Let’s face it, who you’re buying and selling really doesn’t matter this season. It’s all about nailing captains and if you’re not getting that right, it won’t matter how well you’ve traded. Make sure to check out Lakey’s Captains article as always, but if you were planning on just leaving it on Nathan Cleary all season, you’ll probably come out ahead.
Best call – BUY Nicho Hynes (139). Hynes has been amazing this season and yet his run of scores pales compared to Cleary and Tom Trbojevic. What a bizarre year.
Worst call – BUY Kenny Bromwich (DNP). Was a late withdrawal but at least he played in the first game so you could reverse the trade if needed. Let’s just pretend I suggested Sitili Tupounia instead.
Matt Burton ($447,000 5/8|HFB – 123 last round, Average: 63.3, Breakeven 22)
Another installment of chasing last weeks points is ok when there’s money to be made. And with the Panthers playing the Bulldogs this season there could be plenty of points on offer. Burton is as cheap as he’s going to be for a while at $447k with a 22 break even and would even have a negative BE for Round 13 if he scored at least 58 this week.
And that Round 13 is important, since it’s looking increasingly likely that Jarome Luai will secure a bench spot for NSW. That means the Panthers will be Burton’s side for the bye round. When picking bye coverage players, you want to ask the following three questions:
- Will they make money over the bye period?
- Will they score enough to enable you to play them in your 17 before/after the buy round?
- Are they likely to be an auto emergency nightmare after covering the bye round?
Ideally your bye coverage players need to answer yes to at least 1 and 2, preferably both. If the answer is no, then it needs to be Yes for question three. If they aren’t making money or scoring points, you want to be picking players who will cover for an Origin player in that round and hopefully disappear for the rest of the season.
Chris Lewis played 80 minutes in Round 10, is $192k and has a BE of 1 after scores of 2 and -2 (yes negative 2) in his prior two games. That’s the very definition of an AE nightmare and he’ll be back in that role past Round 13. Not that you should be looping anyway given some of the huge scores this season, but in the advent of a late out it will be a big concern.
Thankfully, Burton ticks the boxes for 1 and 2. The only problem is he is only available in the halves and not CTW.
Brandon Smith ($523,000 HOK|2RF – 106, Avg: 62.2, BE 25)
Chances are most of us will be down a 2RF (or three) this week with the number of suspensions or injuries. If you’re looking for one that will provide some bye cover, then Smith is a great choice. Like Burton he ticks two boxes (will increase in price, can play in your regular 17) and with Harry Grant injured he’s starting at hooker for at least the next two rounds.
His 103 against Canberra included 40 in base, which doesn’t sound great but was a big upgrade over 27 and 28 in his two prior matches. Smith has also been able to pick up some attacking stats in every game since Round 3, with his percentage of base stats has usually in the 50% range.
Melbourne has a pretty attractive schedule coming up with Brisbane, Gold Coast, New Zealand, and Wests before the Roosters in Round 15. Just be wary of Harry Grant returning in Round 14 as well as Aaron Booth on the Storm bench, indicating that Smith won’t play the full 80 (he played 60 last weekend).
Viliame Kikau ($402,000 2RF – 58, Avg: 56.1, BE 51)
Just buy all the Panthers, ok? $402k is a bargain price for Kikau who was up to $580k after Round 3. His five round average is a very pedestrian 46, and he hasn’t scored more than 58 points since Round 4 as most of the left side traffic is going to Burton and Brian To’o. Still, if you’re looking for bye coverage then Kikau ticks all the boxes, playing the Bulldogs, Tigers and Sharks in his next three.
Jahrome Hughes ($714,400 HFB – 0, Avg: 72.6, BE 89)
There would be a lot more talk about the strong season Hughes is having if it weren’t for the fact Nathan Cleary was crushing it every weekend. He did have a slow start to the season, averaging just 38.0 for the first three rounds of the season. Since then, he’s averaged 87.4 and his current five round average is 100.0. With the same cushy draw that Smith has, Hughes is one of the top covers for Round 13 if you can find a spare $700k to pair him with Cleary. At only 4% ownership, a big score from Hughes in Round 13 could push you up the rankings.
