How good was Magic Round?! Much like the Wests Tigers' dry spell, all that's been and gone, and now we're starting down the barrel of Round 11. So what's going down in the round ahead? Team lists are out, Dolphins have the bye and there are some delicious matchups to break down. In this blog, we're previewing every game of Round 11 ahead and providing some insights around what to expect. Let us know what you do and don't agree with via our social channels twitter, facebook, instagram, discord.
Melbourne Storm V Brisbane Broncos
Thursday 11th of May - 7:50pm AEST
The red-hot Broncos travel to AAMI Park this week, where the Storm will be looking to bounce back after being outclassed by the Bunnies last Saturday. Craig Bellamy's frustrations weren't enough to prompt any changes to Melbourne's 1-17 for this week's clash. Grant and Munster are still safe fantasy scorers and will be determined to give their all to that Melbourne side in the weeks leading up to Origin representative duties. If you've got them, play them.
After running rings around the Sea Eagles last Friday, Brisbane are rolling out an unchanged 17 for this fixture. Kurt Capewell is currently named to play, but complications following last week's nasty head knock could see Palasia, Piakura or Willison come into the side. The usual suspects - Payne Haas, Reece Walsh and Patrick Carrigan - were terrific last week and will continue to add value to your fantasy side. Keep an eye on Adam Reynolds, who should become more fantasy-relevant over the next few weeks once that Origin-depleted Brisbane side craves his leadership.
Storm 16 - 24 Broncos Payne Haas - 64 GDS fantasy points
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs V New Zealand Warriors
Friday 12th of May - 6:00pm AEST
Both sides suffered hard fought L's at Magic Round, where the Raiders toppled the Doggies by 4 points while Penrith beat the Warriors 18-6. The Canterbury-Bankstown faithfuls are chuffed to see Josh Addo-Carr back in the side, who after 4 weeks out will be eager as ever to score a few tries. Matt Burton and Reed Mahoney have been solid for the Dogs in recent weeks, but there are better fantasy scorers available for both the Hooker and Halves positions. Although who knows... Perhaps Burton and The Fox will link up for a masterclass!
Plenty of changes for the Wahs this week, as injuries to Jackson Ford and Edward Kosi see Ronald Volkman and Rocco Berry come into the side, with Josh Curran shifting to Second Row. There's plenty of hype around the electric young-gun Volkman, but it's worth holding off to see how he combined with SJ before locking him into your squad. Shaun Johnson and Addin Fonua-Blake have scored well in recent weeks and are top-shelf points of difference for your side. What's better? They don't play Origin!
Bulldogs 10 - 18 Warriors Addin Fonua-Blake - 65 GDS fantasy points
Penrith Panthers V Sydney Roosters
Friday 12th of May - 8:00pm AEST
Two competition heavyweights will clash on Friday night as the Roosters head out to BlueBet Stadium to face the mighty Penrith Panthers. Ivan Cleary has named the same 17 players which triumphed over the Warriors at Magic Round last week, where Nathan Cleary stuck it to the haters / Hynes fanboys with a MASSIVE fantasy score. Alongside Cleary, Isaah Yeo and Dylan Edwards have been in terrific point-scoring form and deserve serious consideration for a start in your side this week.
Popular young Rooster Egan Butcher is out after suffering a head knock last week, which sees Angus Crichton promoted to the starting side. Joey Manu will once again line up in the No. 6 jersey and is a terrific starting Centre option for your fantasy squad. Brandon Smith's minutes remain solid and given everyone's preference to play Grant or Cook at Hooker, The Cheese is shaping up as a nice little point-of-difference. Tedesco and Suaalii remain popular, but the Roosters' outside backs are in a bit of a purple patch at the moment, so proceed with caution.
Panthers 20 - 12 Roosters Isaah Yeo - 72 GDS fantasy points
South Sydney Rabbitohs V Wests Tigers
Saturday 13th of May - 3:00pm AEST
Everyone is loving the Wests Tigers' revival right now, but Tim Sheens' men will need to pull a rabbit out of the hat if they're to compete with the Bunnies at Accor Stadium on Saturday. Souths' formidable backline is going gangbusters, with Latrell, Johnston and Cody Walker all going for massive fantasy scores in recent weeks. Fantasy favourites in the forward pack, Damien Cook and Cameron Murray have been pretty quiet this year despite playing good minutes, but they could score BIG any week now. Leaving them out of my GameDay Squad fantasy side is not a risk I'm willing to take right now, so I'll be playing both this week.
