We have 2 games that are expected to be close affairs to finish off round 5. The Dragons will play a Bulldogs outfit that has improved significantly over the last 2 rounds and the 6th place, Eels will travel to Canberra to face the Raiders who are currently sitting 4th on the ladder. I will be running through some of my favourite plays for todays slate.
Cameron McInnes ($8,900) appears to be much more settled now that the dragons are no longer running with their unusual spine rotation they started the year with. McInnes has posted 33.5 and 65.4 fantasy points since the dragons ended their rotation experiment. Given McInnes’ price, you would really want him to score 40 plus points today if you are rostering him however, he does have a relatively decent floor. McInnes is worth rostering if you have the spare cash but my favourite play from a value for money perspective is Reed Mahoney ($5,400) who is still playing full games for parramatta and has scored quite consistently around the 30 point mark so far this year (he did have one quiet game 2 weeks ago against the red hot Roosters which I think can be forgiven).
Tyson Frizell ($7,800) returned from the most unfortunate of injuries last week and appeared to be at full strength. I am always hesitant rostering players who are coming off an injury but it was evident last week that he has made a full recovery and is worth considering here. His teammate Paul Vaughan ($7,700) is also worth mentioning as Vaughan is yet to score under 30 fantasy points so far this season. Vaughan is also yet to score a try this year and as far as front rowers go, he has a pretty decent strike rate when it comes to crossing the line. Although the Bulldogs defence looked much better last week, Kamikamica did crash over for a try close to the line and I could see Vaughan doing the same today. Rhyse Martin ($6,700) is a big factor in why the Dogs have been able to turn their form around in the last few weeks. Martin was a shock exclusion from the Dogs over the first 3 rounds but was called back into the squad after a horror start to the year. Martin has played 80 minutes and scored over 30 fantasy points in both of the matches he has played in. The fact that he kicks goals is an added bonus. Junior Paulo ($5,500) is another big man who is seeing huge minutes so far this year. Paulo’s price is still a fair way off reflecting his output so far this year and is therefore a great value play. If you fancy the Eels to stay with the Raiders today or come out on top, Marata Niukore ($5,400) is also worth considering as he has looked particularly dangerous running off Short balls from Moses so far this season.
Mitchell Moses ($6,300) and Corey Norman ($5,800) have both seen increased fantasy production in recent weeks due to injuries to other key playmakers in their respective teams. Norman has posted 35.4 and 32.3 fantasy points since Widdop was tragically injured. Norman has also kicked the winning field goal 2 weeks straight so expect him to play with plenty of confidence today and ask plenty of questions with the ball in hand. The Eels young gun Dylan Brown will unfortunately have to spend some time on the sideline with a back complaint. Last week was the first game that he missed and Moses took it upon himself to carve up a depleted Sharks outfit and posted a solid 59.3 fantasy points. Both make for excellent plays today.
The Lethal combination of Joseph Leilua ($7,800) and Jordan Rapana ($7,800) really gelled for the first time this season last week. It is worth mentioning that they will face a tougher challenge in the Eels this week however, I believe you can get a lot of exposure to the Raiders’ attacking stats by rostering this pair and that allows you to get a half from another team. Its often the case that the raiders halves create good opportunities for Leilua who then breaks the line and sets up Rapana for the try and therefore takes away from the raiders Halves’ scoring potential. Gutherson and Ferguson are both great plays this week however, I don’t think I have to justify why these guys need to be considered when building lineups so I instead wanted to flag Timoteo Lafai ($6,100) and Jordan Pereira ($5,800) who, like Rapana and Leilua, have formed a dangerous partnership down their side of the field. the Dragons have run a lot of their attack down their edge of the field in recent weeks and hence they are always capable of posting good scores. If you are looking for salary cap relief, Jayden Okunbor ($3,900) has been a godsend for the Dogs who’s struggled in attack over the first few rounds of the season. In just 2 games Okunbor has run for over 500 metres and broken the line 4 times.