Can Luai prove his doubters wrong? Can we start Teddy anytime soon? Will Egan return to the form he showed in the first month of the season? There were so many questions coming out of round 9 and some of them were answered in round 11. But let's turn our attention back to fantasy footy for a second and identify some risers in form and others who should be falling out of favour with all fantasy coaches. Let us know your thoughts on who we have down below on all of our social channels: twitter, facebook, instagram, discord.
Heilum Luki – EDG, North Queensland Cowboys (89 points)
Luki has been hampered by injury for a fair bit of the season but showed us fantasy coaches the upside on attack he can provide against the Dragons. In this performance he came away with 2 tries, 2 line breaks, 6 tackle breaks and 2 offloads on attack, this came to 50 points. In base stats he made 20 tackles and 186 running metres, this came to 39 points. Anything around 40 points in base is decent for an edge forward. Luki wasn’t a regular 80 minute edge for the Cowboys in 2022 and the most minutes he’s played in a game this season is 70. With Nanai out due to suspension and likely to start on the right edge when he returns, I’m not sure what the Cowboys forward rotation will look like moving forward. In the meantime, Luki can be considered as a starter in your team. In my opinion, there are still better options to start on the edge. If Luki can manage to lock down a starting edge position and play 70+ minutes every week, he will rocket up my rankings and will be considered as a starting option.
Jarome Luai – HLF, Penrith Panthers (93 points)
Luai has looked out of sorts this season and has been coming under plenty of fire ahead of Origin selection. He had his best game of the season as the Panthers blew the Roosters off the park. On attack he put on a masterclass and came away with 1 try, 2 try assists, 2 line breaks, 11 tackle breaks and 1 offload. He only managed to score 28 points from base stats, and this is a strong indicator of just how boom or bust Luai can be. If you have any shares of Luai, I would be trying to sell high as this may just have been his best game of the season. As he partners a dominant half like Cleary, Luai lacks consistency and only averaged 30 points per game this season prior to this week.
Kalyn Ponga – WFB, Newcastle Knights (61 points)
Ponga showed us that he still has it on attack while playing in the halves. In this performance he came away with 1 try, 3 try assists, 1 line break, 2 line break assists, 3 tackle breaks and 2 offloads on attack, this came to 51 points. In base stats he made 8 tackles, 176 running metres and 99 kick metres, this came to 29 points. On the downside, he had 6 missed tackles, and this came to 18 points in demerits. This was his best performance of the year by a long way and it’s a positive sign seeing him put up these numbers in the halves. However, the Knights won’t be scoring 46 points every week and with a match against the Sharks next week, Ponga won’t be making his way into my starting side. I believe he can become a very good half in fantasy as he has so much natural ability, but he will need to impress me against the top teams before he becomes a consideration for my starting team. He will also need to increase his base stats and tidy up his missed tackles.
James Tedesco – WFB, Sydney Roosters (14 points)
What has happened to Teddy? After being a must start WFB over the last few years, Teddy’s fantasy production this season has decreased more than any of us thought it could. There have been rumors that he has been carrying some niggling injuries but I’m putting it down to the regular shuffling of the Roosters backline and their inconsistent performances. In his performance against the Panthers, he only managed 98 running metres, 1 tackle, 1 tackle bust and 2 offloads. This is the only time in the last two seasons that Teddy hasn’t had 100+ running metres. Compared to 2022, his stats have decreased in all facets of the game, and his average points per game has dropped from 61 to 40. Every week, Teddy is a consideration for my starting team and with the Dragons on deck in Round 12, he may even make a start for me next week. There is no denying that he is one of the best fullbacks in the NRL but in fantasy terms this season, it may pay to tread carefully.
Wayde Egan – HOK, New Zealand Warriors (17 points)
Staggs is well off the boil at the moment and it's no secret that he's struggling, but at what point does he become un-startable? I think we're there already! His Magic Round score of just 14 GDS fantasy points in front of his home crowd is the dagger though the heart for me. His 14 point "effort" is his fourth under 20 points for the season and his second on the trot now, making it increasingly hard to get on board with starting him. His boom-or-bust nature makes it hard to start him at the best of times, but as things stand today, he's fallen way down the centres pecking order and cannot be started until we see any form of consistency.
Tom Trbojevic – WFB, Manly Sea Eagles (10 point)
Turbo had his worst game of the season and he looks a bit short of a gallop. Yes, the Sharks are a very good side but as fantasy coaches we would be expecting far better production from the 2021 Dally M Medal winner. In his performance, he managed 191 running metres, 6 tackles and 2 offloads. He also came away with 4 missed tackles, 2 errors and conceded 1 penalty, that’s 24 points in demerits. It’s not that Turbo isn’t getting his hands on the ball as he received the ball 51 times against the Sharks and this was a season high. Maybe he has lost some confidence, maybe he’s nursing some injuries or maybe the opposition have just worked out how to shut him down. I still believe he will be able to turn his season around in fantasy terms but until he puts a few good performances together, he won’t be making it into my starting team.