We start Round 7 with the Cronulla Sharks (4-2) hosting the Manly Sea Eagles (4-2) at PointsBet Stadium at 7:50pm on Thursday night. Despite the similar records, the Sharks are rated the better team at the moment. That has a lot to do with the absence of Tom Trbojevic. Still, it looks like a quality game and even if it isn’t, there are fantasy contests to be won! We also get a rare chance to claim a ticket to the AFL Live final through the $10 qualifier.

Draftstars  has a $20,000 contest with $2184 to first place. There are also several other contests including the Mini, Micro, and the High Roller.



Team News
The Sharks have three changes. They lose Dale Finucane and Braden Hamlin-Uele, as well as Mawene Hiroti making way on the wing for the returning Sione Katoa. Briton Nikora also returns in the second-row with Cam McIness shifting to lock to cover Finucane. Aiden Tolman is promoted too start at lock, with Royce Hunt coming in to take his spot on the bench. Will Kennedy is one Sharks player not being lifted by their great play, with his average down about 10 points from last year.
Manly also has three changes. Tolutau Koula is replaced at centre by Morgan Harper. Josh Aloiai and Sean Keppie are also out, with Kurt De Luis and Ethan Bullemore joining the bench, with Taniela Paseka promoted to start at prop. With only a few exceptions, no-one at Manly is living up to last years cracking season.


Sharks $1.45 v Eagles $2.75


The Sharks have flipped things on their head, coming in as big favourites against one of 2021s best teams. Some quality recruiting, a coaching upgrade, and an already potent backline have them firming as one of the top 4 teams themselves this season. Meanwhile the Eagles are managing okay without Tommy Turbo, but they’ve yet to face an opposition of this quality since his injury. I’m leaning towards the bookies being right, and the Sharks having the upper hand throughout this contest.

Love It- Cam McIness $14,430

The former Dragons gun has looked better with each passing week after missing all of 2021 with an ACL. He started a game for the first time last week, playing 80 minutes in the second-row and giving us a respectable 45. Now he shifts to his best position at lock, where he averaged ~75 in 2020 before his injury. I’m not expecting him to repeat those heroics (at least not straight away), but I think something approaching 60 could be very possible in what I expect to be big minute role (60-70). That makes this price laughable and he’s most likely the top play on the slate.


Love It- Kieran Foran / Matt Moylan $10,540 / $9000

The pricing scale has been adjusted with the new lineup format this season, and some of the uber-guns are getting very expensive. That applies to both halfbacks in this game (more on that later), to the point where it’s very difficult to fit either of them in. On the flip side, their halves partners in Moylan and Foran are both cheap and very capable of punching out a 30+ score most days, with occasional 50+ upside (as we just saw from Foran). Both are old, injury prone and volatile, so this is more of a price play than anything else. It seems likely one or both will out-value most other players at the position.


Love It- Reuben Garrick $14,080

The OB back position is loaded with players in great form, particularly on the Cronulla side of the field. With Sharks favoured, I probably should be leaning towards the likes of Katoa, Mulitalo, Talakai and even Ramien. But I want to give Garrick another opportunity. He’s shown plenty in 7 career starts at fullback, averaging 48. It hasn’t quite clicked the last two weeks and he’s still given us a 37 & 38, so I think the 50+ score is a very real possibility no matter how this game plays out.


Hate It- Nicho Hynes / Daly Cherry-Evans $25420 / $25170

Clearly the two best scorers on the slate, it’s just very hard to pay this much salary for one player. If it was Cleary scoring 80+ every week then I would happily do it, but for two players averaging 67 and now in one of their tougher matchups for the season, I don’t think they can give us the big ceiling score needed at this price. If I had to pick one it would be Hynes, as he is younger and has delivered three 70+ scores to Cherry-Evans one so far this season. Take the savings at this position and spend up elsewhere in my opinion.


Hate It- Haumole Olakau’atu $19,820

One place I don’t really want to spend up is on the young Eagles backrower, who has seen a big price rise after trouncing the Knights and the Titans the last two weeks. He’s undoubtedly a star and in some great form, but I can’t stomach such a big price tag for someone who doesn’t even average 50. Some regression should be coming for him, so in a tough matchup I feel safe saying there won’t be another 70+ score and we can look some of the slightly cheaper forwards for more dependable scores.


Who Knows- Morgan Harper $11,490

After averaging ~37 last season, Harper is yet to score more than 35 in 5 games. He’s back this week after being dropped (I think?), and I’d have to think he’ll have a Des Hasler rocket underneath him when he gets out on the field. That may not be enough though, as the Eagles are much less potent without Tommy Turbo, and the Sharks defence is no joke. If the price was closer to rock bottom I’d find it hard to resist, but I’m leaning towards not buying into Harper too strongly this week. Having said that, he does have it in him, so is one to consider as a contrarian play.


Draftstars Suggested Team

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