Fantasy NRL: Plenty of value in Eels clash

By Dr Stats

Joseph Paulo is our value pickup of the week. Photo / Getty Images
Joseph Paulo is our value pickup of the week. Photo / Getty Images

Round 13 of Dream Team Fantasy NRL is upon us and we're back to an almost full complement of teams and players for the weekend.

After two rounds of byes and missing Origin stars, this round offers up a full palette of players to choose from - apart from those affected by injury.

Despite this apparent good news, the list of injured players is notable.

The Sharks look like a team ripe for the picking this weekend with Origin stars Paul Gallen and Andrew Fifita among a host of missing or reshuffled players.

They face a Dragons side without Brett Morris but one with a number of intriguing fantasy options. Jason Nightingale ($282,000) has been solid all season and Trent Merrin ($227,000) is back starting this weekend - both are great starters for your team. A more risk/reward play would be Josh Dugan ($218,000) who's been shifted to the centres where he'll have more of a chance to rack up tackles.

Other injury news sees star Eels hooker Nathan Peats ruled out for the season, Titans playmaker Aidan Sezer out for almost three months and Knights forward utility Adam Cuthbertson out for 3-4 weeks.

In matchups to exploit this round, the Parramatta Eels, Penrith Panthers and Canberra Raiders all make juicy plays against soft fantasy opponents.

Jarryd Hayne ($250,000), William Hopoate ($170,000), Semi Radradra ($150,000) and Joseph Paulo ($172,000) are all great value plays against the Cowboys tonight.

On the Gold Coast, the Panthers face a Titans side with several top players returning from injury. Despite this, I still believe their key fantasy players will receive a boost in value against a team that consistently gives up fantasy points in bundles.

Josh Mansour ($262,000) and Elijah Taylor ($251,000) are very solid starts while Tyrone Peachey ($137,000) will look to back up his 68-point haul last week via the starting 13 once again.

Monday night's fixture sees the Raiders host the Brisbane Broncos - a side giving up the fourth-most fantasy points per game to opposing sides.

While the Raiders have been sluggish fantasy scorers so far this year, they have performed much better in home starts.

Of their squad, Shaun Fensom ($357,000) is an every-week play as is Jarrod Croker ($264,000). This week Glen Buttriss ($155,000) and Jack Wighton ($122,000) are your top targets for cheap value in your team.

Despite the illusion of a respite from bye weeks and State of Origin, be aware that it will all get confusing once again from next week. Below is a guide for the coming weeks and which teams and players will be absent, so plan ahead wisely.

Round 14: Broncos, Cowboys, Raiders, Sea Eagles, Sharks, Warriors + all Origin players out
Round 15: Panthers, Rabbitohs, Roosters, Tigers
Round 16: Bulldogs, Titans
Round 17: Broncos, Eels, Knights, Raiders, Storm, Warriors + all Origin players out
Round 18: Cowboys, Dragons, Rabbitohs, Roosters

Top pickup:
Josh Mansour, Panthers

Value pickup:
Joseph Paulo, Eels

On the bench:
Paul Gallen, Sharks (out 1-2 weeks)
Andrew Fifita, Sharks (out 3 weeks)
Josh Morris, Bulldogs (out 6-8 weeks)
Brett Morris, Dragons (out indefinitely)
Nathan Peats, Eels (out for season)
Aidan Sezer, Titans (out 11 weeks)
Adam Cuthbertson, Knights (out 3-4 weeks)
Billy Slater, Storm (out 2-3 weeks)
Cooper Cronk, Storm (out 8-12 weeks)
Nathan Merritt, Rabbitohs (dropped)

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