2019 Early Draw Analysis

Whilst you can’t necessarily win the overall title or your league title in the first few weeks of the season, it would be good, for once, to not be 15,000th after round 6 and forced to spend the rest of the year battling back to a respectable finish.

How can we prevent this?

STOP what you are doing right now and read on.

Check out all of our pre-season content:

Players of Interest: Read all of these here

SuperCoach Club Previews: Read all of these here

Player Transfer Analysis: Read all of these here

The table below shows the average finishing position of the teams from 2018 that each side will face over first 11 games of the season. For example in the first six weeks the Cowboys opponents (Dragons, Broncos, Sharks, Raiders, Storm, Warriors) finished an average of sixth last year, whilst the teams that the Warriors play (Bulldogs, Wests, Sea Eagles, Titans, Rabbitohs, Cowboys) finished an average of just over tenth last year.

 

 

Rounds 1-6

From the above you can see that the Cowboys, Sea Eagles, Broncos and Titans have the toughest start to the season, so it might pay to avoid attacking players from those sides in your round 1 line-up’s.

Take Jamayne Issako for example: Although three of the Broncos first six games are at home (Cowboys, Dragons and the Tigers), they play the Storm and the Roosters away in rounds 1 and 4 respectively, which you would expect to be tough matchups for the likes of Issako. They also play the Roosters again in round 10.

On the other hand, players from the Warriors, Tigers and Raiders have a nice start to the year. Jack Wighton, BJ Leilua and Joseph Tapine for example have home games in Rounds 3 and 5 against the Knights and the Eels as well as away games against the Titans and the Cowboys. These attacking players from the Raiders could very well get off to a fast start in 2019.

 

Rounds 7-11

The analysis for this part of the season is the same as the first six weeks; you can see from the table above where the advantages and disadvantages lie – and more often than not it is the opposite of the first six weeks.

The Tigers draw during this stretch is very difficult (Roosters, Panthers, Storm and the Rabbitohs in consecutive weeks), whilst for the Titans and Cowboys it gets considerably easier following a tough start to the year.

Hopefully this is the time of the year when those players who had a tough draw to start the year have fallen in price and you can snap them up at a discount leading into the soft part of their schedule.

 

Best players to start with (based on the draw)

Here’s what you’ve been waiting for, right?

Is an “easy” draw actually a thing? Yes and no. If you are tossing up between two very similar players then for sure I would look at the draw to see if that could help split the difference. But, I wouldn’t be picking a player simply because he had an easy draw to start the year. From year to year the teams that are “good” often change, and at this time of the year all we have to go off is 2018 form. A great example is the Wests Tigers form shift from 2017 and 2018, many had them penciled in as easy beats last year…

Some teams will also start the year well and then fade away, or vice-versa. Whilst I think it is another good tool to use to assess your Round 1 side, you should be using it in conjunction with all your other pre-season research.

Onto the players….

  • Warriors players – Roger Tuivasa-Sheck (Bulldogs, Tigers, Sea Eagles, Titans first 4 weeks – juicy)
  • Wests Tigers players – Esan Marsters, David Nofoaluma and Luke Brooks (Sea Eagles, Warriors, Bulldogs first three, Eels in round 6). It gets real tough after that though, so you would be looking to sell after the Eels game
  • Raiders players – Nick Cotric, Michael Oldfield (Rapana out till May) and BJ Leilua (Titans, Knights, Cowboys and the Eels in first five weeks)
  • Sharks players – Shaun Johnson (easiest draw in the competition over the first 11 weeks)

 

Players to avoid (based on the draw)

  • Broncos players – Jaymane Issako, Anthony Miflord and Jack Bird (toughest draw in the comp first 11 weeks)
  • Sea Eagles players – Tom Trbojevic (Roosters, Rabbitohs, Dragons in first 6 weeks, always Roosters skews this as they do also have the Tigers, Warriors and Knights in their as well)
  • Cowboys players – Michael Morgan and Ben Barba (Dragons, Broncos, Sharks, Raiders (ninth in 2018) and the Storm in first 5 weeks)

 

That’s it for now. What are your thoughts on the early draw?

nick1085

Site co-founder and all round SC tragic, Nick no longer writes too much these days but hosts the SC Report each week and looks after most of the site administration.

