NRL Fantasy

It’s Magic Round in the NRL and what better way to kick it off than with a Draftstars double header! Things kick off in Magic Round with the Bulldogs taking on the Raiders, with the Raiders looking to win their 4th straight. Then, the Sea Eagles take their home game to Suncorp Stadium to take on the Broncos, with both teams coming off embarrassing losses last week.

Draftstars has numerous contests, with the biggest being a $12,000 total prize pool in the Broncos vs Sea Eagles contest. Don’t forget the $8,000 Bulldogs vs Raiders contest, with the winner pocketing a cool $876. There’s also a $5,000 contest involving both Friday Night matchups, with a first prize of $679. Whatever your style, there’s a contest for you this Friday night, so let’s dive in and find some value selections.


Team News

The Bulldogs welcome back Jacob Kiraz (knee) and Max King (ribs) from injury, with the pair replacing Braidon Burns and Kurtis Morrin. King has been named to start, with Franklin Pele dropping to the bench.

The Raiders will be excited to get young gun Xavier Savage back, with the attacking weapon named on the wing to replace Albert Hopoate. Ata Mariota has been named on the bench to play just his 4th first grade game, with Corey Harawira-Naera dropped.

In game two, the Sea Eagles gain two Trbojevic’s, but lose another, as Tom has been named to return at fullback, however Jake is out with a calf injury. Trbojevic replaces Kaeo Weekes, whilst Sean Keppie has been promoted to start in place of Jake. Christian Tuipulotu has been dropped, with Toluta Koula returning to the centres, and Reuben Garrick moving back to the wing. Aaron Woods and Ben Trbojevic join the bench, with Toafofoa Sipley (suspension) out.

Finally, the Broncos welcome back Payne Haas and Ezra Mam from suspension, with Jock Madden dropped, and Keenan Palasia moving to the bench. Kobe Hetherington is the other Bronco to make way.

Betting Markets

Canterbury Bulldogs ($2.35) vs Canberra Raiders ($1.60)

Points total – 41.5 points

Manly Sea Eagles ($3.75) vs Brisbane Broncos ($1.28)

Points total – 44.5 points

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The Bulldogs will be happy to get the monkey off the back last week, and this week they get a good chance to make it two in a row as they come up against the Raiders. Surprisingly though, the Raiders have won 3-straight, and get a great scheduling spot here, as they get an extra day’s rest over the Bulldogs. The Raiders have also won the past 6 against the Bulldogs, and I see them getting the job done again here to kick of Magic Round.

The Broncos will be desperate to get back on track, after being humbled by the Rabbitohs last week. They come up against possibly the most inconsistent team in the competition, with the Sea Eagles being pummelled by the Panthers, outplaying Melbourne, struggling by the Tigers, and getting trucked by the Titans in the span of a month. I’d say Broncos get it done, but with no confidence.

Love It – Jason Saab - $9,000

Bit of a shot in the dark here, but Saab has history against the Broncos, scoring 2 tries in the Sea Eagles 50-6 win over the Broncos in 2021. Saab is definitely not someone you can rely on; however, he has the upside to be great value here at bottom dollar. Given the number of top-end players in this slate, I feel the need to find a couple of cheap options, and I prefer to go cheap with players I believe have the highest upside. If he tanks, you can at least rely on those premium options you picked up to pick up the slack.

Love It – Daly Cherry-Evans - $23,890

Which leads me into the Manly halfback, DCE. Bit of a stack of Sea Eagles here, as I believe a big game from the manly half can lead to some try involvements for the big winger Jason Saab. But, even if he can’t manage to secure us some points with Saab, DCE is a superstar in the world of DFS. One score below 50 all year shows his consistency, and his ceiling is as high as anyone not named Nicho. DCE has a solid history against the Broncos, and a lot of history at Suncorp Stadium. With Tom Trbojevic nowhere near his best, DCE will know it’s up to him to give the Broncos a run in this matchup.

Love It – Payne Haas - $22,440

It’s hard not to pick Haas, with the big man averaging 68 for the season. He had his lowest score in his last game, scoring 62 in 54 minutes, after spending 10 minutes in the sin bin. After having a week off due to suspension, he should be fresh for this week and ready to put in a big stint. We wrote about the big man two weeks ago, before that low score, however all the same points can be made. The floor on Haas is around 65, and whilst he doesn’t have the highest ceiling (High of 75), you can pick him up and guarantee a score. If, by the off chance, the big man manages a try involvement or two, you’re looking at a monster score.

Hate It – Joseph Tapine - $20,380

Tapine started the season off as though he was ready to back up what was an extraordinary 2022 campaign, with early scores of 46, 59, 59, and 68. However, his recent form doesn’t mirror that, with his recent scores of 40, 33, and 45 failing to live up to the price tag he is currently sitting at. At this price point and below, there are far better options, with the addition of Corey Horsburgh to the starting rotation hurting Tapine’s workload. Speaking of Horsburgh, he is a far better option than Tapine, and you will save $4,000 on the purchase. The big red monster has been putting up huge minutes, and is worth a look in this slate.

Hate It – Tom Trbojevic - $14,920

Turbo is at a massive discount to his price over the past few years, and there’s a reason. Trbojevic has really struggled to get going this year, and all his injuries seem to be catching up with him. It has appeared from the outside looking in, that Tom is playing injured. Given this, he’s struggling to get involved in the attack, where he used to have his hands on the ball several times a set. So, whilst Trbojevic is always a hard man to fade with such a high ceiling, he just doesn’t seem fit enough to put in your sides for now. However, if there’s any inkling of Tom returning to anywhere near his best, he will be an auto-selection for the next few weeks.

Who Knows – Reece Walsh - $17,180

Walsh kicked off the season on fire, with the early talk focusing on the possibility of Walsh taking over from Kalyn Ponga in the Queensland #1 jersey. Whilst this still may occur, it’s more to do with the poor form of Ponga, than the play of Walsh over the past few weeks. In DFS, Walsh started with five scores above 50 in his first 6 games, however over the past two weeks has managed scores of just 32.8, and 14.6. Walsh is the most expensive OB on this slate, and given how well he played in the opening 6 weeks, his ceiling appears rather low. But he is heavily involved in this Broncos attack, so if they manage to put a score on the Sea Eagles, he could be a decent pick up.

Draftstars Suggested Lineup



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