The first bye round of 2021 is here, and head to head players can have a week off. Not so for overall players, who get no respite from this horrendous season.
Don’t be tempted to trade in players this week just to increase your numbers, the trade saved will be worth more than the 40 points you might get from bringing in a mid-range player. You want to be targeting players who will make money, be playable in your seventeen or disappear for the rest of the season. You don’t want to be stuck with auto emergency nightmares or players who you wouldn’t think of playing on a normal week.
The other advice for this week is to look at next week. With the increased number of suspensions and players backing up from Origin, make your trades with an eye to next week. The last thing you want to do is have a strong side for Round 13 but be unable to cover injuries or rested players in Round 14.
Best call – BUY Brandon Smith (110). The Storm hooker was highly involved last week, even with the mandatory time off the field for a HIA. Probably a week too late to bring in now.
Worst call – BUY Viliame Kikau (37). Surely he has to break the drought sometime? Now under $400k, but can you trade him in with a five-round average of 42?
Tevita Pangai ($545,300 2RF|FRF – 62 last round, Average: 68.8, Breakeven 45)
Probably the safest trade in choice this round (if he gets suspended, I will edit this out later). The Broncos forward has been on a tear since moving to the starting lineup, with only one score under 61 in seven games, during which he has played 80 minutes in every game.
Matt Burton ($480,000 HFB|5/8 – 66, Avg: 63.6, BE -13)
Like Smith, last week was the week for Burton but he’s still got a negative break even this round and will be running a weakened Panthers against the Tigers, who love to play to the level of their opponent. The other advantage for Burton is that he’ll cover both Nathan Cleary and Jarome Luai if either get injured or don’t back up during Origin. Ben Hunt
Mikaele Ravalawa ($475,700 CTW – 0, Avg: 58.1, BE 3)
Most of the buys are pretty straight forward this round, which means everyone is going to be featuring similar teams. Finding a serious point of difference this round will be hard, but Ravalawa could be the biggest. He’s currently sitting at just 1% ownership with under 1,000 selections at the time of writing. His last start against Melbourne included a hattrick of tries, meaning he’s likely to increase in price as well as be playable in your seventeen. The Dragons upcoming games are against Brisbane, Canterbury, and Canberra, which should hopefully allow his price to peak right before the super trade round. He has been suspended twice this season, so any contact with an opponent’s head could see him spend even more time on the sidelines. With most coaches looking at the likes of safe Supercoach players like David Nofoaluma or Maika Sivo, Ravalawa could be a sneaky POD with a huge upside, but also some risk.
Brodie Jones ($242,200 2RF – 51, Avg: 30.6, BE 18)
Another 1%er that might be worth taking a wild swing on this weekend. With news that Tyson Frizell is out for six weeks due to ankle surgery, Jones could be set for some big minutes and price rises. In 51 minutes last weekend he had 41 points in base stats alone. The question is where the eventual reshuffle to fit Jake Clifford in comes, and does it push Jones back to the bench? Lakey’s favourite scribe Barrey Toohey seems certain Jones will be starting for now though. Again it’s a high risk, high reward pick.
Dean Ieremia (CTW|FLB – 0, Avg: 25.5, BE 13)
If you want to start nuffing players out early, Ieremia will probably give you 30 points and hopefully not be seen for the rest of the season. If you’re lucky he might cross the line for a pie. The Storm do have a number of Thursday and Friday games in the second half of the season, so he won’t be of much use to loop with. You might be better off with an actual nuff who has dual position status.
Blake Ferguson ($380,400 CTW – 69, Avg: 58.1, BE 36)
Bye planning is for mugs, right? 17% of coaches will be fuming at Brad Arthur for dropping Fergo, unless they’re also Eels fans, in which case they’ll be happy to see the end of his horrible defensive reads. Either way there’s no point holding him since he won’t play Round 13, if you can spare an extra $100k then Ravalawa looks very tempting.
David Klemmer ($443,200 FRF – 53, Avg: 57.9, BE 59)
Another bye planning disaster, but this time through suspension with Klemmer set to miss the next two rounds. His minutes were declining anyway, dropping to 41 and 45 in the previous two outings, which isn’t enough for him to produce enough points to justify holding. Finding some cash for Pangai or James Fisher-Harris makes sense.
Christian Welch ($505,300 FRF – 0, Avg: 63.0, BE 74)
Welch was always a sell come Origin time and would have been last week if there was some more warning about him missing the Storm’s game against Brisbane. Like Klemmer, moving him on to Pangai or Fisher-Harris is the best bet.
Jake Simpkin ($267,000 HOK – 0, Avg: 40.0, BE 36)
Yet more bye planning out the window, although this one was more expected given the Tigers success over the past fortnight. The best hope was for Simpkin to nab a bench spot but that hasn’t occurred and there’s no reason to hold him any longer. A trade up to Ben Hunt could be a great point of difference.
Reed Mahoney ($464,000 HOK – 56, Avg: 70.9, BE 65)
What a difference a week, or even 24 hours makes. Mahoney has been named in the Queensland squad but from the sounds of things won’t play with Harry Grant deemed fit. All this after sounding like a certainty to be the Maroons #9 on Sunday evening. He’ll be a handy number this week and hopefully breaks out of his Supercoach funk.