Forget about stocking up on toilet paper or disposing of your gym passes, it’s time for the Isolation Buy | Sell.
The boys have been frothing at the bit to produce some content – heck, even Wilfred delivered his write-on time to me for this one.
So sit back, take a sip of your Welder’s Dog or coffee and enjoy the NRLSCTalk contributors standout buy and sell options for the round three Super Trade week.
Editors note: We’ve tried to not discuss all the main guys and have included them below to avoid the awkward comments sure to follow….. “but Wenin, wut about Api, mate? You f$&ken no nofin ehy”.
Ryan Matterson (2RF $626k BE 48)
With David Fifita apparently out for the first few rounds of the restart, a significant number of coaches could be looking to replace him for a short period. With only 15% ownership currently, Matterson is the best option. He is premium priced for a reason – the last time he scored below 50 was the final round of 2018. That is 26 straight games with a score of at least 50, which is the sort of consistency that is worth paying for.
For 2020, his first two games have shown that his game hasn’t been diluted from moving to a stacked Eels forward pack. Matterson has posted base stats of 52 and 48 in the two games so far, and 62 and 66 when you include base + power stats. His minutes haven’t been impacted either, as he played 80 minutes in Round 1 and 77 in Round 2 before receiving a slightly early shower as the Eels towelled up the Titans. He should be part of your final seventeen, you could do a lot worse than paying slight overs and locking him in now.
Plus, he has the best biceps in the NRL.
Luciano Leilua (2RF $434k BE -8)
…..another attacking edge backrower who has been putting in some work! ‘Lucy’ has played 80 minutes both rounds so far, and scores of 64 and 80 while scoring 51 and 52 both weeks in base and base attack stats emphasise how well he’s done. Sure, he’s got tries both weeks (one off a kick, and the other with an accompanying line break) but with Benji Marshall in vintage form on the right side, Lucy is going to get plenty of opportunities to keep those attacking stats coming. The minor concern is how badly his edge (with his brother beside him) was exposed in defence in Round 2, but how much was that due to Joey rather than Lucy? It’s hard to know for certain, but he’s getting it done for now for SuperCoach purposes, and there are few rides that are as fun as the Leilua Express right now. Toot toot!
Kotoni Staggs (CTW $448k BE -34)
I had Kotoni in the BJ Leilua spot in my side right up until the news the Isaako was moving back to fullback and Staggs would lose the kicking duties for the Broncos. In hindsight, my decision to swap him for Leilua baffles me. BJ also doesn’t kick, was $18k more expensive, plays in a worse attacking side isn’t an up and coming star and doesn’t play for the team I follow.
Staggs’ four tries in two games will certainly not continue, but as a starter last season he averaged just under 60ppg (albeit including kicking for some games) and he looked dangerous every time he got the ball in his hands in the first two rounds.
In the changed SC climate where you can almost use your full amount of trades per round and make it to the end, even if he is a cash grab he has two consecutive break evens in the -30s and can be moved on with $100k profit if he doesn’t look like a season long keeper, which he absolutely could be. Get him in.
NOTE: When looking at the stats, interestingly Leilua averages 33 base+power ppg (an average of pure base along with stats such as tackle busts and offloads) compared to 32bppg for Staggs. Not that it will likely stop me making the above trade but something to note.
Isaah Yeo (2RF | CTW $405k BE -29)
JT (Yeah, so buyer beware)
Outside of John Bateman, it’s been a while since we’ve seen a premium dual 2RF/CTW, basically the holy grail of NRL SuperCoach. While it might be a stretch to say that Isaah Yeo is suddenly going to turn into that option given a history of middling-good SuperCoach scores – averages in the low-mid 50s from 2016-2018 before falling to just 44 last year when he spent time injured, at centres, the second row then off the bench – he’s definitely an option many are now going to throw in without question given the breakeven and hot start to the year.
In the short-term at least, Yeo stands to make a huge amount of cash over the coming rounds. If he slips back to a 55PPG average from here on in, which could be likely given Kurt Capewell is set to make his Penrith debut from the bench and likely eat into his minutes (as well as Kikau’s and Fisher-Harris’ potentially – yuck), he’ll have made around $120k of cash by Round 5. He’s a must-have for that reason.
