It might only be Round 7, but it’s late June which would usually put us right in the middle of Origin and bye planning season. Given the timing, the Supercoach gods have decided that things were already too easy and have provided us with the usual mid/post Origin carnage round where some coaches will struggle to fill a decent 17-man line-up. Who needs byes when you have multiple injuries and suspensions to cover?
It is compounded by the fact there are several appealing cash cows playing their third game this week in a round where points will be vital. The big decision will be whether you take the points or chase the cash, which will most likely come down to just how many fires you have to put out at once.
With a few key players out and a few others in doubt, most notably James Tedesco, it will be a struggle for some to fill the holes in their squad with the two trades available. As usual, try to make your trades at the last minute to ensure you’re not stuck if Tedesco fails HIA protocol, or another player drops out in final team lists.
Best Call – HOLD Scott Drinkwater (91). Those who held were rewarded with a big score in a round with very few of them.
Worst Call – SELL Esan Marsters (88). Another Cowboy that broke out with a good game, but if you sold early you got out at the right time as the Cowboys have games against the Eels and Roosters looming.
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Kalyn Ponga ($777,600 FLB – 78 last round, Average: 93.4, Breakeven 132)
I’ve been banging on about fielding your best 17 since the season resumed and ignoring Ponga’s triple-figure break even this week and bringing him in for Tom Trbojevic is another case of prioritising points over dollars. The Knights play the Cowboys this week, who just gave up 34 in a half to Tigers. That’s probably reason enough to trade him in.
Despite the top score from Round 6 looking like an auto select team with Dallin Watene-Zelezniak as starting fullback, it is going to cause you more grief not owning at least one of Ponga and Tedesco moving forward. With enough trades, even Tedesco to Ponga this week wouldn’t be out of the question if Teddy isn’t declared fit.
Ponga is a legitimate straight captain option this weekend, or at least worth a look with the vice-captaincy. Even if he doesn’t hit his break even, losing $30k at $780k doesn’t hurt as much as losing $30k at $500k. You can still trade him to anyone not named Tedesco before they play the Eels in two weeks.
Cameron Munster ($630,600 5/8 – 105, Avg: 68.3, BE 72)
The resumption of the 2020 season has proved that Munster is the top 5/8 from a Supercoach perspective. The storm five-eighth had one game under 50 since the NRL returned with round 3, and while he does have the Roosters and Raiders in the Storm’s next four games, the other two are the Warriors and Titans. The sooner you can lock him in, the sooner you can look at upgrading different positions instead.
Moeaki Fotuaika ($515,900 FRF – 75, Avg: 64.0, BE 52)
Hipster Supercoaches are struggling to keep Fotuaika to themselves as the Titans hard-working front rower is having a breakout 2020 season. At just 2% ownership (fewer than 2000 owners), Fotuaika is an incredible point of difference if you bring him in this week. Like Saifiti, he’s highly ranked among FRF players in base stats (ninth) and is cheaper than everyone above him. His total base stats per game is up to 62.8 this season, mainly due to an increase in minutes.
Without the ordinary coaching and wrist injury that hampered him last season Fotuaika is logging big minutes for a weak Titans pack, playing at least 50 minutes in the previous four games including a massive 75 in their loss to the Dragons on the weekend. Those four games have resulted in a 71.5 average as well, with virtually no attacking stats. If you want a solid foundation from your front rowers in Supercoach, then Fotuaika is hard to look past.
Daniel Saifiti ($551,400 FRF – 101, Avg: 74.0, BE 19)
As stated above, he’s Nick’s Pick this week. And Nick is currently lapping everyone else on the site sitting 71st so he can’t be doing too bad. As for Saifiti, he was looking particularly relevant before last round and now with a huge score, a serious injury to Alex Twal and Patrick Carrigan contracting Pangaitis he’s become a top trade in target for the week.
Saifiti has cracked the 60+ barrier for total base stats this year, averaging 64.3 per game, ranking him sixth for FRF eligible players. He’s also the cheapest of those six players, and his last 4 games have produced an average of 80.3 with those four games seeing him play at least 50 minutes. If the minutes are there, he’s looking at a mid-60s score as a minimum.
Saifiti’s numbers are quite similar to front row partner David Klemmer, but he has half the ownership (6% vs 12%) at a much higher PPM (1.45 v 1.30). It’s hard to argue against him as the top FRF trade in target now Alex Twal is injured.
Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow ($171,900 CTW|FLB – 37, Avg: 51.5, BE -42)
Those who jumped in early (like myself) and played him last week (like myself) were very worried about Tabuai-Fidow a 0 at half time. He ended up on 37, decent for a rookie but a disappointment after a strong debut. Despite that ordinary score he’s still likely to make a mountain of cash this week and is starting again at fullback.
Xavier Coates ($203,500 CTW – 52, Avg: 50.5, BE -29)
A Broncos player is playing his third game and facing the Titans this week. You should know the drill by now. At some point they have to come right, don’t they?
