Cheapie ChitChat – Round 10

The stars have finally aligned for the 23,000 coaches who started with Burbo. With Talakai schooling Harper plus Parker injuring his knee, the most popular non-playing cheapie of the past 2 years will finally get a chance to play his 3rd game and reward his owners for their patience. But will his fate be similar to that of Isaiah Tass, only time will tell but in my opinion his job security is questionable. This week there are some big decisions to make with some cheapies about to burst and some deflating, but don’t worry I’ve got you covered.

BEN TRBOJEVIC   2RF|CTW               $188,700               BE -51   

Named at left centre this week in Parkers absence, Burbo is set for a massive pay rise. His dual position availability makes him of even more value, plus he plays the first bye round. He punched out an impressive 96 last week plus, he tea bagged big Marty Taupau which was impressive to say the least. Now owned by 33% and will be closer to 50% by the end of the week, Burbo will be the buy of the week but what will his job security be like when Parker returns? He will obviously be an edge back rower next year when Schuster plays 5/8th (Foran to Titans) so does it make sense for Dessie to keep Parker out of the team? It is more likely he goes back to the bench yet again but at who’s expense, does Davey miss out? He may just end up back in reserve grade so he can continue his development. Koula got the nod to play right centre when Harper had that Talakai incident and Schuster and Olakau’atu should stay in the back row, so barring any injuries our Burbo Show will only be premiering for a limited time.

IZACK TAGO          2RF|CTW               $438,800               BE 58

I touted Tago as a season long keeper but he hasn’t quite lived up to our expectations. Yes, he is playing on arguably one on the best attacking left hand sides but he just can’t seem to consistently get attacking stats. His base is good but good isn’t good enough anymore. Tago now only has the 22nd best average for a CTW so you have a decision to make with him, either keep him for the first bye round and then upgrade him or look for an upgrade option now who also plays round 13, or even stuff the bye planning and upgrade him now before he loses more cash. Garrick ($656,200|BE 50|AVG 63|3R AVG 81) looks a decent option with Turbo back and has a decent draw. Manu ($621,600|BE 115|AVG 65|3R AVG 62) is the other one I’d look at but geez his draw looks a lot tougher.

WILL PENISINI      CTW        $477,400               BE 49

Approaching his peak price, Penisini is a sell for me, similar to Tago above. Time for some high ceiling CTW’s.

TOLUTAU KOULA      CTW|FLB          $255,000     BE 8

Not really giving coaches what they thought they were buying but he is at least starting to generate a little cash and who knows how he adapts to how Turbo plays, I suspect it’s only a matter of time before he finds himself in the right position at the right time to capitalise on some of Turbo’s linebreaks etc. If you own him then he is decent coverage for round 13 and could be close to a sell by then for close to $100K profit, time will tell. If you don‘t own him, there are some better cheapie targets like Burbo to consider.

MAX KING             FRF          $396,900               BE 40

Close to a sell for me, covers round 13 so worth waiting for a couple more weeks before you upgrade him to which ever FRF you missed out on. Hopefully by then Ipap has plateaued to around the $740K mark. If only he could jag some attacking stats so he spikes in price prior to selling, fingers crossed.

CHRIS RANDALL   HOK        $429,900               BE 8

I was calling for him to be sold a few weeks ago and since then he has scored a 53 and 78 and grown about $50K. The problem with HOK this year is the lack of depth of gun options. Plus, any trade to find Round 13 coverage seems to be a wasted sideways trade so he looks like he is a keeper until after origin then upgrade him to the next best performing HOK which will most likely be Cook ($674,200|BE105|AVG 70|3R AVG 59) who should be a little cheaper by then. Another I’ll be keeping an eye on is Mahoney ($583,200|BE69|AVG 57|3R AVG 68), after a slow start has just started to produce the attacking stats we all knew he had in him. A left field option would be to downgrade him to Siliva Havili ($267,000|BE -23|AVG 32|3R AVG 44) who has found some minutes from the bench discussed below.

BLAKE TAAFFE      HLF|FLB     $330,000           BE-10

A couple of weeks with attacking stats has seen him become much better value. He is taking up an important slot in your team so he needs to produce a consistent 50+ score with the odd 90+ to justify keeping him long term. The fact that he is still owned by 43% of teams shows how slow he has been to grow in value. If you own him then he is worth holding onto for the short term to see what he does but start planning now how you get rid of him given you’re likely to want a player that is $650K + in that position.

LACHLAN ILIAS    5/8|HLF    $327,600            BE 25

Arguably my worst decision was to start with him in my 25 come round 1. He has played 9 rounds and still has only increased in value by $122K. He is in a similar position to Taaffe, taking up a valuable spot and not really offering much. You can’t use him in your 17 and is only trickling up in value so I’d be looking at someone like Dearden ($487,400|BE 46|AVG 61) as an upgrade which won’t cost you too much and could easily become a stepping stone to a gun. Dearden also covers R13.

