When it rains it pours. Not only did last round have several guns fail to back up from Origin game one, there were serious bye cover injuries and some frustrating late changes on Sunday. Remind me why we do this again?
There will be a lot of tough decisions this week, especially in the centre/wing slots. There’s a couple of cheapies and several possible keepers to choose from. Some former guns looked like they have returned to form as well, just in time for the super trade round next week. Hopefully you’ve saved some trades…
Best call – HOLD Cody Walker. Back on track with an 84 and a juicy upcoming draw.
Worst call – SELL George Jennings. My own lack of faith in Eels outside backs came back to bite me with Jennings scoring 79 and making another $40k+.
Euan Aitken ($483,700 CTW – 78 last round, Average: 58.9, Breakeven 44)
After a run of modest games Aitken bounced back and one of the most targeted trade in options this week. He’s currently fifth overall for CTW averages, and sixth in base per game (34.4). Part of the reason for his high base stats are that Aitken has a reputation for not passing, which is great for Supercoaches but bad for anyone on playing outside him. He has 219 possessions this year and just 35 general play passes (16%), which should be worrying for anyone thinking about Kurt Mann. That is a considerably lower percentage that some of the other centre candidates this round – Esan Marsters (28%), Will Hopoate (26%) and Tim Lafai (24%) – and more in line with the percentage of a winger. If he gets the ball he’s not passing, that’s great news for Supercoach points. Priced under $500k this is the week to bring him in.
Tohu Harris ($520,900 2RF – 94, AVG: 61.1, BE 49)
If you take out his 14 in Round 7 due to failing a HIA Harris would be averaging 65 placing him in the top five 2RF options. With Shaun Johnson back and playing Round 17 he should be on everyone’s radar this week as part of their final squad
Will Hopoate ($501,600 CTW|FLB – 58, AVG: 55.2, BE 58)
Whilst the Bulldogs have been wretched this year, Hopoate has been a very consistent performer from a Supercoach context. He’s fourth overall in base stats per game for CTW (35.4) and eighth for overall average. There are only two occasions he has scored below 40 all season, and he hasn’t scored less than 46 since Round 8. Hopoate doesn’t have the high ceiling as most CTWs but should be a very safe option to get you through the next month.
David Fusitua ($423,700 CTW – 105, AVG: 51.3, BE 20)
The competitions leading try scorer has garnered a lot of attention with good reason. Had you listened to the SC Talk Podcast last week you would have heard some excellent analysis and insight from Wenin & Justin on Fusitua. If you took his advice then you benefited handsomely from it, unfortunately the high BE (70) caused me to wait a week.
Basically, when Shaun Johnson plays this year Fusitua averages 66 and 33 when he doesn’t. Is it just Johnson though? Last year the splits for Fusitua were 44 with SJ and 39 without. However, if you look at the 45 games Fusitua played in 2016-2017, he averaged 60 in 16 wins and 39 in 29 losses. This year is a similar split, 58 in nine Warriors wins and 36.3 in four losses.
This indicates that Fusitua scores well when the Warriors are winning (which usually coincides with Johnson playing) and he’s crossing the line, and with Blake Green arriving this year the Warriors have been playing much better football.
The Warriors face the Cowboys away this weekend, then Sharks at home and an Origin depleted Penrith away in Round 17. That’s an appealing run of games, and they also have games to come on the run home against the Gold Coast (away), Newcastle (home) and Canterbury (home). They do face Melbourne at home in Round 19 but Fusitua still managed a 72 with two tries when they were belted 50-10 ANZAC Day. He may not be in your top four CTW, but would be a great fifth CTW to play depending on matchups.
The possible downside of Fusitua was highlighted in Surge’s excellent Teams Analysis yesterday, given that he has followed up his 100+ scores with some very ordinary ones. You could have said the same about Josh Addo-Carr a month ago though. Ultimately whether you bring in Fusitua depends on if you think their strong form can continue.
On a related note, if you haven’t listened to that podcast I’d highly recommend going back and giving it a listen this week, it’s still very relevant as Wenin & Justin went over most of the Round 16 and 17 options.
