SuperCoach 2023 – Playmakers

he work never stops at NRL SuperCoach Talk. As this season officially finishes, we simply turn our sights onto the 2023 season. Alex, in particular, has done the hard yards in collaborating an in-depth list of potential 2023 starting players and better yet, he’s sharing it with the world. Over the next few weeks, we will be putting out this three part series of the “ones to watch”, as co-founder Nick would say.

In this second part, Alex looks into the NRL playmakers: the Halves and Hookers.

Another successful year in the books for my SuperCoach squad. A final finish of 192nd overall which makes it 3/3 for top 600 finishes. That run has made that so excited for next season that I’ve gone ahead and completed my “Way Too Early” 2023 shortlist. There are a few disclaimers that I’d like to make before starting: 

  • This shortlist is based on opinion only
  • The prices are a rough projection and definitely not accurate
  • Duals are based on opinion also and potentially not accurate
  • Byes/strength of schedules will change a lot of things come 2023

At the end of the series, I’ll be stating the players that I’m most excited for and at this stage will be in my 2023 squad. 

PREMIUM = $520k and over

MID = $350k-$519k

CHEAPIE = $349k and under



Harry Grant – HOK – 77.6 – $682,900
Damien Cook – HOK – 75.2 – $661,700
Harry Grant and Damien Cook proved yet again their superiority over the hooker position as they both finish with over 10 points per game more than 3rd place. I’d never fault anyone for starting with one of these two players and I have no doubts they will continue to hold the top two spots for their position next season. One big issue previously for Grant has been his ability to stay healthy but this season he played 20 games, thirteen at 80 minutes, four at 70+ minutes, two at 60+ minutes and one at 55 minutes. He’s my pick for the number one hooker of 2023 which isn’t much of a hot take. Cook has shown yet again that he is one of the games top players and could easily be again next season. His 4th year out of the last 5 that he has averaged over 70 points per game and the Rabbitohs will improve next season now that Ilias has a full year under his belt and Latrell now playing at his peak.

Reece Robson – HOK – 64.5 – $567,600
Reece Robson’s SuperCoach relevance grew with Cowboys form over the season. Only averaging 48.3 over the first 7 games, the cowboys really hit their straps against Parramatta in Round 8 and from that point on, Robson averaged 71.1 for the rest of the season. He’s also playing for a contract and if he hasn’t signed anywhere for 2024 by the start of next year, he could be in for a big one yet again.


Brandon Smith – 2RF/HOK – 45.5 – $400,400
Brandon Smith is the obvious one who will be one of the most highly owned players next year with his move to the Sydney Roosters. When starting at hooker in 2022 (2 games), he scored 102 and 62 points while playing 70+ minutes in both.

Erin Clark – 2RF/HOK – 47.0 – $413,600
A pod play against Smith could potentially be the Titans utility. He’s a below average hooker, there’s no denying that but before his injury he had a run of games at 13/14 and averaged 59.7 over the 4 games. If he retains that lock role next year, with the titans improving he’s one to keep an eye on.


Mitch Kenny – 2RF/HOK – 29.5 – $259,600
Mitch Kenny is a player who should be starting for the Penrith Panthers. The only downside to Kenny is the looming Soni Luke on the bench who may eat into his minutes. He should still average decently and generate good cash but mostly not a play in your top 17. 

Cory Paix – HOK – 26.2 – $230,500
Blake Mozer – HOK – 0 – BOTTOM PRICE
Tyson Smoothy – HOK – 0 – BOTTOM PRICE

The Broncos hooker position for 2023 has really been up in the air. With Jake Turpin and Billy Walters playing a majority of the minutes in that position this year, next season should see a change up which Brisbane fans should be thankful for. Unless Walters remains 9/14, the combos will be between Paix, Mozer and Smoothy. Paix is the number one option there. He’s not the greatest defensively but the Broncos play their best attacking football when Paix is at hooker. Smoothy is coming from the Melbourne Storm and is yet to play an NRL game but his QLD Cup stat are anything but ordinary. He won the QLD Cup hooker of the year and has a very good base behind him. Blake Mozer is a young gun who signed a multi year deal with Brisbane and is touted as a future star. He is still very young and despite his potential, it may be a year or so until we see him in first grade. One for the blackbook.