Long-term, there are still some risks about him. I wrote in the Round 1 wrap that: (Yeo’s) tally of 7 tackle busts here actually almost eclipses his entire 2019 tally of 11, and he doubled his 2019 linebreak count with 2 here. His minutes were potentially boosted by JFH starting on the bench in R1 with Yeo playing time at lock, and the absence of Capewell who is set to throw a spanner into that rotation. If we can lock in a player in our centres that can regularly bang out 55+ scores, he won’t be the worst option to carry through the year. But tough to see that current average maintained.
6% owned in Round 1…you could probably add a zero to that come the start of Round 3.
Dylan Brown (HFB | 5/8 $429k BE -24)
I’ve decided on a strategy based on the balance of dollars and points. I’ve corrected my error of not starting with Lucy Lua. one of my in’s at the moment is Dylan Brown. Upgraded my CTW’s to include Mansour and Isaako. And to replace round 2 Captain Cleary (refer below) I’ve brought in Dylan Brown.
At a $200k discount on Nathan Cleary, the switch allows me to make those other moves and remain cap compliant. And he definitely has a big score in him as evidenced by his 123-point outburst against the Titans. Now yes, I know it was the Titans and I know that he’s also capable of a lower score as his 35 against the Dogs shows. But the idea here is to bring in a capable scorer for 2 weeks, who has an incredible BE (-27). If I can get 2 games out of him at approximately 45 PPG, his price should rise around $120k, then I can use one of him or Milford and make the jump back to Cleary using minimal funds. That’s the plan anyway…
Josh Mansour (CTW $417K BE -14)
The Sauce is back! I could have very easily written about Apisai Koroisau or Jamayne Issako but Mansour is just so damn good looking, and I am sorry, Carlos, Josh has the best guns around.
Anyway, onto SuperCoach.
With ownership at just 4% and not featuring yet in the most traded in ten players, Josh Mansour is almost certain to remain a POD for a least a little bit longer. And with scores of 65 and 79 to open the season and incredible BPPG of 39, I can’t go past him as a replacement for one of my underperforming CTW’s at what I think is fantastic value.
While he has failed to average more than 55 PPG since 2016, injuries have severely impacted his output over this time, missing 40% of regular-season games since that year. This is his second full year back from an ACL injury and that has in the past generally produced favourable results.
The suspension to Nathan Cleary (segue!) may impact him but think that his work rate should see him overcome this hurdle.
Nathan Cleary (HFB $631k BE 25)
He has the third-highest average among all Supercoach players at 86.5, but with a two-week suspension for breaching social distancing guidelines, Cleary is a prime candidate to be traded out.
The main issue is that you cannot put yourself in a position to be chasing points, especially with the number of trades available not changing. There has been a 20% reduction in rounds, but no reduction of trades. With 37 trades to use over 20 rounds, even if you can make two trades every week until Round 17, which gives you plenty to use to get Cleary back into your team in a few rounds without compromising future plans. Without bye periods to make up lost ground, holding trades is a thing of the past and you can’t afford guns sitting on the bench for multiple rounds.
Which is where trading out Cleary to Mitchell Moses comes in. This trade gives you a guaranteed starting half who will put up similar numbers to Cleary and could stay in your team for the rest of the season. Some coaches will want both anyway. It also frees up another $50k to use with your five trades before Round 3 kicks off.
Circling back to the issue of chasing points, Moses is already owned by 40% of coaches. You could cover Cleary with the likes of George Williams, Jarome Luai,
Michael Morgan or Shaun Johnson, but it would only take one big game from Moses to find yourself down another 70-80 points to half of the field. There are better positions to be chasing points of difference this season, pick your battle elsewhere and follow the rest of the herd for now. Just plan to get Cleary back by Round 5.
David Fifita (2RF $502k BE 51)
The preseason hype machine on David Fifita was very real, and on the field he has certainly delivered for the Broncos, scoring one of the all-time greatest long-range tries by a second-rower. Still, in spite of all that, he has only scored 75 and 52 across the first two rounds, which is nice but certainly not exactly the levels of what we were expecting. What’s also nice has been the 52 and 50 in base and base attack stats he has scored each week; that floor with Fifita’s frequent attacking upside is SuperCoach gold. However, we are likely to be missing him for at least one week and most likely three weeks, pending further information from the Broncos as we get closer to 28 May. In a shortened season, that’s too long to have his cash sitting there and you should use it on someone likely to give you premium points in the back row while he’s out with injury. Speaking of which, if you don’t have the megabucks required to upgrade him to the likes of Taumalolo, Bateman or even Matterson, you could trade him to…Luciano Leilua (refer above).
