NRL: Panthers the place to go shopping

By Dr Stats

Sonny Bill Williams of the Roosters is a solid play against the Knights.
Sonny Bill Williams of the Roosters is a solid play against the Knights.

A spate of injuries to star players, combined with State of Origin and a bye round make fielding a full squad this week in Dream Team Fantasy NRL difficult.

The key information for players this round largely revolves around who will not play. Once we've established that list, then we can look at who's available to pick up who may have a great match up over the weekend.

So, on a broad scale, all State of Origin players are out of action and the following teams are on a bye this weekend - Warriors, Broncos, Cowboys, Raiders, Sea Eagles, Sharks.

Both State of Origin squads have been shaken up since game one and several key players expected to play for their clubs will now not play.

William Hopoate and Josh Dugan have been called into the NSW squad while a number of new players have been selected to play or are on stand-by for the decimated Queensland side. This list includes: Dave Taylor, Willie Tonga and Will Chambers.

Beyond this list, Rabbitohs centre Dylan Walker will miss six weeks with a broken thumb while Bulldogs duo Aiden Tolman and Chase Stanley are both out of action, Stanley for up to a month.

So who is left for us to target this weekend? The good news is that three of the top five teams that concede the most fantasy points every week are in action - they are the Dragons, Storm and Titans.

With this in mind, the Panthers loom large as the place to go shopping for team replacements.

James Segeyaro ($329,000) has been in hot form of late - scoring four tries in his past four games - and, without Kevin Kingston stealing playing time, this streak could very well continue against the Dragons.

Along with Segeyaro, Tyrone Peachey ($140,000) has been unstoppable the past two weeks in posting two 60+ fantasy scores - look for another big game tomorrow night.

On paper, the Storm and the Titans square off on Monday evening in a fixture full of potential fantasy breakouts. However, both teams are missing their consistent fantasy stars and I'd be hesitant in picking up anyone from either side.

Instead, look to target players like James Graham ($326,000), Timoteo Lafai ($241,000), Joseph Paulo ($173,000) and Isaac de Gois ($289,000) from the Bulldogs v Eels match. Likewise, Jake Friend ($393,000), Sonny Bill Williams ($364,000), James Maloney ($411,000) and Roger Tuivasa-Scheck ($308,000) are all premium but very solid plays against the Knights.

Keep in mind that Roosters and Panthers players are on a bye next week, so it would be a bad idea to load up on too many if you don't have the available transfers or bench space to work around them next round.

- NZ Herald

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