceps, round 18)
- Patrick Carrigan (knee, season)
- Alex Glenn
- Cory Paix
- Jordan Riki
- Matthew Lodge
- Tesi Niu
- Tyson Gamble
- Anthony Milford
- Payne Haas
- Xavier Coates
Tyson Gamble is back! Which means that there is no room for Anthony Milford.
Jordan Riki has only been named on the reserves, which hurts those who have held. Alex Glenn is the favoured second-row forward partner to Tevita Pangai, with John Asiata named at lock. Pangai looks to be a solid trade in option (5RA of 66), given that he has missed out on the Origin squad. Keenan Palasia has been named on the bench and is an avoid. Now is not the time to be picking up cheapies that could be AE nightmares in the future.
Selwyn Cobbo starts on the wing and is basement priced. He is a possible nuff option for those who would like to take route now.
Matt Lodge has been named and there still surrounds some doubt as to how many games he has left with the Broncos.
TIGERS v PANTHERS
Friday, 7.55pm, Leichhardt Oval, Sydney
Tigers: 1. Daine Laurie 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Adam Doueihi 4. Tommy Talau 5. James Roberts 6. Moses Mbye 7. Luke Brooks 8. James Tamou 9. Jacob Liddle 10. Alex Twal 11. Luke Garner 12. Luciano Leilua 13. Alex Seyfarth
Bench: 14. Stefano Utoikamanu 15. Shawn Blore 16. Tom Amone 17. Thomas Mikaele
Reserves: 18. Michael Chee-Kam 19. Jake Simpkin 20. Tui Simpkins 21. Kiah Cooper
- Russell Packer (knee, round 13)
- Asu Kepaoa (knee, season)
- Jake Simpkin
- Michael Chee Kam
- Stefano Utoikamanu
- Tukimihia Simpkins
Luciano Leilua has been named but could be a late omission depending on the outcome of the judiciary hearing tonight. That would likely see Michael Chee-Kam come onto the bench and Shawn Blore to start on the edge.
Stefano Utoikamano is back, baby! Right on time for bye coverage. Hopefully, he can get a solid 40 minutes this Friday night, and we can then move him on next week.
David Nofoaluma and Adam Doueihi are the picks here, but I would be pretty cautious in adding too many Tigers backs given their upcoming run (Panthers, Eels, Storm and Souths). However, it does get a bit easier from round 21 onwards, including two games against the Bulldogs, so it’s not all doom and gloom.
Alex Seyfarth is an interesting one. He has been named at lock and produced 61 last weekend, but this did include a try. Outside of that, it’s been very much meat and potatoes.
Panthers: 1. Dylan Edwards 2. Charlie Staines 3. Stephen Crichton 4. Paul Momirovski 5. Robert Jennings 6. Matt Burton 7. Tyrone May 8. Spencer Leniu 9. Mitch Kenny 10. James Fisher-Harris 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Scott Sorensen 13. Matthew Eisenhuth
Bench: 14. Jaeman Salmon 15. J’maine Hopgood 16. Lindsay Smith 17. Izack Tago
Reserves: 18. Brent Naden 19. Eddie Blacker 20. Sunia Turuva 21. Kurt Falls
- Kurt Capewell (suspension, Origin I)
- Brent Naden
- Dylan Edwards
- Eddie Blacker
- Jaeman Salmon
- J’maine Hopgood
- Kurt Falls
- Lindsay Smith
- Mitch Kenny
- Robert Jennings
- Sunia Turuva
- Apisai Koroisau
- Brian To’o
- Isaah Yeo
- Jarome Luai
- Liam Martin
- Moses Leota
- Nathan Cleary
Huge changes but most you already know about.
Matt Burton has been named in the halves, which hopefully will be a good thing for SuperCoach. There’s a chance that he starts there again in round 14, given the Panthers play the Friday night after Origin.
Spencer Leniu has been named to start at prop, which is great news for those who have held. Hopefully, we see another try :).
James Fisher-Harris could play big minutes given the outs and is not a bad option to bring in.
STORM v TITANS
Saturday, 7.35pm, Sunshine Coast Stadium
Storm: 1. Nicho Hynes 2. George Jennings 3. Reimis Smith 4. Justin Olam 5. Dean Ieremia 6. Cooper Johns 7. Jahrome Hughes 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Brandon Smith 10. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 11. Tom Eisenhuth 12. Kenny Bromwich 13. Dale Finucane
Bench: 14. Aaron Booth 15. Tui Kamikamica 16. Chris Lewis 17. Aaron Pene
Reserves: 18. Jordan Grant 19. Isaac Lumelume 20. Trent Loiero 21. Ryley Jacks
- Harry Grant (hamstring, Origin I)
- Cameron Munster (foot, Origin I)
- Christian Welch (knee, Origin I)
- Brenko Lee (calf, round 14)
- Ryan Papenhuyzen (concussion, round 14-15)
- Darryn Schonig (knee, round 15-17)
- Tyson Smoothy (knee, indefinite)
- Max King (Achilles, indefinite)
- Dean Ieremia
- Isaac Lumelume
- Jordan Grant
- Kenneath Bromwich
- Ryley Jacks
- Felise Kaufusi
- Josh Addo-Carr
Surprisingly, not too many changes here given that Cameron Munster and Harry Grant have both been out of the side for a while.
