Let’s take a look at those players you should be investing in, holding or letting go, as well as some of the better captaincy options for Round 26.
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Round 26 Captaincy Options
Andrew Fifita | FRF | $531,600
The tackle bust machine from the Sharks is in a somewhat unknown position this week, with fellow forwards Paul Gallen, Wade Graham and Jayson Bukuya missing. That will make him even more dangerous in Dream Team, with more minutes and plenty of time with the ball in hand. While his scores have decreased in the last three weeks, there is no surprises that correlates with Gallen’s return to form.
Shaun Johnson | HLF | $435,600
The Warriors halfback has been on a roll, averaging 66 in his last three outings. We’ve seen what Johnson can do when presented with an opportunity, as he scored a world record hat-trick against the Raiders last week. The Dragons have been down on their luck, but the Warriors do have a poor record against the joint-venture club, so you’d be brave to captain Johnson this week. If you’re brave, the potential rewards are there for the taking. If you need to be cautious, Cameron Smith is your other obvious option.
Point of Difference
Gavin Cooper | 2RF | $381,400
While he’s not turning out 80+ scores each week, Cooper is a destructive back row runner who will cause plenty of headaches on the fringes. When he scores a try (he scored two in 80 points last week), he always delivers a good score, and considering the Tigers defensive record this year, he’s a good chance of crossing over again. While everyone is looking for a replacement for Paul Gallen, Gavin Cooper could deliver you the win this week.
Josh Mansour | WFB | $284,200
The Panthers winger is finally back to his stellar 2012 form, averaging 53.3 from his last three starts. With the Panthers out of the running for the finals, they’ll be keen to throw the ball around and finish their season on a positive note. Their opponents, the Sea Eagles, won’t be so keen on that idea, as they head towards another finals series. However, in his one game against Manly-Warringah, Mansour scored a handy 69, and could prove to be a unique option for your grand final.
Take a Punt
Tim Simona | CTR | $305,900
The Tigers speedster has become a big risk-big reward player in 2013 with a keen eye for the line. He’s averaging 39 in the past three weeks, but can produce games with 5-6 tackle breaks and 100m plus in run metres with ease. If the Tigers get on a roll in Benji’s last game (or even if they don’t), Simona will surely play a big part. If you need a circuit breaker to take down a heavy favourite (including Lone Scout), Simona is your man.
Akuila Uate | WFB | $251,600
The Newcastle speedster has had a mixed year in terms of his DT output, going from the highs of 93 in Round 1, to a season-low 0 the very next week. However his scoring has been far more consistent of recent rounds, with a five game average of 36.4. The Knights will be up for a big game against the Eels on Old Boy’s Day at Hunter Stadium, and you’d expect Uate to be among the points. If you’re after one final roll of the dice, there are few more enticing buys than Uate.