Unsurprisingly, it was brutal as it tends to be despite the usual optimism leading in.
Many will have gone hard for numbers in Round 13 and 17 and will be sitting okay in the rankings, but their trades will be in jeopardy.
Only time will tell whether it was the right move to go hard for numbers or conserve trades for the run home.
My gut tells me it’s the latter, barring teams who went hard but have set themselves up with quality depth.
Fortunately, I can stop focusing on the bye coverage players now. Every team and player will be available for each game, meaning our options have exploded, exciting times! If you have enough trades to play with that is…
The Cooma Stallions had a strong week of 788 points to move into 904th overall.
We are well positioned depth wise and are hopefully in a position to make a charge towards the top 100 by season’s end. While a crack at the top gong may just be out of reach, I’ll never say never, it’s a crazy year.
Round 18 looms as one of the more difficult of the season with the first games of the round being played just two days after Origin three.
Many reps and SuperCoach relevant players have been named to back up, but like Round 14 I’m sure many won’t take the field.
The competition moving to Queensland is significant as the warm, dry weather leads to venues being very conducive to SuperCoach scoring.
I’m backing we’ll see larger scores as a result of the move, making those players with large ceilings even more important. Namely, Nathan Cleary on return…
Titans: 1. AJ Brimson 2. Phillip Sami 3. Brian Kelly 4. Patrick Herbert 5. Corey Thompson 6. Ash Taylor 7. Jamal Fogarty 8. Jarrod Wallace 9. Erin Clark 10. Moeaki Fotuaika 11. Kevin Proctor 12. David Fifita 13. Tino Fa’asuamaleaui
Reserves: 18. Will Penisini 19. Will Smith 20. Joey Lussick 21. Jakob Arthur 22. Keegan Hipgrave
Analysis: Clint Gutherson is still fairly heavily owned, I’m expecting him to be traded by the masses within the next week.
He has a great match up against the Titans this week where he could score very well.
At $693k with a breakeven of 134 he’ll likely drop a bit of value before being sold off next week to the likes of Tom Trbojevic, James Tedesco, Ryan Papenhuyzen, Kalyn Ponga etc.
For the record, he’s not a must sell by any means following a terrific season.
For the few non-owners of Isaiah Papali’i, suck it up and pay up. He’s the best FRF this season and his dual FRF-2RF is so crucial.
Ryan Matterson has been hard to catch this season for many different reasons.
It appears that Brad Arthur is happy to play him big minutes against strong opposition, but is given reduced minutes in blow out scorelines, presumably in an attempt to protect his star back-rower from a potential season-ending head knock.
Last game against Penrith he played 70 minutes for 75 points including 62 in base, the games prior against the Dogs and Tigers he played sub 60 minutes.
I wouldn’t rush to buy, but if I owned I’d happily hold strong and happily play him in my 17 if required, although he’s not a must play unless his minutes become consistently large.
Reed Mahoney returns and is one to monitor in coming weeks.
Analysis: UPDATE:Tom Trbojevic is expected to be ruled out, with Reuben Garrick to play fullback.
Tom Trbojevic has been named but I’d imagine he’d be highly unlikely to take the field with a two day turnaround.
The fact the Dragons have a stack of players missing gives Dez Hasler even less reason to risk playing him.
For anyone who sold off over Origin, getting Tommy back in next round should be your number one priority.
Reuben Garrick came back to earth without Turbo and DCE around him, however owners would be pleased to see him knock out 51 largely in base stats against the Raiders.
Provided Turbo is out, he’ll play fullback again and should score well against the depleted Dragons.
Non-owners will be hoping he goes relatively low again which would lead to massive price drops over the next few weeks where he can hopefully be picked up at a significant discount for the run home.
It’ll be hugely beneficial to him if Daly Cherry-Evans manages to back up from Origin which is a decent chance if he gets through okay.
DCE is another POD for the run home in the difficult halfback position.
He has four tons this year and boasts a 3RA of 117PPG.
He’s owned by just 7% of the top 100 ranked SuperCoach teams and 5% of the top 1,000.
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Do note though that he has eight scores in 15 games under 50 points.
Three of those did come prior to Turbo’s first game of the season though.
With a nice run home against the Dragons, Tigers, Sharks, Storm, Eels, Raiders, Dogs and Cowboys he could finish with a bang.
