Wests Tigers Coach Michael Maguire has named an unchanged lineup for Sunday's game against the New Zealand Warriors in a move that will no doubt please plenty of NRL Fantasy Coaches.
Wests Tigers were somewhat of a gold mine for points in their opening round win over the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles with a host of cash cows rising rapidly in price while several of the more tried-and-tested stars also proved their worth.
They'll likely face much tougher opposition this week in the New Zealand Warriors, who piled on the points for fun against the Bulldogs in Round 1, but there's still every chance that your Wests Tigers players can produce the goods at home.
Robbie Farah (HOK, $848K) was only picked by a handful of Coaches heading in to Round 1 but those that did pick up the veteran were rewarded with 76 points and a $22K price rise to start the season. He again looks a solid pick with Jacob Liddle ruled out injured for the next month with another possible 80-minute stint.
Farah's defensive work rate and long kicking from dummy half makes him a pretty safe pick regardless, but the 35-year-old's willingness to get involved close to the line is an even better sign for Coaches. He took on the line well against the Sea Eagles with a linebreak and linebreak assist, while he also forced three repeat sets.
He's still owned by less than two percent of all Coaches heading in to Round 2.
Luke Garner (2RF, $378K) retains his spot on the left edge after a dominant performance in Round 1 and he looks certain to keep rising in price pretty quickly over the next few weeks so it might be now or never for coaches who haven't picked up the forward. He's owned by 17.9% so most serious teams seem to have him in, but with Magurie naming the same bench for this week's game, the minutes (and production) should hopefully be there again for the talented 23-year-old.
The same can also be said for Ryan Matterson (2RF, $685K) who is only owned by 5.7% of coaches. Matterson churned out 51 points in pure base stats last week, and you'd have to think that his numbers would continue to rise once the attacking contributions start to come. Playing in wet conditions at Leichhardt Oval didn't help his cause, so once his combination with Luke Brooks and Benji Marshall continues to grow, he could soon find himself well north of the $700K price point.
It's a tough call for Coaches to make with a number of good options in the back row this year, but if you're looking for a good differential pick then Matterson could be it.
Post-Match: Ryan Matterson
Alex Twal (FRF/2RF, $546K) had plenty of interest around him once selected in the run-on side but the minutes didn't quite come for the Lebanon international with Russell Packer and a number of young guns (who we'll touch on soon) starring off the bench. He only registered 35 points and dropped $5K as a result, but if the minutes and bench rotation start to fall in Twal's favour, he's certainly worth a look, with his points-per-minute scoring over the past two years as soon as anyone.
While the rotation didn't help Twal on Sunday, it did help Thomas Mikaele (FRF, $238K) and Josh Aloiai (2RF, $370K) who both chalked up scores in the high thirties in as many minutes. On debut, Mikaele scored 36 points and rose $26K in a single round while Aloiai earned himself Dally M voting points with a starring role that saw him score 39 points in half an hour — all of which came in base stats.
Owned by less than one percent, Aloiai is awkwardly priced and a really brave differential pick but he's certainly worth keeping an eye on, while Mikaele is already owned by 13% and looms as one of the best early-season cash cows around.
If you haven't got on him already, he looks ripe for the picking this weekend.
The only team news to note for Wests Tigers this week is the return of Moses Mbye (HFL/WFB, $594K) in jersey 18 and whether or not he returns to the fullback position ahead of Corey Thompson (WFB, $447K). Thompson only scored 15 points last week and has proven to be a far better Fantasy option playing on the wing, but the real question is actually how Mbye's potential return affects the rest of the team with changes possibly coming to the Wests Tigers backline.
Should Mbye start at fullback, it's likely that Thompson will push to the wing with either Robert Jennings (WFB, $493K), Paul Momirovski (CTR, $458K) or Mahe Fonua (CTR/WFB, $444K) dropping out of the side. It's unclear what changes Michael Maguire will make should Mbye be available again, so it's definitely worth waiting and seeing on that front before locking in your changes for Round 2.
Match: Wests Tigers v Warriors
Round 2 -
Venue: Campbelltown Sports Stadium, Sydney