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    Stilesy
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    Keeper

    Stats, beautiful stats! Excellent analysis and food for thought. I’ll be coming back to this many times in the coming weeks.

    MadeInHolland
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    MadeInHolland

    Great write-up mate. Although I’m not convinced with Turbo that he will slump early, he averages 80 against the roosters who will be coming off a premiership hangover, the rabbits have a new coach and potentially some debutants in the backs. The dragons by the sound of things are also going to line-up with Lomax and potentially a new winger on the same side. I think he will still tear up a few teams.

    WeninRome
    Admin
    Keeper

    The stars seem to perform no matter what, so you have a good point.

    WeninRome
    Admin
    Keeper

    Good stuff @3 – Welcome back!

    Team B
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    Team B

    There would obviously be a correlation between how many points a team let in last year vs where they finished. I took a quick look, separating teams into 3 categories, Teams that let in 500+ points for the year, the top 4 defensive teams and the rest. Based on this I have the Raiders, Sharks and Dragons with the easiest draw over the first 6 rounds. As stated above, you would use this more for attacking players and only to separate two players you have been debating over, e.g. Moylan vs Barba, it might be worth picking Moylan early then… Read more »

    WeninRome
    Admin
    Keeper

    It’s a very valid point and one which I utilised last year. Often a difficult draw is a bonus for middle forwards as they are likely to get through more work.

    A Flock Of Sea Eagles
    Member
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    A Flock Of Sea Eagles

    I like the Cowboys draw to start the season: they play their first five games in Qld, and they’ve spent the majority of the preseason training in that heat, whereas other teams haven’t. This will only favour their outside backs and halves. I’m expecting them to put up big scores in the early rounds.

    Bevan French Toast
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    Bevan French Toast

    I don’t think their draw could have gotten any easier with the heat they have been training in. They verse two coastal teams (dragons, sharks), Warriors (don’t know how hot it is over there), Melbourne, Brisbane and Raiders from the ACT. No Sydney teams, who have probably been training in the same heat as the cowboys. They might score 90% of their points in the last 5 minutes when the opposition is buggered.

    Qldian
    Member
    Borderline keeper
    Qldian

    Probably the humidity will be more a factor: Cows play 3 night games, 2 games at 4.30pm and 1 at 5.30pm in their first 6 games.

    rockafella
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    rockafella

    Cowboys are rubbish !

    Fredator
    Member
    Fredator

    Tigers were supercoach killers last year though. Was that due to cleary’s coaching ?

    TugSpeedman
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    TugSpeedman

    It was the constant chopping and changing in the team that was the killer.
    Cleary was busy trying to bring discipline into the side and was dropping people for fun.

    Cant see the same inconsistency with Madge at the helm.

    Fredator
    Member
    Fredator

    Yeah felt that first hand with Nofo sad I was more referring to the teams that they were playing though. They seemed pretty tough for everyone to score against, especially the first half of the year.

    The little General
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    The little General

    Nice article mate. I usually dont bother looking at matchups initially and try and get as many guns in as possible. However, this has given me some food for thought.

    Zlatan
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    Zlatan

    Unfortunately I’m not sure I agree to how useful looking at the draw is. The NRL is such a tight competition, and any team can beat anyone on any given day. Unlike the EPL for example, where it’s much easier to pick winning teams due to the gulf in quality… Most average players wouldn’t have averaged more than 4 or 5 tips per week (if they were lucky), so all of a sudden pretty much half the results you expect won’t happen. I remember plenty of people getting 1 or 2 tips in the first round last year. So if… Read more »

    Peeking Ducks
    Member
    Peeking Ducks

    Morgan a stay away due to this early draw? May pick him up in a few weeks for a similar price?