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  • Writer's pictureJonathan Turner

GameDay Squad Rugby League: Round 23 Review

Is SJ an elite halve? Will the Hammer be fantasy relevant again this season? Can Cook regain his status as an elite hooker? There were so many questions coming out of round 22 and some of them were answered in round 23. So, let's turn our attention firmly 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 in our GameDay Squad Rugby League: Round 23 Review. Let us know your thoughts on who we have down below on all of our social channels: twitter, facebook, instagram, discord.

GameDay Squad Rugby League: Round 23 Review


Shaun Johnson – HLF, New Zealand Warriors (108 points)

SJ brought up his second 100+ point score of the season as the Warriors got a win against the Titans. In this performance he came away with 2 tries, 4 goals, 2 try assists, 2 line breaks, 1 line break assist, 3 tackle breaks and 1 offload on attack, this came to 66 points. SJ was excellent at leading the Warriors around the park and it looked like he had the ball ona string at times. SJ has been the inform half of the competition over the last three games and is averaging 87 points over these games. With Cleary averaging 79 points and Hynes 69 over their last three starts, it’s very hard not to put SJ in the elite tier for halves this season. He won’t be scoring 2 tries and playing against 12 men every week but with a decent base of 45+ points and great attacking upside, he is an elite half for me this season. With the Warriors next three games being in NZ against the Wests Tigers, Sea Eagles and the Dragons, it’s going be to very hard to leave him out of your starting side.

Damien Cook – HOK, South Sydney Rabbitohs (64 points)

Cook put in his best fantasy performance since round 15 as the Bunnies went down to the Sharks in Perth. In this performance he only made 3 tackle breaks and had 1 offload on attack, the rest of his points came through base stats. He made 59 tackles which was a season high and ran for 79 metres. Cook has really fallen away as an elite hooker option thisseason and in my opinion, this is down to him not running as much as he has done in previous seasons. Other than losing points through the lack of running metres, he also loses points in linebreaks, linebreak assists and tackle breaks due to the regression in his running game. Ideally as GDS coaches we would like him to run for 75+ metres a game and if he is to do so, he will be considered as a starter every week for me. I believe he still can be one ofthe best hookers in GDS and the Bunnies will need him to be at his best, if they are to remain in the top 8 or make a run at the top 4.

Bryce Cartwright – MID, Parramatta Eels (94 points)

It was the Carty party out in Parramatta as the Eels finished strong and got the win against the Dragons. In this performance he came away with 2 tries, 1 line break, 9 tackle breaks and 4 offloads on attack, this came to 59 points. On top of this he scored 55 points through base stats. However, it was a little disappointing to see him lose 20 points through demerits. Over Carty’s last four starts he’s averaged 68 points, and this makes him one of the inform edges in the GDS Fantasy. He may not be a safe option if you select him to start but if you decide that risky play is for, Carty might just be your man. I believe he’s a risky option as his average on the season is 45 points and he only averaged 39 for the month of June. This week Carty rewarded those coaches that decided to take the risk, but can he continue this great run of fantasy performances.

GameDay Squad Rugby League: Round 23 Review


Moeaki Fotuaika – MID, Gold Coast Titans (-3 points)

A number of coaches have favored Fotuaika as a POD in the MID position this season but after being sent off against the Warriors, I think we may see him on the sidelines for a while serving a suspension. Fotuaika caught Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad (CNK) with a nasty high shotthat ruled CNK out of the game. Even with a likely suspension looming, Fotuaika wasn’t putting up the fantasy numbers like Haas, Yeo, Murray and AFB. He is a solid option for coaches that don’t have the depth in the MIDs. If you are one of these coaches, you may need to check out the TM and see what other MID options are available. I wouldn’t go sellinghim as I believe he will still be a decent option if he avoids suspension. Even if he is suspended, he may have a role to play in your squad next season. If you’re spoiled with depth at the MID position, he will provide decent cover for the elite MIDs in your squad.

Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow – WFB, Dolphins (22 points)

After a fantastic start to the season, the Hammer’s fantasy production has really regressed. It looks like his performances go hand and hand with the Dolphins performances at the moment. It seems that the wheels have fallen off for the Dolphins but hopefully we can still have some good fantasy performances from the Hammer. For the second week in a row the Hammer failed to score a try and with him being heavily reliant on tries to be a fantasy relevant, this isn’t ideal for those coaches that started him this week. The Hammer is a fantastic fantasy talent, but with the Dolphins making changes to their backline every week, the combinations just aren’t working for them in fantasy terms. Like Fotuaika, I won’t be selling the Hammer, but I likely won’t be starting him either for the remainder of the season.

Keaon Koloamatangi – EDG, South Sydney Rabbitohs (32 points)

Like the Hammer, Keaon had a great start to the season but his fantasy performances haven’t been the best as the season has gone on. Don’t get me wrong, he is a solid option but there are many more in form edges that could be starting in your squad at the moment. It’s not as if his minutes have been decreasing, it’s just that the Bunnies have looked out of sorts over the last couple of months. Keaon’s work rate since returning from injury in round 13 hasn’t been the same as it was over the first 7 rounds of the season. He averaged 46 points in base until his injury and since returning, his average in base has dropped to 39 points. With the Bunnies favoring their left edge attack, I don’t see too much upside for Keaon moving forward unless the Bunnies decide to use the right edge attack more.


GameDay Squad Rugby League: Round 23 Review


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