Captain’s Challenge: Who to skipper in Round 17?

We run the rule over the best NRL SuperCoach captaincy options to select in Round 17.

Captain's Challenge

It shapes as a fairly open weekend for captains due to the fact we have two bites of the cherry with no squads realistically having a full team on deck.

The vice-captain loophole is an absolute must, and if you’re a beginner at SuperCoach and need clarification on how it works please refer to this article.

The Captain’s Challenge has hit the mark most weeks, last round continued the momentum with the pretty obvious number on pick of Tom Trbojevic saluting with 144 points.

This week it’s Cody Walker who looms as the straight forward pick, but he is playing in a Bunnies side missing plenty of talent.

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The option to avoid him could pay huge dividends, while the second captaincy option we choose looks wide open.

Adding further difficulty to the week is that several realistic options all have questionable durability heading into their games.

Please note, the SuperCoach points conceded to position (courtesy of nrlstats.com.au) will be slightly skewed this week due to the mass amounts of key players missing at clubs, so they’re a little less relevant than regular weeks.

Let’s have a look at this week’s picks.

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TIER ONE

CODY WALKER

I’ll keep the Cody write up pretty straight as I think he’ll be one of everyone’s two skipper options this week.

The Cowboys concede the most SuperCoach points to halfbacks in the competition and the second most to five-eighths.

Cody is sweeping both sides of the ruck which is paramount to his SuperCoach scoring potential.

He has a 3RA of 95PPG and his only score this season came with a 16 point stinker against the Storm when beaten by 50.

A very strong choice and I advise everyone has him as vice or straight captain at the risk of him going 150+.

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TIER TWO

REUBEN GARRICK

Garrick will rightly be a strong option this week off the back of four tons in his past five games.

Last time out with Tom Trbojevic he deputised at fullback for a score of 106, including a huge 39 in base.

He’ll rack up plenty of runs, bust tackles, kick a few goals, and will then only need a major attacking stat to push him to that 70+ territory.

The issue comes in the fact Manly are without the Trbojevic brothers and Daly Cherry-Evans.

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Without Turbo early in the season in five games Garrick had four scores under 60 and three under 50.

The fullback move will help his base, but if Manly do struggle to score points in the absence of their stars he could easily go sub 50.

That being said, they play in game one of the round so he’s a pretty easy vice-captain option with a high ceiling. If he fails, Cody Walker is an exceptional fallback this week.

Canberra concede the fifth most SuperCoach points to fullbacks in the competition.

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CAPTAIN RISKY/PODS

SAM WALKER

I really like Walker as a play for his owners. At tiny ownership he’s a huge POD play and his two scores of 163 and 125 show he has a big ceiling.

Yep there’s issues, he’s carried niggling injuries this season and he has low scores of 11, 21, 29 and 34 this season. 

However, two of those scores were against Melbourne which are write-offs in my books, another was against the Eels, and the last was against the Broncos which is the concern that sticks out.

I’m willing to gamble on him putting on a show against the Dogs who concede the fourth most SuperCoach points to halfbacks in SuperCoach.

With James Tedesco out he’ll be the focal point of their attack, and the addition of Victor Radley to play off as more of a second receiver will do wonders getting him into space.

I’m nervous, but excited, I think I’ve talked myself into trading him in for Josh Schuster as I write.

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SHAUN JOHNSON

Injury risk aside, SJ looks a great option this week.

Unfortunately, the injury risk is very real.

He’s played just seven games this season having returned from two injury stints on the sidelines.

SuperCoach wise I think he’s a pretty safe captain most weeks.

He’s very reminiscent of Nathan Cleary in that he’s an accumulator that even on seemingly quiet weeks he seems to score well.

He racks up numbers in so many categories, from goal-kicks, tacklebreaks, offloads, repeat sets, and decent tackle counts that even if major attacking stat avoid him (which they rarely do), he still notches solid enough scores.

The Warriors concede the fourth most points to halfbacks in SuperCoach.

I’d be very happy to throw the VC on him early in the week, but the fact the Sharks play the final game of the round makes him a bit less appealing.

Further, he’s no stranger to being a late out in game which would hurt in the last game of the week with so few options available otherwise.

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ALEX JOHNSTON and DANIEL TUPOU

I like these two as STRICTLY VICE-CAPTAIN plays only.

Both have the potential to bang out 120+ scores against soft opposition, but if things don’t go to plan and they don’t cross the line for tries they could easily go sub 30 which would be horrific as captains.

Alex Johnston has three tons and an 80 in his past four games thanks to 10 tries in that period.

There’s no reason to suggest this has to stop anytime soon, although with players out at the Bunnies things shouldn’t come as easily for that rampant left edge as it has in the past month.

With a base of just 20BPG you are very reliant on him scoring tries.

Tupou is far safer in regards to base with a very solid 31BPG.

He’s coming off poor scores of 49 and 23 but they were in heavy defeats to the Storm and Panthers, it’ll be a different story this week.

The Bulldogs concede the most SuperCoach points of any club to CTWs.

He has two tons to his name this season, and hopefully with a fit and firing Sammy Walker feeding him those glorious cutout balls I’m hoping this week can be his third.

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AVOID

JASON SAAB

Some will laugh at this suggestion, but following his 162 point monster last week I can guarantee there will be people keen.

The difference this week, no Tommy Turbo…

I don’t have the stat, but Turbo is a huge contributing factor in a ridiculous amount of his tries and try-assists this season. Add DCE onto that and it’d be near 100%.

Yes Garrick will be affected, but at least he has base and is at fullback as goal-kicker.

Saab averages just 18BPG and could easily go sub 20 this week.

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VERDICT

Lock in Cody Walker as your skipper this week, but there is one tactic that should strongly be considered.

If you put the vice-captain on him and he goes low it could turn into a huge POD move as many will rely on him as their captain.

Should he fail and you then skipper someone in a later game it could pay big dividends.

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On that note, I’ll likely be putting the captaincy on Sam Walker against the Bulldogs provided I end up bringing him in (still considering).

It’s fraught with danger I know, but the kid looks all class and the Roosters should dominate the Bulldogs. He’ll be at the centre of everything decent they do in attack.

I’m backing Cody to go big so I won’t have to rely on Sammy.

With fairly few decent options this week, I’d be happy to lock in anything around 80+ from my vice-captain.

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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