The last round of the regular season promises to be an entertaining one. We have teams competing to play in the finals and lock in the crucial double chance by making the top four. However, it’s the chaos from coaches deciding to test their superstars & late changes that are likely to define the round from a DFS perspective.
Draftstars have increased their prize pools this round, including a $5000 Sunday Slate. If you’re thinking of entering in to any of the contests this round, make sure you check out our ‘NRL Draftstars Stat Bible‘ to help you fit in your favourite players!
Sunday 5th September 2pm
Titans v Warriors $10,000
The last day of the regular season promises to be an exciting one with the Titans needing to win by 12 or more to overtake the Sharks and play in the finals series! The Warriors have shown a lot of fight and surprised teams in the last few weeks, but all the momentum in this game is with the Titans and their run towards the finals. With no AFL contests on today, both NRL DFS contests will have higher prize pools as well as the Sunday Slate being a $5k contest.
The Titans will not be leaving anything to chance today, knowing they need to win by 12 or more to make the finals. Using this information, we’re looking at their top line forwards and who might get more minutes than usual. Mo Fotuaika is rated a 7/10 value player, projected to score 53 and priced at $12,150. With the potential upside of more minutes, especially if the game is on the line late we think this is a great place to start building your team. He also has a ceiling range of 78 which the best for any of the FRFs in this game.
Tino Faasuamaleaui & David Fifita were the two big signing expected to change the Titans fortunes in 2021. They’ve both had their moments this season but we’re expecting them to really step it up today. They’ve both been down on (DFS scoring) form over the last few weeks so have projected scores of 47 & 58 but again, with the potential of more minutes and high ceiling ranges for both teams, we think they’ll be excellent picks today.
Reece Walsh. We have him projected to score 43 points and a value rating of 5/10. Continuing on with the theme of the Titans having everything to play for, leaving Walsh’s $11,370 price tag of out of your team to fit in the likes of Fifita, Tino or Fotuaika would be a wise decision.
Sunday 5th September 4.05pm
Wests Tigers v Bulldogs $12,000
This game is in complete contrast to the first game of the day, with both teams unable to make the finals, however there will be plenty of players fighting for contracts in 2021. You can see both teams haven’t had a great season when you look at the ‘average ownership %’ in 2021 and only 3 games are over 30%. Finding the players most likely to hit their ceiling range will be the key to winning this contest.
Luciano Leilua & Shawn Blore are both strong options in this one. Leilua has been in great DFS scoring form, has the highest ceiling range (74) in the game & the third highest projected score for the game. Blore has a more affordable price tag ($10,750) and has a 8/10 value rating. Both teams won’t be playing finals footy this season but the Tigers have more attacking upside and Leilua & Blore will be crucial if the Tigers are to win today.
Zac Cini & Joe Stimson are two cheaper players expected to score well that could help you fit in some high ceiling players. Cini has come in for Moses Mbye at fullback, projected to score 33 points which gives him a value rating of 8/10 as he’s priced at $7k. Stimson’s projected to score 41 and even if he can get close to this he’ll be great value being priced at $8,400 and could pair well with Luciano Leilua in your 2RF position.
Jack Hetherington has been in good DFS scoring form and has an average ownership of 29%, 5th highest for this contest. However, being priced at $11,160 you would want someone who’s reliable and Hetherington is anything but. Known for losing his cool and being sin binned or sent off, players like Alex Twal or Dylan Napa depending on how much of your salary cap is left would be safer picks.
Thursday 2nd September 7.50pm
Raiders v Roosters $25,000
The final Thursday Night regular season game of the season promises to be a cracker. Both teams are in similar situations, they need to win to give themselves a chance to make the top eight and four respectively. Given the Roosters would be relying on Manly losing to the Cowboys to end up in fourth spot and given the extent of their injuries, it’s a definite possibility that a couple more of their stars may be left out. At the very least, you would expect Waerea-Hargreaves & Taukeiaho to get less minutes than usual given they are both carrying niggles.
With some doubts over three of the best value players in this contest, Sitili Tupouniua stands out as a great option. His price has been pushed down by his recent form, but with a ceiling range of 73 and projected score of 43, he would be a great way to start building your team for two reasons. Firstly, it allows you to fit in some of the more expensive players with higher ceiling ranges in this contest. But also with so much uncertainty with how many minutes players in the forward pack will get for teams with not much to gain, he should get you a solid 40+ score as long as he doesn’t get shifted to the centres.
Jordan Rapana has been on fire in recent weeks. He’s been much more involved at fullback, which is great for his confidence but also would have shown the Raiders that they have another focal point in attack aside from Jack Wighton. He has the second highest ceiling range in this contest (85) and with the Raiders’ season on the line, he seems a great value pick to pick in the W/FB position.
