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NRL 2021 Daily Fantasy Tips: Round 22 Saturday
Super Saturday in round 22 gives a full slate of games with finals implications, even if some of them are pretty unlikely. We start on the Gold Coast, with the Rabbitohs (3rd) looking to continue their dominance against an improving Titans (7th) outfit. The Titans are in the box seat in the fight for the last couple of finals spots, but they need to cause an upset in this game to stay there. Next the Cowboys (14th) host the Tigers (13th) in Townsville, with this game unlikely to matter to anyone but the Tigers who will be clinging onto the mathematical possibility of a magical finals run. Finally the Sea Eagles (6th) take on the Eels (4th) on the Sunshine Coast, with both teams in a battle with the Roosters for 4th position on the ladder.
Draftstars has a $3,000 contest with $411 to first place. The single game contests are set at $6,000, $6,000 and $8,000.
The Rabbitohs were unchanged from last week but Dane Gagai was a late withdrawal to a hamstring injury. Jai Arrow saw reduced minutes in an unfamiliar second-row role, which could continue with the rest of the forward pack looking very settled. The Titans only have one changed, with Tyrone Peachey named to replace Erin Clark on the bench, performing a middle forward/utility role. David Fifita will likely start from the bench for the 4th game in a row, it’s been working so far!
The Cowboys have received another big shake up. Murray Taulagi, Jason Taumololo, Connelly Lemuelu and Lachlan Burr are all out. Their replacements are Daejern Api (centre), Francis Molo (prop) and debutants Jeremiah Nanai and Griffin Neame on the bench. The resultant reshuffle sees Ben Hampton on the wing, Jake Granville at centre, Ben Condon starting in the second-row and Tom Gilbert back to the bench. The Tigers are much more settled, with only James Tamou a late out from the team from last week.
The Eagles are another fairly settled team, although they do see a couple of minor changes in the forwards. Taniela Paseka and Toafofoa Sipley are both out, with Josh Aloiai promoted to start at prop, and Curtis Sironen and Kurt De Luis coming onto the bench as middle forwards. The Eels have a number of changes, losing Reed Mahoney and Oregon Kaufusi to injury, and replacing Haze Dunster with Michael Oldfield on the wing. Joey Lussick is back at hooker in Mahoneys absence, and Makahesi Makatoa is named on the bench. Isaiah Papali’i is moving to prop, with Shaun Lane promoted from he bench to start in the second-row.
Rabbitohs $1.18 v Titans $5.00
Cowboys $2.35 v Wests Tigers $1.60
Sea Eagles $1.20 v Eels $4.50
The Rabbitohs and Eagles deserve their favouritism, but I’m going into this one expecting three good games where anyone can win. Perhaps the most interesting stack could be the Tigers, who take on a severely average looking Cowboys lineup while showing a few glimpses of attacking form of their own in the last month. Note: I had Dane Gagai has a big play today but he was ruled out on Friday which is a bummer!
Love It - Mo Fotuaika $11,400
Another quality player that has seen a big discount, but in this case it’s for a good reason. The Titans dynamo has only had one good score in the last 6 games. 4 of the 5 bad scores have come in less than his usual 50+ minutes. That could mean he’s carrying some kind of injury, or just that he’s been given extra rest after his Origin efforts and with the Titans getting a few comfortable wins in that period. This is the toughest game they’ve faced for a while, and I fully expect big Mo to be asked to do a lot more to try to win the arm wrestle in the middle of the field.
Love It - Joey Lussick $10,500
Another position I rarely love is HOK, but today Lussick looks like a pretty comfortable choice. Reed Mahoney’s injury again opens the door for a full allotment of minutes, and as we saw in his 3 starting games earlier in the season Lussick can easily pay this price off. He averaged 54 points in that period, including 45 tackles per game which would be sufficient on it’s own. There are a few other players worth considering at the position, but you can’t go wrong with Lussick.
Hate It - Toby Sexton $13,770
The inverse of his teammate Fotuaika, Sexton has thrived on the soft matchups in his first 3 NRL games. He’s come in averaging 64 points/game, and looked impressive leading the team around the park, creating some spark in attack, and kicking and defending very solidly. Thos are all good ingredients in the recipe for fantasy success, but I can’t see his scoring continuing in his first difficult matchup. The Rabbitohs should limit his attacking opportunities and make life a little harder in defence, which means he’s very unlikely to pay off this elevated price tag. I’d love to be wrong, but I won’t be.
Hate It - Jake Trbojevic $12,920
This is a harsh choice, but I’ve singled out the older Turbo brother because his ceiling has gone completely missing this year. Whether due to less minutes or some injury troubles, or even more of a distributing role in the middle of the field, he’s only cracked 60 points once. He’ll need at least that much to be relevant, and I’d prefer to trust this years data and say that he’s not up to it.
Who Knows - Scott Drinkwater $11,510
This one is more of a cautionary tale, because Drinkwater presents as perfectly solid play if he lines up at five-eight as it says on the team sheet. My concern is the presence of Daejern Asi in the centres. A month ago, Asi was named at fullback, but played in the halves with Drinkwater at fullback, where he scores ~15 points less per game. With a messy looking backline where Granville and Hampton are also named out of their usual position, it wouldn’t shock me to see some kind of switcheroo which sends the injured Val Holmes to the wing and messes up Drinkwater’s viability. In that case Asi himself might become a tempting play. Or it might be best to avoid the Cowboys altogether with their team looking unrecognisable and likely to be beaten soundly.
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