A Grand Final rematch! Although, one that the bookies do not think will be particularly close. It’s true that the Roosters have been red hot in recent weeks, and the Raiders are missing a couple of key players, so it’s probably optimistic of me to hope for a close game.


Draftstars are back with Australia’s best fantasy contests and Thursday night is no different with a $15,000 feature contest up for grabs!


Let’s break down the single contest to grab a share of that prize money!


Market Odds

Roosters 1.23 v Raiders 4.20

Spread: 12

Total Over/Under: 36.5


Fantasy Overview

Josh Hodgson suffering another ACL is a big blow to the Raiders, but of course it opens up fantasy opportunities for other players that we need to take advantage of. I have to say that the pricing has been done very well for this slate, forcing us to consider nearly everyone.


WFB: Yet another week of starting the analysis with James ‘Superman’ Tedesco $16,550. The guy is just unstoppable at the moment. Yes, he has gotten quite expensive, but he is still cheaper than players like Jason Taumololo and he has to be in at least half your lineups. Brett Morris $13,430 on the other hand is at a truly silly price and can be faded with total confidence, especially with lingering injury woes. I highly doubt we will get a repeat of Matt Ikuvalus $9,420 5 try performance last week, but he’s still cheap enough to consider if he can get across the line once or twice. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad $10,510 is a little expensive for me in a tough matchup, but I’m happy to back the pedigree of Nick Cotric $9,000 given his huge ceiling. Jordan Rapana $7,000 and Michael Oldfield $7,000 are punt plays that I’ll be trying to avoid as much as possible, but the salary relief of a Rapana may be necessary at times. Keep an eye out for potential debut for Semi Valemei who has come into the 19 man squad.


CTR: Josh Morris $10,550 running at Oldfield/Rapana stands out as the best play here, but the price has risen accordingly. Joseph Manu $10,520 is the same price and has to be respected, and of course Jarrod Croker $7,830 is insultingly cheap and can easily end up being the best value at the position if the Raiders can score some points.  


HALF: All four options are players that are making a habit of scoring 50+ points, so this is mighty hard to split. I think George Williams $11,920 might be the value play, given he’s shown a great scoring ability all season with a very high floor, and Luke Keary $11,690 is likely to attract more ownership at a slightly cheaper price. Jack Wighton $12,210 has been a little up and down but isn’t far behind Williams in scoring expectations. Kyle Flanagan $14,090 does a great job controlling the Roosters team, as well as knocking over plenty of goals and can also be locked in for a 50 with the way his seasons gone. As I said, it is hard to rule out any of these 4 options, this is a place to go with your gut or mix and match throughout various lineups. 


2RF: Angus Crichton $15,790 continues to dominate in 2020, and although the price has well and truly caught up there is still nothing wrong with playing him if you have the salary. In order to do that we need to find some value, and on this slate the closest thing I can find is Nat Butcher $10,920 who has shown he can average 50 points at lock and is therefore far too cheap UPDATE: Butcher has been ruled out with an injury during training. Isaac Liu now starts at Lock and is playable at $8,060. Right below him are Elliot Whitehead $10,860, Boyd Cordner $10,800 and Hudson Young $10,030, who are all a little cheaper than I expected. Any of them can easily reach value with a 45+ score, but all have downsides. Whitehead is due to stop scoring tries in this one, Cordner is being managed and may not play a full game, and Young isn’t a great player and has limited upside. Out of the three I prefer to back Cordner.


HOK: Here is where we find more of that value opportunity I spoke about with Josh Hodgson out. As a starting hooker the last two seasons Siliva Havili $9,870 has shown we can expect 60+ minutes and around 45 points, maybe a little more with the current game style. Combine that with the fact that Jake Friend $13,620 is coming off yet another injury affected game and I think this is a recipe for playing Havili in almost every lineup tonight. I can’t really recommend this, but it could be worth playing some Lachlan Lam $8,080 in case Friend does go down early again. He looked like he could handle himself last week. 


FRF: If the Raiders roll into the game with the bench they’ve named, we can expect some really big minutes for Josh Papalii $14,190 and Joseph Tapine $12,440. They both feel a little safer to me than Jared Waerea-Hargreaves $11,330 and Siosiua Taukeiaho $13,690, mostly because the Roosters have started to make a habit of giving one of them a rest at the end of games when the scoreline has started to blowout. It’s been JWH the last two weeks, so I’m not sure if that means he’s a risk again or if Taukeiaho might be due. Ryan Sutton $8,870 and Lindsay Collins $10,380 are both getting enough opportunity off the bench to be viable value plays. Dunamis Lui $8,240 played 60 minutes last week, but I think that was just due to injury carnage and I doubt he’ll play anymore than 40 minutes in this one, making him borderline playable at a pretty low price.  


Final Word: Difficult to see the Roosters not getting on top with a few key weaknesses in the Raiders lineup, so get ready for a lot of Roosters stacks once again. It is quite difficult to fit Tedesco in without making sacrifices elsewhere, so be prepared to get creative if you want to get ahead in this one. Good Luck!

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