I’m expecting all three of the Saturday matches this week to be close fought battles so it might be beneficial loading up on your forwards. First up we’ll have the West Tigers V Melbourne Storm where Melbourne will try redeeming themselves after their round two loss against the Tigers. The second match will be fought between the New Zealand Warriors and the North Queensland Cowboys where the warriors welcome back Shaun Johnson from injury. Finally we have the Newcastle Knights playing the Brisbane Broncos. Both teams will need to improve on last week’s effort to notch another two points.

HOOKERS

Cameron Smith ($9,000) has been lacking form recently and won’t have the kicking duties again this weekend. The cheapest candidate in Pita Godinet ($4,200) is currently providing great value and should be considered if you’re looking to spend big in other positions. Andrew McCullough ($8,400) is a great option due to his tackling numbers while Jake Granville ($5,900) seems to be the superior choice from the mid-range options available.

FORWARDS

Matthew Lodge ($4,500) continues to provide value to our Moneyball teams and will be my first picked this week. Scott Bolton ($6,500) is replacing the injured Jordan McLean in the starting side while Joe Stimson ($5,600) will take over the goal kicking duties at the Storm. Both these players are viable options for your forwards. Russell Packer ($5,500) and Robbie Rochow ($5,500) are producing an excellent output for the Tigers and will be looking to dismantle the Storm once again. Herman Ese’ese ($5,300) is the consistent choice and needs to be considered as a safety pick. It’s safe to say that we’re spoiled for choice when it comes to mid-rangers in the forwards.

If you don’t mind forking out the big bucks then I’d recommend taking a punt on either Tohu Harris ($9,000) or Josh McGuire ($8,000). Both of these candidates play big minutes and should keep the points ticking over throughout the match.

HALVES

Johnathan Thurston ($9,200) has a great record at Mount Smart Stadium and will be my half this week despite carrying the highest price tag. Be wary if you have your heart set on Shaun Johnson ($9,100); he’s coming back from injury and might not be at 100%. Cameron Munster ($8,300) has been poor since switching to the halves from fullback while Benji Marshall ($3,500) remains a risky options despite the cheapest half on offer.

OUTSIDE BACKS

We should be free to choose any outside backs we want considering the numerous mid-range forwards available. It wouldn’t surprise me if all three matches are low scoring contests so Roger Tuivasa-Sheck ($9,900) will be my first choice due to his base output. Esan Marsters ($6,900) has been brilliant for the Tigers while Ben Hampton ($3,700) has been a good buy considering his cheap price tag. Young Tonumaipea ($5,000) comes into the Storm centres to replace the suspended Will Chambers. Corey Oates ($7,100) has returned from injury and could be a good choice if he manages to find the line against the Warriors.