Round 6 Value Plays (Thursday/Friday)

Round 6 Value Plays (Thursday/Friday)

You always know what day of the week it is when the Broncos play at the moment. They kick Round 6 off with a thriller against the Knights on the Central Coast. The Rabbitohs and Warriors occupy the early Friday slot before the Panthers measure up their premiership credentials against Cameron Smith and the Storm.

South Sydney Rabbitohs v New Zealand Warriors @ Bankwest Stadium

First Try-Scorers: Alex Johnson – $10, Cody Walker – $17, Cameron Murray – $31

Our predictive model isn’t a fan of the Warriors in this one. The Rabbitohs look to dominate proceedings on Friday night, down the left edge, in particular.

Alex Johnston ($10 – Neds) was always “likely to cash in” last week – and did. He’s set to do the same in Round 6 against one of the worst right-side defences in the NRL. The likelihood of Johnson going over in the corner only increases if we see any signs of an eager Latrell Mitchell to start this one.

With a lot of attention sure to be on Johnson and Mitchell, Cody Walker ($17 – BetEasy) shapes as a try-scoring option. Blake Green, while impressive in attack last week, has shown a real tendency to get out in front of his defensive line and end up on his heels. Walker has the running game to expose that.

When it comes to a roughie, our predictive model has highlighted Cameron Murray ($31 – BetEasy). Do you think he’s noticed the discussion around Victor Radley leaping him in the young lock rankings? Expect an active Murray to be involved in everything on Friday evening.

Draftstars Suggested Plays: Kodi Nikorima ($10,800), Ethan Lowe ($9,200)

Kodi Nikorima was outstanding last week in leading the Warriors to victory. His 61.3 Draftstars points would have contributed to a few DFS victories, too. While he’s not projected to score quite that high again this week, our model sees value in his $10,800 price. He shapes as an excellent point of difference given his low ownership percentage so far this season.

His inspired performance last week came on the back of Stacey Jones demanding he be selfish and run the football. Based on the results, expect a lively Nikorima to put his head down at regular intervals again in Round 6.

The Rabbitohs left-edge is starting to hum. Latrell Mitchell looks good and Cody Walker will be better for the 80 minutes in his legs last week. With that, Ethan Lowe comes into play. Given Blake Green’s tendency to shoot out of the line in defence, Lowe is a genuine try-scoring threat this week. He’s the least of the defences’ worries on that side of the field. Lowe’s projected score of 39 points appeals at $9,200.

DFS Fade: Eli Katoa

This kid, man. Eli Katoa has the potential to be one of the great Warriors based on what we’ve seen so far in his career. He’s only played 16 games of rugby league in his life and is already one of the first names down on Stephen Kearney’s team sheet every week. However, our predictive model isn’t doing the same. Not with a projected score of 44 points with a $14,100 price tag. Katoa has been brilliant, but our model suggests he’s a fade play this week.

Penrith Panthers v Melbourne Storm @ Campbelltown Stadium

First Try-Scorers: Suliasi Vunivalu – $10, Ryley Jacks – $23, Brian To’o – $12

Suliasi Vunivalu ($10 – Neds) is never far away from the try-scorer conversation. He occupies the wing spot on what has been Melbourne’s most potent side to start the season and has scored a try in each of their last two games.

Brian To’o ($12 – Topsport) ended his try-scoring drought last week and our predictive model is backing him in to get across the line again here. With Nathan Cleary back in the side and commanding the right side, opportunities will open up for To’o. Already one of the most athletic and best finishers in the game, To’o doesn’t need many chances to get the ball down in the corner.

Ryley Jacks ($23 – Neds) got to the ball first last week and our predictive model is going back to the well of roughies and pointing him out again on Friday.

