Squad Breakdown: Team insights, Round 13

2020 NRL SuperCoach runner-up Tim Williams analyses all the key SuperCoach ins and outs following the release of Round 13 teams.

Squad Breakdown

It’s finally here, the year’s first major bye round!

Overall focused players have been planning since pre-season for the upcoming round featuring just four games.

Head-to-head players will be analysing their match-ups to see if they need to burn trades to secure a win, or just save the pair of them and take an inevitable loss due to a lack of players.

As it inevitably does, Origin selections hurt the prospects of many SuperCoach players that were on the fringe of selection.

Liam Martin, Brian To’o and Jarome Luai are just are few selected who owners would have been praying would miss the Origin call up.

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However, many fringe NRL 17 players had their prospects of greater minutes and selections boosted by injuries/suspensions across the competition.

Think Shawn Blore, Stefano Utoikamanu and Spencer Leniu who are all in line for improved roles this week.

At a rough estimate, anywhere from 12-14 players looks a reasonable number of players on deck this week.

A few beneficial selections will see the Cooma Stallions run out with 14/15 players this week pending trades.

Don’t get sucked into the number though, Round 17 will be very tough for many with big numbers this week.

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For what it’s worth, I’m steering clear of ‘nuffs’ this week that might play one round this weekend then fall off the map. An example is Broncos debutant Selwyn Cobbo who starts in Xavier Coates’ place this week.

It’s not to say he isn’t a gun that can’t win a spot moving forward, I’m just looking to avoid those with poor job security as I want a stocked squad for the backend of the year as injuries/suspensions/restings inevitably hit SuperCoaches hard.

The Stallions managed a strong week of 1,373 last week to move into 1,957th overall, here we come!

That was despite opting to captain Nathan Cleary and not loop Nicho Hynes’ 157, ah well.

Let’s take a look at the depleted Round 13 teams.

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DRAGONS v BRONCOS

Thursday, 7.50pm, Jubilee Stadium, Sydney

Dragons: 1. Matt Dufty 2. Cody Ramsey 3. Brayden Wiliame 4. Gerard Beale 5. Mikaele Ravalawa 6. Corey Norman 7. Ben Hunt 8. Blake Lawrie 9. Andrew McCullough 10. Paul Vaughan 11. Josh Kerr 12. Jack Bird 13. Jackson Ford

Bench: 14. Talatau Amone 15. Poasa Faamausili 16. Daniel Alvaro 17. Jack de Belin

Reserves: 18. Kaide Ellis 19. Adam Clune 20. Jayden Sullivan 21. Jordan Pereira

Analysis: There’s very little of interest here. Ben Hunt is a very viable option though at $479k with a breakeven of 35 for anyone looking to move on Sam Walker.

I prefer Jahrome Hughes, but he’s also far more expensive.

Hunt scored 83 against the Tigers and has plenty of upside in him having missed Origin selection. You probably want whoever you bring in to sit there as a reserve half to play based on match ups each week, and Hughes is the better option for the season so I think it’s worth paying up if you are making a move.

Hunt is averaging a very healthy 65PPG and has a nice upcoming run of games against the Broncos, Dogs, Raiders, Warriors, Sea Eagles and Titans. 

He’s owned by just 3% of SuperCoaches and is therefore a super POD.

Jackson Ford at $365k is probably the only other player worth mentioning off back-to-back scores of 67 and 60 in 60 minutes each game. He averaged a huge 55 in base across those two games.

He has a breakeven of 7 and should score well again this week and make some coin, but he’s a little awkwardly priced, so I’m not overly tempted.

Jack Bird moves to the back-row for the week, interesting watch.

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Broncos: 1. Jamayne Isaako 2. Selwyn Cobbo 3. Herbie Farnworth 4. Jesse Arthurs 5. David Mead 6. Albert Kelly 7. Tyson Gamble 8. Matt Lodge 9. Jake Turpin 10. Thomas Flegler 11. Alex Glenn 12. Tevita Pangai Junior 13. John Asiata

Bench: 14. Kobe Hetherington 15. Keenan Palasia 16. Ethan Bullemor 17. TC Robati

Reserves: 18. Jordan Riki 19. Tesi Niu 20. Dale Copley 21. Cory Paix

Analysis: Brisbane are showing a bit more form of late but are still unconvincing.

