The Friday night NRL double header kicks off with two struggling teams, with the Melbourne Storm hosting the Wests Tigers at AAMI Park. Both teams are desperate for a win, with pressure on two big name coaches beginning to ratchet up with each passing week.

Then, to cap of Friday Night Football, two undefeated teams clash in the ‘Brisbane Bowl’, as the Dolphins “host” the Broncos at Suncorp Stadium. The winner of this game will be the only team in the competition with 4 wins, and more importantly than that, can lay claim as the number 1 team in Brisbane, for now.

Draftstars has numerous contests, with the biggest being a $15,000 total prize pool in the Dolphins vs Broncos contest. Don’t forget the $10,000 Storm vs Tigers contest. There’s also a $5,000 contest involving both Friday Night matchups. 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 Storm welcome back Cam Munster in a huge inclusion, however they have lost halfback Jahrome Hughes (suspension) for two matches. Munster will slot back in at 5/8, with rookie Jonah Pezet taking over at halfback. No other changes are expected.

The Tigers have also made changes in the halves; however these changes are not injury or suspension related. Adam Doueihi has been named at fullback, but is in severe doubt with turf toe. If he is ruled out, Daine Laurie will surely start at fullback. David Nofoaluma has been dropped, with Charlie Staines reverting to the wing, after his one week trial at fullback didn’t go to plan last week. Brandon Wakeham has been named to start at 5/8, after a positive showing from the bench last week. Starford To’a has also been dropped, with Asu Kepaoa named to start at centre. Isaiah Papali’i returns from suspension in the backrow, whilst Alex Seyfarth returns on the bench. Joe Ofahengaue has been dropped.

Felise Kaufusi was found guilt at the judiciary, and will miss the next 4 matches for the Dolphins, in a bitter blow for the NRL’s newest franchise. Kenny Bromwich is expected to revert to the backrow, with Jarrod Wallace starting up front. The only other possible change will see rookie 5/8 Isaiya Katoa miss out due to injury, with Anthony Milford to take his place.

Finally, the Broncos have named the same 17 that hammered the Dragons last week. Kobe Hetherington is listed amongst the reserves, and could make a comeback this week from the bench.

Betting Markets

Melbourne Storm ($1.31) vs Wests Tigers ($3.50)

Points total – 42.5 points

Dolphins ($3.75) vs Brisbane Broncos ($1.28)

Points total – 44.5 points

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Despite losing Jahrome Hughes, the inclusion of Cam Munster is massive for the Storm. They very rarely lose two in a row, let alone 3, and I’ve got to believe Bellamy will have his men fired up for this contest. It’s as good a chance as they’ll get this week, getting the lowly Tigers at home. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a statement here from the Storm.

In the second game, as good as the Dolphins have been, I believe a reality check is on the way. Whilst I do believe the Dolphins will make this a game for the first half, much like last week against the Dragons, I can see the Broncos running away with this one late.

Love It – Nick Meaney - $13,720

Meaney has passed the eye site test this year, looking comfortable at fullback for the Storm, particularly in attack. He’s scored 3 tries in the opening 3 games, and is kicking goals for the Storm. This week, Meaney gets the Tigers, who have been decent against fullbacks this season in DFS, however I see the Tigers giving up more points this week than they have over the past 3 rounds. The Storm are on for a 30+ point scoring performance here, and I love Meaney’s goal kicking and ability to score tries. At a relatively cheap outlay, Meaney is a solid option at OB for this slate.

Love It – Adam Reynolds - $21,160

Wow, there are some terrific selections in the HH role for this slate. Harry Grant has been braining it to start the season, and is definitely on my radar in this slot. Sean O’Sullivan has shown he can run a team not named the Panthers, and has been extremely solid in DFS, with scores between 51 and 63. Cam Munster and Api Koroisau are also great option, but Reynolds is the selection I really like here. Three straight 62+ scores for Reynolds shows his floor is sensational, and he scores his points in so many different ways. I like the Broncos to get the better of the Dolphins and put up points, which all spells to a big performance from their little number 7.

Love It – Eliesa Katoa - $15,500

I would love this play even more if Hughes was still playing, but I still believe there’s a try in store this week for the ex-Warriors backrower. Katoa has fit in nicely at the Storm, taking over the right edge where Felise Kaufusi terrorised opponents for years. He’s been impressive in DFS, scoring between 44 and 57 without scoring a try. This week, he’s running at Luke Brooks, who has struggled defensively against barnstorming backrowers in the past. With a solid floor, I believe Katoa has the high ceiling you look for in the mid-priced range.

Hate It – Euan Aitken - $15,460

I said it last week and I’ll say it again this week, Aitken is still being priced based off his season in the backrow last year. Yes, he did score well last week, but that was on the back of some solid attacking statistics, which aren’t easy to replicate week in, week out. Given this, and how tight the Broncos’ defence has been this season, I have no plans whatsoever to spend this sort of money on a centre for a team I believe will struggle to put on points this week. Aitken is the 4th most expensive OB in this slate, and is not worth your money unless you believe he’s going to be involved in several attacking plays throughout the matchup.

Hate It – Isaiah Papali’i - $18,900

Both Tigers’ back rowers are overpriced in my opinion, as their prices are based of previous seasons they have had with different teams. The Tigers have struggled to score points this year, and whilst the Storm defence has looked a shell of its former self, I sense they will be far stricter in defence this week against the Tigers. Papali’i and Bateman are priced as premium forwards in this slate, and whilst they certainly have the ceiling of a top flight forward, they have shown me nothing this season to warrant this sort of outlay. If you’re willing to stump up this sort of cash for your number 1 forward, pay the extra $3,000 for Haas, $500 for Carrigan, or save money on Gilbert, Klemmer, Twal or Katoa.

Who Knows – Adam Doueihi - $18,670

So many question marks surrounding AD this week, that it’s hard to stump up this sort of cash for him. He is the highest priced OB by almost $3,000, and not only are their concerns about his move to a new position, there’s also concerns about whether or not he will play at all. I would imagine the Tigers will give Doueihi until an hour before kick-off to prove his fitness, and if you’re a player who puts their teams in early, Doueihi is a huge risk this week. Yes, Doueihi has a tremendous upside, and his move to fullback could amplify this, but with this many question marks, I find it hard to get him into my squad.

Draftstars Suggested Lineup



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