Unsurprisingly, Jason Saab flopped without Manly’s key playmakers on deck.
He scored just 12 points for owners. He has a breakeven of just 19 still, so hold this week at a minimum, but only play if Turbo somehow takes the field.
When he maxes out in price next round we’ll have a decision to make whether to hold or sell, either will be solid options.
I’m pretty happy to hold for the run home and occasionally play when the match up suits which will be fairly often.
Marty Taupau punched out his standard solid 60 in 53 minutes which appears to be his expected game time going forward.
He failed to offload for his fourth consecutive game, granted it was a wet night at Brookvale.
The time to buy was last week for bye coverage, non-owners should now be eyeing Payne Haas as a far better target.
Josh Schuster returns a week too late for owners, but promisingly he is starting. I’d avoid playing this week as he is likely to be eased back into an 80 minute role, even more so considering the quality form of Karl Lawton.
Raiders: 1. Xavier Savage 2. Semi Valemei 3. Jarrod Croker 4. Sebastian Kris 5. Jordan Rapana 6. Jack Wighton 7. Sam Williams 8. Josh Papalii 9. Josh Hodgson 10. Emre Guler 11. Corey Harawira-Naera 12. Hudson Young 13. Ryan Sutton
Bench: 14. Tom Starling 15. Joe Tapine 16. Sia Soliola 17. Ryan James
Reserves: 18. Matt Timoko 19. Trey Mooney 20. Matt Frawley 21. Harley Smith-Shields
Analysis: Not much interest at the Raiders who have a relatively tough run home.
Corey Harawira-Naera is the only relevant player here who is likely a hold until the end of season.
He’s been solid with a 5RA of 66PG without setting the world on fire.
I wouldn’t be buying anymore, the time to do so was before last week’s bye round.
Owners can happily play when required, but he’s hardly a lock into a strong 17 on the run home.
I wouldn’t sell, but if he’s your only ticket to David Fifita I’d pull the trigger.
Josh Papalii is a sneaky POD to eye off for the run home where he traditionally build towards bigger minutes after Origin, but not yet.
A shout out to Sammy Williams for tonning up against the Sea Eagles!
Cowboys: 1. Valentine Holmes 2. Kyle Feldt 3. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow 4. Connelly Lemuelu 5. Murray Taulagi 6. Scott Drinkwater 7. Tom Dearden 8. Francis Molo 9. Reece Robson 10. Jordan McLean 11. Shane Wright 12. Mitch Dunn 13. Jason Taumalolo
Bench: 14. Jake Granville 15. Tom Gilbert 16. Coen Hess 17. Peter Hola
Reserves: 18. Lachlan Burr 19. Javid Bowen 20. Ben Condon 21. Daejarn Asi 22. Kane Bradley
Analysis: Val Holmes is the major SuperCoach relevant player here, but now isn’t quite the time to buy with a potential rest looming after Origin and a breakeven of 110 against the Roosters. He then goes on to play the Storm next week.
I’ll be waiting a few weeks before a potential buy. We’ll have a better look into him in a week or two but he’s a massive option for the run home and remains in under 20% of teams.
Jason Taumalolo returned to SuperCoach form when we needed him with 87 last weekend.
He looked back to better form with an excellent try-assist, five tacklebreaks, two offloads and 18 runs, huge from Lolo!
Obviously last week was the time to buy, but at just $484k with a breakeven of 30 he’s dirt cheap and can be at worst case a back up 2RF option for the run home.
He remains a terrific purchase and is still at relatively low ownership.
Roosters: 1. James Tedesco 2. Daniel Tupou 3. Josh Morris 4. Joseph Manu 5. Matt Ikuvalu 6. Drew Hutchinson 7. Sam Walker 8. Jared Waerea-Hargreaves 9. Sam Verrills 10. Isaac Liu 11. Angus Crichton 12. Sitili Tupouniua 13. Victor Radley
Reserves: 18. Ben Thomas 19. Billy Smith 20. Adam Keighran 21. Tuku Hau Tapuha
Analysis: The Roosters have an okay run home with games against the Cowboys, Knights, Eels, Panthers, Broncos, Dragons, Rabbitohs and Raiders.
It makes players such as Daniel Tupou and Sam Walker still appealing in my eyes as they can likely be sat outside 17s in the particularly tough games.
