NRL Picks: New Zealand Warriors v. North Queensland Cowboys

NRL Picks - Cowboys Warriors

NRL Round 15 rolls on with a two-game slate on Friday, the first of which is Warriors v. Cowboys.

Shaun Johnson made his triumphant return last week, electrifying the home crowd against an abysmal Manly effort. The Cowboys, on the other hand, lost the battle of the league’s worst teams, and any hope of a dramatic and miraculous turnaround are surely gone. The Warriors absurdly have been better on the road than at home this year, so there’s no reason why that won’t continue.

Let’s get into the picks.

Gun: Shaun Johnson ($19.7m)

As I mentioned above, Shaun Johnson returned from injury last week as if he’d never been gone, making the Sea Eagles chase his shadow to the tune of 1545 points. The Cowboys may be marginally better defensively than Manly, but their spirit looks broken and that plays directly into the hands of the Warriors and SJ. He’s had big performances in Townsville before, notably spearheading a memorable comeback in 2015, and is about as reliable a fantasy halfback as there is.

Dud: Johnathan Thurston ($16.4m)

The demise of one of the game’s greatest ever seems to be getting more and more depressing every week. His fantasy output has followed suit, averaging below 900 despite playing behind a pretty solid forward pack, alongside a very good halfback and inside a half-decent set of outside backs. Remove sentiment, at least from a fantasy standpoint, it’s all over for JT.

Point of Difference: Tohu Harris ($19.2m)

I know I’m slightly contradicting myself by saying never chase last week’s points, but this is not the same thing. Tohu Harris was one of the best PODs coming through the opening rounds of the season, pumping out big four-digit scores largely due to playing outside Shaun Johnson. When Johnson got injured, those scores disappeared, but a 1702 on SJ’s return last week has reignited his value. He’s a wonderful attacking option in the forwards, with the skills of a back and the frame of a forward. He is the perfect compliment to Johnson’s game and there’s no reason why he can’t go big again versus a really bad football team.

Check back soon for picks and analysis for the rest of this weekend’s NRL games. In the meantime, be sure to get your lineups in. Good luck!

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