Bye guide: Who to target in make-or-break rounds

The SC Spy takes an in-depth look at the all-important Rounds 13 and 17, including the fringe Origin players to be wary of.

Spy Talk

Troops!

Below I have created a reference guide for bye targets including the stand out targets, other targets who may produce for you, a list of those Supercoach relevant guys who will play Origin, those who are on the fridge to be wary of, as well as those who may get rested or limited minutes around Origin.

Round 13 is the first bye round and Round 17 is the second. In each of these week just eight clubs will play across four games.

Round 13: Eels, Tigers, Knights, Dragons, Storm, Broncos, Titans, Panthers

Round 17: Sharks, Cowboys, Raiders, Warriors, Sea Eagles, Roosters, Rabbitohs, Bulldogs

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RD 13 BYE WEEK GUNS

Hooker

Reed Mahoney – 78 Average. Love this guy. Base + attack. Currently in doubt this week due to concussion protocol and could leak some cash over the next two games if you can wait.

Jayden Brailey – 74 Average. Solid base with some attacking potential.

Front-row

Isaiah Papali’i – Averaging 90.Absolutely monstering it. Some question mark on minutes once Parra get a full pack back on deck. This weekend should tell us plenty. Regardless though he should be super for points with the only real risk being loss of value. Also available at second-row.

Tevita Pangai – Averaging 70 and playing some decent footy of late with 80 minutes on an edge. An excellent Round 13 target. The downside as we know is that he can be sin-binned or suspended at anytime, along with a grim injury history. Fingers crossed Kevie has him under control.

Second-row

*Both of the guys listed in the front-row above are also available in the second-row.

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Tohu Harris – Absolutely rock solid with a hint more attacking upside this year. I’ll be looking to get him in Round 14/15 as he plays the Round 17 second bye and then hold him for the remainder of the season.

Jason Taumololo – Plays second bye. Minutes watch is key moving forward.

Halfback

Jahrome Hughes – On an absolute tear. Will a decimated Melbourne side help or hinder him? Either way, a serious first bye week option!

Sam Walker – GUN! With some lower scoring games in him it seems and some injury risk given his 18-year-old frame. An option to maybe sell high and bring back before the second bye, but very risky given what he has done already.

Kodi Nikorima – Two tons and a 95 this season. A nice run from round 15-17 and could be a nice three week play pre-second bye. Averaging 72PPG and also a 5-8.

5/8

Adam Doueihi – Hopefully as an owner he doesn’t actually play centre this week, but either way he looks a good target as a Tigers focal point in attack and goal-kicker.

Shaun Johnson – A cracking Round 17 bye target if fit and firing! He could be rested at any moment though as we have seen this week with a hammy precaution it seems.

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Centre/wing

David Nofoaluma – I love this guy. I would be getting him this week or ASAP if you can in prep for the opening bye weekend.

Daine Laurie – Plays the opening bye and is only getting better based on what I’ve seen the last two weekends.

Justin Olam – Nice value and he plays for Melbourne. Enough said. First bye week.

Maika Sivo – Risky given his tendency to mix monster scores with duds. The reward is there though. Too expensive now, but if he drops in price and Gutho is throwing cut out balls he could go huge!!

Matt Ikuvalu – I love this guy. Great work rate and scores tries. Great value this week if you want to lock him in for the year. Plays the second bye.

Alex Johnston – Is a near must for the second bye week for me! Get him from Round 14 when the Rabbits face Newcastle, Brisbane, West Tigers, Cowboys (bye week) and then the Bulldogs! What a POD.

Bradman Best – Yet to really get going, but will be extreme value soon. Averaging 55 nonetheless with potential for way more.

Fullback

Clint Gutherson – Uber consistent this year averaging 85 and likely plays the first bye round! Unless he nabs the 14 jersey for NSW.

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck – Second bye week, averaging 77 and as we know he is a superstar. If you are willing to drop a FB for him it could pay off.

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BYE WEEKS – GUYS WITH POTENTIAL

Forwards

Connor Watson – Minutes an issue, but with injuries at hooker he appears to be a nice option for squad depth and to hopefully score well in Round 13. Hooker and 5-8.

Mitch Barnett – Minutes this week will tell us a lot about Mitch. But with Frizell and Ponga likely for Origin he will be likely to play 80 minutes over the first bye week and kick goals (if Hoy doesn’t). Potential for a great week if he doesn’t cost you too much money in the interim. With Ponga out for two weeks he may kick this week.

James Fisher-Harris – Very up and down because minutes can be low or high on any given week. He could score well in Round 13.

Sio Siua Taukeiaho – Losing the kicking has halted his upside, but as we know he is a rock solid play and available in the front-row. A really nice option for the Round 17 second bye.

Martin Taupau – As above with Sio, a nice second bye option in the front-row.

Luke Thompson – Doing an excellent job for owners with every chance to average around 60 odd PPG. Plays the second bye, so take a look from Round 14 onwards.

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Backs

Mitch Moses – Plays the first bye and averaging 60 taking out his injury effected game and is goal-kicking in a quality side.

Matt Burton – Likely in the halves for round 13 and is going well right now. What a talent! The issue is that he is only available in the stacked HB/5-8 position, but I’m not against owning him.

George Williams – A fantastic run from Round 14-17 post first bye week. Brisbane, St George, Titans and Manly. If he keeps the kicking he has to be an option short-term.

