Wenin’s Wondering’s – Round 11

The reverse banner fell apart last weekend with Ryley Jacks going off with a HIA to only score 14 points. However, I am confident that we will bounce back this round….

Penrith Panthers v Wests Tigers, 7:50pm, Panthers Stadium

Points may have come thick and fast to forwards and halves against the Panthers last week, but this somewhat bucked the 2018 trend.

The return of Nathan Cleary should result in James Maloney’s output dropping, but it remains to be seen whether the young half will win the goal kicking duties back from his more seasoned teammate anytime soon. For the record, Maloney produced scores of 3 and 14 in the two full games with Cleary this year, and a score of 69 in the week where the injury occurred.

The Tigers have proven to be a favourable opponent for HOK’s, HB’s and FRF’s to date, conceding the 5th most amount of SuperCoach points to each position. This brings the Panthers halves into consideration for DFS and Super 8.

Villiame Kikau’s relegation to the bench this round will no doubt test the resilience of owners. He has been a wonderful cash cow in 2018 and while many have flirted with the idea of him being a season long keeper, it’s not time for us to get sentimental and acknowledge that with a 5RA of 59 he is a bit short of that level, particularly if he isn’t getting 80 minutes. With a bye ahead in R13 and a current BE of 58, this week or next may be the ideal time to cash him in to a genuine keeper or even a Martin type cow.

There are no obvious VC candidates for me here.

Parramatta Eels v NZ Warriors, 6.00pm, ANZ Stadium

Despite a relatively favourable match-up last round, Tohu Harris was unable to capitalise against the Roosters with just 56 points in 80 minutes. Owners will be hoping that another favourable match-up against the Eels, who have conceded the most amount of points to 2RF’s in 2018, will spark the edge forward back into form. After a blistering start to the season, he now has a 5RA of just 52, but this does include an injury impacted score of 14 in round 7.

Simon Mannering is ridiculously cheap at the moment, but has been playing reduced minutes off the bench in the past two weeks and is not an option until this changes and after his bye in round 13.

Despite the Eels conceding plenty of points not only to 2RF’s, but FRF’s, HB’s and CTW’s, I am not getting too excited about this match-up for the Warriors. With that being said, I definitely think that it’s a week in which you can start Hiku in your 17.

The Warriors have conceded the 2nd most amount of points to CTW’s this season, so if you own Jennings, it may not be the worst week to include him in your side.

Manu Ma’u has been a revelation of late with scores of 62, 71, 9, 69 and 73 over the past five weeks. His base has also been ridiculous at 56, 51 and 66 over the past three weeks. However, as pointed out to me by the 2016 champion, Wilfred, these scores have correlated with the absence of Nathan Brown. With a BE of 76 let’s watch this one from the sidelines, for now.

Brisbane Broncos v Sydney Roosters, Friday 7.55pm at Suncorp Stadium

The Broncos main weakness this season has been the edge, conceding the 4th most amount of points to 2RF’s. Ryan Matterson therefore presents himself as a legitimate VC option this round.

I have previously raised the Roosters weakness to middle and edge forwards, so that no doubt provides a platform for TPJ to go huge. Here’s hoping that the shift to the edge will see his minute’s and output increase similar to what Martin Taupau produced against the Roosters a few weeks back.

While this game is at Suncorp, but how can we possibly trust Anthony Milford with the VC armband this week? He’s been a complete bust in 2018. The Roosters have conceded on average the 10th most amount of points to halves this year. In addition to this, the Roosters have generally kept the backs quiet, so it may be an opportune week to leave Jamayne Isaako out of your 17.

Gold Coast Titans v Newcastle Knights, 3.00pm, Cbus Super Stadium

How many Knights players can we fit into our SuperCoach teams for this game? With the VC and C options being relatively underwhelming through the opening three matches of the round, this game certainly appeals for Lachlan Fitzgibbon and Kalyn Ponga owners.

Mitchell Barnett has played consecutive 80 minute games on the edge, but his output has been a tad inconsistent with scores of 49 and 68. However, given that he is priced under $400k and plays round 13, he is certainly a player to monitor. With a BE of 18, in an ideal world I would give it another week, but a match-up against the Titans is very appealing.

Just to show how advantageous playing against the Titans has been this season, here are their positional rankings of points conceded against them so far in 2018.

  • HOK – 7th
  • FRF – 7TH
  • 2RF – 3rd
  • HFB – 1st
  • 5/8 – 1st
  • CTW – 3rd
  • FLB – 1st

It’s honestly like free money if you own a back playing the Titans.

Whilst we’ve seen a much improved Knights side this year, they’re also still a reasonably favourable opponent for SuperCoach given that they rank 1st in points conceded to both FRF’s and CTW’s, and 3rd to 5/8’s. Jarrod Wallace and Ryan James should be solid DFS selections, whilst dare I say it, Brenko Lee could be set for yet another 60 plus point game.

NQ Cowboys v South Sydney Rabbitohs, 5.30pm, 1300SMILES Stadium       

The Cowboys remain one of the better teams to play against for forwards and thankfully the Rabbitohs boast two of the better and more SuperCoach relevant forwards in  Angus Crichton and Sam Burgess. History suggest that there could be big scores from these two this week. For those considering Burgess as a trade in option, be mindful that he could not only miss 17, but also 16 as it’s unlikely that he would back up from the international game in Denver.