Damien Cook (HOK $706k BE 139)
JT (Yeah, so hold)
With the likes of Api Koroisau leading the way and pushing out huge scores in big minutes at half the price of Cook, and a wealth of cheapie hooker options available (Harry Grant, Blayke Brailey, Billy Walters) and firms to make a handy amount of cash over the early rounds, many SuperCoaches will be rightfully cutting their losses with Cook from Round 3. We saw the gap between Cook and the rest close last season, with Cook’s 76 average still leading the hooking pack but followed closely by Cam Smith’s 73. It was a punt to take him on at that price so early in the season and some poor scores and few attacking stats to speak of have meant disappointment for owners.
I have a feeling that the time off this year is going to make fitness freaks like Cook come into their element, and we could see a return to the regular massive attacking stat games that made Cook such an unquestionably good option. But that breakeven is just so massive (although achievable by Cook’s standards…) and his price will allow SuperCoaches to really splash the cash around their sides while potentially getting Cook at a discount down the track. Even if he hits 70 from here on, he’ll only be back to his current price by Round 10. Those players listed above will just open up too many options for your side to ignore right now.
All that said, without Origin this year, I would be very surprised not to see Cook in the majority of sides come the end of the year. Just not from Round 3.
Cameron Munster (5/8 $644k BE 121)
My first experience owning Cameron Munster will be a bit like a lap dance. You give in to the temptation despite knowing the cost, it’s fun but there’s no happy ending and then you leave only to see her swoop on the next degenerate only to offer him the VIP room for free (or the equivalent of scoring 150 points against the Broncos).
Scores of 42 and 39 leave Munster with a BE of 121 and therefore facing a potentially serious loss of cash. Given the increase in trades we have at our disposable, these sort of cash drops need to be avoided like an anti-vaxxer on a football field. Also, it seems likely that the Storm will have a relatively tough draw and could be forced to play either in Sydney or definitely to an empty crowd at home, I think this may have an impact on his output. Last year he averaged 17 PPG more at home.
What’s also concerning is the influence that Jahrome Hughes is having on the Melbourne attack this year. He produced two try assists and three forced dropouts in week 1. Then there’s Cameron Smith who always has to make it about him.
I’ll probably end up back in the Cabaret Club before the end of the season but I want in at a discount or a free entry card. In the meantime, let’s go make some bank!
BJ Leilua (CTW $466k BE 86)
Where do I start with Leilua? There was a lot of hype about him in the pre-season after making the switch from the Raiders to the Tigers. The Tigers had a great opening draw. Leilua had energy and hunger about him that made it seem like he was ready to rip in and prove the Raiders wrong for letting him go. The stars looked like they had aligned for a strong opening stand before he could be flipped to a keeper.
But it was all an illusion. After writing the Tigers preview I knew his 72 PPG in 2016 was an outlier. I knew he had an error/brain explosion in him. But I was still one of the 12,573 SuperCoaches who pulled the trigger. I was promptly rewarded with a diabolical average of 30ppg over the first two games and the match against the Knights in round two was perhaps the worst on-field performance by a centre I’ve seen.
His 60 total points INCLUDES 24 from evasive stats, which brings his PPM to a miserly 0.38 with not a score or creative stat to be seen. With a BE of 83 looming and near full trades for the rest of the season, I nearly put my finger through the phone to trade him out the second the five trades were unlocked.
Waqa Blake (CTW $387k BE 63)
After what seems like forever, I can now finally log back into Supercoach and start planning all over again. And as you would rightly assume, it’s a mess in there. I’ve got big-name headaches in Fifita, Cleary and Ponga. Plus, cash-cow issues aplenty to fix up. You could honestly throw a dart at my CTW and hit someone who needs the flick. Luckily, with 5 trades I can do just that.
But to focus on just one guy, I couldn’t wait to get Waqa Blake out of my side. I took a punt on the kid hoping he’d carry over the form he ended 2019 with and Parramatta’s (original) early season draw. It obviously wasn’t to be with a literal stumbling-out-of-the-blocks performance in round 1 and subsequent worse round 2. I look forward to seeing the back of the guy. The only thing that may save Blake’s job is the availability of names like Will Kennedy for round 3.
Other notables (we couldn’t mention them all!)
- Apisai Koroisau
- Connor Watson (pending position)
- Jamayne Issako
- Jamil Hopoate
- Thomas Flegler
- Scott Drinkwater
- Alex Twal
- Eliesa Katoa
- Latrell Mitchell
- Bailey SimoNOstar
- Kallum *** Watkins
- Billy Walters
- Braidon Burns