Draftstars preview: Friday NRL fixtures

Check out our Draftstars preview of the Warriors v Cowboys and Eels v Panthers clashes, with the key players to target and avoid.

DraftStars preview

Draftstars is back for Round 5 of the NRL and with it comes the chance to back your fantasy knowledge to win some cash.

For those unfamiliar with the concept, you can enter competitions for each game for as little as $2.

You pick a squad for that game and watch the points roll in, as per an NRL SuperCoach clash.

It’s important to note however that the scoring system does differ from SuperCoach, we’ve attached the points system at the bottom of the page.

The main differences to note are that there’s a greater emphasis on players with a high workrate, while attacking players aren’t rewarded as significantly.

Tacklebreaks are worth three points, while missed tackles are worth negative two. Kick metres are also included, so targeting dominant long-range kickers in sides is often a strong move.

On that note, let’s look into today’s fixtures.

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WARRIORS v COWBOYS

OVERVIEW

The Warriors were flattered a fortnight back against the Dragons, but were brought back to earth when scoreless against Penrith last week. They face easier opposition here, but still look up against it with Jason Taumalolo back for North Queensland. I’ll be going heavy on Cowboys attacking players.

GUNS

Jason Taumalolo

It’s always an extremely viable option to bypass the players in Draftstars when they boast hefty price tags. But JT covers both an enormous workload and just about every attacking statistic. You’d be brave to ignore him even at $17,3000.

Valentine Holmes

If the Cowboys do a number on the Warriors it’ll be Val playing the main role in most attacking raids. He’s kicking goals, busting tackles and looking lethal with ball in hand. If you think the Warriors will match the Cowboys, he’s one to gamble on leaving out, but I’m not convinced.

Reece Robson

Jake Granville is out which gives promising hooker Reece Robson a start at hooker. He scored two tries off the bench against the Titans and boasts a strong running game. He’s the clear pick of the hookers at $12,800.

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STARS TO AVOID

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck

It’s basically RTS v Val, which basically comes back to who you’re backing to win. RTS will be a popular pick, but unless the Warriors find an extra gear in attack it heavily limits his scoring potential.

VALUE

Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow

‘The Hammer’ makes his NRL debut after lighting up the Perth Nines. He’s a bargain at $7k and will relish playing in Ben Hampton’s spot which has been a hot spot for try-scoring.

Kodi Nikorima

I like Nikorima in that being a smaller half he gets targeted defensively, helping lift his tackle count, although he does miss a few which hurts. He’s extremely nippy, so if the Warriors can get momentum through the middle he can do plenty of damage through the middle of the ruck.

COMBINATIONS

Valentine Holmes and Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow

If you’re picking Val Holmes, you basically have to pick the Cowboys left edge winger. Val’s ball-playing has been exceptional on return to the NRL, and his left side is his strong side. Look for him to sweep out the back and find a flying ‘Hammer’ in the corner.

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EELS v PANTHERS

OVERVIEW

This will be a ripping contest, but I’m backing Parramatta in a tight Batte of the West. They’ve been ultra-impressive in 2020 and look to be the complete package, with a dominant pack and attacking threats from 1-13. Penrith’s chief playmaker Nathan Cleary returns for the undefeated Penrith outfit, so it’ll be hard to favour Draftstars players from either side. Both sides are stacked with guns, so finding value is extremely hard in this fixture.

GUNS

Ryan Matterson

Matto is locked into an 80 minutes role on the right edge outside Mitch Moses. His work ethic is exceptional and he has serious attacking ability with ball in hand.

Nathan Cleary

Cleary will be very fresh for his first game since the NRL returns. There’s not a lot of value separating himself, Moses and Dylan Brown in the halves, so I’m going with the Penrith number 7. He gets through plenty of work for a half, kicks goals, and is the dominant playmaker in the team.

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STARS TO AVOID

Isaah Yeo and James Fisher-Harris

I don’t for one second begrudge anyone for picking either of these two stars. However, the 2RF position is stacked and there is some value in that spot. Yeo only played 58 minutes last week, while JFH fluctuates game time each round, so I’ll be prioritising Matterson as my 2RF gun.

VALUE

Viliame Kikau

Kikau is the value I speak of in the second-row. He’s playing strong minutes and is made for Draftstars. While his workrate isn’t quite the same as the elite 2RF options, his attacking potency is second-to-none. At $11,760 he looks like a serious selection.

Clint Gutherson

The new rules with a faster ruck suit the high octane style of Gutherson perfectly. He’s cheap as chips at $8,730.

COMBINATIONS

Nathan Cleary and Viliame Kikau

There’s quality combinations across the park, but I like Cleary and Kikau. Defence will be at a premium in this contest, so I can see Cleary isolating his opposition half for a barnstorming Kikau to score at some stage.

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StatPoints value
Try8
Try-assist5
Field goal5
Linebreak4
Tackle break3
Goal2
Linebreak assist2
Offload2
Tackle 1
Run metre gained0.1
Kick metre gained0.05
Error-2
Missed tackle0.05

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