Tesi Niu ($171,900 CTW – 0, Avg: 7.5, BE 46)
As one of the few contributors to the site who don’t drink the Broncos Kool-Aid, I’m not as high on Niu as the Red Hill Stalker Club is. That said, he’s about to play his third game starting at fullback against the Titans and then faces the Warriors, Bulldogs and Tigers. You can’t ask for a better schedule than that.
Niu isn’t going to gain you a lot of cash for a few rounds with a 9 and a 6 in his rolling average (a 50 average would only get him to $250k by Round 9), so you’re taking a punt on him going large this week. If you want to POD it up, at 3% ownership, he could be a fantastic choice. Coates is likely the safer pick, though.
Jake Averillo ($261,800 CTW|HFB – 73, Avg: 38.4, BE -34)
If you don’t already own him, then Averillo could be very appealing to coaches who are still sitting with Billy Walters in their halfback spot. For those thinking of adding him to their CTW, Coates, Nui or HTF are probably better options this week.
Tom Trbojevic ($715,400 FLB – 78, Avg: 76.2, BE 105)
Surely science is advanced enough where we can generate some sort of artificial hamstring for Turbo and not cause ourselves considerable anxiety every time he takes a stride? Up to Tedesco or Ponga this week and don’t look back.
Alex Twal ($527,900 FRF – 29, Avg: 63.7, BE 81)
The return of the 2020 season was very kind on Twal, with a move to lock and 80-minute games cemented him as a certain keeper. He was second among all FRF eligible players in pure base stats at 61.7 a game, one of the beneficiaries of the rule changes keeping the ball in play longer. You can’t replace him like for like as the only other players producing 60 in pure base at FF are Payne Haas, Aiden Tolman and Josh McGuire. But you can pick up similar overall production in the same price range from Klemmer, Saifiti, Fotuaika or taking a flier on Addin Fonua-Blake is struggling to follow up on last season.
Patrick Carrigan ($453,700 FRF|2RF – 42, Avg: 57.8, BE 54)
Carrigan may only be sitting a week due to suspension, but there’s very little upward trajectory left. He is what he is, a mid-50s scoring FRF, and there’s at least 22 of them this season. He’s not far from his implied value of $486k. Another $60k gets you Fotuaika who gets you a few extra base points per game and commits fewer negative plays as well. $100k gets you into the Klemmer/Saifiti range.
Jamayne Isaako ($340,800 CTW|FLB – 27, Avg: 44.7, BE 44)
How Isaako keeps drawing the short straw while Darius Boyd and Anthony Milford escape scrutiny is beyond me, but then I didn’t attend a short course at Harvard. Even with the fantastic Broncos draw you can’t keep him on the hope that he returns to the line-up as he’s already lost $80k from his peak. Cashing out to Coates or another rookie is the best option this week.
Tyrell Fuimaono ($287,100 CTW|2RF – 36, Avg: 40.0, BE 40)
Scoring at 0.5-0.6 points per minute in limited minutes starting on an edge is a level of Supercoach output that even Joe Stimson would be embarrassed by. Has the Roosters this week and is a complete liability but may be a hold if you have a plethora of injuries.
Nic Cotric ($380,100 CTW – 18, Avg: 45.5, BE 77)
Faces the stringy Eels this week who don’t give up a lot of points to CTW players. Another prime candidate to downgrade to Coates or Tabuai-Fidow. Now watch him score 90+ as Marsters did last week after being recommended as a sell.
Scott Drinkwater ($428,500 FLB|5/8 – 91, Avg: 60.7, BE 27)
Hanging on paid off for owners, with Drinkwater notching the 12th highest score of the round. There’s a little bit of life left but with Parramatta and the Roosters in their upcoming draw, his time is nearly up as Munster or Shaun Johnson appear the best options at 5/8 this season.
Mitch Moses ($516,400 HLF – 26, Avg: 56.0, BE 103)
With the Eels having a reasonably handy draw over the next six weeks, it’s hard to see why you’d give up on Moses after a low score against the Roosters. Those trading him out for Mitchell Pearce are the very definition of chasing last weeks points, as Pearce has rarely been Supercoach relevant and Moses should outscore him over the next month. Now moving early on Nathan Cleary who has a 104 BE? That’s a tougher question and considering both have large BE’s you could easily wait a week given the calamity this round.
Eliesa Katoa ($392,000 2RF – 27, Avg: 54.7, BE 33)
Confirmed this afternoon to be out three weeks by NRL Physio. This is the toughest spot for holds as a returning a week early only makes it a two week hold which is far more manageable. But can you hold him that long on the chance he returns early? He looked like an absolute passenger when he returned to the field on the weekend, wanting nothing to do with the ball. If you can manage to cover Katoa he is a hold, as when he returns, he still has cash to be made and hopefully regains his starting spot.
Jamil Hopoate ($259,300 2RF – 0, Avg: 38.5, BE 4)
The last price rise we expected a few weeks ago may finally be here. He’s not likely to push over $300k as first expected but there should still be a tidy $100k+ profit next week when you can move him on.
Bradman Best ($449,300 CTW|FLB – 38, Avg: 80.0. BE 63)