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NRL 2021 Daily Fantasy Tips: Round 23 Saturday
It’s our 23rd Super Saturday of the season, and I’m still not sick of them! This edition kicks off with the Wests Tigers (13th) taking on the Cronulla Sharks (10th) in Rockhampton. Both teams have only slim chances of making the finals, but they’ll be looking to continue some recent momentum nonetheless. Next the Canterbury Bulldogs (16th) and the Newcastle Knights (7th) meet on the Gold Coast. The Bulldogs have sealed the wooden spoon, while the Knights have their finals fate in their own hands a game clear of the logjam behind them. Finally the Parramatta Eels (6th) and the North Queensland Cowboys (14th) complete a Gold Coast double header. The Eels still have some chance of making the top 4, but more importantly they need to find some form having lost their last 4 games (including three straight heavy losses).
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 Tigers are looking a fairly settled team thanks to some improved form of late. James Tamou, Jacob Liddle and Thomas Mikaele go out of the team. Jake Simpkin moves to hooker, Joe Ofahengaue will start at prop for Tamou. James Roberts comes onto the bench as a utility. The Sharks have also been reasonably settled, although they lose Andrew Fifita to injury and Aiden Tolman is also out. Teig Wilton comes onto the bench, while a major reshuffle sees Hamlin-Uele back to the bench, Toby Rudolf to prop, Jack Williams to lock, Siosifa Talakai to the second-row, and Mawene Hiroti coming into the team at centre. Matt Moylan looks like he would get a run of the interchange.
There a number of changes at the Bulldogs, as we have become accustomed to. Sione Katoa, Jeremy Marshall-King, Falakiko Manu, Matt Doorey and Chris Patolo are all out. Corey Allan rejoins the wing after being a late out last week. Kyle Flanagan is back in the halves, and Jackson Topine gets a crack at being the starting hooker. Luke Thompson returns from suspension t prop, and Corey Waddell in the second-row. Bailey Biondo-Odo moves back to the utility role on the bench. The Knights lose Tyson Frizell (suspension) and Daniel Saifiti (injury), with David Klemmer moving to prop, and Brodie Jones into the second-row. Chris Randall, Josh King, and debutant Jirah Momoisea all join the bench, with Simi Sasagi making way after not even getting onto the field last week.
The Eels have dropped Tom Opacic, with youngster Will Penisini taking his place in the centres. Haze Dunster returns on the wing after Michael Oldfield got a one week opportunity. Ryan Matterson is out with suspension, with Marata Niukore moving to the second-row and Oregon Kaufusi coming onto the bench. The Cowboys only change is Reuben Cotter coming onto the bench for Griffin Neame. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow and Jason Taumololo are both lurking in the reserves as potential late inclusions for a team in major need of some star power.
Wests Tigers $2.45 v Sharks $1.55
Bulldogs $5.00 v Knights $1.18
Eels $1.31 v Cowboys $3.50
It’s a slate lacking much star power, with the lifeless Eels and the inconsistent Knights the only likely finals teams. I do think they both get the job done easily against weakened opponents, which leaves the opening game as our best chance for an upset. I have the Tigers ahead by a bit, with a lot of their key players in some good form (both fantasy and real life). A good mix of Tigers, Knights and Eels players is the kind of lineup I’m looking to build today.
Love It - Maika Sivo $8,420
What happens when Maika Sivo has a few stinkers in a row, gets a big price drop, and then comes up against a struggling opponent? Maika goes BOOM. A player at under 10K with a 100 score this season is very rare. Of course, wingers rely somewhat on the rest of their team creating opportunities, so this play requires a little faith that the Eels can turn their form around. Given that their 4 straight losses have come against strong opposition, I’m confident that this is a perfect spot for them to get things moving in the right direction again.
Love It - Brodie Jones $9,000
This young Knight has so far played most of his footy as a low minute bench forward or a utility back. Neither look great on the stats sheet, but in the case of Jones we do have a handful of games where he’s scored 40+ points and showed plenty in both attack and defence. Two of those games were in the back row in Rounds 13 & 14 this season, with 70+ minutes and 40+ points in each of them a good indication of his ability. Neither game included any attacking stats at all, so with a soft matchup against the NRL cellar dwellers, I think Jones has plenty of ceiling to smash this price tag and set you lineups on the path to victory.
Love It - Jake Simpkin $10,380
The Tigers have again reshuffled their hooker setup, with Simpkin moving into the starting team and Jacob Liddle out altogether. With only James Roberts on the bench as a utility, chances are that Simpkin is planning to see 80 minutes in this game. His only full game in the role (Round 6) saw him make 58 tackles, while his other starting games also produced some promising scores. He’s had 3 months since then to work on his craft and hopefully produce some more on the offensive side of the ball, and I love his chances of showcasing those talents against a middling opponent. Too cheap for this spot in my opinion.
Hate It - Ben Hampton $8,500
The versatile Cowboy played on a wing last week, after earlier scoring plenty of points in his halfback role. He produced a slate-winning 42 points thanks to good amount of attacking stats against the Tigers last week, but I can’t see the same happening in a tougher matchup with the Eels. The little price rise helps to seal my conviction that Hampton is one to avoid today. Teammate Kyle Feldt also fits this bill coming in under an injury cloud and at a higher price tag than I can remember seeing him previously.
Hate It - Junior Paulo $13,040
I might be high on the Eels today, but I’m definitely not high on Paulo at this price. Admittedly he’s been much better in the last month of footy (averaging 50), but his season has been underwhelming and his only scores over 60 came in the first two rounds of the year. It will take at least that to be a good play today. The FRF position is admittedly a little uninspiring today, but I still prefer the likes of Klemmer, Saifiti, Twal and Thompson if I’m looking to spend up for a strong ceiling play.
Who Knows - Mitch Moses / Dylan Brown $15,710 / $12,600
Like FRF, HLF is a position that’s not exactly dripping with value today. We’re going to have to work our for ourselves who is a strong play, because the pricing looks pretty efficient. Both Moses and Brown have big ceilings, and you already know that I like the Eels chances of recording a big win. The problem is that Moses has been rusty coming off his back fracture, and Brown has not been at his attacking best for quite a while now. If the easier game can serve as the catalyst for one or both of these guys to awake from their slumber, then I don’t see a better ceiling play at the position (perhaps Doueihi the absolute animal). If the Eels can’t get going, or the likes of Sivo and Gutherson are the ones doing all the work, then both could easily flop at these price tags also.
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