However you approach Round 15 of Dream Team Fantasy NRL, there will be an element of luck involved with how many of your fantasy stars actually take the field.

Game Two of State of Origin took place on Wednesday night and, while all clubs with players involved would love to have them all play, there will be an element of foxing around whether they will or not.

For example, the Broncos have not named Justin Hodges or Sam Thaiday to play against the Warriors but the coach Andrew McFadden is fully expecting them to play despite this. The Broncos will likely leave it to the last minute to announce whether they will pay or not.

While this approach is a smart one by the Broncos, it makes it hard for us Fantasy coaches and I would recommend making your transfers as if players like this won't play - though if you have to choose between a clearly injured, or bye week player, or Origin star then drop the one who 100% will not play.


Two other factors will make this coming round a tricky one for us: the teams on a bye contain many highly-owned players and there were a number of key injuries from Round 14.

Andrew McCullough, Corey Parker, Sam Perrett and Manu Ma'u all suffered injuries in Round 14 that will keep them out of action for an extended period while Anthony Watmough is facing a number of weeks on the sidelines after being cited for a dangerous throw in Origin II.

As well as these, all players from the Roosters, Panthers, Rabbitohs and Tigers are on the bye.

So where can we look for replacements this week? I'm targeting key players from the Warriors, Sea Eagles and Eels.

The Warriors are at Mt Smart Stadium and face a banged up and injury-hit Broncos side that concede plenty of fantasy points even with a full strength side.

As a consequence, Simon Mannering ($285,000), Konrad Hurrell ($386,000), Nathan Friend ($389,000) and Shaun Johnson ($286,000) are all great plays this weekend.

In Sydney, the Sharks welcome back a host of big names, including Todd Carney and Paul Gallen, but I fully expect the Sea Eagles to be able to rack up plenty of fantasy points against them.

Look for backline stars Jamie Lyon ($592,000), Steve Matai ($402,000) and Jorge Taufua ($460,000) to be solid plays while Matt Ballin ($425,000) is one to target for McCullough or Parker owners.


The red-hot Eels take on the Storm on Sunday afternoon where I'm expecting big games from the likes of Joseph Paulo ($174,000) and Chris Sandow ($204,000) while opposition prop Jesse Bromwich ($317,000) also looks likely to continue his great form.

Top pick:
Nathan Friend, Warriors

Value pick:
Joseph Paulo, Eels

On the bench:
Andrew McCullough, Broncos (out 2-3 weeks)
Corey Parker, Broncos (out 2-3 weeks)
Anthony Watmough, Sea Eagles (likely suspension)
Andrew Fifita, Sharks (out 5-6 weeks)
Sam Perrett, Bulldogs (out 5-7 weeks)
Aiden Tolman, Bulldogs (out 1-2 weeks)
Manu Ma'u, Eels (out indefinitely)
Ben Matulino, Warriors (out 2-3 weeks)