James Tedesco. This is definitely one of those calls that will either look extremely brave or ridiculously stupid after the game. But hear us out! Although James Tedesco has the highest ceiling range in this contest and therefore the most upside, he also has the highest average ownership % in 2021.
Last week when they played the Rabbitohs, the Roosters only managed 12 points and Tedesco couldn’t even get to 10 DFS points. If the Roosters had won, it would have put them in the box seat for a top 4 spot. Now, as we mentioned previously they would need to win this game against the Raiders and hope that the Cowboys beat Manly, who are $1.10 favourites and have named Tom Trbojevic and Daly Cherry-Evans.
We have him projected to score 54 points. At his $16,150 price tag, leaving him out could allow you to choose players such as Angus Crichton, Hudson Young or Josh Papalii who have similar projected scores and are usually much less commonly owned.
Friday 3rd September 6pm
Sharks v Storm $10,000
This game has two completely different storylines. The first one is simple. The Sharks need to win to lock in a top eight spot. If they lose, a big win by the Titans on Sunday would knock the Sharks out of the top eight. The Storm do need to win to solidify first spot and the minor premiership, however theirs is more a story of competition for spots. Brandon Smith v Harry Grant. Ryan Papenhuyzen v Nicho Hynes. And a host of spots in the forward pack rotation and in the outside backs. For all these reasons, it should be an exciting game and Draftstars have a $10,000 contest to start off a big night of rugby league action.
The obvious value pick for this game is Chris Lewis. Priced at $8,590 and starting in the second row, he should play close to a full 80 mins. Aaron Pene is the other starting second rower, so if one of them do get rested it’s more likely to be Pene who seems more an explosive player and hasn’t played as many big minute games as Chris Lewis.
Nicho Hynes is another great value pick in this contest. With a ceiling range of 91 in 2021, you know he’s got the potential to go big. However, those games were at fullback and he’ll be playing in the halves this time around. We have him as a 7/10 value player, with no other player available at Half or W/FB any higher than 5/10 value. He’ll want to remind the Storm of what he’s capable of and the fact that he’s up against the club he’ll be going to next year doesn’t hurt either!
Jesse Ramien. We didn’t get the ‘fade James Tedesco’ call right on Thursday night but we’re making another brave call in the second game of the round. Ramien has a strong ceiling range of 74, has been in impressive tackle-busting form in 2021 and is up against a left edge without Kenny Bromwich, Munster & Addo-Carr. But we’re going to back in our model, which has projected him to only score 41 points and obviously at $14,420 that would be a terrible value pick.
Let’s look at what that could allow you to do with your squad. If you think the Sharks could rise to the occasion and win this game, Mawene Hiroti could be a great cheap option to pick at CTR, otherwise you can go with Siosifa Talakai who is a powerful forward that should be able to wrack up around 30 points. The money saved in the CTR position could allow you to pick up someone like Harry Grant, who is usually not highly owned as he comes off the bench but has a ceiling range of 76 in 2021.
Friday 3rd September 8.05pm
Eels v Panthers $10,000
The second Friday night game will be a really interesting DFS contest. A full-strength Panthers team come up against a second string Parramatta Eels. The Panthers rotate their forwards evenly in most games but they’ll likely look to give players like Fisher-Harris & Pangai Junior more minutes as they return to the team before the finals. There should be some opportunities in the Eels pack to pick out a few value players, we hope to help you nail these picks to set your teams apart!
We have Ray Stone projected to score 44 points and if he can come close to that, priced at $9,000 he would be a great starting point to your team. Looking across the value ratings, the next best value Eels player is 6/10 and the only other relatively good value 2rf pick is Liam Martin who could get less minutes than usual given he played Origin this season and Capewell & Kikau are both named in the Panthers 17.
Viliame Kikau. Another brave call, especially when he’s coming off a 98 last round. We have him projected to score $12,900 and if he scores close to our projected score of 42, it definitely wouldn’t be a great value pick. Given that the Eels have named a second string team, it’s possible players like Tyrone May and Scott Sorenson may get more of an opportunity than usual as well as TPJ & Fisher-Harris who have missed a few games in recent weeks.
Aside from Ray Stone who we highlighted as a great value pick, another alternative to Kikau would be Bryce Cartwright. Cartwright’s scoring potential is known by long-term NRL Fantasy or Supercoach players and the opportunity to start in the second right might just get the best out of Cartwright. He scored 49 in 53 minutes in his first game this season, 74 in 54 minutes two weeks later and two other scores between 45-50 in around 50 minutes in the middle of the season. We have Cartwright projected to score 42 points but it’s clear he could hit a 50+ score, especially as he’ll likely play the whole game and hopefully get some ‘junk time’ points later in the contest.
