Round 12 comes to an end with another two-game Sunday afternoon slate. First, at 2pm the Canterbury Bulldogs (16th) welcome the St George Illawarra Dragons (11th) to Belmore Sports Ground. The Dogs are already playing for pride, while the Dragons are still in touch with the top 8 and will be keen to back up last week’s win. Then at 4:05 pm the Canberra Raiders (9th) host the Parramatta Eels (6th) at GIO Stadium. The Raiders have won their last 3, but the Eels are a couple of rungs above and will start as handy favourites.

Draftstars has a $3000 contest with $411 to first place. The single game contests are set at $6000 and $8000 respectively. There are also several other contests including the Mini, Micro, and the High Roller. 


Team News

There are two changes for the Bulldogs. Josh Addo-Carr returns on the wing, pushing out Jayden Okunbor. Corey Waddell also replaces Joe Stimson directly in the second-row. The team is still not going well, but it will be interesting to see if the likes of Kiraz, Addo-Carr, Burton and Pangai Jr can continue their decent scoring going forward.

Just one change for the Dragons. Veteran Andrew McCullough joins the bench as the backup hooker, unseating Jayden Sullivan from the same role. That change could be undone before kickoff. Otherwise the team is in moderate shape, with Ramsey, Suli, Amone & Molo all flashing upside in their current roles. Moses Mbye at hooker is one position that doesn’t seem sustainable.

Three changes for the Raiders. The biggest is Jamal Fogarty replacing Brad Schneider at halfback, for his first game as a Raider. How he fares after a serious injury and in a new dynamic will be very interesting indeed. Jarrod Croker was supposed to come in, but hurt his shoulder again at training. Xavier Savage moves from the bench to fullback with Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad picking up another injury, and I think Matt Frawley is likely to fill the utility bench spot. Ryan Sutton is named to replace Harry Ruston on the bench, but they could easily swap again.

The only change for the Eels is Waqa Blake returning not he wing, unseating Hayze Perham. Maika Sivo is also in the reserves after his ACL rehab, so could be ready to fill that left wing spot instead of Blake. Everything is fairly predictable at the Eels, with the super hot streak from Ryan Matterson while playing from the bench the only big question mark over how to treat each player.


Bulldogs $2.50 v Dragons $1.54 
Raiders $2.60 v Eels $1.50


The odds are similar across both games, with the away team expected to win about 66% of the time. If I’m chasing an upset I feel more interested in the Bulldogs but would be happy chase the Raiders form spike to some degree. Essentially I’m just treating both games as even contests and not looking to stack any team too aggressively. Likely the field will be keen on Dragons stacks, so that could be an opportunity to get different by going down a more balanced path.


Love It- Xavier Savage $9000

We only have two games to go off with Savage as a starting fullback, for a 15 and a 74. It’s a wide range, and it does feel like he could do absolutely anything today. It’s a tough matchup and he’s had an injury interrupted run so far, but it’s hard to see him failing too often given the price is at rock bottom. My feeling is that he’s got a similar talent to Kalyn Ponga, which translates to an average in the 40s. Insane value. Cody Ramsey is another with a small sample at fullback, but he was excellent last week and also looks far too cheap in a soft matchup.


Love It- Mitch Moses $20,850

Most players who score like Moses are priced closer to 25K, and I’m not exactly sure why he isn’t. His floor is lower than other gun halfbacks, with several scores in the 30s already this season. But the ceiling is big and his projection is around 60, so it’s a nice value. Compared to Ben Hunt and Matt Burton who are both more expensive and averaging 7-9 points less this season, it’s hard to see how we can pass on him.


Love It- Jack Bird $13,180

The enigmatic Dragon isn’t having a great season, having spent time in the halves and playing through some injuries. Pretty standard stuff for someone as versatile and reckless with his body as Bird. Still, he’s back in his best scoring role at second-row and due for some positive regression after missing 22 tackles in the last 3 weeks. If he cuts that out and finds some attacking stats, he can smash this price tag. A Bulldogs matchup is the perfect setup for that kind of bounce back. It’s risky, but that means it should be a reasonably unique play.


Hate It- Josh Papalii $19,080

Putting the big Raider in this spot didn’t work out last week, with a big 74 points after 69 the previous week. But, I’m a sucker for punishment, because you don’t get anywhere in DFS changing your mind every week. He again played less than 50 minutes, which has been his problem all season and a symptom of his advancing age. He needed a try to get the big score for the second week in a row, and I’m happy to bet against a third straight week of crossing the line, particularly in a tougher matchup.


Hate It- Moses Suli $17,310

I mentioned that Suli is going well, and he really is! He’s averaging 43 this season after doing roughly the same in a bit of a breakout year at Manly last year. He’s got the 60 point ceiling, but he’s not much of a try scorer and relies on tackle breaks for the bulk of his scoring. That means his big games can come against pretty much anyone, and I’m not too taken by the soft matchup this week. I’d rather take some of the extreme value at this position with Savage/Ramsey or a Ravalawa/Feagai type who can benefit from some soft tries potentially.


Who Knows- Jamal Fogarty $18,870

Finally, I’ll dig into Fogarty a little bit, despite being confident that he’s too expensive returning from a bad knee injury and in a new team. With Croker and Schneider out, I think he’ll do the goal kicking, which always helps. His 50+ average at the Titans relied on 20 tackles, 300 kick metres and 2 goals for the base of his scores, with running and attacking stats a bonus. Most of that should be repeatable at the Raiders, with his kicking balance with Wighton the key to watch out for. For now I’m projecting them both for 50 points, and likely taking a pass on both today while observing how it plays out.

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