Gold Coast Titans v Canberra Raiders @ Cbus Super Stadium – 3 pm AEST
First Try-Scorers: Anthony Don – $12, Siliva Havili – $46
Anthony Don ($12 – BetEasy) is sure to be a target for the Titans as they look to ambush a superior Raiders outfit. Ash Taylor is improving down the Gold Coast’s right edge, but the Raiders will be ready for him. Expect the Titans to go back to what works and hit the right side. If nothing else, Don is their best aerial option on 5th tackle.
As a roughie, Siliva Havili ($46 – BetEasy) has an opportunity to expose a dodgy Titans middle as they juggle injuries this week. If Tyrone Peachey is forced into the side and caught out defending at A on the goal line, Havili will back himself to barge over.
Draftstars Suggested Plays: Jamin Jolliffe ($9,260), Jarrod Wallace ($8,450)
Jamin Jolliffe has produced the goods from a DFS perspective over the last fortnight and is tasked with stepping up again this week. With Jai Arrow out, Jolliffe will be asked to pick up more of the load. Following scores of 51 and 47.6 points over the last fortnight, Jolliffe is projected to score another 39 points and is a value play in this one. Beside Jolliffe in the front row, Jarrod Wallace starts for the first time since Round 2. He’s only played more than 30 minutes once since then. However, with a bump in minutes expected here, our predictive model projects Wallace to score 40 points.
DFS Fade: Dunamis Lui ($9,630)
As expected, the wheels have fallen off Dunamis Lui as a DFS option. He posted four consecutive scores of 40+ including two of 50+ but has bottomed out with 21.9 points last week. He’s projected to score just 35 points on Saturday.
Wests Tigers v Sydney Roosters @ Leichhardt Oval – 5:30 pm AEST
First Try-Scorers: David Nofoaluma – $11, Moses Mbye ($26)
With so much expected of the Sydney Roosters attack and the recent struggles of the West Tigers defence, down the right side, in particular, the value lies in the roughies.
David Nofoaluma ($11 – BetEasy) gives up about as many tries as he scores, but there is no doubting his ability to sniff out the line. He can create a try out of nothing like few others in the game. Wests may not have many other options in attack. On the other side of the field, Moses Mbye ($26 – PointsBet) has threatened to offer consistent production at centre. He should see more of the ball as Luke Brooks gets more comfortable since being recalled into the halves.
Draftstars Suggested Plays: Luke Brooks ($9,480), Nat Butcher ($11,360)
Luke Brooks attracted plenty of interest last week (55% ownership). However, he somewhat disappointed for his 35.4 points. We’re still waiting to see the old Brooks out there. The one that takes on the line and opens things up for those outside him. Improving over the last fortnight, our predictive model has that translating into a projected score of 46 points this week.
An injury to Mitchell Aubusson moves Nat Butcher into the back row for this one. Butcher has been shuffled around and used wherever Trent Robinson needs him recently. He’s started at prop, lock, back row and off the bench in just the last five weeks. Averaging 53 points across his two starts in the back row, Butcher is projected to hit that number again here.
DFS Fade: Joseph Manu ($12,160)
With the Roosters attack already struggling and the lacklustre Kyle Flanagan returning to play inside him, Joseph Manu is projected to score 40 points in this one. He’s worth considering as a fade option at $12,160.
South Sydney Rabbitohs v Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles @ ANZ Stadium – 7:35 pm AEST
First Try-Scorers: Dane Gagai – $14, Cade Cust – $31
Dane Gagai ($14 – SportsBet) has crossed the line in five of his last seven games and presents as an appealing option on South Sydney’s left edge here. It’s their prefered side and it’s getting better every week. Meanwhile, Cade Cust ($31 – PointsBet) continues to be an option here. He crossed the line in the third minute last week and runs at a relatively dodgy Rabbitohs right side given Campbell Graham’s tendency to shoot out of the line.
Draftstars Suggested Plays: Bailey Sironen ($9,730), Jake Trbojevic ($15,540)
Bailey Sironen’s utility value can make him a relatively risky option but he’s worth a look here. Named in the back row, he’s scored 40+ points in both instances he played the full 80 minutes over the last month. Anticipating big minutes on Saturday night, our predictive model projects Sironen to hit the mark again with 45 points.
How many different ways can you say Jake Trbojevic is the picture of DFS consistency? His 50+ streak is up to 13 games while he’s cracked 60 points in each of his last three games. Projected to make it four games with 62 points this week, Trbojevic is worth the $15,540 price tag.