An unfortunate hamstring injury for John Bateman during last week's warm-up saw the Englishman miss out in Magic Round, but Tigers fans will be stoked to see him back in the No. 12 jersey this week. There's lots of talk around Jahream Bula who has been on fire for the Tigers since debuting, but you'll have to live without the young Fullback while his card is out of the GameDay Squad ecosystem. There's plenty of reliable scorers amongst the Tigers forward pack, namely Twal, Papali'i and Klemmer. You can't go too wrong with any of these guys.
Rabbitohs 26 - 8 Tigers Cody Walker - 85 GDS fantasy points
North Queensland Cowboys V St. George Illawarra Dragons
Saturday 13th of May - 5:30pm AEST
14th on the ladder plays 16th as the Cowboys host the Dragons at Queensland Country Bank Stadium. The Cows put on a wet weather masterclass at Magic Round against the Chooks and Todd Payten does not want to change a single thing - So the side remains unchanged. Reuben Cotter is certainly capable of going 'beast mode' again as he looks to cement that Origin spot. Fantasy coaches who took a cheeky punt on Reece Robson and Scott Drinkwater as points-of-difference were rewarded handsomely last week. It certainly is not too late to get on these guys!
It's still shambles central in St. George and with his job on the line, Anthony 'Hook' Griffin has named the same run-on side that fell victim to the Tigers on Sunday afternoon. Every cloud has a silver lining though, and for fantasy coaches, that's Jack De Belin. The workhorse Middle Forward continue to punch out handsome scores and it won't be changing anytime soon. Jack Bird has also been solid for the Dragons and is definitely worth a look. These two are set to score well this week, but don't expect them to turn around the Dragons' fortunes this year.
Cowboys 32 - 6 Dragons Reuben Cotter - 69 GDS fantasy points
Canberra Raiders V Parramatta Eels
Saturday 13th of May - 7:35pm AEST
Two top-8 hopefuls will come together in chilly conditions at GIO Stadium, as the Raiders host the Eels. At Magic Round, the Raiders showed us that they've got points in them, but from where we sit they're still lacking that consistency to be a legitimate contender. Despite a nice try last week, Xavier Savage has dropped out of Ricky Stuart's side in favour of Albert Hopoate. Corey Horsburgh is playing like a man possessed at the moment and racks up plenty of fantasy points through all that grunt work - Could be a nice inclusion for your Middle Forward for Coaches looking to make a splash.
Dylan Brown, Ryan Matterson and J'maine Hopgood were valiant for Parramatta in last week's narrow loss to the Titans. You could make an argument for playing any or all of these three - Especially Brown for this week, who should play that 'dominant half' role with no Mitchell Moses in the side.
Raiders 18 - 28 Eels Dylan Brown - 77 GDS fantasy points
Newcastle Knights V Gold Coast Titans
Sunday 14th of May - 2:00pm AEST
Newcastle come fresh off the bye to host the Titans at McDonald Jones Stadium on Sunday afternoon. There's no Kurt Mann in the side, which sees Phoenix Crossland retain the No. 9 jersey. Adam Elliot also returns via the bench to make his first appearance since Round 1. I wouldn't go throwing the kitchen at either of these guys, or any Knights players for that matter, as most Newcastle assets have been streaky at best in 2023. Exceptions to this rule have been Gagai, Frizell and Miller, who should continue to score well.
Fifita continues to do Fifita things in 2023 - He's been an awesome fantasy asset and if you have him, you've got to start him in your side. Big Tino and Moeaki Fotuaika have also been solid and should continue to put their best foot forward heading into the Origin period. Keep an eye on Jayden Campbell who'll get a solid few weeks at Fullback while AJ Brimson rehabilitates a hamstring injury.
Knights 8 - 22 Titans David Fifita - 92 GDS fantasy points
Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles V Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks
Sunday 14th of May - 4:05pm AEST
Both Manly and Cronulla are coming off crushing losses in Magic Round, where the Broncos trounced the Sea Eagles and Dolphins mauled the Sharkies. Despite this, Manly's squad remains unchanged ahead of their clash with the Shire Boys. Haumole Olakau'atu and Daly Cherry-Evans have been rock solid this year and are quality inclusions for your fantasy side. Despite his mouth-watering upside, consider steering clear of Tommy Trbojevic until we see maximum confidence back in his play style.
No major changes for the Sharkies this week, other than a switcheroo between Finucane and McInnes, whereby the former starts at Lock while the latter joins off the bench. Nicho Hynes had a fall from grace last week after consecutive weeks of humungous fantasy scores... He's only human. If you've got his card in GameDay Squad, don't think twice and keep him in your side. Talakai continues to go under the radar for the Sharks and is a great option at Centre for your squad.
Sea Eagles 14 – Sharks 18
Nicho Hynes – 65 GDS fantasy points