Key targets for super trade week: Forwards

PART ONE, FORWARDS. 2019 runner-up Walson Carlos breaks down all the major trade options for Round 3.

Final Word

Not long to go now SuperCoaches. Here’s hoping that we get through to the 28th May and get some footy up and going.

There’s so many things to consider in the restart to the comp. Given I’m languishing in the 28,000 rankings after two rounds, I was happy to see the five trades made available before we head into Round 3.

I have some serious recon work to do on my team. The temptation is to bring in the players who killed it in the first two rounds and have negative break evens and look set to be cash cows.

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

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Many will do this. But consider your choices carefully because sometimes it can pay to be judicious and if you can nail a POD player in a position against the grain of the majority you can make a serious move up the rankings.

However, if you miss the must-have player then you’ll be scrambling to get them in.

So many variables come into consideration including rule changes, the significant break in the season, possible same day travel implications for teams travelling to another state to play, certain players not being eligible to play in certain states due to not having flu shots and most notably the draw which is yet to be released at the time of writing!

Anyway, here’s the rundown of the players you should be considering trading into your team or keeping them if you already have them in your line up.

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HOOKERS

MUST-HAVE

Api Koroisau ($338,800)

You’ve probably got him in anyway with the start he has had. With Damien Cook performing below par in SC scoring mainly due to an inexplicable reluctance to run and get tackled with the ball, Koroisau looks like he could be owned by up to 60% of teams by the resumption of the comp.

Yes, he has been injury prone in the past and I do sometimes hold my breath when he charges into tackles, but he’s a must-have.

So who’s my second hooker with Api? Here’s your options as I see it…

Cameron Smith ($684,600)

Cameron Smith…… delivering as promised. The first two rounds he registered a 70 and another 70. Quality scores. Consistent. Producing scores up to his price. Can’t complain. Solid option if you are happy to pay up for him.

Harry Grant ($184,900)

To me this is the player you have to have as your second hooker for SuperCoach. Grant is a quality player. How good you ask?

As unbelievable as this sounds, he could well be in the top-5 hookers in the NRL such is his quality.

Grant has done his apprenticeship in the best system for developing young elite talent in the NRL. The same system that brought us Cam Smith, Billy Slater, Cooper Cronk, Greg Inglis, Cam Munster (albeit at a more mature age) and the rest.

Melbourne know how to identify talent, particularly from Qld, and they know how to nurture it. Grant is ready to show the NRL world just how good he is.

He’s super fit and he’s hungry to seize his opportunity. I can see Michael Maguire playing him 80 minutes from the very start and I can see him punching out big SC scores. How big?

I think he’ll average 60+ possibly even more and at his price even a rookie SuperCoach knows that he’s a must-have.

The only question left for me is when do you trade him in? Most SuperCoaches will want to have a look for a week or two and that probably is the conservative approach.

Plus, if you’re one of the 51% of teams that have Blayke Brailey you might want to wait for your investment to mature.

I’m seriously considering getting ahead of the trend and bringing him in straight away.

If the Tigers name a bench without an interchange hooking option I think that will seal the deal for me.

And the Moneymaker i$$$$ ……………………………..

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Blayke Brailey ($201,000)

Brailey is what I thought he’d be at the start of the year. A short-term money-making option. But not a player you can really trust yet to be good enough for your top 17 every week.

51% of Supercoaches have him and he will serve you well if he matures and makes you $75k+. But he’s not a long-term proposition for a second hooker option in my mind.

In positions like hooker, half, 5/8th and fullback where you only have one back up it’s ideal to have a genuine option you can play in your 17 in case of injury.

Otherwise you are forced to play an inferior player and cop the points hit or trade out your number one choice in that position even though the injury or suspension might be short-term.

If you are one of the 49% of SuperCoaches that don’t have Brailey do yourself a favour and bring in Grant instead.  

FRONT-ROW FORWARDS

MUST-HAVE

Payne Haas ($728,200)

Your time is too precious to waste by rambling about Haas. You’ve got to have him to even be a chance in SC, so get him in.

Serious considerations ………

David Klemmer ($617,400)

A bit like Cameron Smith, if you were building the most reliable and consistent SuperCoach team Klemmer would be in it. As yet his ceiling isn’t really anything to get you excited, but he’s dependable.

Alex Twal ($492,200)

A lot of SuperCoaches are getting very excited by Alex Twal and rightfully so. In Rounds 1 and 2 he was a base stat beast and I can see it continuing.

There are some interesting factors that do need consideration before proceeding without caution however.

Both games players in the middle rotation for the Tigers got injured, seeing Twal possibly get inflated minutes.

More relevant to me is that in both games the Tigers played this year Maguire had four forwards on the bench.

That is his coaching philosophy. It’s what he believes in and tries to work towards with his teams.

It’s the reason why he will free up some money and cap space and let Josh Reynolds go back to Canterbury if they want him and keep developing Billy Walters in reserve grade as insurance.

He also has Moses Mbye sitting in the centres now he’s back from injury who is entirely capable of slotting into halves, hooker and fullback position should injuries hit key positions.

