Decision Time: Answering the big questions

The SC Spy answers the week's big questions, this round he's focusing on the battle to replace Moses and Munster.

Decision Time

Generally in this column I will look across a bunch of different key questions for the week, but with so many Mitch Moses owners out there, including myself, I thought it may be best to delve a little deeper into his replacement options.

This info will also help Cam Munster owners, although it is noted there are some extra replacement options at 5/8 including Cody Walker and Luke Keary who I don’t look at in-depth here.

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

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So, who is the best replacement for Mitch Moses?

Back to halfback and for me Nathan Cleary should be easily the best HFB this year, so if you can afford it, do what you can do to bring him in.

I will analyse the rest of the guys below for those who aren’t/can’t grab Cleary or for those who will take Cleary and then one of the below guys at 5-8 like I will.

Many people are saying Shaun Johnson and many people will likely go this way, but to be honest I’m not convinced he is an automatic selection.

Whilst he has been really good in terms of try-assists and kicking goals, his floor is quite low this year now that he has basically lost his running game.

On the flipside SJ has one of the easiest draws on paper for the year across the next five weeks.

He is a solid option with the decision possibly coming down to your rank.

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If you have, like me, fallen behind the eight ball over the last few weeks due to the absolute injury carnage (and missing Teddy’s 199!), then you may need to go against the grain and look for another option.

I will also add that if you are split 50-50 like I am on SJ and one of the below guys perhaps SJ’s injury history could clinch the decision. Lots to think about!

Kyle Flanagan or Dylan Brown. Flanagan is goal-kicking at the Roosters who can pile on 50 any day of the week and on top of this he loves a sneaky try backing up.

Additionally he makes a heap of tackles which helps his floor. The risk on Kyle Flanno is that if he has an off day with the boot and the Roosters happen to have a semi quiet day in terms of tries scored he is at risk of a low score.

I don’t see this as any different to SJ though and the Chooks are incredible whilst the Sharks still have a question mark on them. It’s a tough call between them.

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Dylan Brown may have the best base of all three guys due to lots of tackling and a love of running the ball.

Where he falls down is not owning the goal-kicking duties and he will often start a backline movement which means he doesn’t always get try-assists as Gutho throws the money ball to Sivo (but does get contributions).

I will add that he will have a bit more responsibility with Moses out, but personally I don’t see how it changes his game too much as he already gets the ball when he wants it.

It may increase his forced drop outs however which could be a major bonus. Does the extra attention hurt him? Probably not the way he plays. Overall I’ll back him to average similar to his year to date, but he does have a tougher draw than the other guys, otherwise he may well be the man.

It’s just harder to knock out a ton against better teams and both SJ and Flanagan have easier games coming up.

Below I’ve broken down the top four halfback averages along with the lowest and highest scores this season, their next five games and their breakevens. This will help you decide on who you want to pick up.

Nathan Cleary

Average 77.4

Lowest 39

Highest 99 & 100

Fixtures: West Tigers, Cronulla Sharks, North Queensland Cowboys, Gold Coast Titans, Manly

BE 42

Kyle Flanagan  

Average 62.6

Lowest 36

Highest 118

Fixtures: Melbourne, North Qld Cowboys, Canberra, Warriors, Titans

BE 86

Shaun Johnson

Average 62.9

Lowest 22 & 28

Highest 95

Fixtures: Titans, Penrith, Warriors, St George, Brisbane

BE 35

Dylan Brown

Average 62.3

Lowest 35

Highest 123

Fixtures: North Qld, Newcastle, Manly, West Tigers, Bulldogs

BE 81

As you can see above, Cleary is a stand out and has a nice run whilst there is basically nothing between the other three so far this season.

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Other options who could produce

Kodi Nikorima

Has averaged 67PPG since moving to starting five-eighth and has a good next three weeks

Daly Cherry-Evans

Brodie Croft

Very cheap but risky pending how Brisbane go with an easier draw

Ash Taylor

Jahrome Hughes

Another Option?

The final option is actually to hold Moses depending who your back up halfback is and what other fires you need to put out in your team.

Moses is severely undervalued at the moment (down $130K) and if you could cover him for 2-3 weeks and he does return at that point in time then that could be the smart play with the Eels facing the Tigers, Dogs, Sharks and the Dragons in four weeks’ time.

Personally, I don’t have a backup half at the moment with Averillo out and I want Cleary regardless, so I’m going to bite the bullet and move on.

For what it’s worth I think Moses is playing really good footy this season but he has been unlucky to a degree and that injury last round really dropped his average after having three try-assists disallowed in the first 30 minutes before hobbling off.

Summing Up

For me personally I’ll be bringing in Cleary for Moses 100%, and likely either SJ or Flanagan for Munster.

Dollars are also important depending on your team and for me the tiebreak could be that SJ looks like possibly making more money over the next three weeks with his current BE then Flanagan.

This will make it easier to get Munster back if he happens to return in quick time. But as usual that is only based on projections that in real life could change in a heartbeat. 

Ahh Supercoach! I’ll need until Thursday night to make my mind up here! Best of luck for whichever option you go with.

As usual I’m happy to discuss on Twitter @SCSpy1 or at the bottom of this article in the comments section.

Help support the future of the site by signing up to SC Playbook for detailed SuperCoach analysis from hundreds of additional articles throughout the 2020 NRL season.

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

3RA = Three round average

5RA = Five round average

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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