The common misconception among rugby league armchair experts is that fantasy league and footy tipping are separate identities. Sorry to burst the bubble, but the two are 100 per cent linked. It’s no secret that the key to a good Ultimate League team is picking players from successful teams. It is not just an overarching principle, it’s a week-to-week theory. The beauty of a trade-based system is that coaches shouldn’t be afraid to gamble on different players depending on the NRL fixtures for that week. If you think a particular team is set for a big win at home or playing a depleted team, it is well advised to load up on players from the one team. For example, the Canterbury Bulldogs had seven players score more than 40 points at the weekend. The Sydney Roosters had six. The common link? Both teams had big wins. The theory is helped by a few key factors: – Look for teams that are in a form slump or are affected by injuries; – The main ‘‘swing’’ players should be your fullbacks/wingers and centres; – Stick solid with your model. If it doesn’t work one week; don’t abandon it; – Afternoon games have been good for point-scoring; – Use your bench wisely to keep players you want to hang on to. Try not to have more than one player who is not playing at a time. With that in mind, the two games that stand out this week are the Parramatta v St George Illawarra and Cronulla v Wests Tigers fixtures on Saturday. Three of the four worst defensive records in the NRL will be on display, so you can expect plenty of points in ideal conditions. Be brave and pick the winner of the game and then pick your Ultimate League team to match. Round 9 Ultimate League team of the weekFullbacks/Wingers1. Josh Mansour (80) 2. Billy Slater (65) 3. Jarryd Hayne (61) Centres:4. Konrad Hurrell (84) 5. Tim Lafai (72) Halves6. Shaun Johnson (88) 7. Jamie Soward (70) Front Row8. Matt Scott (92) 10. George Burgess (78) Hooker9. Andrew McCullough (68) Second Row11. Paul Gallen (71) 12. Adam Cuthbertson (64) 13. Tony Williams (64)
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