Just a little thing I have noticed that could prove to be of huge importance to your Round 13 (and 17) squads is your four reserves.
Obviously we have an option to play 13 starters, but you will find this may be difficult at times over the byes and many of your numbers will come from guys on your bench.
But be aware that you will only get the scores of five benchplayers during the bye.
That being your four normal reserves plus one auto-emergency to fill a vacant starting position (most likely fullback will be empty).
If I look at my best case setup for round 13 for example I will have HFB & FB empty with 11 starters, but the possibility of seven bench players given I am holding Utoikamanu, Leniu and Blore to go with Watson, Doueihi, Staines and the possible inclusion of Palasia from Brisbane.
If they all play I will only get the scores of five of those bench guys, plus the 11 starters therefore missing out on two player’s points.
The way it will work out with Origin I may only have four or five of them available so it won’t matter, but be aware when counting numbers that you can’t have everyone scoring for you if you are set up this way with more than five bench options.
This may even allow you to hold someone and save a trade if the move wouldn’t get you any extra bye points.
For example I planned to sell Welch, but if trading him would mean I lose a decent bench player I may just save the trade. You can make this decision during next week’s trades once we know Origin sides and how your bench make up will look.
I just wanted to note that if you want to bring in a player such as Flegler for the bye he does look enticing on paper given he is cheap, may score 50 odd and seems to tick boxes, but be aware that you are going to want to sell him afterwards.
Therefore it is actually two trades and therefore not worth it for mine. The reason you could justify a mid-range guy like this is if you are already planning on shortly upgrading a current player to a gun and if you want a Kikau type guy with upside (or Flegler) along the way then it is actually only one extra trade used rather than two as you were already using one trade to start with.
Just don’t go Welch – Flegler – then back to Welch as that’s two wasted trades for minimal output.
Or even if he is not named, going Utoikamanu – Flegler – Nuff. I’d rather just go straight to a nuff option and save one trade rather than getting a 40 odd during the bye.
Basically just ensure it’s worth the trade and if you do opt for a mid-range bye option go someone with scoring upside if you can rather than a plodder! Something to consider…
Speaking of the second bye, it is going to cause massive headaches. If you have a trade handy and you are not overly sold on options for the Round 13 bye then there shouldn’t be any harm in grabbing a star Round 17 option early.
You can then lock in their points from now and then be better prepared for the second bye weekend.
The downside is that there is more risk of injury or similar which could rule them out, whereas a first bye round option only has to get through 1-2 weeks to be of benefit!
I had a plan to write up an article on this, but with all the injuries at present I will narrow it down to a few points.
Tom Trbojevic (Turbo) of course is a must whilst he is healthy and Manly have the most remarkable run coming up in Newcastle, North Queensland, Titans, Bulldogs, Canberra (Turbo will miss), St George, West Tigers and Cronulla.
Turbo may not necessarily back up after Origin, but the damage he could do when playing is scary to think of.
Ponga is back this week and post Origin he generally has a very good run, especially the last five or so rounds. He is a huge option pending the health of Papenhuyzen.
Tedesco has a mixed run and I will look to sell him to Papi (or Ponga if he is still out for any length of time) probably as soon as post Origin as he will have done his job. Change my mind Teddy!!
Gutherson is on fire, but for me it is Tommy Turbo and Papi as the big two followed by Ponga unless Teddy can really fire up.
Ponga’s draw and goal-kicking though seems to give him the edge if a vacancy opens up outside of the big two.
The only other candidate is Latrell for a month with Souths having a blessed run post Origin one and obviously Nicho Hynes whilst Papi is out, but we have the luxury of playing him in the centres!
That’s about it for now. I really think if you can afford to save trades this weekend then do it. It could come in very handy down the line.
If need be though, then trade towards next weekend if you need further bye prep.
Personally I need some value cover in my forwards as I’m very skinny, so I’m considering going Josh Curran to Alex Twal who is cheap, covers front and back-row (therefore I am only using one trade to cover both positions) and as a bonus plays the first bye.
He won’t be a weekly starter for me, but he’s there to cover injuries/suspension as well as the extra number next week. VC this week will be on Cleary and unless he scores 150+ I’ll take Tommy Turbo as my captain on Sunday against a leaky Knights defence. Straight C Cleary also an obvious option!