Updated 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 and those who are on the fridge, as well as those who may get rested or limited minutes around Origin. 

Note – THIS HAS BEEN UPDATED/EDITED POST ORIGIN 1 SQUAD ANNOUNCEMENTS AND PRIOR TO ROUND 13.

As reference Round 13 is the first bye and Round 17 is the second.

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BYE WEEK GUNS

HOOKER

Jayden Brailey – 70 Average. Solid base with some attacking potential. 5 round average of 65. May be a hold for the year if he keeps it up.

Reed Mahoney – 70 Average. Love this guy. Base + attack. Lost a heap of the cash he had previously made. Only a 5 round average of 50 and some lesser minutes here and there of late but has upside and I still like him but with lower expectations.

FRONT-ROW

Isaiah Papali’i – Still a monster and a little cheaper now. No doubt has more tons in him if he can stay healthy. A keeper!

Tevita Pangai Jnr – He has managed to stay solid for five or six weeks which is incredible for him. He is due for an explosion/head snap, but maybe he has matured? Still a great option and a hold option for the year while playing on an edge.

SECOND-ROW

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

Tohu Harris – Absolutely rock solid with a hint more attacking upside this year. Happy to go early and lock him in for the second bye or grab him from next week onwards.

I am dropping everyone else back to 2nd Tier status for now.

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HALFBACK

Jahrome Hughes – On an absolute tear. Will a decimated Melbourne side help or hinder him? Either way a first bye week option and a keeper till the end. A full-strength side may see his role lessen, but for now he is on fire!

Sam Walker – Basically we have seen that he can go 20 or 180! Could be a nice semi-POD in a few weeks if you opt to hold. Hopefully he comes back freshened after two weeks off.

Kodi Nikorima – Sneakily averaging 70+ and goal-kicking brilliantly! POD town if you want to have a crack. Second bye and also available at 5/8. 

Matt Burton – Killing it. Playing in the halves this week and locked in at centre it seems for the season. Could be a buy this week and a hold long-term if you need someone cheaper.

5/8 

Nikorima/Burton..

Cody Walker – Misses Origin so will be straight in for me Round 14 or 15. Hopefully doesn’t get a recall and the Blues sweep 3-0! Still slightly limited with Latrell at fullback but a gun nonetheless and the Bunnies draw is about to open right up. 

Adam Doueihi – Not sure I’d buy this week with the Tigers upcoming run and him now playing centre, but great for owners and let’s see what the next week or two entails before holding or selling.

Shaun Johnson – A cracking Bye two target if fit and firing! Could be rested at any moment though as we have seen recently with a hammy precaution it seems. More of a watch for a week or two I think before pulling the trigger.

Josh Schuster – A young superstar. An excellent value option once we see how he returns from injury.

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CENTRE/WING

Nicho Hynes – Enough said. You could still get him and flip to Papi in a week or two. Skipper this week (or VC then loop!). Also a FB. 

David Nofoaluma – I love this guy. Tough month ahead but a dream run home! 

Daine Laurie – I love this guy also. Once again, a tough month ahead but a dream run home! I think he may just be a hold all year while maybe sitting in a few of the tougher games.

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

Reuben Garrick – With Tommy back he is getting tries, linebreaks and kicking goals. Maybe a bit expensive, but could go off over the next month and plays bye 2. 

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. Work rate and scores tries. Great value Round 14 if you want to lock him in for the year. Plays the second bye. Sam Walker back should help. 

Bradman Best – Yet to really get going but is extreme value. Averaging 56 nonetheless with potential for way more.

FULLBACK

Clint Gutherson – Uber consistent this year averaging 81 and plays bye 1! Perfect flip to Papenhuyzen post Bulldogs clash.

Reece Walsh – Can’t leave him out. Averaging 75PPG. Second bye.

Nicho Hynes..

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BYE WEEK GUYS WITH POTENTIAL 

FORWARDS

Ryan Matterson – Lesser minutes and not as dominant this season but is a proven star. I’ve opted for Tohu Harris ahead of him.Matto carries some risk of concussion and missed games and hasn’t played 80 every week which is a surprise. A five round average of 61 could improve, but is no longer a must for the bye, however remains a top option.

Jason Taumalolo – Second bye. Minutes watch is key moving forward. Still yet to really get going. Big watch in the next two or three games.

