NRL Round 4 Value Plays (Saturday)

NRL Round 4 Value Plays (Saturday)

Super Saturday has been cut to two games for the long weekend, but it kicks off with a beauty. Both the Eels and Sea Eagles put on clinics last week and go head-to-head in a hotly anticipated clash at Bankwest Stadium. While the Cowboys and Sharks don’t offer the same blockbuster feel, Cronulla’s search for their first win of the season adds a level of desperation that should translate into an exciting encounter. We take a look at who will score the first try and where the DFS value lies for both games.

Parramatta Eels v Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles @ Bankwest Stadium

First Try-Scorers: Maika Sivo – $9.50, Jorge Taufua – $15, Marata Niukore – $36

With two strong packs going hammer and tongs through the middle, expect both sides to look wide in attack.

Maika Sivo ($9.50 – Neds) is a try-scoring machine. If he can get on the end of a sweeping play close to the line, he’s going to force his way over the line more often than not.

On the opposite side of the field, Jorge Taufua ($15 – Neds) may not be asked to do anything more than fall over the line. Manly’s left edge attack is looking that good. Tom Trbojevic put on a clinic last week and a lofted skip-pass out to Taufua on Saturday evening is all but written into the script already.

As far as roughies go, our predictive model likes the look of Marata Niukore ($36 – Sportsbet). He barged over the line first last week, and in the side that has scored six tries through the middle (twice as many as any other club) already this season, will be a good chance at doing so again in this one.

Draftstars Suggested Plays: Clint Gutherson ($8,320), Marata Niukore ($10,630)

Clint Gutherson isn’t often a high-level DFS performer. However, our predictive model projects him to score 35 points on Saturday evening and has pointed him out as a value play at $8,320. He’s never short of touches. With 51 receipts last week, Gutherson managed a try and try assist in a 68-point performance. While he’s not projected to score quite that high this week, he’s worth considering as a cheap alternative to the wildly popular Tom Trbojevic.

Even if Marata Niukore doesn’t get across the line, he presents as a value play at $10,630. He ran for 172 metres and made 27 tackles in Round 3. With what look to be two clear 25-minute shifts carved out in the rotation, Niukore can go all-out knowing a rest is coming. Projected to score 39 points in this one, he’s a reliable option in the second row forward spot.

DFS Fade: Junior Paulo ($14,450)

All good things must come to an end, and our predictive model has projected Junior Paulo to score just 44 points this week – ending his streak of three 53-point performances in a row. He’s managed a try assist in each of Parramatta’s two blowout wins over the last two rounds. With points at a premium against quality opposition, that’s a streak that may also come to an end this week.

North Queensland Cowboys v Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks @ Queensland Country Bank Stadium

First Try-Scorers: Ben Hampton – $11, Scott Drinkwater – $19

The way the Cowboys left side attack linked up against the Titans provides all the evidence we need to be interested in Ben Hampton ($11 – BetEasy) and Scott Drinkwater ($19 – BetEasy) in this spot.

Hampton benefited twice from Drinkwater-influenced shifts last week. With so much of the focus on Valentine Holmes in these plays, it’s catch-and-pass out to Hampton to score. With that in mind, there is every possibility the Sharks over-adjust this week and drift too early. Drinkwater has the running game to make them pay if they do.

Draftstars Suggested Plays: Briton Nikora ($12,920), Valentine Holmes ($12,920)

For the same reasons already outlined above, Valentine Holmes presents as a value play at his $12,290. He’s credited with a try assist in these sweeps and can expect to see plenty of opportunities with the football again this week. Our predictive model projects Val to score 45 points on Saturday night.

With a lot of North Queensland’s attacking focus down his side of the field, Briton Nikora will be asked to do a lot of work defensively. Add the fact that the Sharks lean heavily on his combination with Shaun Johnson in attack, and Nikora’s ceiling goes well beyond the 46 points our model has projected for this one.

DFS Fade: Blayke Brailey ($13,800)

Being expected to play 80 minutes, Blayke Brailey is a popular DFS pick. However, our predictive model is suggesting we look for value elsewhere at hooker given Brailey’s $13,800 price.

Without Jason Taumalolo charging it up through the middle, the Cowboys may look wide earlier in the set, and in turn, reduce the defensive output we’ve come to expect from the Sharks hooker.

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