I know I asked last week but are we absolutely sure we can’t cancel Round 17? Bye planning is a myth etc…
Even more injuries and a few Origin selections have stripped this weekend of a number of relevant players from what was originally a very shallow pool to begin with. When people are talking about trading in Josh Jackson then you know that there’s a dearth of quality options available.
This is looking like an excellent week to ignore trading if you can and save them for the guns and keepers post Origin. The crop of rookies this week aren’t overly appealing and not really worth the 30 points they could add. There’s a case to be made for just trading straight to a dual position nuff since only a handful of the cheapies this week are dual position, and none are CTW/2RF.
Another option would be to target a base priced player like Jed Cartwright or Briton Nikora who are dual CTW/2RF and unlikely to play first grade to cash out some non-keepers, gain some important position flexibility and have zero risk of an auto emergency nightmare.
The guns and keepers this week – the likes of Gareth Widdop, Shaun Johnson, Euan Aitken – have been covered in previous weeks and are all still relevant. The focus this week will on some cheapies points of difference for Round 17 and the run home. Ignore the mid-range options, it’s keepers or nuffs you want this week.
Best call – BUY Ryan James. Even if he ends up playing Origin this weekend he still pumped out another 100 and looks to be a genuine keeper again.
Worst call – BUY Cameron Munster. After not scoring under 50 since April he put in one of his quietest performances ever. This one hit me personally as I traded him in for Connor Watson.
The boys from PlayON have their HUGE $10,000 Super XV tournament kicking off this Saturday night, and are hosting a number of competitions prior to this, where you can win a TICKET into the comp, for as little as a $5.50 entry fee. Make sure you check it out, and hit up Nick on twitter for some tips – he has a team already in there and will be looking to win more spots before Saturday night!
Josh Hodgson ($481,600 HOK – 71, AVG: 77.5, BE 10)
Whilst the Raiders look like an absolute rabble any time they hold a lead late in the second half, Hodgson has been excellent in his two games back from injury. With an average of 77 from his two games he’s an excellent choice to go against the Smith/Cook grain with just 5% ownership currently.
Roger Tuivasa-Sheck ($497,000 FLB – 46, AVG: 59.6, BE 27)
RTS is having a fantastic season that has largely flown under the radar due to there being three very popular choices at the back. Whilst I think Kalyn Ponga is a hold for most coaches (see below), if you want to swing for the fences and go for a real POD (7% ownership) this is the perfect weekend to make the move. The Warriors are playing a depleted Panthers side that RTS has never scored fewer than 44 against in seven previous encounters. The Warriors do have Melbourne, Brisbane and St George coming up, but the Broncos give up reasonable PPM to fullbacks (0.77 for the season) and Melbourne has given up nearly 1.0 PPM to fullbacks over the last five rounds. They also have games against the Titans, Knights, Bulldogs and Raiders to round out the season.
Aiden Tolman ($373,500 FRF – 61, AVG: 38.3, BE 34)
Tolman was back to his usual self against the Knights, pumping out a point per minute on the way to 61 points including 38 from tackles alone. Whilst his overall average of 38 and his three round average of 43 aren’t anything to write home about, in the two games he has played more than 60 minutes this season he’s scored 46 and 59 in base stats. Only three front rowers are averaging more than 50 in base stats this season – Daniel Alvaro, Ryan James and Andrew Fifita. He’s definitely not a must have, but if you’re desperate for numbers this weekend you could do a lot worse and he’s a fine 19/20th man. In less than 700 teams at the time of writing, you won’t find a bigger POD all season.
Justin Olam ($164,600 CTW – 0, AVG: 50.0, BE -44)
The best of an average crop of nuffs this week. Why is he my top choice? He’s base price (if in doubt always pick the cheaper option) and well down the pecking order at the Storm meaning he is unlikely to be an AE nightmare moving forward. The main issue is for those carrying two of Kurt Mann, Sione Katoa and John Olive and limiting your CTW depth. Please note that Olam has been named for the Sunshine Coast Falcons this week, so check Wacko’s Whispers and final team lists. At least the Storm are first up this week, so we’ll know for sure before the first lockout.
Reimis Smith ($177,300 CTW – 84, AVG: 54.5, BE -48)
The extra $13k and the possibility of sitting in your non playing reserves scoring 20-30 are the main reason I’d put Olam ahead of Smith. I understand why people are jumping on Smith, but after this round you don’t need his score and you probably won’t have any trades to cash him out either. Keep in mind he only scored 25 against the Titans two weeks ago. If Olam doesn’t play, then Smith becomes a better option.