Cameron Munster – 5/8 – 80.6 – $709,300
A pure freak of a player. It’s the only way to describe him. Munster has proved yet again that he is the top 5/8 not just in SuperCoach but the NRL in general, and it’s not close. Despite the hard-fought origin series, the injuries that the Storm faced all season and the position switched he had, he came out on top and averaged over 80 points per game for the season. 5 games over the 100-mark including a 147 against the Titans and only 4 games under 50 points proving he’s one of the most reliable players in your SuperCoach side each week. A must-have by all standards.

Dylan Brown – 5/8 – 74.3 – $653,800
A breakout year if there ever was one, what a player and what a dreamboat. I’m getting carried away I know but I just can’t help it after being a Dylbags owner for most of the year. The switch to the right last season killed his game but the Eels corrected their wrongdoings and moved him back to the left where Brown reached new heights. His base and consistency have never been doubted, he and Munster have been the two safest 5/8’s for the last year or two but Brown has now added the attack taking his season average from 53.2 to 74.3. At only 22 years old, the sky is the limit for Brown, and he will be one of the top 5/8s in SuperCoach for many years to come. 

Adam Doueihi – 5/8 – 59.4 – $522,700
In 2021, Dui was one of my favourite players to own. Match proof and consistent big scores, the dream combo. The ACL injury saw him out of action for the better part of a year, but it didn’t take him long to get back into the swing of things. His first two games playing very little minutes, he finished the season playing the full 80 minutes nine games in a row. For those 9 games he averaged 67 points per game. Some of those games include the two thumpings they received from the Roosters (72-6) and the Raiders (56-10). He still managed to get a 41 and 57 in those games alone. With the Tigers recruits lifting the squad on paper and DUI having a full preseason not recovering from injury, he will be a hot POD play for the halves position. 

Sam Walker – 5/8/HFB – 59.3 – $521,800
Coming into 2022 I was very much on the Salker train. Goalkicking, sophomore year and I was backing the Roosters to go very well this season. First game, they lose to the Knights and Salker became Hynes for me luckily. After round 8, he was on a season average of 48.5 points per game. From round 9 onwards he averaged 69 points per game and only had 3 games under 50 points (44 – Sharks, 45 – Eels, 24 – Storm) and two games over 110+. With the Roosters finding form and Salker showing his consistency, he’s a definite value option for next season. 


Matt Burton – 5/8 – 56.5 – $497,200
Potential Burton owners, ignore the first 8 games or so. In that time Averillo wasn’t fullback, Flanagan had only just got the halfback role back and the team was all over the shop. By the time they realised Matt Dufty wasn’t an NRL level fullback the season was at the halfway point. When they finally figured out what spine they wanted, Burtons SuperCoach scored jumped tremendously. Rounds 1-8 he averaged 41.3 points per game, round 9-21 he averaged 75.3 points per game. Rd 22-25 the Bulldogs had basically given up and conceded defeat. Next year Burton should retain the goalkicking and links up with Kikau who can only help Burtons attacking game. 


Josh Schuster – 2RF/5/8 – 22.9 – $201,500
The player that NRLSCTalk presenters voted as the “One To Watch” for 2023. Schuster has a lot to prove after absolutely firing in his rookie season and then having an abysmal run in his second year in the league. With Kieran Foran leaving the club and the #6 jersey up for grabs, Schuster needs to come out of the gates with a bang and have a successful preseason if he wishes to hold onto it. With his likely dual for next season, he will potentially be the most owned player in SuperCoach 2023. 

