With all three clubs in the bottom eight and already long shots to play finals football, Super Saturday is a big day for Queensland rugby league. The Cowboys take on an improving Knights side to get things started before the Titans travel up the M1 to play the Broncos. Two clubs expecting to fill out the top four, the Eels and Raiders fill the prime time slot.
North Queensland Cowboys v Newcastle Knights @ Queensland Country Bank Stadium
First Try-Scorer: Scott Drinkwater – $31, Kyle Feldt – $14
With the Newcastle Knights expected to trample all over what is a hapless North Queensland Cowboys side right now, the value lies with the underdogs.
With Valentine Holmes still out injured, Scott Drinkwater ($31 – SportsBet) and Kyle Feldt ($14 – Neds) are North Queensland’s two attacking weapons. Drinkwater started the season in impressive form but has suffered a dip of late. Much of that will have to do with Holmes not being involved out the back of the shift plays Drinkwater had previously thrived in. However, he’s about all the Cowboys have at the moment and will be at the forefront of anything positive they achieve on Saturday.
As the NRL’s leading try-scorer, Feldt has managed to keep himself involved despite the struggles of those inside him. Poor attacking teams tend to resort to a kick-and-hope to the corner at the end of a good ball set. Few pose as better targets in the air than Feldt.
Draftstars Suggested Plays: Mitchell Dunn ($8,700), Lachlan Fitzgibbon ($10,300), Gavin Cooper ($8,660)
We’re going back to the well with Mitchell Dunn this week. Our predictive model projected him to score 43 points last week before he cashed in with a superior 48.3 points. While he only ran for 54 metres, Dunn was asked to do a lot defensively to finish with 44 tackles. Projected to score another 42 points in this one, Dunn presents as a value play at his $8,700 price.
Lachlan Fitzgibbon lines up in the Knights back row for just the second time since the NRL season restarted. Slow to get going last week, our predictive model projects big things on Saturday. He’s tipped to back his 30.6 points in Round 6 up with 41 points in Round 7. Hitting lines down Newcastle’s preferred left edge and with a history as a try-scorer (23 tries in 65 games), Fitzgibbon is an appealing play given his projected score and potential for more.
Update: Mitchell Dunn has been omitted from the Cowboys lineup. Gavin Cooper presents as another excellent option at a similar price and projected score if he’s named to replace Dunn.
DFS Fade: Reece Robson ($13,100)
Reece Robson has come up with the goods for NRL DFS players in the last fortnight with 56.4 points and 62 points respectively. An excellent option in the past, our predictive model projects him to score just 44 points in this one. He’s a fade consideration at $13,100.
Brisbane Broncos v Gold Coast Titans @ Suncorp Stadium
First Try-Scorer: Tevita Pangai Jr – $26, Phillip Sami – $16
The Brisbane Broncos need a lift. Tevita Pangai Jr ($26 – BetEasy), for better or worse, is most likey going to be the player that tries to trigger it. While not particularly effective, Pangai Jr threw himself into everything last week. Strong in defence and eager in attack, his effort couldn’t be questioned. He will be out to do the same against a flimsy Gold Coast Titans edge defence this week, too.
While the Titans edge defence might be flimsy, the Broncos right edge is almost non-existent at times. Brodie Croft and and Kotoni Staggs have been a nightmare on that side, and while Staggs is out for this one, it’s an area Ash Taylor and the Titans are sure to target.
Taylor has been inconsistent but has provided some creativity to the Titans attack at times. If he can manufacture something down their left side, Phillip Sami ($16 – Neds) is set to benefit.
Draftstars Suggested Plays: Herbie Farnworth ($7,000), Brodie Croft ($10,540)
While far from a sure thing defensively themselves, the Broncos right side looks good to capitalise on that flimsy Titans edge defence this week. The Titans left side leaked two soft tries against the Dragons in Round 6. The sort that will have Brodie Croft and Herbie Farnworth liking their lips ahead of Saturday’s encounter.
Croft hasn’t been all that effective since joining the Broncos. However, he has shown the odd glimpse of a promising running game. He had 91 running metres in 48 Draftstars points last week and is projected to score another 41 in this one. Farnworth, meanwhile, has had his moments over the last fortnight. Two errors stopped him from hitting his projected score of 30 last week. Projected to score 31 points in this one, Farnworth is a must-play at $7,000.
DFS Fade: Jamal Fogarty ($11,800)
Jamal Fogarty has started to release the sort running game he’s always been capable of recently. He ran for a season-high 111 metres and scored 47.47 points last week. However, projected to score just 37 here, it’s best to look elsewhere in this position.
Parramatta Eels v Canberra Raiders @ Bankwest Stadium
First Try-Scorer: Elliott Whitehead – $31
Elliott Whitehead ($31 – BetEasy) has been highlighted as the value option here. It makes a lot of sense given the struggles facing the Canberra Raiders recently. They’ve managed just 20 points in the last fortnight. Once one of the most consistent attacking sides in the NRL, the Green Machine has spluttered close to the line. Expect Ricky Stuart to have his side return to the tried and tested left-heavy attack this week.
Jack Wighton running the ball early sets things up for the Raiders left edge later in the game. He is the player tasked with reigniting Canberra’s attack and those around him will be presented with more opportunities – Whitehead included. He returned to the scoresheet for his third try of the season last week. It won’t be a surprise to see Whitehead heavily involved on Saturday evening.
Draftstars Suggested Plays: Michael Jennings ($8,940), Elliott Whitehead ($10,580), Hudson Young ($8,400)
You’ve not woken up in 2013. Michael Jennings really is one of the form centres of the NRL right now. The 32-year-old has turned back the clock and turned up in a big way for DFS players in Round 6. A try, try assist, line break, line break assist, eight tackle breaks and 156 running metres against the back-to-back premiers netted Jennings 66.6 points. He’s not expected to replicate that performance again. However, he’s a value play at $8,940 with a projected score of 40 points.
We’ve already touched on Elliott Whitehead’s scoring power on the left edge. With so much of the Raiders attacking focus down the left side and the Eels no doubt sending plenty of defensive work down that channel as well, Whitehead is projected to score 46 points in a busy match.
Update: With Joseph Tapine ruled out, Hudson Young is a value option at $8,400. Our predictive model projects Young to score 43 Draftstars points.
DFS Fade: George Williams ($13,610)
Again, the anticipated focus on the Raiders left edge in an effort to shake themselves out of this rut spells danger for right side players. Namely, George Williams. As impressive as he has been to start his NRL career, the 38 points he’s projected to score isn’t enough to warrant his $13,610 price tag.