Having missed Origin selection as expected, Tevita Pangai Jnr remains a terrific buy and is a season-long keeper in the front-row.

Despite being belted by Melbourne, he was solid with 62 points including eight offloads! Four were ineffective and worth just two points though. But it’s a great sign to see him freeing that arm nonetheless.

He remains very affordable at $545k and his dual FRF/2RF positioning is so valuable.

Keenan Palasia is just $187k with a breakeven of -51 and but has been dropped to the bench with Alex Glenn returning. Interestingly, Jordan Riki is also on the extended bench which is a worry.

I was very keen if again starting, but on the bench I think it screams trap. I’m thinking long-term and his job security is shotty at best.

He did miss eight tackles against the Storm including a horrible effort for Brandon Smith’s try, so there are plenty of red flags around the trade.

Stick strong with Payne Haas who has Origin duty and lingering issues, he’s a season-long keeper.

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TIGERS v PANTHERS

Friday, 7.55pm, Leichhardt Oval, Sydney

Tigers: 1. Daine Laurie 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Adam Doueihi 4. Tommy Talau 5. James Roberts 6. Moses Mbye 7. Luke Brooks 8. James Tamou 9. Jacob Liddle 10. Alex Twal 11. Luke Garner 12. Luciano Leilua 13. Alex Seyfarth

Bench: 14. Stefano Utoikamanu 15. Shawn Blore 16. Tom Amone 17. Thomas Mikaele

Reserves: 18. Michael Chee-Kam 19. Jake Simpkin 20. Tui Simpkins 21. Kiah Cooper

Analysis: Be warned, after they face a depleted (albeit still very strong) Panthers outfit this week, the Tigers face the Eels, Storm, Rabbitohs followed by the Round 17 bye.

As such, I’d be steering clear of most of their players.

David Nofoaluma is probably an exception because he’s a genuine season-long keeper that can be played based on match up each week.

However, for the same reason I’d be hesitant to jump on Adam Doueihi at $691k with a breakeven of 126.

The SuperCoach Gods shined down on us this week with Shawn Blore and Stefano Utoikamanu both getting named with likely significant roles due to the loss of Joe Ofahengaue (Origin) and potentially Luciano Leiliua (fighting suspension at judiciary). Although Joe O owners wouldn’t be considering themselves blessed! I still wouldn’t buy either though, but happy days for those who held.

Both are likely to be auto-emergency nightmares for the rest of the season, and Stefano is a sell next week anyway.

If Leilua loses at the judiciary Blore would be a decent chance of starting on the edge.

If you’re after a solid dual FRF/2RF to act as a reliable plug and play option when required for the rest of the season Alex Twal is a fair trade.

He’s not going to set the world alight, but he’s pretty reliable for a 50 odd with the chance of more, and the ability to swing between FRF and 2RF is handy for a bloke at $437k. He’s been a gun of the past as recently as last year when minutes have arrived.

I certainly won’t be rushing to him, especially with the likes of Matterson available this week in the 2RF position, but teams weak up front may be tempted.

He has played a tick under 50 minutes in three of his past four games though which is a worry.

He hasn’t scored under 40 this season but has also scored over 64 just once, so his ceiling isn’t great at all.

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Panthers: 1. Dylan Edwards 2. Charlie Staines 3. Stephen Crichton 4. Paul Momirovski 5. Robert Jennings 6. Matt Burton 7. Tyrone May 8. Spencer Leniu 9. Mitch Kenny 10. James Fisher-Harris 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Scott Sorensen 13. Matthew Eisenhuth

Bench: 14. Jaeman Salmon 15. J’maine Hopgood 16. Lindsay Smith 17. Izack Tago

Reserves: 18. Brent Naden 19. Eddie Blacker 20. Sunia Turuva 21. Kurt Falls

Analysis: How will this new-look Panthers perform? Damn good I’d imagine, it’s exciting to see.