Tyson Gamble – A cheapie if you want to go now and hope he plays bye number 1.

Dylan Brown – First bye target with a great base and upside, obviously on return from suspension.

Josh Schuster – A great second bye option, especially if Foran goes down and he shifts to 5-8. Otherwise will remain serviceable but his upside is capped.

Benji Marshall – Second bye week if Cody plays Origin, but I’m not sure I’d want him for one week before he reverts to a bench role.

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Kotoni Staggs – Do you dare with his injury risk? Simply a gun! Plays the first bye. Close watch upon his return.

Charlie Staines – Could go 15 or 100 in round 13!

Tyrone Peachey – I still don’t trust his minutes but he is averaging really well.

Corey Thompson – If he is back and firing he plays the first bye and has been on fire.

Brian Kelly – Yet to truly get going but we know what he can do. A close watch!

Jamayne Isaako – On fire. A Round 13 option and is goal-kicking for Brisbane.

Jordan Rapana – Scoring well and will be a second bye week target.

Morgan Harper – He is on a tear. I really like him as an attacking player and the Sea Eagles absolutely have a dream run post Round 13 leading into their bye week fixture.

Jack Bird – Playing well! First bye week target. 57PPG average.

Reimis Smith – Not as deadly as Justin Olam, but averaging 56.6 and on the up. He has to be considered (first bye).

Stephen Crichton – Plays bye week one and is a serious option playing outside Cleary now.

Other centre options include Jesse Ramien (on fire lately and plays 2nd bye pending fitness as he is currently injured), Campbell Graham (bye 2), Nico Hynes plays bye 1 and may even kick goals pending Ryan Papenhuyzen’s Origin selection. Some chance If Papi isn’t named that Melbourne go with a more specialist 5-8, but that would surprise me. Joseph Suaalii people!

Matt Dufty – First bye has upside. Not sure I’d drop a gun FB for him though.

Dylan Edwards – First bye, huge base, upside as well. Again, who to drop at fullback?

Alexander Brimson – Available at FB and plays the first bye. I won’t be dropping a star fullback for him though, no way!

LIKELY ORIGIN PLAYERS (SC relevant)

While most are very likely if not certainties, essentially if any of these guys don’t get picked they are perfect bye options.

Harry Grant, Payne Haas, Christian Welch, Josh Papalii, Daniel Safiti, David Fifita, Tyson Frizell, Junior Paulo, Angus Crichton, Nathan Cleary, Valentine Holmes, Dane Gagai, Daniel Tupou, Kurt Capewell, Tom Trbojevic, Kalyn Ponga, James Tedesco.

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FRINGE ORIGIN PLAYERS TO CONSIDER/AVOID

Ryan Matterson – The only risk with him is a concussion which would likely lead to a multi week stint on the sidelines, but he is a stud. He seems to be out of favour with Freddy. I’m getting him in this week or next.

David Klemmer – (I don’t think he plays but it’s not out of the question). Looks a decent option for Round 13 if not named.

Ben Hunt – From next week he will be decent value with a nice lead into the first bye. A nice little POD option, but real risk of being named Qld utility.

Jarome Luai – Simply on fire! Has to be a chance at an Origin call up, but otherwise lock him in.

Cody Walker – If he misses Origin lock him straight in from Round 14 with a dream run!

Brian To’o – Not sure he actually gets in due to the height and general ability of Dan Tupou, plus Josh Addo-Carr who will be there. If he doesn’t, he is a must for the first bye if you don’t already own. Get him anyway!

Blake Ferguson – Can’t see them fitting him in. Could be great value come the first bye.

Ryan Papenhuyzen – Huge chance to play, but Freddy may opt for a bigger body as his 14. Best player in Supercoach this year for mine, so it would be absolute magic if he misses selection.

Latrell Mitchell – May well make the side, but again if he doesn’t you could utilise him for the second bye week and the run leading into it pending your FB makeup.

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REST/REDUCED MINUTES RISK

These are some of the Origin players with greater risk of being rested or receiving limited minutes during the period.

My worries would be anyone from Melbourne in particular.

Harry Grant could miss an entire game or play half a game post Origin especially with Brandon Smith there.

Cam Munster I think backs up but isn’t a guarantee. Papi should backup if named assuming he doesn’t play 80 minutes in Origin. But again Bellamy may opt to rest given the quality of depth.

Penrith barely rested anyone last year, but does that change? Possibly. Given ladder positions I’m not sure anyone else rests guys if they can avoid it, but it’s still a chance so be prepared for this and keep a close eye on final teams the weekend after Origin 1 and 3 especially.

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QUICK BACK UPS POST ORIGIN

Games 1 and 3 are on Wednesday, while game 2 is on Sunday. For game 1 and 3, it’s important to look at the teams playing on the Friday night as they have just a two day turnaround and are more likely to rest players that week.

It is noted though that players have said in the past it is sometimes easier to play two days later rather than five days when the body gets sorer. Essentially we need to be wary regardless of the turnaround time.

Those fixtures are:

Friday, June 11 (Post Origin 1)

Sea Eagles v Cowboys

Sharks v Panthers

Friday, July 16 (Post Origin 3)

Titans v Eels

Sea Eagles v Dragons

The main culprits I see being impacted here are Tom Trbojevic on both occasions with his injury history. While David Fifita has two quick back ups and will likely play 80 minutes in each Origin outing. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui may also fall into this category with lesser minutes in Origin though.

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