Draftstars preview: Friday NRL fixtures, Rd 19

Check out our Draftstars preview of the two Friday clashes, with the key players to target and avoid.

DraftStars preview

Draftstars is back for Round 19 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 from as little as 50c and win major jackpots.

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

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COWBOYS v PANTHERS

OVERVIEW

The first piece of advice, definitely do not enter a team until after team lists drop at 5pm!

Ivan Cleary is a huge chance of resting players, so you’d be mad to pick early.

Although with Charlie Staines and Dean Whare dropping out the picture is a little clearer. Matt Burton is still lurking so Nathan Cleary or Jarome Luai could drop out.

Furthermore, I expect the Panthers to win this well, leading to early showers for a number of stars, namely forwards such as James Fisher-Harris and perhaps Isaah Yeo.

The following preview has obviously been written based on the current 17 named for the clash, along with the expectation that Jason Taumalolo comes onto the Cowboys bench.

GUNS

Nathan Cleary

While it seems logical to rest Cleary, you get the idea he is gunning for the Dally M Medal, and he’s sure to have his dad’s blessing.

Even if he does get an early rest due to a big lead, you can only assume he’s had a role in plenty of tries by that point.

Brian To’o

To’o has been in sensational form since returning from injury and he could add a few more tries to his season tally in this game.

Having only played a few games this season it’s highly unlikely he gets an early rest.

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STARS TO AVOID

Josh Mansour, Isaah Yeo, James Fisher-Harris

Yeo and JFH will be prime candidates for a rest late in the game, while I also think the workload may be well down if the Cowboys put a score on the Cowboys.

The damage will likely be done on the edges, especially with Api Koroisau out, and if there are stoppages due to tries it will impact the workload.

Don’t get me wrong, Mansour could go big against his flimsy opposition. But he’s also a chance at an early shower, so I’d prefer lock in To’o with more certainty on going the distance.

Jason Taumalolo

Even if he were to start, I’m concerned JT won’t play his regular 65+ minutes and therefore won’t match his value of $16k unless he jags some attacking stats.

He’s expected to be named on the bench come kick off which will make it an easy decision to put a line through him.

The Cowboys are clear of the wooden spoon and won’t make the eight, so why risk him in big game time?

VALUE

Mitch Kenny

With Koroisau out, Kenny gets a start. He should see big minutes and looks like a bargain at just under $11k. While Tyrone May is an option to steal time, you’d think Cleary would take this opportunity to get 80 minutes under Kenny’s belt prior to finals as reserve hooker.

Corey Jensen

This is based on the current team that has Jensen starting. Taumalolo may return at lock, pushing Francis Molo to prop and Jensen to the bench.

If Jensen does start as named he’s very cheap and should exceed his $7,910 price tag.

COMBINATIONS

Brent Naden and Brian To’o

I’ve gone with this pair as they’re both likely to play their 80 minutes without much risk of a rest.

Draftstars award try-assists for the last touch, so hopefully Cleary does all the work on the inside to create space for Naden to tip to To’o for a few tries.

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EELS v BRONCOS

OVERVIEW

Parramatta can still miss out on a top four spot, so they won’t be taking this game lightly. Brisbane are missing their main man in Payne Haas and I can see them folding in Sydney.

I fully expect Parramatta to show their class and put a big score on their Queensland foes.

As such I’ll be loading up on Parramatta players.

GUNS

Pat Carrigan

The only Bronco I will be recruiting is Carrigan who will likely play 80 minutes in the absence of Haas. He should score extremely well in big game time and looks a great buy.

Mitch Moses

Moses hasn’t been at his best since returning from injury, but there have been plenty of promising signs nonetheless.

He’s a player who thrives against weak opposition, so I expect him to be in everything with Dylan Brown sidelined and he could score extremely well.

Ryan Matterson

There’s enough value in Parra’s backline that it’s not too difficult fitting in a few guns.

Matterson will get plenty of ball outside Moses who will dictate the game, and I think he’s a red-hot chance at jagging some attacking stats to go with his regular heavy workload.

STARS TO AVOID

David Fifita and Kotoni Staggs

Fifita could be okay due to a few base stats at least, but I just think this pair may have extremely limited opportunity to inject themselves into this game.

If the Eels do put on a big score, the attacking opportunities for Brisbane will be extremely limited.

With Haas out their go forward will suffer enormously, so these two will need one of their trademark moments of magic from nothing to exceed their value.

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VALUE

Clint Gutherson

This is basically relaying what was said for Moses, but Gutho will be on the end of every backline movement and linebreak and should produce the goods at a very affordable $10,820.

Blake Ferguson

Fergo has broken his season try-scoring duck and perhaps the floodgates can open? I like him over Sivo purely because he’s on Moses’ edge which will see far more ball than that of Jai Field’s left side.

COMBINATIONS

Gutho and Fergo

Moses will create space against a back-pedalling Brisbane defensive line, find a sweeping Gutho who cuts to Fergo to score. Hopefully…

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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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