“…the gap between Cleary and the next best half back is so far that the majority of us are running with Sam Walker as back up despite the fact that he’s not yet selected in the top grade. The prices just made it so hard to do otherwise, I guess. If Nathan gets injured or suspended early in the season – even for a week – it is going to cause some chaos!”
Well, unfortunately it took just seven days for that concern to come to life – and it’s chaos already. With news that Nathan Cleary (in addition to Ryan Papenhuyzen and Ryan Matterson) is out this week, 61% of the top 10,000 teams (and 58% of the top 100 teams) are without a halfback this week.
With Cleary presumably out for the lone week but a must for the season it’s a tough one…do you burn trades to bring in a replacement this week and then bring Cleary back, or ride the AE rollercoaster in week 3 with benches full of risky players?
Sign up to SC Playbook for hundreds of extra premium articles across the NRL season, including access to our subscriber special question and answer podcast.
The majority of those 61% of teams have Sam Walker as their second halfback so his price point makes it very difficult to bring in a suitable replacement too.
Personally, I think I’m going to cop the auto-emergency. I just can’t justify making two trades to bring in any of the guys available (none of whom look super reliable) and to bring Cleary back in.
In addition to halfback, the loss of Ryan Papenhuyzen and Ryan Matterson adds to the drama. Each is owned by over 60% of the top 10,000 teams and 28% of the top 10,000 teams have both Papenhuyzen, Matterson and no halfback this week. Unfortunately, I’m one of them..
I guess it could be worse…Barry at work still has no Teddy and is running with Papenhuyzen and Moylan at fullback. No, no, no…
Let’s go through the ownership of players in each position after round 2.
The table below sets out the proportion of teams in the top 100, top 500, top 1,000, top 5,000, top 10,000 and top 20,000 that own each fullback. I have then included the proportion of teams overall that own each player according to the official SuperCoach site.
Not much doing at fullback this week – ownership levels of each key player are very similar to last week. The 20% of teams who own Latrell Mitchell instead of Papenhuyzen will be hoping he has a blinder this week.
Last week I mentioned how challenging CTW is this season and week 2 didn’t make it any easier – unless of course you owned Brett Morris. After just two rounds BMoz has scored 109 points more than the second highest scoring CTW (Bradman Best). That is crazy.
Despite that, only 10% of the top 1,000 teams own BMoz – I guess his high price point and history of injuries just makes him too big a risk for most.
Fanitesi Niu and Daine Laurie each showed plenty of promise in round 2, whereas the likes of Charlie Staines, Jason Saab and David Fusitu’a are giving owners headaches – especially those of us awaiting one of their AE scores this week!
In terms of ownership biases amongst the top teams, the biggest positive differentiators at CTW so far are Brett Morris (owned by 20% of the top 100 but just 5% of the top 20,000) and Brian To’o (owned by 34% of the top 100 but just 11% of the top 20,000), whereas Jimmy the Jet (owned by 15% of the top 100 but 34% of the top 20,000) and Charlie Staines (owned by 47% of the top 100 but 76% of the top 20,000) are the most negative differentiators.
Round 2 at five-eighth was all about Luke Keary and Jarome Luai – and as a result the leading teams are more skewed towards owning one of those two guys. Week-to-week variation is normal here though – and over time I’d expect the cream to rise to the top with Cameron Munster and Cody Walker dominating…but what would I know?!
The jury is still out on Matt Moylan, Lachlan Lam and Connor Watson for mine. I own all three and I’m concerned about each. If Watson was playing 80 minutes I’d be very happy, but this bench business is killing me!
Those who brought in Anthony Milford… you were warned!
As mentioned at the outset, halfback is all about injuries this week. I suspect teams running with Keary at five-eighth have a dual position back up halfback such as Jock Madden, so those teams will be cheering for him to have a monster game this week. I suspect I’ll be one of many death riding the likes of Keary, Jamal Fogarty, Mitchell Moses and Michael Morgan.
Crichton, Taumalolo, Matterson…what a cruel start at 2RF.
Unless you own Mitch Barnett of course! 62% of the top 100 teams own Barnett versus just 22% of the top 20,000 teams and 9% overall. I suspect many of us who own Ryan Matterson will be joining that group…but we are already playing catch up. With Matterson’s history of concussions, you’d be a brave SuperCoach to keep him on the pine too long. Let’s hope he is Okay.
In better injury news, it’s great to see Ryan James back and healthy.
Round 2 saw 11 FRFs score over 70 points – that is impressive. In particular, Junior Paulo and Tevita Pangai have had huge starts and who’s to say that won’t continue against the Sharks and Bulldogs respectively?
Round 2 saw several hookers crush it – most notably Ben Hunt, Damien Cook, Jayden Brailey and Reed Mahoney. All look viable ownership options, although I’m not sure I could ride the Ben Hunt rollercoaster myself.
With the likes of Moylan, Lam and Watson all looking questionable and Api Koroisau injured, I’d expect the ownership of Brailey and Mahoney in particular to surge this week. Can they keep it up though?
Round 2 Captaincy Choices
Not surprisingly, Teddy and Cleary once again dominated captaincy selections in round 2 and neither disappointed with scores of 111 and 88 respectively.
Round 3 is a little more interesting at least. Teddy up against the Rabbitohs (who touched the Roosters up late last year) and no Cleary or Papenhuyzen may have teams looking more left field – perhaps at the likes of Mitch Barnett.
I’m sticking solid with Teddy – primarily because most other captaincy suspects have tough match ups – but I can understand teams that look wider this week.