Having missed Origin selection, Matt Burton remains a strong buy at $480k with a -13 breakeven and dual HFB-5/8 positioning.

He gets a crack in his preferred halves role this week which bodes extremely well for his scoring, despite missing a stack of regulars who have fuelled plenty of his attacking stats this season at centre.

He’s hard to knock, but don’t force the trade for the sake of it, he’s a long long way from being a must-have.

Api Koroisau, Liam Martin, Kurt Capewell and Isaah Yeo are all missing from the pack due to Origin call ups, while Moses Leota is out suspended.

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This is music to the ears of those who held Spencer Leniu who has a chance to repay the faith in the only week we really needed him to, he’s starting at prop, come on son! With Penrith backing up two days after Origin one he may see a few extended minutes there too which would be handy for price rises.

Not a lot to add on James Fisher-Harris who remains a solid buy and won’t let you down, while he also boasts dual FRF-2RF positioning.

Those who jumped on Viliame Kikau were quickly reminded why he hasn’t been relevant for some time in SuperCoach circles.

He scored 37 points – his fifth score of 40 or under this season – in the win over the Bulldogs despite playing 69 minutes!

He’s dirt cheap at $393k with a breakeven of 49, but I’m not interested.

We know he’s capable of going relatively big, and he should see big minutes both this week and Round 14 (Capewell/Martin backing up two days after Origin), so new owners will be hoping he repays the faith with a ton.

Jarome Luai, what’s doing? He has a 3RA of 28PPG and a 5RA of 44PPG, rubbish.

He’s now $444k with a breakeven of 101. He was a near must-have a month back and was the form SuperCoach 5/8, now he’s borderline unplayable.

If I owned I’d probably hold strong having lost so much value, while I just have so much faith in him to come good in that rampant Panthers side.

However, a trade to Cody Walker who has a dream run from Round 14 onwards could be on the cards.

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STORM v TITANS

Saturday, 7.35pm, Sunshine Coast Stadium

Storm: 1. Nicho Hynes 2. George Jennings 3. Reimis Smith 4. Justin Olam 5. Dean Ieremia 6. Cooper Johns 7. Jahrome Hughes 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Brandon Smith 10. Nelson Asofa-Solomona 11. Tom Eisenhuth 12. Kenny Bromwich 13. Dale Finucane

Bench: 14. Aaron Booth 15. Tui Kamikamica 16. Chris Lewis 17. Aaron Pene

Reserves: 18. Jordan Grant 19. Isaac Lumelume 20. Trent Loiero 21. Ryley Jacks

Analysis: Another week, another Nicho Hynes masterclass.

Following 156 against the Broncos he’s now $877k with a breakeven of 28 and a 3RA of 159PPG.

Provided Cam Munster and Ryan Papenhuzyen return after Origin and he reverts to the bench, we’ll be able to downgrade him to Papy for about $100k profit, geez!

If injuries/suspensions strike and he maintains a starting role somewhere he can likely just be held for the rest of the year.

He’s obviously a huge captaincy play this week despite Melbourne missing a few extra stars.

Apologies to anyone who followed my advice on Justin Olam last week. I actually backflipped on Thursday evening and went Brandon Smith instead and planned to save the second trade up until Sam Walker was ruled out for the Roosters.

Olam has hit the skids and is now just $407k. Don’t panic, I still think he can come good this week and act as a very solid play based on match up option as 5th CTW for the rest of the year.

Smith tonned up against Brisbane in a stellar performance and is now $583k with a breakeven of -1.

He’s dual 2RF-HOK which is valuable. He’s a strong buy this week, but post Origin with Harry Grant back he will likely revert to his 45-60 minute role where he’s only been a solid scorer for some time now.

Jahrome Hughes returned from a short injury break with another solid performance of 65 points.