DFS Fade: Adam Reynolds ($13,860)
He was the hero when kicking the match-winning field goal last week, but our predictive model suggests it’s best to steer clear of Adam Reynolds for this one. He’s projected to score 49 after breaking 50 in seven of his last eight (excluding Round 12)
Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs v New Zealand Warriors @ ANZ Stadium – 2:00 pm AEST
First Try-Scorers: Raymond Faitala-Mariner – $31
Mentioned in the preview for this one, Raymond Faitala-Mariner is one half of the Bulldogs best-attacking option at the moment. Kieran Foran is in excellent form when he can stay on the field and will be at the forefront of most attacking opportunities the Bulldogs create on Sunday. Provided Faitala-Mariner remains on the left edge following Matt Doorey’s elevation to the starting side, he’s going to be used in attack early and often.
Bulldogs v Warriors Preview: Where are the points coming from?
Draftstars Suggested Plays: Aidan Tolman ($13,480), Isaiah Papali’i ($11,500)
Aidan Tolman and Isaiah Papali’i have both been presented with a chance in the starting 13 this week.
A rare try bumped Tolman up to 53.8 points last week. He came off the bench for 35.5 points the week prior. Back in the starting lineup and against a side the Bulldogs will likely look to ambush through the middle through one-out runs and high-completion, our predictive model projects Tolman to score 54 points on Sunday.
Papali’i is playing for his next contract and knows he’s lucky to be given the chance to start following Eli Katoa’s suspension. Papali’i has struggled this season. He doesn’t instil a lot of confidence as a DFS option. However, projected to score 46 points at $11,500, he’s a value option and likely to be low in ownership.
DFS Fade: Karl Lawton ($13,220)
The Warriors have finally figured out that Karl Lawton is their best option at hooker. However, they still have a frustrating fascination with Wayde Egan which limits Lawton’s minutes at dummy half. Lawton is the better player no matter which way you look at it, but from a DFS perspective, he should be considered as a fade given his projected score of 44 points at $13,220.
Newcastle Knights v North Queensland Cowboys @ McDonald Jones Stadium – 4:05 pm AEST
First Try-Scorers: Enari Tuala – $13, Michael Morgan – $36
Given the anticipated dominance of the Knights left edge, Enari Tuala will be in the mix of try-scorers on Sunday. Kalyn Ponga can have a field day down that side of the field. If Tuala is the best option on a block play, Ponga will find him.
More of the necessary dominance variety, Michael Morgan ($36 – SportsBet) needs to raise his game if he’s to dig the Cowboys out of this seven-game losing streak. He’s a roughie option as North Queensland starts to get desperate.
Draftstars Suggested Plays: Enari Tuala ($8,700), Mitchell Dunn ($8,920)
With the promising likelihood that Enari Tuala crosses the line on Sunday along with our predictive model’s projected score of 36 points, he’s a value play at $8,700.
Coming off his best game in a very, very long time, Mitchell Dunn is an appealing option at $8,920. Dunn is a big unit with excellent ball-skills for somebody his size. Having Michael Morgan inside him should help with putting both aspects to better use. He exploded for 60.4 points last week. While he’s not projected to go quite so well on Sunday, his projected score of 45 points puts him in must-play territory.
DFS Fade: Jason Taumalolo
It’s a tough sell given he’s the best forward in rugby league, but our predictive model projects Jason Taumalolo to score just 62 points on Sunday. With his high-ownership likely to continue despite a dip in DFS form, fading JT is an idea worth considering.
Parramatta Eels v Melbourne Storm @ Bankwest Stadium – 7:50 pm AEST
First Try-Scorers: Felise Kaufusi – $36, Ryan Matterson – $26
With all of the injuries the Storm carry in the spine coming into this one, the expectation is for them to play a lot more direct than we’ve seen this season. Cooper Johns makes his debut in the halves on Thursday night. Craig Bellamy won’t want to overload him with complicated attacking structures. Expect to see Johns link up with Felise Kaufusi ($36 – SportsBet) close to the line with the back rower a good chance at scoring as a result.
On the opposite side of the field, Ryan Matterson ($26 – BetEasy) presents as a possible try-scorer. Good things happen around Matterson. His line-running, offload and ball-playing open things up for those around him and he will be a target for Mitchell Moses as the Eels look to expose relatively new defensive combinations on the Storm edges.