South’s have also conceded a lot of points to 2RF’s, so if Jason Taumalolo is fit, then he is a definite captaincy option this round. Close to 10% have the captaincy armband on him right now and I can’t argue with that decision.

Adam Reynolds seems to be a popular trade in option this week given the dearth of half options that play in round 13. Whilst his durability has been marked as a concern given that he has already missed 3 games this season and just 7 in 2017, he did manage to play 21, 16, 17 and 23 games in the 4 seasons prior. His best SuperCoach year was in 2014, coinciding with South’s winning the premiership, where he averaged over 62 PPG.

Melbourne Storm v Manly Sea Eagles, 7.35pm, AAMI Park

The Storm have been one of the more difficult teams to score against this year and I think it matters little if Cameron Smith is there or not. They’ve conceded the least amount of points to forwards this season, so I am quite surprised to see Jake Trbojevic as the second most popular captain option this round. Not for me.

Manly certainly pulled off a fantastic win last week, but this is a different story against the Storm at home, so don’t be surprised to see a few of their better performers drop from last week. So if you’re one of the 3k or so that’s bringing in DCE this round, don’t be surprised to see him outscored by Jacks… As a DCE owner, I am actually considering not including him in my 17 this week.

The recruitment of Trent Hodkinson is another major warning sign for potential DCE owners as the former Sharks playmaker could take over the goal kicking duties.

St George-Illawarra Dragons v Canberra Raiders, 2.00pm, Glen Willow Oval

Are the wheels starting to come off for the Dragons or are Souths just actually really good? Perhaps it’s just a favourable match-up for South’s given that they got quite close to them away from home earlier in the season. With that being said, this is a danger game for them and despite it being listed as a home game for the Dragons it is being played in Mudgee.

The Dragons had matched the Storm as being one of the tougher teams to score against, conceding the least amount of points to FRF’s, 2RF’s and HFB’s in 2018. Thankfully the players of SuperCoach relevance for the Raiders are in the CTW, with the likes of Jarrod Croker, Jordan Rapana and BJ.

The Raiders leak points against 2RF’s, but who really owns Tyson Frizell, Tariq Sims or even Jack De Belin? Do consider them for DFS though.

Interestingly the Raiders have conceded the least amount of points to 5/8’s this season. Perhaps we are set for another down week for Gareth Widdop…

Cronulla Sharks v Canterbury Bulldogs, 4.10pm, Southern Cross Group Stadium

Rhys Martin is set to be traded in by over 15,000 people this round and for good reason given he is available at basement price, has a 2RA of 65 and is starting at lock for the Bulldogs. The only person that could be possibly more popular than Martin this week is Nick, who will be happily shouting anyone who asks a drink this Friday at the Caxton… Another positive for the soon to be Martin owners is that the Sharks have conceded plenty of points against 2RF’s this year.

Surprisingly the Sharks have conceded the least amount of points to CTW’s and FLB’s this season, but who really owns any of the Bulldogs outside backs? On the hand, the Dogs have been leaking points to outside backs all year, so consider Valentine Holmes for DFS or even Perfect 8 this Sunday.

Over 10% of all owners are running with Andrew Fifita as their captain for round 11. I think that this is a pretty big gamble given that Paul Gallen looks like he will be returning to the side this weekend. Fifita has played minutes of 73, 69, 68 and 80 over the past month without Gallen, so don’t expect these sort of numbers with the former NSW captain back in the side.

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WeninRome

Wenin is one of the founding fathers of the NRLSCTalk website who's Tuesday Teams Analysis has been a feature post on the site for close to a decade. He also loves a good steak bet!

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Sonnysideup
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Sonnysideup

Thanks Wenin….just in time for my Perfect 8 picks!!!!
How can you say there are no decent VC oc C options in the first three games. Roosters v Broncos…..hello. Only hard part is choosing which Rooster to put the C on smile

evilmacca
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Boooo …. even if you may be correct *sigh* sheesh the broncs have been bad this year! Get rid of Bird I say!!

Oh, great write up as usual Wenin!!

BT
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BT

Nice one Wenin. Thanks for the stat on Widdop against the Raiders. Confirms my thinking of ARey this week, Widdop next….

Sams seals
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Sams seals

Arey to Widdop next week after the glass man goes down again?

BT
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BT

Ha! Not gonna happen!

DCE2011
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DCE2011

Terrific, thought-provoking analysis, Wenin.

Souffs
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Souffs

Thanks so much Wenin. Do you think TPJ can handle the extra minutes or will they negatively effect his score?

polarbear
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polarbear

Last Reserve thanks:
TU Lane
TD Martin

carlosthedwarf
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Great stuff Wenin. Mau is certainly appealing but I just couldn’t stomach paying $600k for him now.

Catfish
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Just to expand on the Ma’u point, he started playing a mixture of edge and then lock when the likes of Kenny Edwards came on. That saw him play minutes of closer to 60 when no injuries occurred – but he’s had extended minutes (including a full game last week) in the past few weeks as Beau Scott went down injured after just 20 mins, Alvaro got knocked out, plus plenty of other HIAs that the Eels are notorious for lately. I just can’t see how that role really continues as Brown will slot back in at lock and get… Read more »

magee
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magee

Have a good night at the Caxton and at Suncorp lads. Would like to see a few pics of the festivites on Twitter.