Saturday 4th September 3pm
Broncos v Knights $6000
The Knights have rested a few stars however have named Ponga, Pearce & Clifford as they continue to build momentum before the finals. The Broncos have played well in the last few weeks with Albert Kelly & Anthony Milford showing some impressive form in recent weeks. The 3pm timeslot should ensure a pretty entertaining, free-flowing game and therefore a high-scoring DFS contest on Draftstars.
No surprises here with Brodie Jones & Jack Johns being two of the best value players in the game. However our favourite value player in the contest is Josh King at $7,000. We have him projected to score 32 points but if you look at the Knights forward pack, he should comfortably get 40+ minutes and if they choose to rest a couple of their stars late, it could lead to some extra minutes for him to get close to 40 points. Most entrants will be able to pick out guys like Jones, Johns & Randall (who are all great value players in this contest) but with King being named on the bench, it could be a great way to also fit in Payne Haas at $17,160.
Kalyn Ponga. He has an average ownership of 61% in 2021, so if you do choose to leave him out of your team you’ll most likely be differentiating your team from the pack. The reason we’re suggesting to fade him is we have him projected to score 48 points and at his $13,510 price tag. The Knights coach has stated that he will consider resting his stars late in the game as they have nothing to gain by winning this game, so there’s some downside in picking Ponga on top him not being great value to start the game anyway.
This also opens up opportunities to pick players like Jordan Riki at $13,270 or Connor Watson at $13,600 who both have higher ceiling ranges than Ponga (82 and 77 respectively compared to Ponga’s 73). And as we mentioned in the value plays section, avoiding Ponga and picking players like Jack Johns & Josh King allows you to easily pick Payne Haas who has been in excellent form and should be fired up for a big game to finish the 2021 season.
Saturday 4th September 5.30pm
Cowboys v Sea Eagles $6000
The Cowboys broke their losing streak last week and will want to finish the 2021 season on a high. Tabuai-Fidow, Val Holmes & Scott Drinkwater pose a threat in attack and given they have nothing to lose, hopefully they can unleash their attacking weapons. Manly do need to win this game to lock in fourth position so we’re expecting another high scoring DFS contest.
Dylan Walker doesn’t seem like an attractive selection for NRL DFS given he used to be a back and is now starting on the bench. For those of us who follow the game closely though, he’s been playing a great role for the Sea Eagles off the bench in the middle of the field. His last 3 scores are 48, 49 & 51. This level of consistency for someone who can be picked at WFB or HALF but plays in the middle of the field makes him an excellent selection. To top it off, he’s only priced at $9,570 & has an average ownership % of 14 in 2021! Jeremiah Nanai & Ben Condon are definitely great value options in the 2RF position, both priced around $7,500 and will allow you to fit Tom Trbojevic’s $18,470 price tag!
This seems like the perfect opportunity to fade Jake Trbojevic. In the last couple of years, he’s evolved into more of a ‘base stats’ player and in what seems likely to be a high-scoring, flowing game he may not have the opportunities to wrack up a high tackle count to hit a 50+ score to justify his $12,010 price tag. Also, Manly just need to win this game, regardless of the margin so we could see their bench forwards get more minutes and Trbojevic get a stint on the bench. Taniela Paseka or Sean Keppie could get more minutes than usual and could be better value picks.
Saturday 4th September 7.35pm
Rabbitohs v Dragons $8000
The Rabbitohs have lost Latrell Mitchell, rested Adam Reynolds & Damien Cook as well as most of their first choice team. The Dragons have lost Zac Lomax but aside from that, they’ll be looking to continue their momentum with their young guns Tyrell Sloan, Talatau Amone & Jayden Sullivan. This DFS contest will be decided by finding the value in the relatively unknown forwards who will get a larger role but also deciding which team you think will be able to execute better in attack.
Billy Burns seem like an excellent pick for this contest, especially because he’s available at CTR as well as 2RF. Priced at $10,670 and projected to score 44, locking in a forward’s score in the CTR position in what is projected to be a low scoring DFS contest could be a great way to start building your team.
Considering the highest projected score for this contest is 50, we had a closer look at the form & ceiling range. Jaydn Su’A has a ceiling range of 64 in 2021 and we have him projected to score 47. His price tag of $12,510 isn’t too expensive and therefore won’t hurt the balance of your team as well. He has an explosive, tackle-busting game so he could be a great pick with some upside for your team.
Jaxson Paulo. The Rabbitohs probably have the best left side attack in the competition and Paulo plays on the right. The Rabbitohs have also rested most of their stars so generally, there should be less opportunities for tries so Paulo will be depending on his run metres & tackle breaks which he isn’t known for. Although Feagai & Ravalawa, the Dragons wingers aren’t showing as great value picks according to our model, they are both stronger ball runners and should have more base stats such as running metres & tackle breaks.
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