Big Tino also copped a two week suspension but I was moving him on anyway. I’m still not sure for who though? Payne Haas is a standout due to his consistency and pedigree, but he will likely play Origin.
With seven games scheduled instead of six for Haas (won’t play first bye if picked) does someone like Tevita Pangai Junior come into the reckoning?
If Haas averages 70 over that time then TPJ only has to average 65 points to get an extra 35 points for me with upside during the bye week.
He comes with serious risk though. I think I will forego Matt Lodge, Luke Thompson and co because I am chasing upside.
Currently it’s a split decision and I may even buy Haas and then move him on pre-bye period or just keep him long-term as a set-and-forget in a tough front-row. If I go with TPJ I will then rotate again for the second bye and go from there.
I think it’s important to look at the two bye rounds as a whole. I want around 25 players ideally across the two weeks because it means I can then keep a decent amount of my stars who will likely play Origin.
These being Ryan Papenhuyzen, James Tedesco, Nathan Cleary, David Fifita and Angus Crichton (who will explode soon).
The first bye looks far easier to manage, so try to capitalise on this if you already own a bunch of guys who play Round 13.
For ease of reference, there is a button above your team that allows you to check who plays each bye round, but be aware you need to put a line through Origin players.
Check your numbers and see how you are sitting because if needed you can get trading now, but I think all trades should still have a focus on the byes outside of premium guns of course who can generally come in at any time, except for a couple of weeks before Origin as it might be a waste.
I promise trades will run low, so if you can save any please do it. Don’t forget that for every gun you drop for the byes you will need them back after Origin, so try to rotate out guys who you can tend to live without long-term just in case trades don’t allow you to get them back later on.
I also don’t mind taking one less player in the bye week if it means keeping a certified star in your side because you have to trade them out and then trade them back. Two trades each time for a keeper!
SECOND BYE (ROUND 17)
Don’t be afraid to grab a decent option for the second bye if you are set up pretty well first the first one.
Someone like Curran next week could well be cheap, scoring points and will make $$ so lock him in and hopefully he is there come the second bye.
In saying that, if it’s a split decision between two players get the guy who plays the first bye and lock in those points in case carnage hits down the line and things get tricky towards the second bye due to injuries, surprise Origin selections and so on.
For example, if you can play 16 or 17 decent players in the initial bye then you can survive with 8 or so for the second one if necessary.
YOU DON’T HAVE TO HOLD
Take someone like Charlie Staines for example who is locked in for the first bye. He clearly has scores of 15 in him, so if you have an option for an upgrade you can still take it because even though Staines plays the first bye he may only score 15-20 in which case he would barely be worth keeping.
This is only an example, it could be any player who is struggling to produce. Just because they add up to a bye number it doesn’t mean they are an automatic hold.
Another example for me would be that I really want Reed Mahoney, so if it needs to be at the expense of a decent player like Jayden Brailey who also plays the first bye then I will still do it if I think it’s worth a trade (averaging 10-15+ more PPG).
In the case of Staines, for me personally I can sell either him or Alex Johnson to a gun centre in the coming weeks and I think I’m willing to lose Staines and keep AJ even as a non-player some weeks as they are similar prices, but AJ’s upside and Origin period schedule is fantastic, he is on the favoured edge at Souths and come second bye week I’ll already own him.
If I keep Staines purely for the first bye round he may only score me an extra 20 for the trouble and be a less reliable option moving forward. Something to consider anyway! (Note – If I do this Staines better not score 100 in Round 13!!)
As a final note, consider decent players v average SC players. For each bye week you could hypothetically have 10 guys who collectively average 60PPG or six guys who average 60PPG and eight who average 30PPG.
That would add up to 600 points for option 1 and 600 points for team 2 + say 80 for skipper. In this instance I’d much prefer team one because it is 10 players v 14 and if you can save a few trades by having less players of better quality then that is ideal!
Again, something to consider when trading in, don’t just waste a trade to get a guy who may get you 20 or 25 in the bye week.
Good luck this weekend! Let me know your thoughts on the above as it can be a tricky beast to tackle and there are different ways of doing it. For the record I’m most likely to straight captain Cleary again this week.