Draftstars + punting preview: Saturday NRL fixtures

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

DraftStars preview

Draftstars is back for Round 14 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.

We nailed a $7.66 same-game multi last week in our best result.

Get $5 for the Raiders to beat the Broncos with BetEasy, new customers only. Get a piece of it here.

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, and it came in very handy last week!

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

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SHARKS v TITANS

OVERVIEW

Cronulla are playing some enterprising footy and will thrive against the Titans leaky defence in what should be dry conditions in Sydney.

I expect them to win this, and win it well. There’s fairly few Draftstars guns in this contest so fitting players into your squad shouldn’t be too difficult.

PUNTING PLAY

Same-game multi

  • Sharks 13+ @2.40
  • Total points over 43.5 @1.88
  • Mulitalo 2+ tries @5

Multi = $8.54

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

GUNS

Shaun Johnson

I’d say Johnson has turned back the clock in recent months, but that’d suggest he’s struggled with age.

Plenty of critics have said that, I think he’s always been a weapon, he’s just in particularly good form of late. If the Sharks pile the points on he’ll be an absolute must own.

STARS TO AVOID

Sione Katoa

No major knock on, it’s simply that for some reason John Morris switched him to the left edge last week and Ronaldo Mulitalo to the right.

While it helps having Wade Graham on the left, the money spot at Cronulla is the right edge outside SJ.

VALUE

Ronaldo Mulitalo

Mulitalo will thrive on the right edge outside the firing SJ, I can see him bagging a few tries on Saturday afternoon.

Siosifa Talakai

Talakai won his way to a starting edge role last week, again outside SJ, and he’s kept it this week.

He’s playing 80 minutes and could be in for some additional attacking stats this week. At under $10k he’s terrific value.

AJ Brimson

Brimson has a few games back from injury and was the star of the show in the win over the Cowboys.

He’s an electric fullback and will demand plenty of ball in attacking territory, while his support play is also very good. At $9k he looks a nice addition.

COMBINATIONS

Cronulla’s right edge

Alright, you’re probably gathering the SJ fan boy theme here, but it’s warranted. I’ll be loading up on that edge with the players mentioned above.

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COWBOYS v RABBITOHS

OVERVIEW

The Rabbitohs should be winning this fairly comfortably. My only concern at the moment is that teams fly in and out of Townsville in the one day which is a big ask.

The Bunnies pack isn’t great, and the Cowboys have a few big guns returning, so that’s another thing to consider.

As a result, I’ll be backing the Rabbitohs but won’t be going crazy as it might be a tighter game than many are predicting.

PUNTING PLAY

Same-game multi

  • Rabbitohs -6.5 line @1.91
  • Over 41.5 points @1.88
  • Johnston 2+ tries @4.50

Multi = $8.23

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

GUNS

Damien Cook

I get nervous if I ever don’t own Cook in Draftstars due to his upside. He hasn’t been running like his usual self, especially last week, but hopefully he can unleash on a dry track this weekend.

Jason Taumalolo

The best player across both packs by some margin and available at a reasonable $16,740, nice.

STARS TO AVOID

Reece Robson

Unfortunately for Robson’s Draftstars prospects Jake Granville is on the bench and is eating into his minutes. As such, it makes Cook an easy option at hooker.

VALUE

Liam Knight

Keep an eye on final teams as this is based on reports that he’ll start at lock with Cam Murray moving to the edge.

Should it come through, I’m backing Knight to play a few extra minutes and hopefully he unleashes his offload in the process. At under $10k he’d be great value if he does start.

COMBINATIONS

Cody Walker and Cam Murray

Provided reports are correct and Murray shifts to the left edge outside Walker I think they can carve up the Cowboys.

I do prefer Murray as a middle forward, but as far as attacking stats go the opportunities open up on the edge.

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RAIDERS v BRONCOS

OVERVIEW

The Raiders are fairly decimated with injuries, but they’re still playing some good footy, Penrith were just too good last week.

At home against a putrid Broncos outfit who have just gone through a week from hell, this should be a very one-sided outing.

I’ll be going very heavy on Raiders attacking players while throwing a few Broncos workhorses in the mix.

PUNTING PLAY

Same-game multi

  • Raiders 19+ @1.92
  • Croker to score a try @$1.85
  • Nicoll-Klokstad @$2.20

Multi = $5.39

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

GUNS

Josh Papalii

Big Papa is an easy pick each week at the moment. He has increased minutes and an increased role with several middles out injured.

With Brisbane’s atrocious goal line defence he’s a huge chance at nabbing a try too.

Pat Carrigan

Carrigan’s minutes were set to be reduced with cattle back, but now with TPJ and Lodge both gone he should comfortably play 60+. He’s got a massive engine on him and is a great pick up.

STARS TO AVOID

Joe Tapine

Tapine is playing some decent footy, but John Bateman’s return has seen him play just 34 and 44 minutes the past two weeks.

Surprisingly he’s still valued at almost $13k and with those minutes he’s not worth the investment.

VALUE

Jarrod Croker

Croker is due to explode for a big points haul. He’s been very close to some major attacking stats this season but has fallen just short time and time again.

If the Raiders rack up a score as predicted he’ll be in the thick of it and will of course kick goals. At just over $8k he could easily exceed his value.

COMBINATIONS

George Williams and John Bateman

These two played plenty of footy together back in England, now they find themselves on the same edge in Canberra. They’ve got two games together in green and will be fired up for this encounter.

They’re both extremely confident footballers and will back themselves to get the better of a fragile opposition defence.

Williams is also far cheaper than Jack Wighton which is enticing in the halves.

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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