This is set to be a cracking encounter that may go either way. My gut feel says Canberra will have a slight edge in class and might sneak away in a tight match.
Marty Taupau is a huge loss for Manly, and I’m not quite sure they have the depth in the middle to match the Green Machine’s pack for 80 minutes. I’ll be narrowly favouring Raiders players, but it’ll be a fairly even split.
AFB is one of the premier front-rowers in the game and will be the man to step up to fill the void of Taupau. His game time should increase by 5-10 minutes and as a result is slightly undervalued at $14,120. He’ll relish the challenge of standing up to Canberra without his partner in crime and can go big.
Tommy Turbo can thrive in a rare day game for him in 2020. He loves dry weather footy and will as usual be the focal point of Manly’s attacking raids. Canberra are very solid in defence and won’t be satisfied with recent week’s performances, so they may lift and keep Tommy at bay. However at $13,300 and his ability to go very large I’m not sure it’s worth the risk of leaving him out.
STARS TO AVOID
DCE is priced at almost $16k and is quite comfortably the most expensive player in the contest. Canberra have transformed into a defensive powerhouse in the past 18 months and they’ll be up for this battle. I’m happy to leave DCE out for one of the Raiders halves who should notch plenty of running and tackle stats at decent discounts.
Rapa is back and starting on the wing and is a valuable
Draftstars asset. He churns through plenty of work from the wing and is a
prolific try-scorer. At $7,500 he’s an absolute steal and is a fantastic investment.
Whitehead isn’t a huge worker for a back-rower, but he is
playing 80 minutes and is running off the lethal Jack Wighton. As a result he’s
finding plenty of attacking stats in 2020 and looks a quality pick up at just
Josh Hodgson and Josh Papalii
Hodgson is the pick of the hookers in this one, while Papalii is an elite front-row option but costs plenty. I can see Hodgo getting out of hooker on the line and hitting a flying Papa who can jag a try with a bit of late footwork at the line.
It’s hard to get a gauge of exactly where the Sharks are at
this season, but they should have too much strike-power for the Dogs in this
one. The Dogs have a habit of showing up with a stack of grit from time to
time, but on what we’ve seen the Sharks should be too good and may win well. I’ll
be loading up on Cronulla attacking players in the hope they put on a bit of a
SJ is the elite halfback option in Draftstars in this contest by some margin. While he’s not running as much as we’d hope, there’s been promising signs in recent weeks that he could be about to explode. His kicking and passing game have been all class, and his running will hopefully follow shortly.
STARS TO AVOID
There are very few Draftstars guns in this contest so it’s hard to pick. However JMK is one of the most expensive players in the contest. Blayke Brailey is expected to play 80 minutes with Connor Tracey dropping off the bench, and he’s almost $3k cheaper than his hooking counterpart. Brailey’s running game hasn’t quite revealed itself yet in 2020, but today may be the day.
Hopoate will be a premier pick in Draftstars every week that he’s playing fullback. He was one of Canterbury’s best against the Roosters and threatened the premiers on numerous occasions. He gets through stacks of work from the back and looks value at $10,370.
The veteran winger is basement price at $7k and should be
busy in his return to an NRL run on side. Josh Dugan has been outstanding in
recent weeks and has very surprisingly developed his ball playing to the
benefit of his winger. Goodwin may not score big, but at the price in a team
that should score well he is a value purchase.
Shaun Johnson and Briton Nikora
I love this pair as a Draftstars combination pick. If Cronulla gain momentum through a few repeats six again calls, this lethal duo will punish a retreating defensive line. Look for SJ to hit a hard-running Nikora with a short-ball, hopefully resulting in a try or two.