Can we just cancel Round 17? With several injuries and Origin call ups there’s very little in the way of attractive keepers for the next bye weekend. As I stated earlier in the season, bye planning is a myth and a mugs game.
Which brings us to the super trade round. It might be tempting to spend all five trades this week on shoring up your numbers for Round 17, you’re only going to have 2 trades per round after to trade those bye coverage players back out. Make sure you have your trades planned in advance.
Unlike Round 13, you aren’t really looking for players who can make cash unless you’re swimming in trades. Here you either want keepers or cheapies who will play one or two games and disappear. If you’re a H2H player again you get to save your trades and laugh at the overall players panicking about John Olive not being named.
Don’t be swayed by mid-pricers who play the last bye round just because they will see big minutes. You could spend a trade on a Trent Merrin and get an extra 50-55 points for Round 17, but at their current averages either Sam Burgess or Nathan Brown would still outscore him for the run home even playing one less game. Additionally, if you’re running dual hooker and dual fullbacks you only need two other reserves, meaning depth in the forwards isn’t as important as it was in previous seasons.
A possible strategy with the five trades this week could be to spend one or two on some keepers who won’t play Round 17 to set your team up for the run home. The earlier you can lock in your final squad the better, and the trades saved on one off bye coverage players can be used for the inevitable late season injuries.
Best call – BUY Ryan James. Defeated the chasing points fallacy and the banner curse by scoring in triple figures for a second week.
Worst call – HOLD Lachlan Fitzgibbon. Scored his usual low 40s in base but contested a crusher tackle at the judiciary and will miss the Knights next two games. That’s $46k wasted but the suspension was not something that could be predicted.
Ryan James ($624,800 FRF – 104, AVG: 64.5, BE -29)
As mentioned above everything was against James backing up with another big score. There was some concern that the banner curse hit him before he even played with Regan Campbell-Gillard suffering a broken jaw in the Panthers game, but thankfully Matt Prior jumped ahead of James for an Origin spot. He’s one of a handful of trade in options for Round 17 that you could consider a legitimate keeper, especially considering the lack of choices in the front row (see the Sells below). This is your last chance to bring him in as he’ll be pushing $700k next week.
Blake Ferguson ($625,100 CTW – 99, AVG: 63.4, BE 23)
You will be paying overs, but Fergo has been a base stats machine for a winger, second overall at his position for players with more than three appearances. He has had only two games under 30 in base stats all year, and just two under 35 in his last 11. In just one game has he scored fewer than 30 this season – round three when the Warriors towelled the Roosters. Combine that with at least one line break in seven of his last eight games and there’s at least 45 points a game without any other attacking stats. Ferguson is only in 12% of teams currently and probably won’t be a priority for other coaches given the Roosters have the bye in Round 17.
Joseph Tapine ($574,300 FRF/2RF – 112, AVG: 60.0, BE 29)
Tapine was probably the biggest benefactor of Josh Hodgson’s return as he bagged two tries last weekend. He’s also just one of just five FRF candidates averaging more than 60 this year and is one of just two who play Round 17, making him one of the few forwards who play that round who you’d want in your final team. Like Fitzgibbon, his base is low for a forward (42.8) and you’re going to have to suffer through some games in the mid-40s when the attacking stats aren’t flowing, but the dual position makes him a very attractive trade this week.
Will Hopoate ($484,500 FLB|CTW – 39, AVG: 54.0, BE 69)
Tohu Harris ($523,300 2RF – 56, AVG: 60.7, BE 30)
Euan Aitken ($470,400 CTW – 30, AVG: 56.9, BE 53)
All three were featured in Buy, Sell, Hold last week if you need a refresher and are still excellent choices this week. Hopoate is the most intriguing taking over at fullback from Moses Mbye with just 2% ownership and not even in the top 10 traded in players this week.
Alex Johnston ($508,200 CTW|FLB – 126, AVG: 59.9, BE -32)
Removing his injury affected score in Round 11, Johnston has just one score under 69 in his last six games, coming against the stingy Dragons. If you removed that 5 in Round 11, he would be averaging 64.5 for the season, putting him only behind Ryan Matterson for CTW choices. Don’t ignore him just because he’s not playing Round 17. The negative break even is only relevant in that if you don’t trade him this week he’s going to be significantly more expensive next week. Like Hopoate he is a super POD with only 5% ownership, although there’s over 4300 coaches trading him in already.
Cody Walker ($482,900 5/8|FLB – 90, AVG: 58.4, BE -8)
Another who misses 17 but has put together back to back 80+ point games. Walker now has a negative break even meaning this is the week to grab him if you’re interested. Souths upcoming draw is excellent and includes five straight games at home starting in Round 18, although Cody is averaging just 50 at ANZ compared to 62 elsewhere. He is only in 11% of teams currently making him a great POD.
Gareth Widdop ($484,800 5/8 – 60, AVG: 66.4)
Widdop has been named after playing for England on the weekend, and thankfully he plays the first game of the round so we will know if he’s playing (keep an eye on Wacko’s Whispers as always). His price has bottomed out and we all know what he’s capable of doing when Saints are firing, which could be a regular occurrence with the Saints draw over the final months of the season.
