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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Turner

GameDay Squad Rugby League: Round 20 Review

Is Ponga now a must start? Can Cotter’s Origin form transfer to the NRL? Is Frizell a buy on the TM? There were so many questions coming out of round 19 and some of them were answered in round 20. 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 favor 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.


Kalyn Ponga – WFB, Newcastle Knights (92 points)

Ponga has been in fantastic form and has averaged 70 points since moving back to fullback. The Knights look far more dangerous with Ponga at fullback and if they have any chance of making the finals, Ponga is likely to stay at fullback. In this performance he came away with 1 try, 3 goals, 3 try assists, 1 line break, 4 line break assists and 5 tackle breaks on attack, this came to 65 points. He has averaged 102 over his last two games but he won’t be coming up against the Bulldogs and Wests Tigers every week. Three of the Knights remaining games are against the three bottom teams defensively against the fullbacks, they are the Bulldogs, Dragons, and Raiders. These teams all allow an average of 50+ points to fullbacks. I mention this because many coaches may auto pick Ponga moving forward based on his recent form but like many WFBs, he can be very match up dependent. Look at his game against the Panthers for example, he only scored 24 points. I believe Ponga will be one of the better WFBs for the remainder of the season, but it may be an idea to check the match up before selecting him.

Tyson Frizell – EDG, Newcastle Knights (82 points)

Frizell was excellent against the Wests Tigers as he put in his third best fantasy performance of the season. He was fantastic with the ball in hand and ran for 140 metres, breaking 8 tackles along the way. He may not be one of the more talked about edges in GDS fantasy, but he is a solid option that averages 48 points a game. If you are lacking depth at edge, adding Frizell to your squad would provide you with a reliable starting option. However, keep in mind that GDS is a dynasty platform and Frizell is now 31 years old. If you have the luxury of great edge depth, you may find yourself no longer requiring Frizell’s services. This might just be a great time to sell or trade for an up-and-coming player.

Addin Fonua-Blake – MID, New Zealand Warriors (72 points)

AFB crashed over for his sixth try of the season as he put in a great performance against the Sharks. In this performance he came away with 1 try, 1 line break, 5 tackle breaks and 3 offloads on attack, this came to 35 points. He also made 24 tackles and ran for 164 metres, this came to 40 points in base. With the likes of Haas, Murray, Yeo, Horsburgh, Tapine and JDB all being unavailable this week, AFB may have made his way into a lot of coaches' squads. With all the above MIDs likely to be available in round 21, AFB may not get much of a look in from coaches. However, Tohu Harris did pick up a wrist injury and if he was to spend any time on the sidelines, we may see AFB get an increase in minutes depending on the rotation. If AFB isn’t one of the top 5 MIDs over the next few games, you might be able to find some great deals for him on the TM now the major bye rounds are behind us.


Siosifa Talakai – CTR, Cronulla Sharks (13 points)

Talakai had his worst game of the season as the Sharks went down to the Warriors. The Warriors kept him in check, and he ran for under 100 metres for the first time this season. After scores of 68 and 71 in his last two games, many coaches may have included him in their squads this week and who could blame them. His last three scores prior to the Sharks round 17 bye were 29, 23 and 23. This just serves to highlight how hard it is to choose centres each week and how starting to chase player scores might end up costing you. Talakai still averages 41 points on the season but may be a risky option compared to other centres.

Reuben Cotter – MID, North Queensland Cowboys (34 points)

Cotter has had a heavy workload this season due playing in all three Origin games and over the Origin period he has had his workload managed by the Cowboys. He is a fantastic player but in the Cowboys current rotation, he just isn’t getting minutes GDS coaches want to see. Only in five of his fourteen games has he produced scores 50+ points and for MIDs we like to see 50+ each week. Even though Cotter was a great option for the QLD vs NSW competition, he doesn’t seem to be for NRL. If his minutes per game were to increase from 55 to 70+, then he may become a decent option. I can’t see why Todd Payten would increase Cotter’s minutes as the Cowboys are in great form and there are too many mouths to feed in that forward pack.

Maika Sivo – WFB, Parramatta Eels (-4 points)

Sivo is one of the most prolific try scores in the NRL this season but in fantasy terms he is one of the riskiest boom or bust WFBs in the game. Against the Titans he lost 25 points through missed tackles, errors, and penalties. He even spent ten minutes in the sin-bin due to a careless high shot. Since round 16 he has failed to score a try and only averaged 5 points a game. Even though he has scored 16 tries this season, his top score is only 54 points. It’s an awesome sight seeing Sivo in full flight breaking tackles and carrying three defenders over the line but he’s a bit too risky of a play for me



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