Draftstars + punting preview: Saturday NRL fixtures

Check out our Draftstars preview of the Saturday clashes and betting tips, with the key players to target and avoid.

DraftStars preview

Draftstars is back for Round 13 of the NRL season 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 50c and win major jackpots.

After weeks of big profits, last round saw a reduction in winners, so here’s hoping we get back on track in Round 13.

Note that our punting plays utilise BetEasy’s three leg promotion offer of money back if one leg fails.

This gives us a far better crack at a return should we miss the mark in a certain area.

Let’s take a look into today’s fixtures.


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With Cam Smith and Ryan Papenhuyzen out of action this game takes on a whole new feel. The dry conditions are key as I think Melbourne will have far too much fire power for the Dogs who would be right in this game if on a bog track in Sydney.

I think the Storm will win well, but they’re missing key spine members which will heavily impact their fluency. I’ll be loading up on Melbourne attackers.


Same game multi

  • Melbourne win 13+ @$1.85
  • Addo-Carr 2+ tries @4
  • Vunivalu 1+ tries @$1.57

Multi = $7.66

*Using BetEasy offer of money back if one leg fails.

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Cam Munster

I won’t elaborate much. Smith/Papy out, it’s Munster’s show to run, and I expect him to kick goals, get him in.


Raymond Faitala-Mariner

RFM is in exceptional form, but his scores (and therefore price) have been inflated by four tries in his past five games. He is by no means a bad buy at all, I just believe he’s overpriced at almost $15k as a result of his attacking form. Melbourne are the masters at slowing the ruck and the entire output of Draftstars players, particularly forwards.

Aiden Tolman

Tolman would near be my first picked due to his work load and minutes, but as it stands he’s playing off the bench. Watch for final teams as I’ll be bringing in if named to start.


Nicho Hynes

The rookie fullback impressed last week and will slot into the place of Papenhuyzen. I don’t particularly like the look of any Bulldogs outside backs, so Hynes can slot in at an affordable $8,500.

Kenny Bromwich

While Cam Munster often plays both sides of the ruck, he is stationed on the left edge. With all the extra ball I expect him to get, this brings Bromwich right into consideration with attacking stats very possible.

Brandon Smith

No Cam Smith finally gives the Kiwi number 9 big minutes at hooker. We all know what he’s capable of, he’ll relish the added responsibility and I expect him to score very well. He’s also available at HOK and FRF which provides flexibility.


Munster and Bromwich

I’m backing Munster to attract defenders which will open space for a hard running Bromwich to crash over for a try.

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We have two sides that are both heavily impacted by injuries, with the loss of both hookers sure to influence the sides significantly. I haven’t been convinced by the Tigers all year, now they face an impressive Knights outfit without two of their best players in Harry Grant and Alex Twal.

Hopefully it’s not too wet as there’s plenty of points on offer in what should be a gripping clash. I’ll be favouring Knights players.


Same game multi

  • Knights to win @$1.58
  • Ponga to score a try @2.50
  • Talau to score a try @$2.75

Multi = $8.08

*Using BetEasy offer of money back if one leg fails.


Kalyn Ponga

KP is building towards something special in the run home. While void of a few attacking stats lately by his lofty standards, I think he’s ready to explode. I think Blake Green’s arrival on the left edge (pushing Kurt Mann to hooker), will see Ponga spend far more time on his preferred left edge… Look out.

Mitch Pearce

I really like what I’m seeing from the Knights despite a few recent losses to their name. I like their side and think they can make a decent run come finals time. Like Ponga, I think Pearce is set for a strong end to the season and I believe he’s the clear pick of the halves in this contest.


Benji Marshall

Benji is the most expensive half in this contest. The return of Luke Brooks to the starting side will see Benji receive far less ball, and as a result it is likely to see his scores reduce.


Sam McIntyre

McIntyre starts for Luke Garner and should play big minutes. $8,900 for a starting back-rower with plenty of promise is a savvy pick up.

Mitch Barnett

Barnett is always an injury risk, but is a club favourite and is highly regarded when fit. He’s strung three games together since his last injury and is looking good. He really impressed last week against Melbourne and was a handful against a dominant defensive outfit. He’s back to 70+ minutes and looks a serious recruit at just $11,570.


Adam Doueihi and David Nofaluma

I’ve given plenty of love to Newcastle players, and I think they will win, but in reality the Tigers are definitely capable of emerging as victors. If you want to favour Tigers players, look no further than Doueihi who can find a flying Nofoaluma out wide who is on a try-scoring tear.

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This will be a cracker, please let the rain stay away! John Bateman is such a tremendous addition to this Raiders side as we saw last week on return. I’m backing an absolute slug fest through the middle of the park if it is wet as predicted. On form, and with Canberra’s huge injury toll, you have to go with the ladder leading Panthers. But I think it’ll be very tight, the Green Machine will be up for the challenge.


Same game multi

  • Panthers margin 1-12 @$2.90
  • Total points under 35.5 @$1.88
  • Crichton to score a try @$2.35

Multi = $9.84

*Using BetEasy offer of money back if one leg fails.


Api Koroisau

Api is the only hooker you should be considering in this contest.

Josh Papalii

Papalii has played bigger minutes since the decimation of his forward pack to injury. He lifts for every big game he plays in, and Ricky Stuart would have been eyeing this fixture off for a while. Papa has a habit of scoring tries in important clashes, look for another on Saturday night.

John Bateman

At just $13k Bateman is very affordable. He played the full 80 on return last week and showed no signs of injury, gun.


Nathan Cleary

Controversial, but I think it’s worth taking a gamble and leaving Cleary out. He’s one of my first picked each week and is the competition’s form playmaker, but this will be a tough outing for him.

Canberra will be up for the challenge, and the wet conditions could see the game played through the middle third. I think the conditions are made for Jack Wighton’s running game in tight around the ruck, so I’ll swing that way and watch very nervously every time Cleary touches the ball. It also frees up $3k to spend elsewhere.


Viliame Kikau

Kikau is such a focal point of Penrith’s attack, they’ll again be looking for him as a gamebreaker in what I’m tipping to be a tight contest. At just $9,290 he’s a bargain price. His clash with John Bateman will be a belter!

Caleb Aekins

I don’t particularly like him as a Draftstars player, but he’s at basement price of $7k so it frees up money to spend big in the forwards that I’ve targeted. Hopefully he racks up a ton of runs which he’s capable of and finds an attacking stat.


Api Koroisau and Viliame Kikau

Let’s back Api to hit a hard running Kikau flat at the line for a four pointer.


StatPoints value
Field goal5
Tackle break3
Linebreak assist2
Tackle 1
Run metre gained0.1
Kick metre gained0.05
Missed tackle0.05

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