Luke Thompson – Somehow averaging 70! With a few forwards back maybe he dips a touch, but he looks a prime target for the second bye. Happy to wait a few weeks to see how he looks and then decide if I want him.

Brandon Smith – With Harry playing Origin and missing games he could well fall into the gun category for the byes. Minutes and workrate remain an issue, but he has huge upside and looks hungry for tries!

Luciano Leilua – A tough run coming up, but he is a serious player and a focal point of the Tigers attack. Not the worst long-term hold and has a serious run home post Origin.

Connor Watson – A hold for now until we see the rotations moving forward. Not a buy though. 

Mitch Barnett – Another hold for now and hopefully has jagged more minutes with Frizell and Saifiti out. Hopefully a hold for 4-6 weeks. 

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Brodie Jones – Very cheap and named to start in the back-row for the first major bye week. Jake Clifford could come in and change the team significantly if Connor Watson shifts to lock, so monitor final team lists and consider if you have a trade up your sleave come Sunday afternoon.

Corey Harawira-Naera – He is flying of late. A real buy option for Round 14. The risk here is Canberra could be shaken up at anytime because it isn’t working for them right now.

James Fisher-Harris – Flying of late. Minutes a concern long-term, I’d prefer others but a good flyer/POD with risk.

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. Growing on me more by the week.

Joshua Curran – A big watch when he returns.

Sitili Tupouniua – The only thing holding me back is how Cordner’s return may impact his minutes. Five round average of 73.

Karl Lawton – Risky but a good start to his season. Had to include.

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BACKS

Mitch Moses – Going okay! Five round average of 58. 

Justin Olam – Can’t quite get going but still super solid and cheap. Munster back will help when that happens.

Dylan Brown – First bye target with a great base and upside. 

Charlie Staines – Could go 15 or 100 in round 13! Better form of late. A hold, but not a buy for me.

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck – Second bye week but now playing a floating wing role. Maybe has dropped to Tier 2 now and probably tough to get now being FB only. 

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

Brian Kelly – Yet to truly get going but we know what he can do. Only solid at the moment it seems.

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

Jordan Rapana – Scoring well and will be a second bye week target with a good Raiders run from Round 14 if they can turn it around.

Morgan Harper – He is 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 round game.

Jack Bird – Second-row this week. A maybe.

Reimis Smith – Averaging 55 and on the up. Has to be considered (first bye). 

Stephen Crichton – Bye week 1 and is a serious option playing outside Cleary now long-term. 

Paul Momirovski – Caution. May be dropped when Origin stars return. 

Other centre options include Jesse Ramien (on fire lately and plays 2nd bye), Campbell Graham (bye 2 but watch Origin squad selection).

Joseph Suaalii – In next week for me! Second bye you would have to imagine he plays.

Matt Dufty – First bye has upside. POD option and a good draw!

Dylan Edwards – First bye, huge base, upside as well. Another POD option for a few weeks. 

Will Kennedy – The kid is getting better and better. Worth a look as a POD.

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LIKELY ORIGIN PLAYERS (SC relevant)

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, Frizell, Junior Paulo, Angus Crichton, Cleary, Valentine Holmes, Dane Gagai, Daniel Tupou, Kurt Capewell, Tom Trbojevic,  Ponga, Tedesco. 

UPDATE – All of these guys have been named or are injured outside of Tupou who looks a great centre option for the run home and to get pre-Round 17.

FRINGE ORIGIN GUYS WHO MAY NOT PLAY THE BYE WEEKS

David Klemmer – Only okay, now suspended and misses Round 13!

Ben Hunt – Certainly a POD option with a good draw and dual position. 

Jarome Luai – Picked for Origin. 

Brian To’o – Picked for Origin.

Ferguson – DROPPED! 

Ryan Papenhuyzen – Injured!

Latrell Mitchell – Picked for Origin. 

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ORIGIN GUYS WITH RISK OF BEING RESTED / LIMITED MINUTES WEEK AFTER ORIGIN

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. 

Munster I think backs up, but isn’t a guarantee especially the way Melbourne are going. 

Penrith barely rested anyone last year, but does that change, possibly? Teddy and Turbo have to be huge chances of not playing post Origin which would mean two less games and four less over the next six weeks!!

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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