Friday Night Footy is back for NRL Round 3, with two matchups we’re keen to dig our claws into. First up, the surprising Dolphins head south for the first time this season, as they take on the Knights in Newcastle. Then, old rivals the Sydney Roosters and South Sydney Rabbitohs take centre stage, in the game of the round.

Draftstars has numerous contests, with the biggest being a $15,000 total prize pool in the Roosters vs Rabbitohs contest. Don’t forget the $10,000 Guaranteed Knights vs Dolphins contest, with the winner pocketing a cool $971. 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 Knights have been decimated heading into week 3, with key members of their spine Kalyn Ponga and Jayden Brailey both out due to concussions. They are replaced by Tyson Gamble (5/8), and Phoenix Crossland (hooker), who are both promoted from the bench. They’ve also lost Tyson Frizell (ankle), and Jacob Saifiti (suspension) for round 3. Brodie Johns comes in for Frizell, with Jack Hetherington promoted to start in the front row, whilst Dylan Lucas and Ryan Rivett will debut from the bench.

One key change for the Dolphins, with hooker Jeremy Marshall-King (suspension) out. He’s replaced by Kodi Nikorima. Ryan Stone returns on the bench, pushing Mason Teague to 18th man.

In game two, the Roosters welcome back Jared Warea-Hargreaves and Victor Radley, pushing Naufahu Whyte to 18th man, and Fletcher Baker to the bench. Ben Thomas misses out.

The Rabbitohs also receive a boost in the forward pack, with Tevita Tatola and Hame Sele returning, pushing Jed Cartwright to 18th man, and Daniel Suluka-Fifita to the reserves.

Betting Markets

Newcastle Knights ($2.50) vs Dolphins ($1.54)

Points total – 40.5 points

Sydney Roosters ($2.15) vs South Sydney Rabbitohs ($1.71)

Points total – 39.5 points

If you’re looking to bet on the NRL this season, we highly recommend BoomBet. They are an exciting Australian-owned sportsbook with an excellent range of NRL betting markets. Click the banner below to join today!



The Dolphins are favourites for the first time this season, and it coincides with their first away game of the season. This could be viewed as a market overreaction, however the Knights were already viewed as a bottom 2 team in the league prior to their bombardment of injuries and suspensions last week. It’ll be interesting to see if the Dolphins can get the job done with the pressure of being favourites, but I’m sure Wayne Bennett will have his squad ready to take on his old side.

In game two, I like the look of the Rabbitohs form line over the Roosters. I’m also excited for points to be scored in this one, and will concentrate on this matchup heavily when constructing my Draftstars teams.

Love It – Joseph-Aukuso Suaalii - $11,230

Suaalii was massive last week against the Warriors, running for 233 metres, whilst recording 7 tackle breaks, 2 line-breaks, 2 offloads, and 1 line break assist. He is becoming a huge cog in this Roosters backline, and as shown in recent years with players like Tedesco and Manu, if you’re a key piece of this backline, you’re going to score well in DFS. Suaalii is priced over $8,000 cheaper than Manu, and a massive $9,200 cheaper than Tedesco. I love the value in this spot, and don’t think we will get this price on the young gun for much longer.

Love It – Cody Walker - $14,300

Cody can be a bit hit and miss, but he’s shown so far this season that he’s got a solid floor, with scores of 37 and 43 in the opening two rounds. This, despite only the one attacking statistic over the course of the first two rounds of football. In the finals last year when these sides met, Cody dominated the matchup, setting up 4 tries and creating 3 line-breaks. I’m not convinced that Cody can replicate this output, however if he can match his base stat line from the previous two weeks and add in some attacking statistics, he is under priced here. I honestly don’t mind the top 4 HH options this week (O’Sullivan, Cook, S Walker, Hastings), however for value I like Cody.

Love It – Daniel Saifiti - $16,900

With brother Jacob out suspended, and David Klemmer no longer at the club, the stage is set for Daniel to take over here in the middle and play big, big minutes. With a distinct lack of middles in the squad, coach Adam O’Brien may have no option but to play Saifiti 60+ minutes. If he can manage this, Saifiti is an elite prospect in the middle, with attacking upside. It would be nice to see him try and pop a few offloads, but if he can manage 60+ minutes, I expect a 60+ score in pure base statistics.

Hate It – Brandon Smith - $16,140

Not sure what to make of the Brandon Smith signing so far at the Roosters. He managed 59 minutes in the opening game against the Dolphins, making 29 tackles and 73 running metres. Last week however, he struggled with an injury and only managed 26 minutes. He has not trained all week, and if he does play, I can only imagine that coach Trent Robinson will ease him through. With Jake Turpin on the bench, any flare up of the injury to Smith will see him replaced. With no training this week, Smith will have had no extra time to work on his combinations, and I believe at the price you just can’t take the risk.

Hate It – Euan Aitken - $16,340

Aitken, for whatever reason, is still being priced as if he’s playing in the 2nd row, which he did for the majority of last season. So far this season he’s managed scores of 28.8 and 26.4, and that’s with him getting through plenty of work. For him to justify this price tag, Aitken must score at least one try. Whilst this is a strong possibility against the Knights, I prefer taking players who can create AND score tries for this price in the outside backs.

Who Knows – James Tedesco - $20,480

Teddy has played well recently against the Bunnies (despite only playing 18 minutes in last year’s Elimination Final) and has for years been one of the elite options for DFS. Now, at the age of 30, is Teddy finally starting to slow down a little? The Roosters now have two unbelievable talents in the centres in Joey Manu and Joseph Suaalii, as well as the ever-improving Sam Walker at halfback, to ease the pressure on Tedesco to produce. This could ultimately see the elite scores from Tedesco diminishing. However, as of right now, I’m not willing to call it, and believe that Tedesco is one 80-minute performance away from being back in the sort of form we are used to seeing.

Draftstars Suggested Lineup



Always remember to gamble responsibly. When the fun stops, stop. If gambling is having a negative impact on your life, seek support at Gambling Help Online.  18+ only.