Lachlan Lewis ($164,600 HLF|5/8 – 35, AVG: 35.0, BE -14)
A great downgrade option this week for Te Maire Martin. Whilst the 35 might scream “AE nightmare” it was all base stats. The only other player available at half who averages over 30 for base stats is John Sutton, while most sit in the 20-25 range. Of course, there’s a small sample size caveat but the pickings are slim. Jarome Luai is a better nuff option but doesn’t have the dual position bonus which puts Lewis ahead for me.
Tui Kamikamica ($177,300 2RF|FRF – 14, AVG: 14.0, BE 33)
Dual position and unlikely to feature again this season for the Storm as their injured forwards return. He’s not completely base priced but less likely to cause AE issues than the Dragons backrowers. Even though he might only get 25-30 minutes, the flexibility he brings with other 2RF|FRF players will be vital for the run home.
Tohu Harris ($534,900 2RF – 44, AVG: 59.5, BE 83)
Harris looked to be the best backrow option for Round 17 but will now miss at least 4-6 weeks with a knee injury. My heart goes out to the unfortunate souls who traded in a combination of Tohu Harris, Kalyn Ponga, Corey Oates or Tariq Sims last week.
Slade Griffin ($409,400 HOK|2RF – 50, AVG: 46.6, BE 48)
Hopefully Griffin can recover from yet another serious knee injury. If you are one of the 13% of coaches who still owns him then he could be a great swap to Tolman provided you have the dual position players to facilitate it.
Coen Hess ($464,000 FRF|2RF – 31, AVG: 59.6, BE 77)
Hess hasn’t scored more than 70 since Round 7 and no more than 54 in the last five rounds with a three round average of 41.7. With so many options in the second row, even his dual position status isn’t enough to hold through this run of bad form.
Ryan Matterson ($572,700 CTW|2RF – 0, AVG: 65.5, BE 71)
I’m not sure which will happen first, England winning a penalty shootout at the World Cup the Raiders holding a second half lead or Matterson showing up in a Roosters team list.
George Jennings ($445,900 CTW – 38, AVG: 46.8, BE 65)
Despite some initial concerns, Jennings has turned into one of the better cash cows of the season, adding nearly $270k and can now easily be traded to Aitken, Will Hopoate or David Fusitua. Hopefully everyone has forgotten I had him as a sell $100k ago.
Enari Tuala ($341,600 CTW – 23, AVG: 40.7, BE 58)
Another Round 13 bye cover choice who has peaked and can be sold this week, an easy choice to downgrade to one of the CTW nuffs.
Te Maire Martin ($344,400 5/8|HLF – 42, AVG: 26.9, BE 13)
Martin has increased in price nicely since entering the starting 13 and is now only a short hop to Widdop or a great cash out opportunity with Lewis.
Kalyn Ponga ($598,100 FLB – 5, AVG: 67.9, BE 82)
The options this week are pretty slim unless you want to run with Roger Tuivasa-Scheck as a POD at the back. If you wait until next week there’s the opportunity to see how James Tedesco and Tom Trbojevic pull up after Origin. Hamstrings can be a tricky injury to return from with a decent risk of re-injuring if they come back too quickly, but if Ponga was back by Round 20 is that worth a trade and possibly not owning him for the last 5 rounds of the season? Trading him for Turbo or Tedesco this week might look appealing as there’s only two trades next week, but I’d rather wait until I know they emerge unscathed from the final Origin game.
Corey Oates ($477,000 CTW|2RF – 65, AVG: 52.9, BE 25)
Tariq Sims ($563,200 2RF|FRF – 69, AVG: 57.2, BE 45)
The best laid plans of mice and Supercoaches often go awry. That said if you traded either of these two in last week they must have had been in your post Round 17 plans in some way. Just cop their Origin selections on the chin and run a man short. The Dragons run home is sensational and Sims should be a great POD, while Oates is always a chance of a big score and the dual position status is a huge benefit.
Andrew Fifita ($569,200 FRF – 53, AVG: 67.3, BE 100)
As expected his minutes were managed and he only scored 53, and now has a three round average of 49.7. Last round as the time to sell Fifita as he was a straight trade to Ryan James. This week the choices are a lot tougher with James rocketing over $700k and Joe Tapine suffering a head knock last week. If you didn’t trade him last week, not a lot has changed since then and you’ve really committed to holding until the end of the season and hoping the week off helps.
Esan Marsters ($545,500 CTW – 35, AVG: 60.6, BE 94)
Marsters has dropped off over the past few weeks as the Tigers form has continued to decline, but that’s no reason to trade him out this week even if you need bodies. His base stats are still great, and he’s held on to the goal kicking even with the arrival of Moses Mbye. With few legitimate choices at CTW this season it would be a risk to give up on Marsters with nine rounds still to come.
John Olive ($221,600 CTW – 0, AVG: 40.3, BE 7)
Trading him to Smith or Olam for 30 points and $50k doesn’t seem like the best use of a trade. Just run a man short and save the trade for later.