He’s $700k with a three-figure breakeven. As mentioned above, of all the reserve halfback options available I think he is comfortably the best in a red-hot Storm outfit that can’t be stopped at the moment.

He’ll cost you more than the likes of Burton and Hunt and financially it’s not the play, but I think he comfortably scores the most points between now and end of season, so if you can afford him I think it’s the play.

He’ll definitely be a hold, while Hunt/Burton may loom as trades down the track anyway so you’re potentially saving a trade in the process.

He has a 5RA of 93PPG and I’d love to be an owner had I not jumped on Burton last week, who remains a good alternative anyway.

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Titans: 1. Jayden Campbell 2. Anthony Don 3. Brian Kelly 4. Patrick Herbert 5. Phillip Sami 6. Ash Taylor 7. Jamal Fogarty 8. Jarrod Wallace 9. Mitch Rein 10. Jaimin Jolliffe 11. Kevin Proctor 12. Sam Stone 13. Sam McIntyre

Bench: 14. Tyrone Peachey 15. Erin Clark 16. Jai Whitbread 17. Joseph Vuna

Reserves: 18. Tanah Boyd 19. Esan Marsters 20. Greg Marzhew 21. Darius Farmer

Analysis: Despite the scoreline, David Fifita returned in style with 82 points including 16 tacklebreaks!

He dropped $50k to $800k and has a very achievable breakeven of 116. Make plans to get him back into your side asap after this week when he returns following Origin.

The Titans play two days after Origin one, so he might play limited minutes, so pencil in Round 15.

Brian Kelly scored 36 with a try against the Sharks, rubbish. He’s $471k with a breakeven of 46, but once again he’s hardly knocking the door down as a buy.

Melbourne are depleted on paper, but the men coming in are certain to do a great job, meaning he could easily go low again this week.

He has more games under 50 than he has over this season and hasn’t hit a ton.

Tyrone Peachey returns from suspension on the bench, surely he starts in the depleted pack come game day though?

I can’t make a case for anyone in this line up at the moment, particularly with a run of games against the Storm, Roosters, Sea Eagles, Raiders, bye and Eels.

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KNIGHTS v EELS

Sunday, 4.05pm, McDonald Jones Stadium, Newcastle

Knights: 1. Tex Hoy 2. Starford To’a 3. Enari Tuala 4. Bradman Best 5. Brayden Musgrove 6. Connor Watson 7. Phoenix Crossland 8. Sauaso Sue 9. Jayden Brailey 10. Jacob Saifiti 11. Brodie Jones 12. Lachlan Fitzgibbon 13. Mitchell Barnett

Bench: 14. Kurt Mann 15. Josh King 16. Jack Johns 17. Simi Sasagi

Reserves: 18. Jake Clifford 19. Jirah Momoisea 20. Matt Croker 21. Gehamat Shibasaki

Analysis: Bradman Best bounced back in style last weekend with 62 points made up of 22 tackles, 15 runs, two offloads and three tackle breaks. Add in some attacking stats and we’re on! He based 45 against Manly, the third time this season he’s had 45 or above in base. He’s averaging 37BPG.

At $430k he’s a bargain, however injury is such a huge concern for him at the moment.

He only has one try and two try-assists this season yet is averaging 56PPG.

He’s a decent match up play for the remainder of the season for anyone keen, and for head-to-head players in particular it’s worth noting the Knights run home consists of games against Broncos, Sharks, Dogs, Titans, Broncos.

If the Knights maintain their form of the weekend he could be anything, but it’s a big if.

Connor Watson played 80 at 5/8 against Manly and killed it in NRL and SuperCoach for 89 points.

Who saw the coming? Aside from every NRL viewer aside from Adam O’Brien.

He has again been named at 5/8 this week, hopefully he stays there. With Jake Clifford on the bench, don’t be surprised to see him start with Connor Watson moving to lock, Mitch Barnett to the edge and Brodie Jones to the bench.

With more game time Watson is probably a keeper, but if he goes back to that 40 odd minutes from week’s prior at lock he’s a sell next week or the one after.