John Olive ($177,300 CTW – 23, AVG: 37.5, BE -15)
A dour 23 against the Dragons has certainly decreased Olive’s attractiveness, but he should play Round 17 and most likely disappear once Josh Morris returns which makes him an excellent downgrade. That last fact is the reason I’d put him ahead of Mann this week, as you won’t need to waste another trade on a nuff. Luckily there’s no negative points for poor defensive reads or Olive would be a write off.
Ryan James ($551,300 FRF – 139, AVG: 61.3, BE 0)
Bringing him in after a 139 could be the very definition of chasing last week’s points, but the front row pickings are very slim for Round 17 and James returning to form would be most welcome. It’s been documented how playing on an edge affects his scores, but his base stats have been very good (49.3 per game, fifth among FRF), it’s just the attacking stats that have been missing and they returned with a vengeance on the weekend. Granted some of that was due to more work because of multiple HIAs (Max King and Moeaki Fotuaika played a combined three minutes) but Jarrod Wallace and Jai Arrow will most likely be missing for Round 17, meaning there will be increased time in the middle available again. There’s a chance he could be in the NSW side for Game three although Tariq Sims appears to be ahead of him in the pecking order right now, however things could change if a front rower got injured. The Titans draw is quite friendly too with the Bulldogs, Tigers and Broncos (missing their Origin players) coming up, and two of them (Brisbane and Canterbury) giving up at least 1.0 PPM to front rowers. If he doesn’t continue this form he’ll at least make a bit of cash to help trade him to a keeper post Round 17.
Cameron Munster ($579,100 FLB|5/8 – 75, AVG: 60.4, BE 51)
We finally have another half averaging over 60 to look at for our final teams. Munster has just one score under 50 since Round 4 and only one score under 69 since Round 8. He won’t play Round 17 which makes him an excellent target for head to head players, while those gunning for overall will need to weigh up his availability against Gareth Widdop’s. If Widdop doesn’t back up after the test match in Round 16, they’ll play the same number of games for the run home. Even if Widdop played all 11 remaining games scoring at his current five round average, Munster would only need to average around 6ppg more in his ten games to come out ahead. Looking at those five round averages (69.8 versus 54.6), it certainly is possible. Both have the availability to go large, but Munster could be a POD as he is in just 13% of teams right now, as opposed to 23% for Widdop.
Kurt Mann ($188,600 HLF|CTW – 36, AVG: 18.4, BE 5)
Mann is a tricky one. He’s bottomed out completely and should be getting 80 minutes a game moving forward and has averaged 50 points in 13 games on the wing in the previous two seasons. You could also point to his back to 100+ scores last year but those were playing halfback, although he should get a run there in Round 17 with Ben Hunt playing Origin (and possibly in the #6 if Widdop doesn’t back up from the Denver test in Round 16). He’s playing outside noted black hole Aitken (see above) and there’s always a chance he reverts to the bench and becomes AE issue. Still there’s very few downgrade options right now so he has appeal despite significant evidence to the contrary. The main concern for me is that he’s not someone who will be in your final squad. If you have enough trades to get rid of him later then you could look at him as an alternative to Olive.
Jordan Rapana ($473,100 CTW – 40, AVG: 49.7, BE 72)
Out for at least 8 weeks with a torn hamstring, there’s no point holding hoping that he pops up for Round 17. The most frustrating thing was seeing Blake Austin go down his right-hand side twice in one set (leading to a try) immediately following Rapana leaving the field after ignoring that side for the whole season. At least there’s several viable CTW choices to move him for this week.
Api Koroisau ($482,000 HOK – 40, AVG: 56.5, BE 39)
Another long-term injury, unfortunately the best hooking options are over $600k so will need to find some cash elsewhere for an upgrade unless you’re very confident in Josh Hodgson’s first game back six months after an ACL tear.
