NRL Fantasy

Back to normal programming for Friday Night NRL in Round 9, with two games back-to-back to get you pumped for the weekend. To kick things off, the Parramatta Eels will look to get back in the winners’ circle, as they take on the Newcastle Knights at CommBank Stadium. Then to round our Friday night off, a massive clash with the 1st placed Brisbane Broncos hosting the 4th placed South Sydney Rabbitohs. Plenty of star power on display tonight, so let’s look to find some value selections for our DFS squads.

Draftstars has numerous contests, with the biggest being a $12,000 total prize pool in the Broncos vs Rabbitohs contest. Don’t forget the $8,000 Eels vs Knights 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 Eels will be without Bailey Simmonson (concussion), meaning Haze Dunster gets a reprieve and has been named to start on the wing, with Sean Russell shifting to the centres. Regan Campbell-Gillard is set to miss 8-10 weeks, with Wiremu Greig promoted to start, and Makahesi Makatoa on the bench. No other changes to the 17.

As for the Knights, Kalyn Ponga has once again been named to start, and it’ll be interesting to see if he runs out for the Knights, or is benched for the opening 25 minutes or so of the game like last week. No other changes from the 17 named last week against the Cowboys.

The Broncos will be without two key players, with both Payne Haas and Ezra Mam out suspended. Jock Madden comes in at five eighth, with Keenan Palasia replacing Payne Haas up front. Corey Oates (knee) is out again, replaced by Jesse Arthars on the wing. No other changes for the Broncos.

Finally, the Rabbitohs welcome back Tevita Tatola from a knee injury, pushing Hame Sele back to the bench, and Daniel Suluka-Fifita to 18th man. No other changes expected.

Betting Markets

Parramatta Eels ($1.45) vs Newcastle Knights ($2.75)

Points total – 41.5 points

Brisbane Broncos ($2.35) vs South Sydney Rabbitohs ($1.60)

Points total – 42.5 points

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The Eels are deserved favourites, given the disparity in the rosters, however the Knights have shown more heart this season. If the Eels click in attack, you’d have to think they’ll be too good for the Knights. They are a far better team at home, so it would be a pretty big upset if the Knights can get the win. I believe the Eels will win; however, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Knights keep this one tight and give the Eels a fright.

The money has come in early for the Rabbitohs, with the Broncos opening small favourites, however at the time of writing the Rabbitohs are now 3.5/4-point favourites. Some of that is obviously on the back of Haas and Mam being out, but the market is definitely beginning to believe it may be the year of the Rabbit. I agree, in this game at least, as the losses of Haas and Mam will prove costly. I don’t see a blow out, but the Rabbitohs should have too much strike power across the park and win.

Love It – Maika Sivo - $10,940

Sivo has missed the last two matchups with the Knights, however in his 4 first grade games against the Knights, the big Fijian has scored in every one of them. He’s in tremendous try scoring form (6 in his past 4 games), however I’m feeling more than just a try in this one for the big man. The concern with Sivo is, despite his raft of 4-pointers this season, he hasn’t managed to score above 44 points all year. But given his relatively low cost, I believe it’s a small risk to take for a guy who has shown he’s more than capable of scoring 2+ tries in any game of football.

Love It – Mitch Moses - $21,840

Moses is primed for a big game here against the Knights, and I’m all over him in this slate. Moses is averaging a whopping 72.7 points per game at CommBank this season, with a low score of 61 against the Storm in round 1. The Eels are desperate right now for a good performance, after being dominated last week by the Broncos, and a 6:00pm match on Friday night at home seems the perfect place for that. I like Moses’s base with his general play and goal kicking, as outlined previously in these articles, and I get the feeling the Eels might put a score on the Knights this weekend. With two other elite HH options in this slate, I’ll go with the one with the highest upside in Moses.

Love It – Patrick Carrigan - $17,900

Carrigan has been a little up and down so far this season, however he is still averaging 53.1 points per game. His low (31.8) against the Tigers was more down to how open that contest was, as Carrigan only made 12 tackles in 53 minutes. If we take that game away, Carrigan is averaging 56.2, which is more than enough to justify this price tag. The thing I really love about Carrigan this week is the loss of Payne Haas. Carrigan must now step up as the leader of the Broncos forward pack, and I can see not only his minutes going up, but his work rate in general. A solid play.

Hate It – Damien Cook - $20,870

As outlined above, I prefer Moses in this slate for a premium HH, however there’s more to my reasons for not selecting Cook here. Cookie has been solid this season, however he has firmly taken a backseat in this Rabbitohs’ attack to the likes of Latrell Mitchell, Lachlan Ilias, and Cody Walker. Cook is running the ball less, and facilitating and getting quick ball to the aforementioned trio, and that is hurting his scores. I’ve no doubt he scores in the 50s or early 60s, however I love the upside of Moses and can’t pay this sort of money for someone who’s ceiling has apparently been lowered this year.

Hate It – Tevita Tatola - $17,490

Tatola has struggled to stay on the field this season, and this price is far too high in my opinion. In his one game where he played decent minutes (55), he still only managed to score 42. I believe his minutes will be capped in the game as he slowly comes back from a knee injury. For this outlay, I much prefer edge back rowers who get through just about as much work as Tatola, but have a far greater upside with their attacking chances. This price is based off last season’s form, and for me you simply cannot select him until he builds up some match fitness, and his price drops.

Who Knows – Junior Paulo - $13,750

In most circumstances, I’d be fading Paulo hard. He has looked unfit so far this season, and despite playing big minutes, doesn’t appear to be able to get through his normal work rate. However, with no Regan Campbell-Gillard, this could be the week Paulo steps up. Ironically, I believe coach Brad Arthur needs to limit the minutes Paulo is playing, to increase his effectiveness. Unfortunately, Arthur appears to be the worst coach in the NRL at rotating his bench, and I fear he’s going to insist on Paulo playing massive minutes to make up for the loss of RCG. Time will tell.

Draftstars Suggested Lineup



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