Jahrome Hughes is ripe for the picking at under $700k. He hasn’t scored fewer than 60 points a game since round 5 and shapes as a very viable reserve to Nathan Cleary for the run home. He could have legitimately had 150 points last Thursday night – but them the breaks.
Brandon Smith smashed out a tonne despite missing some of the game with a HIA but last week was arguably the time to buy. He’s risen by $63k and is not a long term option, with Grant likely back straight after Origin.
Dean Ieremia holds some appeal, given he has replaced the Fox on the wing. He is priced at just $174k and will only make his way back into the side through injury. Also, unlike other cheap options, he’s likely to put on a score if he does start, given how good the Storm.
Titans: 1. Jayden Campbell 2. Anthony Don 3. Brian Kelly 4. Patrick Herbert 5. Phillip Sami 6. Ash Taylor 7. Jamal Fogarty 8. Jarrod Wallace 9. Mitch Rein 10. Jaimin Jolliffe 11. Kevin Proctor 12. Sam Stone 13. Sam McIntyre
Bench: 14. Tyrone Peachey 15. Erin Clark 16. Jai Whitbread 17. Joseph Vuna
Reserves: 18. Tanah Boyd 19. Esan Marsters 20. Greg Marzhew 21. Darius Farmer
- Beau Fermor (hamstring, round 14)
- AJ Brimson (knee, Origin I)
- Herman Ese’ese (suspension, round 14)
- Sam Lisone (pectoral, round 14)
- Jonus Pearson (knee, round 14)
- Corey Thompson (ankle, round 15-16)
- Ashley Taylor
- Darius Farmer
- Greg Marzhew
- Jai Whitbread
- Jayden Campbell
- Joseph Vuna
- Sam Stone
- Tyrone Peachey
- Alexander Brimson
- Beau Fermor
- David Fifita
- Moeaki Fotuaika
- Tino Fa’asuamaleaui
There are some big outs here with four of their best players set to play for Queensland next Wednesday.
The only player of interest is Brian Kelly, but even he has been inconsistent this season. The smart play here is to avoid Titans players with their upcoming draw not being overly appealing.
KNIGHTS v EELS
Sunday, 4.05pm, McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle
Knights: 1. Tex Hoy 2. Starford To’a 3. Enari Tuala 4. Bradman Best 5. Brayden Musgrove 6. Connor Watson 7. Phoenix Crossland 8. Sauaso Sue 9. Jayden Brailey 10. Jacob Saifiti 11. Brodie Jones 12. Lachlan Fitzgibbon 13. Mitchell Barnett
Bench: 14. Kurt Mann 15. Josh King 16. Jack Johns 17. Simi Sasagi
Reserves: 18. Jake Clifford 19. Jirah Momoisea 20. Matt Croker 21. Gehamat Shibasaki
- Kalyn Ponga (groin, Origin I)
- Mitchell Pearce (pectoral, round 14-16)
- Hymel Hunt (hamstring, indefinite)
- Edrick Lee (foot, indefinite)
- Chris Randall (wrist, indefinite)
- Pasami Saulo (leg, season)
- Gehamat Shibasaki
- Jack Johns
- Jake Clifford
- Jirah Momoisea
- Kurt Mann
- Matt Croker
- Daniel Saifiti
- David Klemmer
- Tyson Frizell
Connor Watson has held onto the starting halves spot but will likely hand that over to Jake Clifford on game day. Barry Toohey has tipped a halves combination of Phoenix Crossland and Clifford.
Mitchell Barnett has been named at lock and will hopefully see an uptick in minutes, particularly given the loss of three starting forwards. However, Watson will likely steal some of his minutes from the bench.
Bradman Best has not been able to cross for a try since round 1, so he is perhaps due, but I couldn’t tip you into him without Ponga even as an existing owner. That said, he is priced at just $430k and is averaging 37 BPPG, which is very solid.
Eels: 1. Clint Gutherson 2. Maika Sivo 3. Tom Opacic 4. Waqa Blake 5. Haze Dunster 6. Dylan Brown 7. Mitchell Moses 8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Marata Niukore 11. Isaiah Papali’i 12. Ryan Matterson 13. Nathan Brown
Bench: 14. Will Smith 15. Shaun Lane 16. Oregon Kaufusi 17. Bryce Cartwright
Reserves: 18. Joey Lussick 19. Makahesi Makatoa 20. Jakob Arthur 21. Will Penisini
- Reagan Campbell-Gillard (suspension, round 13)
- Keegan Hipgrave (suspension, round 14)
- Dylan Brown
- Haze Dunster
- Makahesi Makatoa
- Reagan Campbell-Gillard
- Will Smith
- Blake Ferguson
- Junior Paulo
In a massive shock, Blake Ferguson has been dropped – unlucky for your owners! Haze Dunster has replaced him on the wing.
Dylan Brown returns and is an option. He has barely fired a shot this year and, at just $470k, is priced well for someone looking to take a bit of a punt. With a base of 41, he’s got a very high floor, and so with some attacking stats, you’re got a potential weapon on your hands. The Eels face the Tigers and Bulldogs too after this match before the Panthers and their bye.
Nathan Brown and Ryan Matterson have missed out on Origin selection, which is a boost for owners, while Clint Gutherson is also available. Given that draw ahead, he is not a bad option to bring in before moving him on before the bye.
Reed Mahoney has been named and will play if Harry Grant is fit.