Brian Kelly ($470,700 CTW – 91, Avg: 57.1, BE 37)
I should have had Kelly as a buy last week, but Hynes felt like a more important purchase. Kelly is still underpriced this week at just $470k and could be a very handy 4th or 5th CTW for the run home. Just prepare for a week or two of scores in the 30s every few rounds. He’s still a fantastic point of difference as well, at just 2% ownership and in less than 3,500 teams currently.
Valentine Holmes ($595,000 CTW|FLB – 138, Avg: 70.5, BE 20)
Holmes won’t be playing Rounds 13 or 17 due to State of Origin, meaning he’s a better buy for head to head players this round. He hasn’t scored below 50 since Round 1, which is the sort of scoring floor that any Supercoach would dream of from a CTW. Like Kelly he’d be the perfect 4th CTW for the run home, and he’s still only at 10% ownership which puts him at the upper end of POD territory.
Kurt Capewell ($469,000 2RF|CTW – 73, Avg: 59.9, BE 41)
I might just start posting the NRL Match Review Charge sheet moving forward, of which there were 29. This season hasn’t been about trading out players who were underperforming, it’s about making sure you have a full compliment of players on the field. If you’re in a position to be trading out fit players who aren’t suspended, then you’re doing pretty well.
Which brings us to Capewell, who had a solid 73 on the weekend but now misses the Bulldogs game and most likely Round 13 should he be named for Queensland. With a number of CTW options becoming affordable or hitting form, his average of 59.9 doesn’t even place him inside the top ten for that position which makes him an easy sell this week. As tempting as it might be, you can’t have every Panther.
Victor Radley ($335,600 2RF|HOK – 21, Avg: 40.1, BE 27)
Radley had some appeal as a buy last week even with the possibility of Origin looming, but his reckless tackling style has come back to haunt him and owners. He’s missing the five rounds and really can’t be considered Supercoach relevant again until he becomes less of a suspension liability.
Cameron Munster ($614,300 5/8 – 0, Avg: 73.6, BE 77)
If you were holding with the hope of him making the Broncos matchup, those hopes have been dashed. He’ll now miss at least the next two games, and maybe three if he doesn’t back up from Origin. Burton and Hughes would be great choices for a trade out.
Reed Mahoney ($483,300 HOK – 50, Avg: 72.3, BE 85)
Mahoney was looking like a great buy for Round 13 coverage, but a combination of trailing scores and likely Origin selection makes him a sell candidate. His three round average is just 42.7, obviously impacted by the Roosters game where we went off after 34 minutes, but his last two outings produced just 45 and 50 in 80 and 70 minutes. That sort of output wouldn’t cut it even if he was free to play on the bye weekend.
Bailey Simonsson ($299,500 CTW – 47, Avg: 34.2, BE 48)
Better late than never, I guess. After hovering at $200k for the first two months of the season, Simonsson has finally made a little bit of cash and can be comfortably traded out this week. Sadly, there’s no decent cheap CTW options to move him to, meaning you’ll need to create some with another trade to move him on.
Angus Crichton ($605,300 2RF – 87, Avg: 74.6, BE 19)
Crichton is another Rooster missing this week through suspension but will thankfully serve his second game in Round 13 as he was a certainty for the NSW team. when the Roosters have a bye. Which means he’s really only missing one more game than you were expecting unless you’re struggling for backrowers this week then he’s a hold.
Sam Walker ($538,200 HFB – 11, Avg: 73.4, BE 126)
I understand the logic behind these Walker trades – you unlock massive amounts of cash from a player who just scored 11 and is set to lose even more money over the next month. The issue is that he’s already lost $90k, so you’ve probably forfeited most of his price. He’s also only a month removed from back-to-back 120+ point games. The Roosters do have Penrith and Melbourne in consecutive weeks from Round 15, but before that they play Canberra and the Gold Coast, and after the Storm game the Roosters play the Bulldogs. Anyone with a ceiling like Walker on a team that can score points is a definite hold.
Matt Lodge ($421,900 FRF – 63, Avg: 49.1, BE 42)
Sitting this round through suspension, Lodge is a hold purely because he’ll give you another number for Round 13. It might just not be for the Broncos depending on when the Tom Dearden/Jake Clifford deals progress. Head to head players can comfortable move him to someone available this week though.