Michael Chee-Kam ($420,400 CTW|2RF – 24, AVG: 44.2, BE 72)
Ivan Cleary is very quickly becoming the king of Supercoach poison, taking the crown from Anthony Griffin. Chee-Kam was moved to the bench when team lists were announced and became the nightmare coaches had hoped he wouldn’t playing just 38 minutes. This week he’s not even in the 17, bumped for Robbie Rochow of all people. Cleary could just be working the system again and he may end up playing, but the Tigers game is Sunday so you will have to make a decision to sell him early.
Ryan Matterson ($572,700 2RF|CTW – 0, AVG: 65.5, BE 67)
Even if he returns next week he’s still missing two of the next three games. Concussion issues can be lingering and unpredictable, will he play the full 80 when he returns? You could get at least 120-150 points from a replacement instead of the 60 points he might give you in Round 16. Another case where if you are short on trades he’s a hold but that’s a lot of cash to sit idle on your bench during an important stage of the season.
Peni Terepo ($493,300 2RF|FRF – 49, AVG: 53.3, BE 60)
Down to 39 minutes last week with the return of Nathan Brown to the starting pack and Tim Mannah on the bench. He’s added over $230k and it will only cost you $30k to go up to Tohu Harris. If you got on him early you’ve done very well but his time is up.
Villiame Kikau ($489,300 FRF|2RF – 11, AVG: 57.5, BE 75)
Should only be out around 2 weeks with an MCL injury, which hopefully means he returns for Round 17. The lack of forwards available for that round makes him a hold even if he’s on restricted minutes.
Rhyse Martin ($356,500 2RF, 0, AVG: 68.3, BE -23)
Not playing last weekend apparently wasn’t enough bad news for owners, as he’s been named in jersey number 18 after missing training last week. Even if he misses next week he still has a negative break even and he should play Round 17 when David Klemmer is on Origin duty.
Lachlan Fitzgibbon ($560,200 2RF – 40, AVG: 61.6, BE 100)
Had one of his lowest scores of the season but it was all base stats. The Knights are playing Melbourne at home this week, but Fitzgibbon put 82 on them in Round 6 with a try and scored 119 against them in Round 24 last year. Definite hold as the Knights have the Bulldogs, Eels and Titans at home after facing the Storm.
Mitch Aubusson ($312,100 CTW|2RF – 54, AVG: 29.6, BE 16)
Patience is a virtue and Aubo has paid back his faithful owners with a solid 54 on the weekend after returning the backrow. He’s named there again this round and another 50 would see him with a single figure BE next week. He might finally hit that $350k we all expected him to before you can nuff him out for Round 17.
Gareth Widdop ($519,700 5/8 – 51, AVG: 66.8, BE 104)
Widdop is no longer the first choice five eighth for most coaches this year. Thanks to some excellent facts dropped by Nick, Widdop has averaged just 52 in his last 10 games after his explosive first three weeks of the season. The Dragons do play Manly and Parramatta in the next two rounds, and whilst he scored 85 and 128 against the Sea Eagles last year he has never scored more than 60 on the Eels in seven attempts. He may not even face the Eels as the Dragons play on the Thursday after the Denver test and with that giant break even I’d be waiting again. Johnson and Nathan Cleary is looking like the best halves combination for the run home, with Munster also staking a claim for a spot.
Paul Gallen ($518,300 2RF – 121, AVG: 55.9, BE -5)
Is he back? It may look like it, but his minutes were inflated (69, highest since his Round 6 injury) due to Luke Lewis failing a HIA, Andrew Fifita’s minutes being managed and being gifted 20 of the easiest points he’ll ever get when Valentine Holmes broke the line 20 metres out for his try. As stated a few months back, I’d need to see at least two consecutive weeks of it before being confident enough to trade him back in. Taking out the 10 he scored in round 6 due to injury, he’d be averaging 61 which would still only put him ninth among 2RF possibilities, indicating he’s not at keeper level (yet). Given that he doesn’t play Round 17 either there’s no rush. And I haven’t even mentioned the possibility of Aaron Woods arriving.
Jarryd Hayne ($316,200 CTW|FLB – 82, AVG: 33.6, BE 10)
You should know better by now.