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NRL Fantasy Tips 2023: Round 21 Dragons vs Tigers
Woof. It’s a bottom of the table clash on Thursday night, as the 16th placed Dragons take on the last placed Tigers in Wollongong. Whilst it’s not the blockbuster we may hope for on a Thursday night, it’s still a chance to win some serious coin by playing Draftstars.
Draftstars has a $12,000 guaranteed contest for the Dragons and Tigers, with several other contests available, there’s something for everyone, so get involved and make this game even more exciting!
The Dragons are coming off the bye in round 20, with their last game a round 19 loss to the Raiders. Several changes since round 19, with Tyrell Sloan returning at fullback for Paul Turner, whilst Ben Hunt returns at halfback for the injured Jayden Sullivan. Ben Murdoch-Masila (knee) is out, replaced by Dan Russell, who is promoted from the bench. Jack Bird returns on the bench.
The Tigers are coming off a 34-18 loss last Friday night to the Knights. David Nofoaluma returns on the wing, pushing Asu Kepaoa to the reserves. Daine Laurie replaces Will Smith at five eighth, whilst Shawn Blore is promoted to start at lock, dropping Fonua Pole to the bench. Finally, Jake Simpkin has been bumped from the bench, with rookie hooker Tallyn Da Silva leapfrogging him for the bench hooker role.
St George Illawarra Dragons ($1.58) vs Wests Tigers ($2.40)
Points Total: 45.5 points
Both these teams are struggling, obviously, and if either team hits their straps they could win. However, I believe the Dragons are in better form, and there’s far too much going on off the field for the Tigers. The Dragons to win, and consign the Tigers to what is likely their second straight wooden spoon.
Love It – Zac Lomax - $15,040
There is a slight concern that I’m buying high here on Lomax, after a tremendous 97.9 points last time out. However, I think he showed enough in the weeks leading up to this score to indicate he is showing some decent form at this point of the season. I also like the fact he will be lining up against the left edge Tigers’ defence, which concedes the third most tries of any team in the NRL. Expensive, but a high upside against a poor defence.
Love It – Api Koroisau – 13,290
Api is slowly making his way back from injury, and with a rookie on the bench as his backup, I see his minutes and role increasing this week. Koroisau has shown enough this season to indicate that he is capable of leading this Tigers attack, and with the Tigers coming up against the Dragons poor defence, I like Api’s chances of attacking stats this week. At this price, any score of 45+ is acceptable, and Api can get that in base stats alone.
Love It – John Bateman - $21,560
Bateman has been a revelation in DFS for the past two months, averaging 67.7 in the 6 games he has played in the back row (Bateman played lock in round 18 against Cowboys, scoring only 28). That’s elite levels in the back row, and he will look to cause havoc out on the right edge against the worst left side defence in the NRL. If Bateman can jag an attacking stat, he can get you a score that earns you money in this game.
Hate It – Ben Hunt - $19,950
On the surface, Hunt is the only elite Half/Hooker player in this slate. However, his form over the Origin period has been sub-par, and I believe it’s more down to where he is mentally with the Dragons, than anything to do with Origin. There’s no doubt Hunt has the biggest upside in this game for your Half/Hooker spot, which makes this a little nerve racking, however until I see the old Ben Hunt, he can’t be selected.
Hate It – Jack Bird - $19,350
This selection comes with a catch. Bird has been named to return on the bench, however I get the distinct impression he will come into the starting line up in a late swap with rookie Dan Russell. If Bird is named to start, I don’t mind him at all at this price. Bird has been a little up and down this season, however, has great upside and attacking ability in the back row. However, if he comes off the bench, I believe he is too expensive, and there is always the injury risk attached to a guy making his comeback from injury.
Who Knows – David Nofoaluma - $12,280
Nofo has a decent upside, given his tackle breaking and offloading ability, however he is a true ‘rocks and diamonds’ DFS player. With 4 scores above 50 this season, and 3 scores below 20, he’s the kind of player who can completely ruin your team, however, is more than capable of outscoring his price. Has been in poor form lately, and appears to want out at the Tigers, however you just can’t tell how he’s going to go week to week.