KELMA TUILAGI   2RF         $337,100               BE 32

This kid is doing my head in, far out. So much natural ability but just can’t delivery the goods. For your own mental health get rid of him, I don’t care who you get. But seriously, trade in Burbo or move one of your CTW|2RF duals up and bring in a CTW, just get rid of him. (He’ll probably score a double now).

JOSEPH SUAALII  FLB|CTW               $359,500               BE -14

He produced his best score of the year last week and gave us some hope that reading all those articles about him in the preseason was worth our time. On the surface he still looks like a decent pickup despite him not being cheap anymore, that is, if you believe that the Roosters have turned a corner and their right-side scoring machine is now warming up and will start to pump out some points. What may turn you off is their draw, in the next 7 weeks they play Parra and the Panthers twice, the Storm and Sharkies. It would take a true believer to trade him in with confidence, so let’s just hope you already have him.

JOSH KING            2RF|FRF                 $491,500               BE 29

15,000 coaches traded him out 3 weeks ago and since then he has averaged 62 and risen a further $30K. Thankfully 34% of teams kept him, most likely in FRF and have stayed strong. He won’t be a season long keeper but he is decent enough coverage for the round 17 bye round. You can’t trade every week or you will run out of trades so not trading players like King until you absolutely need to is a good idea despite Sangster telling everyone he’s peaked.

VILIAMI VAILEA   CTW        $216,500               BE 4

This is going to be painful to watch. I’m not usually an advocate for sideways trading of cheapies, but Vailea is one of the exceptions. Hopefully you can find a Burbo in the wings so you can get rid of him. He has scored a try in his last 2 games and has only managed scores of 34 & 32. If you’re stuck with him, google his highlights reel from QLD Cup, it’s pretty impressive, then come game day cross your fingers.

ETHAN BULLEMOR      FRF|2RF        $253,000               BE 17

He hasn’t done anything of note since round 1, except his 50 last week. If you are unfortunate enough to have kept him then you’ll have to ride out the next few weeks as he covers R13, then move him on and quickly. His time starting will come to an end very shortly and he’ll be back on the bench scoring sub 20’s, that’s assuming he makes the bench.

BRAD SCHNEIDER   HLF      $370,200               BE 51

I’ll take his $180K increase but he has been a little underwhelming. Hopefully he can get back to scoring 50+ so we can cash him out closer to $500k in a few weeks when Fogarty returns, which is only a few weeks away. He lost goal kicking duties last week which cost him between 12-16 points which would have seen him score around 40. It may pay to think about upgrading him to Dearden (as mentioned above) for bye coverage and the chance of some decent scores but for me he is a hold for now.

TALATAU AMONE   5/8|CTW           $238,600               BE 0

If you stayed strong then perhaps you have saved a trade. Two ok scores of 36 & 41 have seen Amone claw back a little of his lost cash. If he can stay in the starting lineup and keep scoring 35+ then he’ll ready to sell by 2025. But seriously, don’t expect him to peak much beyond $350K so if you get the chance to bring in a cheapie like Burbo then do, it may also pay to wait a few more weeks for another genuine cheapie to emerge.

TE MAIRE MARTIN              FLB | 5/8               $233,500               BE 9

He really missed an opportunity to make some decent cash last week with his score of 16. I have confidence he’ll bounce back but that 16 will stay in his rolling average for a few more weeks though so some attacking stats would be nice. I wouldn’t look to bring him in as he really hasn’t proved himself to be worthy but at the same time if you have him then there’s no rush to move him.

WILL SMITH          5/8|HOK               $307,700               BE 5

Not selected to play so it’s time to go WILL SMITH, take the money and run! Depending on where you have him positioned, you may want to look at someone like Reuben Cotter ($503,800|BE 20|AVG 61) but he may have played himself into Origin or perhaps even Siliva Havili (discussed below).

SILIVA HAVILI       HOK|2RF               $267,000               BE -23

He looks as though he has found some minutes from the bench and with the injury to Cam Murray this looks likely to continue. A few more weeks scoring around 50 and he’ll be over $400K and will be positioned to be easily upgraded to a second gun hooker when the time is right. It’s a gamble as Souths are not performing like they should but he’s actually playing ok IMO.

Other no go players due to poor job security include ASU KEPAOA, DAEJARN ASI, MATT FRAWLEY, BRAYDON TRINDALL.

Phill Mansfield

A Chocolate Soldier through and through who has a son that supports Manly, Phill is still wondering where he went wrong

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Is Burbo worth using a boost?

The Pretender

I dont believe so, too much risk.




No Wishart? 61 in base in 69 mins last week. If he gets a start he will be a must


I will be surprised if he doesn’t get the start, and will play 5/8 whenever Munster is out


Your enthusiasm for Wishart is growing on me, trentmark. His dad was a terrific player.


He is getting no love, as an eye test, he went fantastic last week. I have Ilias just sitting as an NPR in my 5/8 behind Munster, if Wishart gets a start, I will be using my boost to bring him in, as Bunnies play after Storm. He should play 6 in any game Munster gets a rest