Draftstars Suggested Plays: Dylan Edwards ($8,500), Brenko Lee ($7,800), Cameron Smith ($15,700)

Dylan Edwards returns to fullback for the Panthers this week. Our predictive model projects Edwards to score 36 points in his first game of the season – a handy result at $8,500. However, he’s an up and down sort of player. We’re going to know early where Edwards is at with his recovery and confidence. Prone to a shocker if he spills a couple to start a match, expect a few high-balls to be sent his way from kickoff. If he drops one – lookout. But if he swallows them comfortably and starts to pile up a few kick return metres, he could significantly exceed his initial projected score.

Brenko Lee found some exciting form for the Storm last week. He’s starting to look comfortable in the centres and managed 190 running metres along with two tackle breaks in Round 5. While his two errors only saw his impressive attacking stats translate into 31 Draftstars points, our predictive model projects him to bump that up to 35 on Friday night. A key figure in Melbourne’s relatively unappealing right-side attack (compared to the left), Lee is unlikely to be short of opportunities with early ball.

He’s celebrating his 37th birthday this week, but Cameron Smith is still one of the best players in the NRL. His masterclass last week only added to the speculation that he might play a 20th season in 2021. This week, our predictive model has Smith pushing his 60+ streak out to a fourth week with a projected score of 66 points. Consistent as ever, Smith is a must-play in this slate.

DFS Fade: Christian Welch ($11,000)

Craig Bellamy moved Christian Welch to the bench for Brandon Smith before kickoff last week. There is every chance he does it again on Friday night, too. While Welch is a reliable performer, his projected score of 35 points falls below his season average and could fall further depending on Bellamy’s mind games. With so much talent in the middle of the field, look elsewhere.

Newcastle Knights v Brisbane Broncos @ Central Coast Stadium

First Try-Scorer: Edrick Lee – $10, Xavier Coates – $15, Bradman Best – $12

Round 6 kicks off with an epic head-to-head battle: Edrick Lee ($10 – Neds) v Xavier Coates ($15 – PointsBet).

Lee is a 196cm and 100kg high-flyer that can beat most opposing wingers in the air without jumping, but even he might need springs this week. At 194cm and with the technique of an established AFL player, Coates is already one of the best aerial threats in the NRL. Lee is the more experienced player and on the superior team so is the favourite of the two to cross the line. However, Coates has already proven to be one of Brisbane’s only real threats in attack. He’s going to see plenty of chances if the Broncos can’t create points early into good ball sets.

Bradman Best ($12 – Neds) is sure to be a target for Kalyn Ponga on left-edge shifts. The Broncos right edge has been horrible defensively. The combination of Kotoni Staggs and Brodie Croft is an eye-sore. While Staggs’ replacement (injury), Herbie Farnworth, is expected to improve the right side defence, there is only so much he can do to help Croft. The Knights will have been working on plays to get Best one-on-one with the Broncos half all week.

Draftstars Suggested Plays: Herbie Farnworth ($7,000), Kalyn Ponga ($13,700)

With Kotoni Staggs out of the Broncos side due to injury, Anthony Seibold is looking to Herbie Farnworth to fill the void. He plays just his seventh first-grade game in this one and only his second in the centres. The 20-year-old finished with 144 running metres and four tackle breaks in a 90-minute draw against the Warriors in Round 17 last season. He’s going to be a popular pick at his $7,000 price, but our predictive model has suggested him as a value play with his projected score of 30 points.

Quite likely just as popular, Kalyn Ponga is a suggested play at $13,700. Projected to keep his 50+ streak going with another 54 points in this one, his ceiling reaches closer to the 89 he managed against the Raiders if this Broncos edge defence doesn’t hold up. He’s going to spend a lot of time in the left-edge channel. Up against a makeshift Broncos right-edge and on his prefered side, Ponga could run riot and considerably clear the 54 points our predictive model projects.

DFS Fade: Patrick Carrigan ($14,000)

Patrick Carrigan has enjoyed a fruitful run of DFS form since the season restarted, but he might lose a few touches this week. With Tevita Pangai Jr and Alex Glenn back in the side and the Broncos pack almost at full-strength, Carrigan won’t be required to do so much work. He’s projected to score a season-low 45 points. Look for value elsewhere this week.

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