Hookers are the flavour of the week here at NRL Supercoach Talk. And I’m not just talking about what goes on after Broncos games at NRLSCTalk Brisbane HQ. They keep mentioning something called Honey Bees…
With Api Koroisau surprisingly out with an elbow injury, one of the biggest decisions will be who you trade him to if you sell him. The good news is that you can’t go wrong with either of the top two options. The bad news is that there’s a number of other injuries and potential trade ins at other positions.
Best call – BUY Stephen Crichton (82). Added another $86k as well as another 80+ score and faces the Titans this week. It could be a third 80+ score in a row.
Worst call – BUY James Roberts (17). Likely out for the rest of the season with a pectoral injury. I did say it was a risk.
Cameron Smith ($656,200 HOK – 136 last round, Average: 81.2, Breakeven 39)
Unlike Paul Gallen, who became Supercoach irrelevant in his twilight years, Smith hasn’t slowed down at all. The Storm hooker has shown incredible consistency all season, with his lowest score of being 54, and only having three scores below 70 all season. Melbourne face Brisbane on Friday at Suncorp, and it is a venue that Smith loves with an average of 82.8 from 14 games, even higher than his average at AAMI Park (76).
If you’re selling Koroisau the decision will likely come down to Cook or Smith, and either way you’re going to get something of a POD, with Cook in 12% of teams and Smith in 13%.
Damien Cook ($700,800 HOK – 138, Avg: 76.1, BE 20)
There would be very few players who have benefitted from the new rule changes under V’Landysball more than Cook. With scores of just 47 and 35, there were plenty of calls of “MORE LIKE DAMIEN COOKED” after the first two months of the season. Looking at his scores post shutdown, and the set restart change has clearly boosted Cooks game. In the eight games since the season restarted, Cook has averaged 84.9 with no scores under 60 and two 100+ games, capped by the huge 138 on the weekend against Newcastle.
Cook is $50k more expensive than Smith, but there’s always the fear of Bellamy resting his captain late in the season (even if it doesn’t always happen). As mentioned countless times before, Souths have one of the better draws for the second half of the season, and whilst they won’t face the Broncos this week they will line up against them in Round 13, sandwiched between games against the Dragons and Cowboys.
Kalyn Ponga ($517,000 FLB – 92, Avg: 75, BE 58)
Those of us who sold Ponga two weeks ago when he was hovering in the mid $650k range will feel vindicated by their decision, especially if they moved him on to Tedesco or Clint Gutherson, the latter of which saw a nice price rise over the same period. His return to form with a 92 showed why you don’t usually sell your guns, but with the extra trades available this season it made sense. Unfortunately, now those who did trade him out face the prospect of shoehorning him back into their team.
If you don’t trade him in this round, he shouldn’t rise too much in price as the Knights face Melbourne the following week. You will miss the possibility of a very high score against the Bulldogs though.
Cameron Munster ($637,000 5/8 – 91, Avg: 69.4, BE 86)
The fear of not owning Munster is not James Tedesco levels (as if it ever could be), but it is close. And the Storm half showed why with a casual 91 in his return from a knee injury. With the Storm facing the Broncos this week he could easily surpass that as Billy Walters put 93 on them last week. He’s clearly the best 5/8 option in Supercoach this year, even with Shaun Johnsons recent form, but Munster is only in 12% of teams compared to 22% for SJ.
Api Koroisau ($550,300 HOK – 51, Avg: 70.3, BE 76)
Koroisau not being named just pulled forward a trade most coaches were going to make anyway. Whilst he has been extremely consistent, with no scores below 50 all season, he has only scored more than 80 once since the opening week of the season. This is mainly because his points come from mostly being a tacklebot, with an average of 59 per game in total base stats, which is only behind Cameron McInnes for HOK eligible players. His lack of big scores is due to lower average for attacking stats at 12.1 per game, well behind Cook (17.7) and Smith (20.8). As touched on above, most coaches would have parted ways with Koroisau at some point this season, it is just coming a few rounds earlier than expected. Not having him suit up against the Titans hurts.
Angus Crichton ($654,700 2RF – 48, Avg: 80.9, BE 111)
Speaking of hurting, Crichton will miss the next 3-4 rounds at least with a knee injury. That means he will miss one of the best runs of the season for the Roosters, with the Warriors, Titans and Dragons in their upcoming matches. Pencil him in for a Round 16 return to your squad as the Roosters face the Broncos.
Eliesa Katoa ($392,400 2RF – 36, Avg: 52.0, BE 80)
After the joy of seeing Katoa named to return from injury starting on an edge on Tuesday, Sunday wasn’t as joyous as Katoa was shifted to the bench and struggled to make an impact in another one-sided Warriors loss. With a break even of 80 this week and some important trades to make, he could be nuffed out this week to enable an upgrade to a true keeper. If you have multiple injuries, you could still hold him though.
Xavier Coates ($363,300 CTW – 21, Avg: 46.7, BE 52)
Coates has seen some nice price rises in recent weeks but with the Broncos struggles and an upcoming game against the Storm. Trading him out this week to a base priced player would net you $180k and remove a possible auto emergency issue, as it would take a very trusting person to play any Broncos players outside of their front row.
Blayke Brailey ($449,000 HOK – 25, Avg: 47.8, BE 75)
If you jumped off Brailey early to grab Harry Grant, you’d be very happy you did so. If you didn’t and held Brailey to this point, you’d also be feeling quite chuffed with the Sharks hooker peaking in price with a $250k increase. With a 75 break even it’s unlikely he will approach that even against the Dragons, so this is the perfect time to exit. Ideally, you’d upgrade him to Cook or Smith through nuffing another player out, but if you can’t afford them you could always rent Walters for a week or two to make some extra cash.
Toby Rudolf ($358,500 FRF – 59, Avg: 44.2, BE 35)
Rudolf was named to start at lock on the weekend but was shifted at the last minute to the bench. He’s named there this week and Jack Williams has returned on the interchange which could affect his minutes. With a breakeven of 35 he won’t lose any cash and another score in the 50s would be welcomed.
Beau Fermor ($235,400 2RF – 30, Avg: 49.0, BE 15)
I don’t know why people think this is “dagger” to owners. Being dropped completely is probably the best situation for owners. Those who picked up Fermor over the past two weeks have basically nuffed out a player and he won’t be an auto emergency nightmare. On the chance he does return, he has a low BE and could see another price rise or two. For now, just let him sit on the bench as a non-playing reserve. If he comes back as an interchange player you could look at using a trade to get rid of him, but that’s long into the future.
Ryan Papenhuyzen ($533,600 FLB – 34, Avg: 58.7, BE 54)
If you don’t feel like bringing Ponga back in, then holding Papenhuyzen against the Broncos is likely to result in a similar score, albeit one with a slightly lower ceiling. The Storm also have games against Newcastle and the Bulldogs in the following two rounds which could also be big games for Papenhuyzen.
Maika Sivo ($594, CTW – 25, Avg: 60.3, BE 152)
Like Katoa last week, his price has peaked and is facing a massive loss of cash in the coming rounds. Just as I recommended holding Katoa last week, you need to hold Sivo this week. Katoa responded with a 96 and Sivo could respond similarly with facing the Tigers. After this round, Parramatta then plays the Bulldogs, Sharks and Dragons. That is a great line-up of games for Sivo and could see him string together some more big scores.