Once again, round 9 saw a series of monster scores for popular players, meaning that the difference between owning or captaining one or two guys could literally cost you thousands of places on the rankings.
What a season it has been. We now have a crazy nine scores above 150 through the first nine rounds, including six in the past three weeks. Later in this article I’ve included a deep dive on scores above 100 this year.
Let’s go through the ownership of players in each position after round 9.
As we work through each position, this week I will highlight one potential POD (or super-POD) to consider based on what I consider low levels of ownership versus performance – especially with the upcoming bye round coming up.
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What more can be said about Tommy Turbo? Four games this season for three tons, two early showers, a four game average of 123 and a crazy 2.4 points per minute in those four games. Not surprisingly, almost all leading teams now own Turbo and captaining him last week had a huge bearing on your overall score and rank.
Kalyn Ponga posted another ton and would loom as an interesting POD option to accompany Turbo if it wasn’t for Origin. As it stands, I’m assuming that Teddy, Turbo, Papenhuyzen and Ponga all play Origin leaving Gutho as the standout fullback playing in Round 13. At his current level of ownership, however, he hardly counts as a POD.
With the long term injuries last week to Brett Morris, Zac Lomax and Corey Thompson, we saw some reasonable trade activity at CTW. As you would expect, ownership in those three players plummeted as did the ownership of Kurt Capewell (-14%), Charlie Staines (-7%…unlucky timing) and Fanitesi Niu (-6%). Collectively, more than 50% of teams traded a CTW last week.
In terms of players that attracted interest, the most popular recruits included Tyrone Peachey (+11%), Jamayne Isaako (+10%), Brian To’o (+8%), Reimis Smith (+8%), Bradman Best (+6%), Nicholas Hynes (+3%), Maika Sivo (+3%) and Valentine Holmes (+3%) – the result being that we have more variation at CTW which makes it more interesting at least!
Thinking about POD options heading into round 13, CTW is abundant with choice – players such as Tyrone Peachey, David Nofoaluma, Jamayne Isaako, Maika Sivo, Reimis Smith, Bradman Best, Brian Kelly, Jack Bird and Stephen Crichton all play round 13 and won’t be playing Origin – in addition to the heavily owned Daine Laurie, Brian To’o (potentially?!), Blake Ferguson and potentially Kurt Capewell. In contrast, round 17 is going to be a nightmare at CTW!
Perhaps separating my CTW table into ‘playable’ versus ‘unplayable’ CTWs was just the kick up the backside these guys needed to score. Simonsson (79), Staines (115), Saab (94) and Coates (85) all put up fantastic scores – much to the frustration of those of us who sold last week or watched them scoring whilst sitting on the pine.
There was very little action at five-eighth last week although that will certainly change this week with news that Cameron Munster is now out for two weeks – an unexpected blow for just under 50% of teams.
I’ve added Adam Doueihi to the table this week. He looked like a super-POD at five-eighth heading into round 13, but being switched to centre this week (why??) is surely a blow to those who own him. It’s also worth noting that the Tigers play the Panthers in round 13 – and whilst they will be without their Origin stars they still look to have a gun side likely available that week.
Will we finally see some changes in ownership at halfback this week? No doubt the sight of Sam Walker clutching his ankle last week had many Supercoaches starting to think about other options, and I note that some teams are already taking the cash and trading Sam to Tyson Gamble.
In terms of super-PODs, surely Jahrome Hughes must rank close to number 1? Owned by just 0.3% of the top 10,000 teams, Hughes plays round 13 and has a 5RA of 96 (including tons in three of his last four games). If you are still not convinced, take a look at the Storm’s draw over the next six weeks!
There was plenty of trade action at 2RF in the past week.
Key players sold off include Ben Condon (-21% across the top 10,000 teams), Kurt Capewell (-14%), Ryan James (-12%), Teig Wilton (-8%), Tino Fa’asuamaleauai (-7%) and Cameron Murray (-5%).
These players were replaced with Tevita Pangai Jr (+29%), Josh Curran (+16%), Tyrone Peachey (+11%), Isaiah Papali’i (+9%), Tohu Harris (+8%), Corey Harawira-Naera (+5%) and Tyrell Fuimaono (+4%). Curran is now the second most owned 2RF behind just David Fifita.
Ryan Matterson is the obvious POD pick up at 2RF who plays round 13, but I suspect his POD status will be long gone by then! With his history of concussions though he’s a hard guy to 100% trust.
With David Fifita now missing three of the next four weeks, Supercoaches have a big decision to make. Whilst he is a must for the run home, it’s very hard to justify having $852k sitting on the pine. With a breakeven of 144 he’s surely a sell and then bring him back after Round 13 when he’s $30k cheaper or so.
Leaving aside dual 2RF/FRFs that we have already covered, the main action at FRF last week was in relation to Payne Haas whose ownership increased by 5% and Stefano Utoikamano whose ownership fell by 6%.
I’m hard pressed to find a POD option at FRF that plays round 13. Maybe David Klemmer but I think I’ll pass.
Not much trade action at hooker last week, but that could be set to change this week with Jake Simpkin relegated back to the extended bench for the Tigers. You couldn’t be comfortable starting either Simpkin or Liddle right now.
Harry Grant and Brandon Smith are both out for the Storm which impacts another 10% of teams. For those looking for a POD that plays round 13, Api Koroisau is going to be cheap in 2-3 weeks’ time!
Round 9 Captaincy Choices
After Friday night I was quietly chuffed with my decision to captain Nathan Cleary. 48 hours later and suddenly Tommy Turbo posted an additional 84 points!
The four teams in the top 100 who fall in the ‘Other’ category all looped Nathan Cleary. All of them owned Tom Turbo so it must have been painful for them to watch him smash the Warriors.
The monster scores in round 9 continued a recent theme – the new rule changes clearly create the potential for some players to go nuts.
The table below shows the trend in the number of players scoring 90+, 100+ and 150+ through the first 9 rounds. We’ve already had nine scores of 150+ including six in the past three weeks. It’s worth bearing this in mind for those who consider looping.
Personally I’m not a big fan of looping (unless it is an absolute no brainer) and I think the number of big scores just means that the score required to justify looping has surely increased versus previous seasons.
The table also shows notable players who scored big each week with their cumulative number of ton this season in brackets. Jahrome Hughes was the guy who surprised me.
Breaking it down further, I’ve taken a quick look at how many tonnes each team has conceded this year. Not surprisingly, my Bulldogs head the list with 13 ton conceded in nine rounds whilst the Panthers are yet to concede a ton all year.
So who to captain in Round 10? There are a stack of options this week. Turbo up against the Broncos will no doubt be popular as will Cleary versus the Titans. Ponga owners should be all over him against the Tigers as a POD captain (refer to table above!) whilst even Teddy could bang out a big score against the Cowboys. Good luck choosing a captain out of that lot!
Best of luck to everyone in Round 10. I’ll be up at Magic Round hoping the injury plagued Bulldogs can somehow get up against the Raiders.
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