After HEAVY losses in Round 16, it's hard to see the Wests Tigers, Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles and Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs materially improving their ladder positions before the end of the season. Oh well... There's always 2024. The Eels, Storm and Sharkies reminded us all that they're serious contenders for this year's Rugby League crown, and how about those Cowboys?!? Do NOT write them off just yet - They're only 2 points out of the Top 8! Round 16 has given Rugby League fans and Fantasy Coaches plenty to think about... But let's zone in on 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.
Nicho Hynes – HLF, Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks (98 points)
Rugby League's hottest Fantasy asset was back to his best on Sunday afternoon after an Origin-selection snub, with 2 Try Assists, 8 Goals, 3 Line Break Assists and 434 Kicking Metres. With Nathan Cleary still a few weeks away, Hynes is hands down the preferred Half and should remain the No. 1 priority on Coaches' shopping lists. The Sharkies have their final bye in Round 17, so it could be now or never for hopeful Hynes owners. Expect him to lead from the front from here on out.
Joseph Manu – CTR, Sydney Roosters (94 points)
Available for selection in the Centres, Joey Manu playing Fullback is simply God Tier - He was doing it all for the Roosters on Saturday afternoon with 1 Try, 1 Linebreak, 8 Tackle Breaks and 317 Metres Gained. He'll line up at Five-Eighth or Fullback again in Round 17, and should be the first choice Centre for any GameDay Squad Coaches who are fortunate enough to own his Player Card. The Chooks have their last bye in Round 19 and from there on out, they'll look to go on a big finals push. Mastermind Coach Trent Robinson knows how to time these end-of-season runs, so expect Manu to rack up BULK points on the run home.
Isaiah Papali'i – EDG, Wests Tigers (73 points)
The Tigers' Edge Forward workhorse was defiant in a tough loss to Melbourne, where 1 Linebreak, 40 Tackles, 5 Tackle Busts and 180 Metres Gained saw him notch up a season-high GameDay Squad Fantasy score of 73. Once we get past the Round 17 byes, Papali'i will be nailed on for 70-80 minutes each week and should lead Edge Forward in points scored across the run home. Be sure to keep an eye out for him on the Transfer Market over the next two weeks - He's the sort of Fantasy Asset that could make your season and will be doing everything in his power to stop the Tigers from taking home their second-ever Wooden Spoon.
Reuben Garrick – WFB, Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles (9 points)
After jumping on the Reuben Garrick hype train last week, I'm promptly disembarking - This was one hell of a Fall from Grace! The Parramatta Eels were all over Manly on Saturday night at CommBank Stadium as Garrick failed to make any real impact. With no attacking stats to write home about, 1 Missed Tackle, 1 Error and 2 Penalties Conceded, it was the epitome of a quiet night for Manly's good-looker. Perhaps he's not all that crash-hot when lining up at Centre? Maybe he's not the POD WFB your Squad needed. After last week's poor outing, I wouldn't be surprised to see Coaches swing the axe on Garrick this week and forget about him for the rest of the season.
Maika Sivo – WFB, Parramatta Eels (6 points)
Despite Parramatta pumping the Sea Eagles 34-4, Sivo failed to get in on the action. The big Fijian did notch up 1 Try Assist and 2 Tackles Breaks, but the 6 Errors really hurt his GameDay Squad Fantasy score. You'd think that at Commbank Stadium in a big Eels win, Sivo would have a field day, but it just wasn't his night. I can't blame coaches for losing interest in Sivo, especially when there's no Mitchell Moses in the side. But if you're liking Parramatta's chances for the run home, perhaps don't write him off entirely. He's more than capable of those 3 and 4 Try outings when the conditions permit it.
Luke Keary – HLF, Sydney Roosters (14 points)
An unfortunate collision with the boot of Knights Winger, Dom Young, saw Keary leave the field in agony after 25 minutes on Saturday afternoon. Contrary to the consensus over the weekend, scans confirmed that Keary had not broken his jaw, so he could be back in a much shorter time frame than initially thought. With a trailing 3 Game average score of 53, the crafty Half had looked to turn his Fantasy season around and could have been a solid value POD for the run home. The jaw incident could have thrown a spanner in the works here - I'd want to see a few more consistent performances from Keary before bringing him into my side.