Cameron Munster ($610,900 5/8|FLB – 98, AVG: 63.1, BE 37)
Munster is the elephant in the room when it comes to 5/8 this year. Walker has returned to form after a slump and is very cheap right now while Widdop has bottomed out after a white-hot start to the season. Yet Munster has arguably been the best and most consistent 5/8 all year, with just one game under 45 since Round 4. Munster’s scoring really picked up with the Storm’s change in his halves partner. Taking out his Round 1 score playing fullback, when pairing with Brodie Croft (rounds 2-5), Munster averaged 37.8. With Ryley Jacks at #7 (rounds 6-15), his average is 70.1. The only question is whether you want to pay a $120k premium for him over Widdop or Walker. With 15% ownership compared to Widdop’s 26% he’s another POD at 5/8.
Andrew Fifita ($614,100 FRF – 42, AVG: 68.3, BE 115)
Aaron Woods has arrived, and the Sharks now have a very busy middle rotation with Fifita, Woods, Prior, Paul Gallen and Jason Bukuya. With limited front row options, it may seem crazy to sell but if he’s not getting big minutes then the scores are going to suffer. In nine games this season where he has played at least 60 minutes, Fifita has averaged 82.8. In five games where he has played less than 60 he has averaged a very pedestrian 52.8. Coach Shane Flannigan has openly talked about managing his minutes (he’s played just 47 and 52 in his last two games) and with Woods joining there’s little reason to think this won’t continue. If you needed to fund a trade to James this week, here is your solution.
Raymond Faitala-Mariner ($460,300 2RF – 56, AVG: 58.1, BE 31)
Manu Ma’u ($591,700 2RF – 60, AVG: 62.6, BE 88)
Mahe Fonua ($438,400 CTW – 46, AVG: 57.6, BE 47)
A trio of injured players that need to be sold, thankfully there’s five trades to burn. RFM was looking like good coverage for Round 17 but a broken hand on the weekend has him out 4-6 weeks and sadly is no longer relevant. Ma’u has been one of the only bright spots for the Eels this year but he also was injured on representative duty, suffering a depressed fracture of the cheekbone. Fonua had looked like a fourth or fifth CTW possibility until a broken forearm in the Tigers last game ruled him out for the rest of the season. No one wants to see players get injured but from a Supercoach perspective at least they did when we had more trades to get rid of them with.
Ryan Matterson ($572,700 CTW|2RF – 0, AVG: 65.5, BE 72)
Still no sign of Matterson in the Roosters team list this week, who knows when he will return. As mentioned by the wonderful NRL Physio many times, concussions symptoms can be complex and unpredictable. At least his wrist will be healed when he does return. Could be a straight swap to Tapine this week, but if you’re pressed on trades then he’s probably a hold.
Lachlan Fitzgibbon ($513,600 2RF – 41, AVG: 60.2, BE 95)
As stated earlier Fitzgibbon now misses the next three rounds (two through suspension, one through the Knights bye) at a point in the season where numbers are important. Can be swapped for less than $10k to Harris who will suit up for each of those three games.
Cameron Murray ($443,900 2RF – 36, AVG: 51.3, BE 69)
With the Burgess brothers and Angus Crichton set to back up this weekend, Murray’s usefulness has come to an end. He didn’t really reach the heights expected of him Supercoach wise this season but will be an interesting pick in 2019 when Crichton departs.
Connor Watson ($475,600 5/8|FLB – 41, AVG: 53.9, BE 80)
A straight trade of Watson to Walker or Widdop this week is about as close to a no-brainer as it gets. The run of home games might be appealing for Watson, but Mitchell Pearce will be back soon and he’s not a keeper this season.
Villiame Kikau ($489,300 FRF|2RF – 0, AVG: 57.5, BE 79)
Peta Hiku ($435,800 CTW|FLB – 33, AVG: 50.9, BE 73)
Tevita Pangai ($502,600 FRF|2RF – 36, AVG: 52.4, BE 94)
All three are currently in the top ten traded out players, and I’m assuming these players are being sold mainly by H2H coaches. Just in case they aren’t, they are going to be great bye cover for Round 17 and should be retained. If you’ve held them this long you really should be holding them another week.
Rhyse Martin ($356,500 2RF – 0, AVG: 68.3, BE -21)
Over 3,000 coaches hastily traded him out last week, and over 1,000 have traded him out this week as well. Unlike the players above Martin could be a part of a H2H team with his current production. He’s now set to be an 80-minute edge forward who should be kicking goals. If you watched him slot them over from the sideline with ease for Papua New Guinea on Saturday, then you know he could end up as a keeper if he’s kicking full time for the Dogs.
Mitch Aubusson ($326,000 2RF|CTW – 37, AVG: 30.1, BE 21)
Aubogun lives another week being named in the centres thanks to Joseph Manu’s suspension. Hopefully there’s a rookie priced CTW/2RF named next week to trade him down to.
John Olive ($221,600 CTW – 46, AVG: 40.3, BE 7)
On the back of some defensive reads that would make Brenko Lee blush, Olive finds himself out of the 17 this week. At this stage he’s basically an early nuff and there’s no benefit selling and could pop up next week with an injury.
Aiden Tolman ($371,300 FRF – 33, AVG: 34.5, BE 58)
With Woods gone someone must pick up those minutes in the middle, and we know that Tolman can produce when given the time on the park. Tolman averaged 57 last year in 62 minutes per game, which would place him eighth among front rowers, showing just how dire things are with that position. At this price he could be worth a risk, but I’d want to give him a week to see how the forward rotation at the Dogs plays out. His price won’t change too much even with a strong performance.
Nathan Cleary ($509,600 HLF – 57, AVG: 56.1, BE 82)
Has a BE of 90 this week and won’t play Round 17 so there’s no rush to trade him in this week and will be a great target in Round 18. Another week and he’ll most likely be under $500k. Now if we could only ensure Maloney gives up the kicking duties…