Head-to-Head Focus: Buys and avoids

Rather than the usual overall view, we look at the specific trades that will help head-to-head players beat their mates.

H2H Focus

Welcome to the first edition of the buy or avoid segment for head-to-head players.

Each week we will be analysing players relevant to head-to-head SuperCoaches, rather than the usual overall perspective.

Whilst there may be some overlap of players relevant to overall SuperCoaches, this segment will focus on players that can help you climb your league ladder and take out a championship.

The most prolific change to head-to-head strategy is that bye-planning over the Origin period is far less of a concern, giving you a greater range of elite players to recruit.

*Scroll down to the bottom of the page for a key on all SuperCoach relevant abbreviations.

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Bradman Best (CTW/FLB) – $240,700

Best is currently out with a fractured foot and is due back in Round 4. Last year he played three games to end the season with a 37PPG average.

He had impressed the Knights coaching staff and all but secured the left centre spot before he was injured. I am confident he will walk back into that spot over Tuala once he is healthy.

A non-playing reserve (NPR) is very handy for head-to-head players because you can use them for the VC loophole.

Overall players typically won’t use the VC loophole early in the season because they will get an auto-emergency (AE) with a very low score.

As a head-to-head player, there are times where your VC goes massive compared to your opponent and you can take their score with an AE for a safe win.

You could get a cheaper NPR that might get a spot in the future such as Jake Alvero or Greg Leleisiuao, but I will be starting the season with Best in my side to save a trade in the future.

Toby Rudolf (FRF) – $171,900

After a strong preseason, Rudolf has secured his spot on the bench at the Sharks. The big 24-year-old won’t be demanding big minutes, but he is at rock bottom price and John Morris has faith in him. As a bottom dollar cheapie with good job security, he will be a lock in my side so I can put more money into other positions.

Bailey Simonsson (CTW/FLB) – $356,800

Simonsson averaged 38PPG last year with a number of games off the bench. When he played 80-minutes he averaged 44PPG.

In 2020, he has secured the left wing spot outside Jarrod Croker and Jack Wighton, who the Raiders send most of their attack through.

The Raiders have a soft draw to start the season and without Jordana Rapana this year, they need someone to take the tough runs from the back in his place.

He will improve from his average last year in this role and with his small ownership, I believe he can get some attacking stats on top of his decent base to get you some head-to-head wins.

The bonus is that he will play fullback if something happens to CNK.

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Valentine Holmes (FLB) – $563 700

The fullback position has a number of elite guns with Teddy, Turbo, Ponga and Papenhuyzen all competing for only two spots in your team.

In my opinion, Val is not in the same elite tier as these players and it will take him a while to get there.

He had some nice touches in the trials and had a cracking finish to 2018 with an 89PPG average in the back half of the season.

However, don’t forget it took him 18 months at fullback to get to that average, before that he was averaging 51PPG at fullback for the Sharks.

Now he is coming into a new team with 12 months out of the game, so it is going to take him some time before he finds those big scores consistently.

Your head-to-head opponents are likely going to have two of the elite fullback options. In order to compete with your opponents you also need to have two of these elite guns.

I know Val is a little bit cheaper, but going up to Ponga only costs $70,600 more and doesn’t disadvantage you as much as starting with Val would. I personally will be running a Turbo and Papenhuyzen combo.

Jamayne Taunoa-Brown (FRF) – $171,900

Taunoa-Brown, or JTB, has scored himself a bench role for the Warriors in Round 1.

He may look like a good option at bottom dollar, but he doesn’t have the job security that Rudolf or other cheapie options have.

Both Curran and Paasi are out injured for the Warriors and are due back in Round 2. The Warriors have never been that forthcoming or accurate with their injury updates, but there is a real risk one of these players will take his role in Round 2.

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Enari Tuala (CTW) – $285,400

Tuala will be lining up at left centre for Newcastle in Round 1. After a poor season at the Cowboys last year averaging 31PPG he has moved to Newcastle for a fresh start.

As we mentioned in the buys, Bradman Best will presumably take Tuala’s spot in Round 4 and SuperCoaches should look elsewhere for cheapie options.

Zane Tetevano (FRF/2RF) – $310,700

Tetevano has moved to Penrith after averaging 33PPG and 37MPG with the Roosters last year.

He has been named to start in the front-row for Penrith in Round 1. However, this may not be his starting spot for long.

James Fisher-Harris had surgery over the off-season and has had a very limited preseason.

Ivan Cleary has named JFH on the bench in Round 1 to ease him into the year. JFH will eventually make his way into the starting line-up for Yeo at lock or Tetevano at prop.

I can’t recommend bringing Tetevano in before we see where JFH goes and we see consistent minutes. I also think there are safer options at this price to bring in instead of him.


MPG = Minutes per game

PPG = Points per game

PPM= Points per minute

BPG = Base per game (point accrued in tackles + runs + missed tackles)

POD = Point of difference

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