This doesn’t mean Twal is a no-go, but it should give SuperCoaches some pause before rushing to trade him in. Despite all that I think I’ll get him.  

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Pat Carrigan ($326,300) FRF/2RF

For me Carrigan is more than just a money-maker. He can be a 4th reserve or 18th man in a really solid SC side.

There’s a few things to play out positionally with the stacked Broncos forward pack but I think he keeps his spot and probably plays 60-70 minutes a game.

For now I’m holding him until I see how things materialise with the impending return of Glenn, Lodge, Ofahengaue, TPJ and in a few weeks Fifita.

Addin Fonua-Blake ($612,900)

AFB at 2% ownership is another serious POD consideration. I think he is refusing the flu needle at the moment so keep a close eye on that because you don’t want a player that can’t play interstate. His slow start to Round 1 means you could get him at a bit of a discount in a week or two also.

Marty Taupau ($571,200)

Kapow is cheaper than AFB and generally plays an average of 5-8 minutes less per game. He has started well and at 12% is somewhat of a POD. He’s a fair play also but like AFB you are paying significant dollars for him.

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And the money-maker$$$$ …

Emre Guler ($220,700), Tui Kamakamica ($295,800), Thomas Flegler 2RF/FRF ($294,900), Jamayne Taunoa-Brown ($171,900), Toby Rudolf ($171,900)

All of the above are genuine money-makers but all have question marks hanging over either their place on the interchange bench and/or their minutes with injured players returning.

The exception to that is probably Rudolf, however it will be interesting if his impending signing by the Warriors for the next three seasons might see his spot in jeopardy.

JTB and Guler’s spots are both tenuous at best with multiple players returning from injury for both their sides. Watch team lists closely.

SECOND-ROW FORWARDS

Must have……

Jason Taumalolo ($723,400)

Not as well owned as Haas but still owned by nearly 46% of SuperCoaches. You’re rolling the dice if you don’t have him because he is capable of going big in any round like he showed in Round 2 where he scored a try and registered a 99.

If he’s not in your side like me this might be the perfect opportunity to get him in.

Serious considerations

Ryan Matterson ($626,200)

Just under 15% owned, Matterson is rock solid and has upside. Expect his combination with Moses and his fellow right side players to grow as the year goes on. You can’t go wrong if you have the cash to get him.

Luciano Leilua ($434,300)

It’s risk-reward with Leilua. I don’t think you can expect him to score a try every game like he did through the first two rounds. It is however feasible for him to create linebreak assists and try-assists along with offloads. He’s a creative attacking player and that’s the nature of his game.

If Maguire sticks with him for 80 minutes a game it’s a decent investment in an underpriced player.

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Jai Arrow ($575,700)

He’s only marginally off fulfilling his value in the first two weeks with a 56.5 point average and there were mitigating circumstances in both games.

Round 1 the mail was he was battling illness and therefore had reduced minutes and Round 2 he was moved to the edge due to injuries and the Titans hardly saw the ball as the Eels ran riot.

I’m going to give him a few weeks and see how things shake out at the Titans.

With Cartwright seemingly unlikely to play due to turning down the flu shot, coach Justin Holbrook has an interesting decision to make.

Arrow may well find himself on an edge which might see his Supercoach game take a hit like Cam Murray.

Cam Murray ($644,900)

As much as I love Cam Murray ,I just don’t think I can find it in myself to keep him when I could upgrade him to bring in Lolo or Matterson.

I thought the edge experiment would work wonders for his SC game, but it didn’t look great the first two rounds.

Similar to the Latrell fullback experiment, I think Bennett is pot committed and will give it at least another month before he blows it up if it’s not working. He’s a stubborn old coach.

Murray’s too good a player to not come good at some stage during the season though, so keep a close eye on him and maybe you can pick him up mid-season at a significant discount from his starting price.

David Fifita ($501,900)

Nearly 47% of SuperCoaches have him. What to do….what to do? It’s a lot of money to be sitting on the pine in a key position.

In saying that, as soon as Fifita is fit and healthy he is probably in the elite company of Lolo as a must-have. I understand people trading him out for the money. Just make sure you are in a position to get him back in when the time comes.

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And the money-maker$$$$ …

Eliesa Katoa ($171,900), Jayden Su’A ($303,600), Coen Hess (354,000), Jamil Hopoate ($171,900)

I saw Katoa in the trials and he is something special. Definitely a ray of light for the Warriors in what was a dismal start to the season.

I expect him to keep either a starting spot on the left edge or at least a bench spot.

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That is unless Josh Curran usurps him somehow. Su’A’s spot is not in question and he will be a solid slow burner that could make you $50k+. Hess I can’t have but he does look good.

Hopoate will make significant money while he’s starting but with the depth of talent to come back into that forward pack it’s hard to see him being in the 17 past round 4.  

In the next edition, I’ll cover the major backline contenders for the season return.

SUPERCOACH TERMINOLOGY KEY

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

BREAKEVEN (B/E) = The score a player must record to earn a price rise.

*Please note all our stats are taken from the geniuses at nrlsupercoachstats.com

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