Cronulla Sharks vs Wests Tigers
I don’t like this game from a fantasy standpoint. There is maybe only one reliable weekly star in this game, and I feel like there could be a lack of points both in terms of the match and player scoring. Both teams have only slightly scored more points than they have conceded, and both have been pretty tight defensively. Might be a good one to avoid.
Gun: Andrew Fifita ($21.5m)
As I said before, there’s only one reliable star in this game and it’s obviously Andrew Fifita. No Origin means he’s fresh and surely motivated after watching the game midweek. But mostly, there really is no other option to lock in on here.
Dud: Luke Brooks ($15.2m)
Luke Brooks’ scores have been trailing off in recent weeks as the Tigers are battling to find their early season form. The loss of David Nofoaluma on the wing will only hurt Wests’ attack and negatively influence Brooks’ scores. The Sharks have been solid defensively and have the grunt to get under the skin of the diminutive half.
Point of Difference: Alex Twal ($15.5m)
Touted as a points-per-minute god leading into the season, opportunities have been slim for Alex Twal to live up to that potential, but an increase in minutes in recent weeks is seeing his scores spike. He topped 1300 last week and has seen his average just slide into four digits, and in a game that may lack tries it could be ideal for someone who produces efficient base stat scores.
Melbourne Storm vs Brisbane Broncos
Cameron Smith would have found it about as strange as the rest of us not having him complain and cry to the referees for 80 consecutive minutes on Wednesday night. For the first time in a long time he will be waking up fresh, without a sore throat from whining, and without any bumps and bruises from the game itself. The Broncos have been treading water for weeks, but I think they could crack here.
Gun: Cameron Smith ($23.5m)
You know he is going to be up for a huge game here to justify him stepping down from the pinnacle of Australian sports. Brisbane are suspect all across the ground, and a masterclass from Smith could see the Storm do this very easily. He has returned to recognizable form recently and I like him to go big here. He had 1850 last start!
Dud: Anthony Milford ($19.3m)
Anthony Milford has been painfully indifferent this year. I thought he could be one of the winning plays of the year for those who consistently stuck with him, but he has shown absolutely no consistency and really has been the personification of his team. Being pulled into the Origin team late (what a mistake and a wasted chance by QLD to blood Kalyn Ponga) will only further disrupt valuable time he could have spent working out the kinks of Brisbane’s failures. Must avoid.
Point of Difference: Felise Kaufusi ($16.5m)
I’m really, really high on Felise Kaufusi. I think he’s got all the makings of a gun edge forward, and he was one of Queensland’s best midweek despite the losing effort. He probably has seen his scores suffer from the loss of Cooper Cronk, and is still waiting to find a combination in this changing Storm outfit, but I think there’s more than enough upside there to warrant splashing $16.5m)
Don’t forget to get your lineups in for the $25,000 qualifier games this weekend. Best of luck to everyone!