Draftstars Suggested Plays: Clint Gutherson ($10,380), Shaun Lane ($11,740)
Clint Gutherson set a new NRL record for running metres in a game last week. However, it only translated into 40.1 DraftStars points. He’s a high-usage player but his touches aren’t always effective. Our predictive model tips Gutherson to have more of a DFS impact this week with a projected score of 43 points. He’s a value play at $10,380.
Gutherson’s value projection provides an opportunity to stack him alongside Shaun Lane with the two likely to combine in try-scoring opportunities. Lane cracked 50 points last week and is projected to go close again with 49 points on Thursday.
DFS Fade: Ryan Papenhuyzen ($12,740)
With the Storm spine falling around him, Ryan Papenhuyzen is the last man standing. Can you guess where the ball might go when Melbourne are on attack? Papenhuyzen is going to receive a lot of attention from the Parramatta defence and that is likely to have a negative impact on his DFS production in this one.
Penrith Panthers v Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks @ Panthers Stadium – 6:00 pm AEST
First Try-Scorers: Ronaldo Mulitalo – $14, Brent Naden – $8.5
Few players in the NRL have a nose for the try-line quite like Ronaldo Mulitalo ($14 – Neds) and Brent Naden ($8.50 – BetEasy) at the moment.
Mulitalo is on the edge of an elite Sharks right-side attack and is already one of the best finishers in the competition. Meanwhile, Naden plays outside arguably the best player in the NRL right now in Nathan Cleary and is quite often asked to do little more than fall over the line to score. Both are sure to be involved in try-scoring opportunities in this one. Although, Naden may end up moving into the centres with Brian To’o named in the reserves and a chance at returning to the wing.
Draftstars Suggested Plays: Siosifa Talakai ($9,880), Blayke Brailey ($9,720)
We looked to Siosifa Talakai last week and he produced the goods through 68.6 Draftstars points. His combination with Shaun Johnson already looks a handful and will be better for the 80 minutes spent beside each other in Round 14. At $9,880 and with our predictive model projecting him to score 47 points, Talakai is an excellent option in this one.
Given Api Koroisau’s popularity and high-ownership, Blayke Brailey presents as a possible point of difference at the hooker position. He picked up 51.1 points last week and is projected to score another 47 points on Friday evening. His $9,720 appeals.
DFS Fade: Aaron Woods ($13,120)
Just as we’re doing with Talakai, we’re repeating the dosage on Aaron Woods. He turned out to be the right fade option last week in scoring just 36.8 points. Up against a superior pack that won’t succumb to his pedestrian runs and soft post-contact metres, Woods is projected to score 47 points. He’s worth passing on again at $13,120.
Brisbane Broncos St. George-Illawarra Dragons @ Suncorp Stadium – 9:55 pm AEST
First Try-Scorers: Kotoni Staggs – $17, Mikaele Ravalawa – $9
The Broncos are running out of options in attack. Already ranking dead last in points per game, the turnover in players on the outside isn’t helping the cause. When in doubt, look to Kotoni Staggs ($17 – BetEasy).
Meanwhile, the Dragons have looked toward Mikaele Ravalawa ($9 – Neds) a lot more in recent weeks. He’s scored nine tries in his last ten games and ten tries in total this season. Paul McGregor won’t receive the credit he deserves for sticking with Ravalawa throughout a rough start to his career, but the persistence appears to be paying off. He beat Maika Sivo at his own game to score a ripper last week and will no doubt be out to do the same on Friday.
‘YOUR EDGE’: Bad, Bad Broncos
Draftstars Suggested Plays: Joe Ofahengaue ($9,420), Jordan Pereira ($9,820)
The pressure is on Joe Ofahengaue to replace the production of Payne Haas this week. Ofahengaue has been elevated to the starting lineup and if he can’t put in a strong shift and pile up running metres, the Broncos have no chance. At $9,420 and expected to play more minutes than he has been, our predictive model projects Ofahengaue to score 40 points on Friday night.
Given the struggle the Broncos have faced when defending their right edge this season, Jordan Pereira is an appealing option here. It’s not difficult to picture the defence breaking down and Matthew Dufty throwing a bullet pass to his winger to score in the corner. Pereira is projected to score 41 points, but his ceiling rises much higher.
DFS Fade: Ben Hunt ($16,710)
Ben Hunt’s return to hooker resulted in an impressive 77.2 points last week. However, our predictive model projects him to score just 55 points in this one. He’s worth considering as a fade option at $16,710.