POD Hunter: Unique players to find an edge, Rd 8

We take a look at the best low-ownership options to set you apart from SuperCoach BBL rivals.

Champion PODs

We had an early preview of the upcoming round’s double game week teams when the Heat took on the Thunder.

Interestingly, the Heat have been turning their season around whilst steadily getting a few players back. Unfortunately, however, a number of their players could become less relevant due to heavy rain predicted for their first match.

If the forecast does improve, the Heat probably offer a better range of POD selections then the Thunder. This includes the likes of Mark Steketee (5% owned), Lewis Gregory (2.2% owned), Joe Denly (0.1% owned) and Joe Burns (1.4% owned).

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Steketee just keeps taking wickets and should continue to do so. He was also named to bat at eight last match, so he could grab a few handy runs at some stage.

Gregory’s role is perfectly suited to SuperCoach, batting at five and striking regularly with the ball. His bowling has been a bit expensive though. It’s likely for this reason he didn’t bowl his full allotment last match.

Joe Denly looks like he’ll regularly anchor the Heat’s batting innings. This should provide him plenty of opportunity to score SuperCoach points.

Joe Burns found real freedom with the bat last match to reverse his form. He should see some nice price rises in the coming weeks.

There are less PODs on offer than genuine guns from the Thunder. Nonetheless, there are a few worth considering, particularly in the mid-price range.

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First off, Callum Ferguson (11.4% owned) could offer an alternative to those who can’t afford Alex Hales. He looks in good touch with the bat and has registered 2 x 80+ point scores and 1 x 70+ point score this season. He has a relatively high ceiling, with 2 x 120+ point scores last season.

Chris Green (7.7% owned) looks to me to be the best POD of the Thunder bowlers. I probably underestimated him in last round’s article. He is a T20 specialist who looks to be bowling with real guile at the moment. Unfortunately, he won’t come cheap. I expect he’ll be around $160k after lockout.

Sam Billings (1.3% owned) looks a handy POD selection for anyone in need of a wicketkeeper, as discussed in last round’s POD and Final Word articles. After this round, you could then look to move him to the likes of Nicholas Pooran or Josh Inglis for their DGW.

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Speaking of Stars and Scorchers, there are a wealth of PODs available from these sides. The weather forecast for the Heat game means that these players warrant even more of a look.

I overlooked Marcus Stoinis (38.2% owned) for last round’s POD article. Good news is you can still get him before a lot of other teams. His ownership likely includes a large percentage of inactive SC teams.

It sounds as though Stoinis could be back bowling sometime in the next few rounds, which will make him even more of an SC weapon. He averaged 65 points last year with just the one wicket for the season. The season before that he was bowling regularly, resulting in a whopping 97-point average!

We’ve recently looked at Jhye Richardson (14.3% owned) as a POD option from the Scorchers. Another to consider is their opening batsman and part-time leg spinner, Liam Livingstone (4.2% owned). Livingstone was a SC gun last season due to his exploits with bat and ball. Due to a lesser role with the ball this season, he’s dropped around $30k (pre price changes).

Livingstone’s first chance with the ball came in round 6, when he claimed 1 for 13 from 1 over (the Renegades were bowled out in 13 overs). He’s an excellent POD if he continues to get opportunities to bowl.

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Fawad Ahmed (4.3% owned) is another Scorcher who’s lost a lot of value, coming at a $40k discount prior to this round ($99.3k pre price changes). He’s a very smart bowler who had two x 120+ scores last season.

It really is SC bargains galore from the Scorchers. Jason Behrendorff (4.2% owned) is also great value ($109.1k pre price changes). He’s been relatively quiet with the ball so far this season. However, I get the feeling that could change at any minute, particularly with a few overs now under his belt.

There’s not a whole lot that interests me outside of the four sides with a DGW remaining. Although two players I’ll be watching closely, who are now at a bargain price, are Matt Renshaw (8.3% owned, $66.2k pre price changes) and Beau Webster (1.5% owned, $78k pre price changes).

Both these players bowl part-time off-spin, were good with the bat last season and have a spinner exiting their team (Khan from the Strikers and Nabi from the Renegades). Webster could also move up the batting order with Shaun Marsh and Rilee Rossouw currently unavailable.

While I’m at it, Jack Prestwidge (2.1% owned) has the makings of a SuperCoach gun. He showed this with both bat and ball in round 6, resulting in a score of 95 points. Prestwidge has a score of 13 about to drop out of his rolling average so he should be going up from his round 7 price of $101k.

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Verdict

Round 8 is trickier than it looks due to the weather forecast for the Heat game. I don’t see many PODs that interest me from the Thunder, whereas there are plenty from the Heat, Stars and Scorchers.

I like a move to Sam Billings who can then be traded to Pooran or Inglis. However, this may not be worth it if you currently have a gun at wicketkeeper (e.g. Philippe).

Gregory and Steketee look the highest ceiling POD options from the Heat. They’re solid trade-ins if the weather forecast changes. Even so, I’d probably prefer to get Stoinis in before he skyrockets in price. I’d say he’ll be far higher ownership in a round or two.  

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I think Liam Livingstone has the best upside of the Scorcher PODs mentioned. Whilst I like Behrendorff as the best value at this stage. I’ve written this article prior to the Scorchers vs Sixers game, which I’ll be keeping a close eye on to assess trade options.

If it’s even possible it looks like we’ll have more cricket to watch this week, with the Third Test starting and two BBL games on 7 Jan! Enjoy and good luck for round 8.

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