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NRL 2021 Daily Fantasy Tips: Round 4 Saturday
Just the two games this Super Saturday, which makes it decidedly less super. Of course there are probably better things to be doing this weekend. If not, we can still enjoy a double-header kicking off at 5:15pm AEDT with the Sharks hosting the Cowboys in Kogarah. Both teams are languishing near the bottom to start the season, with the only win between them secured by the Sharks in a scrappy Rd 1 game. That’s followed by a better-looking clash between the Titans and the Raiders, with the Titans hosting (although the game has been moved to Kogarah for COVID reasons). Both teams are 2-1, and both have lost to the Warriors. This should be the best test so far for both outfits. It looks like a sunny day in Sydney for the Kogarah double-header.
The main slate on Draftstars today is only $3,000, with a top prize of $411. The single game slates are $6,000 and $8,000 respectively.
The Sharks injury woes from last weekend have been well documented. The main changes as a result are Sione Katoa and Briton Nikora out, with Mawene Hiroti coming onto the wing and Teig Wilton moving into the second-row. Braydon Trindall comes onto the bench to fill the utility role. The Cowboys have made sweeping changes for the game with new coach Todd Payten looking a very frustrated man already. Jake Clifford, Esan Marsters and Mitch Dunn are out, with Reuben Cotter also missing after a big head knock. Connelly Leumelu gets a run at centre, Ben Hampton comes into the halves, and Josh McGuire, Shane Wright and Ben Condon form an all new back-row. Coen Hess goes back to the bench. That’s an awful lot of changes, but if anything it seems like a downgrade in talent, and the Cowboys are looking to be in some big trouble as a club.
The Titans are unchanged, with Tyrone Peachey retaining the starting lock role and Moeaki Fotuaika starting from the bench. That could easily change before the game but it seemed to work pretty well for them last week. Meanwhile the Raiders were the other team smashed by injuries last week and have lost Curtis Scott and Joseph Tapine as a result. Sebastian Kris moves back into the centres, and Ryan Sutton will start at lock. Hudson Young returns in his 2nd row spot, and Dunamis Lui is named at prop after being a late out last week. Ryan James has been named to play despite injury last week and should get plenty of minutes off the bench if he’s at full fitness.
Sharks $1.35 v Cowboys $3.25
Line – 8.5
Total – 42.5
Titans $2.35 v Raiders $1.60
Line – 4.5
Total – 42.5
The first game is rather interesting, in that I actually find it rather hard to split the two teams. Going through position by position, it is a very similar mix of veteran, unproven, and downright ordinary NRL players trying to come together as a team. I think it all comes down to how motivated the Cowboys are by Payten’s shake-up, and largely how Scott Drinkwater and Valentine Holmes perform as the controlling half and main attacking threat respectively. In short, Cowboys might be value, and could be a sneaky stacking option. I have the late game pretty even with the Raiders forward pack slightly diminished, and the Titans needing to build on their big win last week by continuing to strengthen combinations across the field. It’s a wide-open slate!
Love It - Teig Wilton $8,200
Wilton had to enter the game early last week due to several HIAs, and he ground out a respectable 29 points. That means in 3 games with 50+ minutes, he now averages over 40, including a 60 in his only 80-minute game. 40 points is more than enough at this price, and I’m guessing the plan will be for him to play 80 minutes with the other Sharks forwards all needing the rest more having been forced to play 80 last week. Ben Condon is potentially a viable alternative, but we won’t know for sure until we see him play.
Love It - Scott Drinkwater $10,130
Available as both a WFB & HLF, Drinkwater should have a lot of the kicking duties to himself with Ben Hampton partnering him in the halves. It’s not that Hampton can’t kick at all, but I do expect Drinkwater to take control. 40 points is a pass mark, but if the Cowboys put up a good fight in this game as I expect, then Drinkwater has the potential to have his hands on everything and score 50+.
Love It - Ryan Sutton $10,510
Sutton was huge last week, starting the game at Prop and scoring 83 points including a try. The try and the 73 minutes are unlikely to be repeated, but his move to Lock this week to cover Joseph Tapine does give him a good chance to challenge another 50+ score with a career average in the mid-40s when starting.
Hate It - Aaron Woods $14,120
Woods and most of his fellow Sharks forwards were forced to play 80 minutes last week when there was no-one left on the bench at halftime. Not only does this mean they could be slightly managed this week, it’s also resulted in a decent price bump across the board and very little value to be had (apart from Wilton). I’ll be giving them all a wide berth on this slate.
Hate It - Connelly Lemuelu $8,870
I hate to pick on the kid in his first game of the year, but Lemuelu is one of several Cowboys depth players who has shown limited talent. In 7 games last season he averaged just 24 points and had a ceiling of 35. Centre isn’t exactly an awe-inspiring position on this slate, but there are plenty of better options than this guy. Murray Taulagi belongs in the same bin.
Who Knows - The Hooker position (again)
Why is this always such a garbage position on big slates? The only player who doesn’t have a potential backup on the bench is Tanah Boyd, and he’s not even a hooker! Everyone else is either overpriced or not likely to get many minutes. Boyd was doing okay last week before injury struck, so he’ll be my pick of the bunch. After that you might just have to flip coins for Rein, Hodgson or Robson and hope one of them can grab some attacking stats.
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