Tyson Frizell’s injury should open up an increase in minutes for Barnett with a bit of luck. Like Watson, he’s a keeper if playing 65+, but that hasn’t been the case lately.

David Klemmer is out with a suspension in a blow for anyone who owns him, although there shouldn’t be many.

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Eels: 1. Clint Gutherson 2. Maika Sivo 3. Tom Opacic 4. Waqa Blake 5. Haze Dunster 6. Dylan Brown 7. Mitchell Moses 8. Reagan Campbell-Gillard 9. Reed Mahoney 10. Marata Niukore 11. Isaiah Papali’i 12. Ryan Matterson 13. Nathan Brown

Bench: 14. Will Smith 15. Shaun Lane 16. Oregon Kaufusi 17. Bryce Cartwright

Reserves: 18. Joey Lussick 19. Makahesi Makatoa 20. Jakob Arthur 21. Will Penisini

Analysis: King Gutho missed Origin duty, absolute magic news to those who still own.

Surprisingly he was still owned by 51% of the top 100 and 43% of the top 1,000 heading into Round 12, so anyone who sold to Teddy would be frustrated, although he did outscore him pretty comfortably.

Gutho is $660k with an achievable breakeven of 93, and Parramatta have a great upcoming run against the Knights, Tigers, Dogs, Panthers and Titans.

I see why you’d be interested, but as it stands you’d think Turbo/Papenhuyzen/Teddy are probably the fullbacks you’ll want to finish the season with.

Disclaimer, we say this every week with the fullback role and it changes every other week, so who knows.

You’re probably going to need another trade Round 18 to go Gutho out, so is it worth it? Not for me, but we know he can go big, I just don’t think he quite has the ceiling of the others.

At least there’s no risk of getting rested while he’s not in the Origin set up, whereas all the other options, including Kalyn Ponga, are all big chances at a rest at some stage.

Maika Sivo at $512k is another worth considering for the nice draw coming up that can be utilised as a 5th CTW and played on match up for the rest of the season.

Blake Ferguson has been dropped, and SuperCoach ownership bias aside, I’m pretty stunned. Parra sit third on the ladder, Ferguson has been strong for most of the season, then a few quiet weeks with his edge half Dylan Brown out and he’s gone?

He was ordinary against the Bunnies who tore the right edge apart, but they do that to just about every club? Very harsh.

Isaiah Papali’i is still expensive at $700k, but I think he’s a terrific buy with coverage this week and boasting dual FRF/2RF status. Get him in as a season-long keeper and you can stop whinging every time he scores or assists a try. Trust me, it’s very pleasant as a long time non-owner.

Ryan Matterson is cheap at $541k with a breakeven of 110 following disappointing back-to-back scores of 42 and 47 by his lofty standards. 

In those fixtures he played 59 and 70 minutes. Regardless, he’s still a proven SuperCoach gun with great base and attacking upside and looks a shrewd pick up this week.

It’s worth noting his high ownership though. Pre-round 12, he was owned by 68% of the top 100 and 69% of the top 1000. 

With minutes down, and injury risk enormous with him, an anti-POD play may well be on the cards.

Reed Mahoney is a tricky one, according to NRL.com he’s 19th man for the Maroons, so should they stay the same he’s available to play for the Eels.

If that’s the case, I’ll be buying, but with Parra playing the last game of the round we probably won’t know till late. Tough one…

At $464k with a season average of 71PPG he looks a tremendous and timely pick up.

UPDATE: Mahoney has been cleared to return to the Eels.

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SUPERCOACH TERMINOLOGY KEY

MPG = Minutes per game

PPG = Points per game

PPM= Points per minute

BPG = Base per game (point accrued in tackles + runs + missed tackles)

POD = Point of difference

3RA = Three round average

5RA = Five round average

BREAKEVEN (B/E) = The score a player must record to earn a price rise.

*Please note all our stats are taken from the geniuses at nrlsupercoachstats.com

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