As the only New South Welshman among the NRL Supercoach Talk contributors, all I can say is how good is State of Origin? Thankfully there’s been no significant injuries out of the game as I write this very early on Thursday morning. And now that I have written it, I expect there to be nothing but late outs for the rest of the week.
The best advice for the upcoming round is like any post Origin week. Don’t assume players named will be playing and wait until the last possible minute to make your trades. And if you are trading, don’t assume that you have enough numbers to trade out healthy players. Always assume the worst.
Thankfully the buys are pretty straight forward, the main issue will be ensuring numbers and trading out the right players. As always keep an eye on Stilesy’s late mail and plan accordingly.
Best call – BUY Tevita Pangai (65). Not a huge score but unless you brought in Matt Dufty or Maika Sivo there weren’t a lot of huge scores.
Worst call – BUY Dean Ieremia (18). If it wasn’t for my Wednesday deadline, we’d have had confirmation of Greg Marzhew playing and he would have been a much better option.
Cody Walker ($533,600 5/8 – 0, Avg: 68.0, BE 68)
As we look to move on from stacking our teams with players who have a match in Round 13 to those who play Round 17, no one stands out more than Cody Walker. After last night’s win, there’s zero chance of Walker playing Origin this season unless Jarome Luai is injured, which makes him a vital part of your bye coverage. Walker is second in the NRL in total try involvements (tries, try assists and try contributions), trailing only Nathan Cleary. And with Souths draw over the next two months, he’s likely to continue to accrue them.
The Rabbitohs play Newcastle, Brisbane, Wests, North Queensland, Canterbury and New Zealand, which is a very soft draw during this portion of the season. They do finish up the season playing three of the top five sides, meaning Walker may not be a part of your final squad. But his presence until Round 20 is required.
Alex Johnston ($462,300 CTW|FLB – 0, Avg: 60.0, BE 0)
Speaking of Bunnies that are required, Alex Johnston is another. With 154 in his rolling average for the next two weeks, this is the week to bring him before he moves well over $500k. Johnston has just four games this season where hasn’t crossed the line for a try, and one was when they were towelled up by Melbourne. When he does score a try his average is 79.8, but when he doesn’t cross the line his average is a paltry 20.5. It’s rocks and diamonds, but more often than not this season it’s been all diamonds for Johnston, especially when you consider how often Souths attack down his left edge.
Joseph Suaalii ($173,700 CTW|FLB – 0, Avg: 53.5, BE -41)
This one you’ll definitely be wanting to wait for. The Roosters play at 3pm on Saturday which is early enough, and we’ll most likely know if James Tedesco is being rested before that. If Suaalii is named to start, it’s his third game, he’s base priced and has a huge negative BE. In a season with so few genuine cash cows he’s a sight for sore eyes this time of year.
Corey Harawira-Naera ($464,900 2RF – 0, Avg: 63.8, BE 18)
Since moving into the Raiders lineup in Round 7, Harawira-Naera has been a pleasant surprise for Supercoaches, playing the full 80 minutes and averaging almost 64 points. His last three rounds have been particularly impressive, with a three round average of 76.7 and a base average of 53 over that period. Given those averages he’s still under-priced by $100k at least, and is a genuine point of difference right now with just 6% ownership. If you can’t afford $460k, then Karl Lawton is a riskier play at $100k cheaper, and will also cover Round 17. TC Robati is the safest option otherwise, since it’s usually safer to go cheaper in Supercoach, but he won’t cover Round 17 and is named on the interchange bench.
Jamayne Isaako ($460,300 FLB|CTW – 16, Avg: 60.5, BE 135)
If you can’t hold down the fullback spot for the Broncos, then things aren’t looking very positive. He’s actually lost money from the point most of us traded him in (Round 9, $500k). The only positive is that he won’t play this week and lose even more cash if you want to wait to trade him out.
Reed Mahoney ($465,700 HOK – 73, Avg: 71.1, BE 48)
Owners at least managed to get 73 valuable points out of the Eels hooker before he suffered a shoulder injury against the Knights. He’s out anywhere from three to six weeks which hurts this week, but he was a likely trade before Round 17 anyway so this just expedites things.
Mitch Barnett ($460,200 2RF – 43, Avg: 67.2, BE 67)
Adam O’Brien has been causing owners to tear their hair out over the past month with the reduced minutes Barnett has been playing. The Knights backrower hasn’t played 80 minutes since Round 8, and in the five games since then he’s averaging just 48. This is destroyed his scoring – in 80 minutes this season Barnett averaged a keeper like 77.8, compared with a very ordinary 50.2 in games where he had a breather. With the spectre of Round 13 looking it was tolerable but with that bye round in the rear vision mirror and the likes of Tohu Harris available there’s little reason to hold Barnett.
Adam Doueihi ($626,500 5/8|FLB – 45, Avg: 73.8, BE 110)
Doueihi has served owners well over the last month with some huge scores even as he was shifted to centre. He’s done his job and with that huge BE its time to part ways. Two months ago if anyone said you could have traded Doueihi for Cody Walker in Round 14 and pocketed $100k in cash you’d have been laughed out of the room.
Jason Saab ($474,500 CTW – 0, Avg: 42.6, BE 109)
It’s probable that Saab will lose some cash over the next fortnight, with his projected break evens to be triple figures. Manly has a favourable draw leading up to Round 17 and Saab will be a very handy number. Since Round 4 he’s averaged 55.8 and since Round 8 that jumps to 63.8. That does coincide somewhat with the return of Tom Trbjoevic, but any trades for Saab this week that aren’t made to secure a gun elsewhere will have a sideways feeling.
Brandon Smith ($633,800 HOK|2RF – 74, Avg: 67.2, BE 57)
One more week of Smith is all most owners will need, as he provides good cover this round and possibly squeezes out another $10k. Harry Grant looks to have escaped Origin without injury, which will see Smith play fewer than the 68 minutes he spent on the park last week.
Josh Schuster ($476,000 5/8 – 0, Avg: 64.4, BE 47)
It hurts that Schuster hasn’t been named this week when most of us are desperate for numbers. He’s been incredibly consistent this season, with only three games below 50 and nothing below 43. Those with multiple Origin outs may have their hand forced.
Bailey Simonsson ($285,700 CTW – 0, Avg: 33.6, BE 34)
Owners who have held him this far out of necessity were given a pleasant surprise on Tuesday when teams were announced, with Simonsson named at fullback. If he can keep that position locked down until Round 17 owners would be very appreciative.