Only six rounds left and you really need to have your final teams set. There’s no more time for cash cows or mid-rangers, it’s time for guns and nuffs. Rather than fretting over trades, you’ll spend each weekend morbidly watching score updates of your NPRs.
With most of you out of trades, starting next week the remainder of this seasons Buy, Sell, Hold will consist of me dragging the other writers on the site to fill space. Let’s face it, they’re out of trades and not reading this. Imagine saying Kurt Mann was a start last week and Brent Naden was a buy.
Best call – HOLD Cody Walker. The dry spell came to an end with a terrific 108 points on the weekend, and now priced at $460k with just 9% ownership he faces as a terrific point of difference for those who held him
Worst call – BUY Brent Naden. Whist it wasn’t likely he’d follow up his 110 with another triple digit score, I did expect something better than 10% of that. He might have a better chance this week against the Bulldogs.
Manu Ma’u ($571,100 2RF|CTW – 79 last round, Average: 65.9, BE 63)
Ma’u appeared a few weeks back in BSH and has continued to firm as the consensus #3 CTW for the season, with his output not dropping at all with the return of Nathan Brown and a move to the edge. His last five games in base stats are 59, 48, 53, 52 and 49. That sort of consistency in scoring floor is golden in your CTW, where volatility usually reigns supreme. Pairing his excellent base stats with Bateman and the high ceilings of players like Latrell Mitchell and Ken Maumalo would make up one of the best four man CTW combos for the remainder of the season. He’s also a great POD currently, with just 12% ownership, although he is the top traded in player this week at the time of writing.
Jake Trbojevic ($517,300 2RF – 81, AVG: 65.0, BE 57
If you were waiting for Jake to bottom out, your time has come. He didn’t manage to dip below $500k, but to get one of the top 2RF’s in the game for less than $520k is insanely good value. If you wait a week you could possibly trade Kotoni Staggs to Jurbo and make money (yet another think how crazy that sounded even two months ago let alone at the start of the season), but points are at a premium and Manly are playing at home against the desperate Knights.
Nathan Brown ($556,500 2RF – 87, AVG: 60.6, BE 37)
Brown has finally hit some form after his injury return, sporting a three round average of 82.3. His minutes have had a consistent floor in the mid-50s, with peaks up to the mid-60s during the last 6 rounds. That should ease any concerns about Shaun Lane returning and his minutes staying elevated, although the Eels do have a four forward bench this week.
Nathan Cleary ($543,000 HFB – 73, AVG: 61.9, BE 43)
Cleary is another who seems to be finding himself again, sporting back to back 70+ scores after missing some time with an ankle injury. With limited options at halfback, he’s one of just three available (Mitch Moses and Daly Cherry-Evans the others) averaging more than 60ppg this season, although Shaun Johnson’s late charge is pushing him into that group. The Panthers also have a decent draw over the next four rounds, facing the Bulldogs, Sharks, Broncos and Cowboys. His ownership is only 16% as well, behind Moses and Johnson. Halfback is probably the best position this season to hunt for PODS, and given his pedigree Cleary could be a great one.
James Tedesco ($633,700 FLB – 99, AVG: 75.5, BE 41)
Remember how I mentioned last week that his BE was probably irrelevant? Well it was, as he moved up $5k in price and won’t be any cheaper this season. If you held on to RTS for another week then you can trade to Teddy and make cash, but you can’t avoid him any longer. He’s a legitimate captain option again this week facing the Titans at home.
Sio Siua Taukeiaho ($476,400 FRF|2RF – 41, AVG: 60.9, BE 55)
After waiting to see what would happen to his minutes, the decision to sell Taukeiaho has most likely been made for the 19% of coaches who held him. Not named due to a calf injury, he is a priority sell this week and thankfully there are a few options that won’t require a huge outlay. Jake Trbojevic would be the first, but he’s in 46% of teams. Ma’u, Brown and David Klemmer are all great options and can be had for less than $100k on top of TKO.
Blake Ferguson ($460,000 CTW – 0, AVG: 56.0, BE 40)
Ferguson had an impressive start to the season with his new club, but hasn’t played since Round 17 due to a knee infection. He returned to training on Tuesday but his return is listed as indefinite. That’s a lot of money to be sitting on the sidelines with points more valuable than cash right now. If you can find another $100k, there’s a lot of interesting options to trade him to, headlined by Ma’u, and Ken Maumalo, or even a straight swap to Clint Gutherson.
Michael Morgan ($487,200 HFB|5/8 – 0, AVG: 54.1, BE 46)
Speaking of concussions, it’s great to see Morgan return to the NRL this weekend, and hopefully he gets through the game unscathed. That said, I’d be concerned about him being one of my halves for the remainder of the season, and would be looking at upgrading to Cleary, Shaun Johnson or a straight swap for Cody Walker. It’s one thing to have a Johnson or Walker on the bench who you could swap in
Roger Tuisvasa-Sheck ($639,700 FLB – 88, AVG: 74.4, BE 62)
If you can’t afford Tom Trbojevic, then RTS is a must have. If you can afford Trbojevic (who is playing at home) this week then RTS has to go. Head to head players may want to hang on, but with Tedesco playing the Titans and Trbojevic at Brookvale they could both score 100+. Next season we need one of the top three fullbacks to be dual position or increase the number of fullbacks in your team, because being able to only run two of them is upsetting.
Cade Cust ($434,400 HLF – 0, AVG: 56.6, BE 73)
Cust hasn’t been named again for Manly after suffering a concussion, and with the number of halves firing at the moment, it is time to move him on. If you have the dual position players needed, he could be traded for Cody Walker and a small outlay.
Andrew Fifita ($504,000 FRF – 0, AVG: 62.5, BE 124
After (another) suspension Fifita returns for the Sharks but unfortunately, it’s on the bench. Hopefully, it either results in a late change to the starting line-up, or Fifita being injected into the game against some tired middle forwards where he can wreak havoc. But do you play him? He wasn’t looking at big minutes before his sin bin two rounds ago. He’s still in 36% of teams and sitting him could avoid another low score if he’s playing limited minutes off the bench.
Tevita Pangai ($521,300 FRF|2RF – 16, AVG: 58.2, BE 104)
The same situation with Fifita two weeks ago has risen with Pangai this week. A sin-binning and a very subpar score (the banner finally gets one after a few months off) has led to him being a popular sell. With so few trades remaining, and Pangai facing the Storm this week it is unlikely that he would have been a play for most coaches anyway. Just enjoy the fact you have one less reserve decision to make this week and re-evaluate next week.
Brian To’o ($496,700 CTW – 57, AVG: 58.4, BE 47)
Nuffing out To’o this week is probably the best way for owners to bridge up to Manu Ma’u. If you’re not making that trade or using him to fund another gun then he’s well worth holding as he faces the Bulldogs this week. Since his debut score of 24 in Round 10, To’o hasn’t scored below 45 in eight games, and his one game of 45 was the only score below 50. His 58.4 average places him 10th among CTW eligible players with more than three games played and he’s sixth among CTW three-round averages. If you can wait a week it may pay off.
Sandor Earl ($242,900 CTW – 29, AVG: 33.8, BE -8)
Josh Kerr ($224,900 FRF|2RF – 21, AVG: 29.2, BE 4)
In good news for owners, neither will be in the starting 17 this week and they shouldn’t be an auto emergency nightmare (at least for this round). Trading them out only unlocks a trivial amount of cash at this time of year, the best course of action is to hold for now. If you desperately need to re-nuff them to make a trade to a genuine keeper.