Luke Metcalf – 5/8/HFB – 34.0 – $240,000
Metcalf has been one of, if not the best NSW Cup players in 2022. Going from the Sharks to the Warriors next year may see him get into the starting side as the Warriors lose the likes of Harris-Tevita and Walsh. SJ is on a heavy decline and Metcalf is on the up. It may be wishful thinking that he gets a dual next season in SuperCoach as he’s currently HFB only, but he’s played 13 games in the NSW Cup this year and 8 were at 5/8 and the rest at HFB. In those 13 games he scored 14 tries, had 6 try assists and kicked at an 80% success rate for conversions. He’s played one NRL game over 40 minutes and that was at the end of 2021 where he scored a double. This year he’s played one NRL game and played 18 minutes and still managed to cross the line for a pie. If he gets that starting halfback role for the Warriors next year, he will be the potential cheapie of the season. 



Nicho Hynes – HFB – 85.8- $755,000
The total points leader for SuperCoach in 2022 and the second highest average of the season goes to Nicho Hynes. A beast on the field and someone who has shown that they are a true NRL star and SuperCoach gun. Despite what Lakey thought of him and his prediction of a big regression, he averaged over 85 points and that was just in his first season playing halfback in the top grade. He will continue this trend next season and onwards, Sharks will remain a top 4 team and Nicho will be the reason they get there.

Nathan Cleary – HFB – 79.7 – $703,100
A down season for Cleary but still averaged almost 80 points per game. That should say enough as it is. If you take out the two games he had back from injury where he wasn’t that impactful on the game and took it easy as well as his infamous send-off game, he averaged 93.1 points per game. Heavily discounted for next season and is a must have.

Sam Walker – 5/8/HFB – 59.3 – $521,800


Isaiya Katoa – HFB – 0 – BOTTOM PRICE
The Dolphins have killed it with this signing. A Penrith junior who will most likely play behind O’Sullivan, Milford and Nikorima on the depth chart but will eventually get his crack at a halves jersey. He is one of the most talented prospects to come through in the last year or two and has been signed to a 3-year deal, not even on a development contract. He’s been fast-tracked to a top 30 spot. Penrith dropped him from their sides after he signed to the Dolphins, but he was called up to play in the first week of the finals for their NSW Cup side and scored a try, had 2 try assists, 1 linebreak, 2 linebreak assists and 20 tackles. When he gets his chance in the NRL, he will be something special.

Luke Metcalf – 5/8/HFB – 34.0 – $240,000


Born and raised in Brisbane so a proud Queenslander but a lifelong Dragons fan (thank my dad for that). SuperCoach fanatic and one-time comp leader and will tell everyone and anyone about it.

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Thanks Alex. Gee if the Chin starts at only $703K next year, he is must have. Even Mum might be convinced to throw him a jersey for her team.


Solid run over last few years mate and great analysis, cheers!


Good work Alex


G’day Supercoachers,
The season is a long way off and the NRL 2023 draw has been released. I have put together a basic Excel spreadsheet which includes the 27 rounds of for and against including byes if anyone is interested.
Best of luck.


One point I picked up from the draw was that the Eels play all the big 3 bye weeks in Rounds 13, 16 and 19 where 7 teams are off. They also play in 2 out of 3 minor byes (3 teams off) in R17 and 20. Worth keeping in mind when building teams. Dylan Brown over Munster perhaps?


Good pick up Magpie, will be going Munster early and switching to Brown closing in on Origin period and those big bye rounds.


Early thoughts – First bye – Dogs rnd 13 ,Eels Rnd 14 , Cows Rnd 15 , Bunnies + Bronx rnd 16
Might be trade saving having a few from these teams but hard to know yet. Non Origin players look ideal .
Will we get more trades ?


Geez I hope so. The byes will make the game more interesting.

Cowboys 2050

hey mate,

thanks for making your draw available for everyone to use, really appreciated.

I just noticed two errors in your draw which I thought I better bring to your attention so you don’t get caught out with your bye planning!!

RD10 – Dragons are playing the tigers, not the titans
RD22 – Raiders are playing the knights, not the broncos



Cheers thanks for picking up my typos Cowboy, I’ll be caught out even if my draw is correct lol