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NRL 2020 Fantasy Tips: Round 7 - Saturday
Saturday for Round 7 has rolled around after the dramatic events of Friday Night for the Sydney Roosters. Two ACL’s is either sheer bad luck or a good ol fashion conspiracy coming up. We have another 3 games today and a great variety of Draftstars contests to compete.
- $3,000 - Cowboys v Knights
- $5,000 - 3-Game Slate
- $5,000 - Broncos v Titans
- $10,000 - Eels v Raiders
No Bradman Best for the Knights as he breached the “bubble”. Rookie winger Connelly Lemu is out with Tom Opacic on the wing. Jordan Mclean has been named to play 2RF.
Cory Paix is out due to an injury at training bringing Isaac Luke the start. Tesi Niu starts at Fullback for Jamayne Isako who has been dropped. Mitch Rein will start at Hooker to Erin Clark. Marata Niukore starts for Nathan Brown who is suspended. Hudson Young starts for Joseph Tapine who has a knee injury.
Cowboys 2.95 v Knights 1.40
Over/Under - 43.5
Spread - 5.5
Brisbane 1.39 v Titans 3.03
Over/Under - 42.5
Spread - 6.5
Eels 1.76 v Raiders 2.07
Over/Under - 36.5
Spread - 2.5
First thing, it’s taken me a while to adjust my play to the new environment on Draftstars where everyone has access to a cruncher and can get a strong idea of the value plays. I feel like I’m getting on top of my process a little now, and I am going to start focusing my previews more on which players I want to be above the field on, which players I am wary of, and any players I am looking to totally fade. This means I will touch on less players than usual, but with a little more detail.
Now to another 3 game Saturday slate which has all the intrigue that always comes with a Super Saturday. The first two games have clear favourites, but in both cases there is ample room for an upset. The Knights are still getting used to being near the top of the ladder, and although I have all the faith in Adam O’Brien I am not ready to write off the Cowboys. We all know that Brisbane has been a hot mess lately, and more changes to the lineup makes it very possible that the Titans can get the job done. Finally the Eels and Raiders are both powerhouse teams, and I think the slight edge to the Eels is a fair reflection of what should be a tight tussle.
WFB: Kalyn Ponga is in a tier of his own on this slate, and with a floor of 50 he’s someone I’m looking to own very heavily. He’s unlikely to ruin any lineups, and he has the kind of ceiling that is needed to win the slate. Tesi Niu is an 18 year old fullback that is being thrown into the battle to try to spark something for the Broncos. I’m torn on whether his ownership will be high as a young starting fullback, or low because his fantasy numbers look awful so far. This is a tough decision, but I think it’s a fairly low chance that he scores over 40, and so I’ll be limiting my exposure to about 20%. Corey Oates hasn’t had a big game yet this year, and at a minimum price in an easier matchup it must be time to take a stand on him. A player I’ll consider fading altogether is Clint Gutherson, who has finally seen a price rise and is due for a quiet game in a tough matchup, but should attract a reasonable ownership.
CTR: This is a bit of a wasteland, and now that I see Niu is dual position I might use him a little at centre also. The first option that stands out is Herbie Farnworth, who should be kicking goals for the Broncos and has shown a decent amount of talent while the Broncos have struggled. He’d need 35+, 10 more than his highest score, so don’t get too carried away. Gehamat Shibasaki is a young player that has started to show some good fantasy pedigree this year, putting up good scores without many attacking stats, I’ll have plenty of him. Esan Marsters had a big game last week, and I’m ready to back him again running at Tuala and Lee. My fade candidate is Michael Jennings, a rocks and diamonds scorer who went big last weekend and should come back to earth in this game.
HALF: What should we do with Anthony Milford? A formerly elite fantasy scorer struggling to break 30 since the Corona break, this looks like the Broncos first easy game in a while. The problem is the price has gone up again (mean by Draftstars), so ownership should stay low, and I’m ready to take a stand on Milford finding his mojo. I’ll also at least match the field on Brodie Croft for the same reason. I’ll still be using plenty of Mitch Pearce and Kurt Mann who are relishing playing under O’Brien. I think I have to fade George Williams who is a very handy player, but I can’t see a 60+ score in this game.
2RF: Use Ofahengaue here or at FRF, and use him plenty. Lachlan Fitzgibbon is the next option to catch the eye. He’s super cheap now, and hopefully over the injury that cost him some games and a chunk of minutes last week. The matchup is very favourable and I can easily picture a try crashing over the top of Dunn and Clifford on the left edge. Nathan Brown and Corey Horsburgh are both bullocking locks with 60+ ceilings who are suited to the current game style. They both look much more attractive to me than the more expensive options above them. Jason Taumololo needs a 70 just to be moderately successful, and this Knights forward pack is a defensive powerhouse all of a sudden, so I think it is a safe call to ignore him today.
HOK: All 6 teams have someone capable of playing hooker on the bench, but that doesn’t mean none of the starters will play 80 minutes. The only option I definitely can’t see playing 80 is Isaac Luke, but Mitch Rein and Reece Robson will probably get a rest also. The 3 most expensive options in McCullough, Mahoney and Robson are the ones that I can see giving us the 60+ score needed at those prices, so I’ll be looking at having at least 25% of each of them. Josh Hodgson and Isaac Luke are both capable of having a stinker, plus they should be popular as the cheapest options, so I will consider fading both.
FRF: Without Carrigan, Joe Ofahengaue is the most obvious value play on the entire slate. He can almost match Carrigans 60 minutes for 50+ points, I might even press the lock button and ride at 100% ownership. Matt Lodge as been building form and fitness slowly, is this the week that he breaks the 50 barrier and pushes on towards 60? I won’t be missing out if he does. We can’t ignore Payne Haas, who is still at a monstrous price after a successful fade last week. He needs 80 just to be an okay pick, and I don’t think there is enough value on the slate to justify spending that much on one position. It’s a total fade for me, and probably a broken TV if he goes off for a massive ton.
Final Word: I strongly encourage everyone to having a go at playing the 50c mini with more lineups than you would usually enter in the bigger comps. If like me you usually just hand build a few lineups, it can be daunting to get the hang of letting the software make your lineups for you, but it also helps to take away a lot of the blind spots in a hand building process. The more lineups we play, the bigger the prize pools, and overall a much healthier DFS industry for us to enjoy. Good Luck!