James Tedesco owners will be hoping he backs up from Origin on the three day turnaround which will be tight.
I’m expecting a big finish from him to the season with the Roosters fighting for a top four spot, it also significantly reduces the chances of him being rested late in the season.
If they were top two I’d give him next to no chance of playing this week.
Last week was the time to buy Tupou, but I still think he’s a very strong option.
He scored 50 against the Dogs and seemingly did nothing of note, with an exceptional 34 in base.
The Roosters are getting players back – namely Victor Radley who is a huge inclusion for the side’s attacking structure – I expect them to have some comprehensive wins on the run home and Tupou should be in the thick of it.
At $441k you’re getting an elite CTW option in a quality team.
While Walker has appeal too, I think he is a greater chance at being rested if copping any knocks, meaning last week was probably the time to jump on.
I do think he has several tons left in him this season though and he’s very cheap at $443k.
20-30% of top ranked SuperCoaches still don’t own Angus Crichton, while it’s a pretty boring move, I think he’s worth investing in from next week.
He may play reduced minutes following Origin, and he should drop some coin with a breakeven of 100.
If he does back up and the Roosters get away to a decent lead he won’t play a lot of time.
Siosiua Taukeiaho smashed out 57 points with 57 base against the Bulldogs, but it was in just 49 minutes which may have been negatively impacted by Radley’s return. He’s out this week anyway.
Another shout out to Jared Waerea-Hargreaves who had 73 in base on the weekend, animal!
Storm: 1. Nicho Hynes 2. George Jennings 3. Reimis Smith 4. Justin Olam 5. Josh Addo-Carr 6. Cam Munster 7. Jahrome Hughes 8. Jesse Bromwich 9. Brandon Smith 10. Christian Welch 11. Felise Kaufusi 12. Kenny Bromwich 13. Dale Finucane
Bench: 14. Aaron Booth 15. Tui Kamikamica 16. Chris Lewis 17. Aaron Pene
Reserves: 18. Isaac Lumelume 19. Dean Ieremia 20. Cooper Johns 21. Trent Loiero 22. Jordan Grant 23. Tepai Moeroa
Analysis: The Storm have a decent run home with games against the Knights, Cowboys, Panthers, Sea Eagles, Raiders, Titans, Eels and Sharks.
It’ll be a big watch on who backs up for the Storm following Origin off a three day turnaround.
Ryan Papenhuyzen has not been named to return this week, meaning Nicho Hynes will again start at fullback and kick goals. Cam Munster has been named but may well be rested if knocked about in Origin three.
Among all the talk of halfbacks since Nathan Cleary’s injury, I think Jahrome Hughes is the front-running option.
He’s $645k with a season average of 73PPG. His lowest score since round 3 is 49 points, and he’s had four tons in that period.
Owned by just 6% of the top 100 ranked SuperCoach teams and 5% of the top 1,000, Cameron Munster is a HUGE POD for the run home.
While failing to really go big this season, he has just one score under 50 and will be fired up following Origin as Melbourne inevitably continue to dominate leading into finals.
It looks likely that Brandon Smith and Harry Grant will probably be the go-to hookers for the run home.
With so many guns to get back, Brandon Smith may be a little tough to get at $654k, but it’s definitely achievable.
Harry Grant will be the best hooker at low-ownership if he can return to decent minutes in coming weeks.
Warriors: 1. Reece Walsh 2. Dallin Watene-Zelezniak 3. Rocco Berry 4. Marcelo Montoya 5. Roger Tuivasa-Sheck 6. Kodi Nikorima 7. Sean O’Sullivan 8. Addin Fonua-Blake 9. Wade Egan 10. Matt Lodge 11. Eliesa Katoa 12. Bayley Sironen 13. Jazz Tevaga
Bench: 14. Josh Curran 15. Leeson Ah Mau 16. Bunty Afoa 17. Kane Evans
Reserves: 18. Adam Pompey 20. Euan Aitken 21. Chad Townsend 22. Tohu Harris
Analysis: It was a huge blow for new owners to see Kodi Nikorima flunk out in Round 17 with just 7 points!
Outstanding consistency this season allayed some fears surrounding his ability to go very low at times, but unfortunately they’re still in his system.
It didn’t help that he lost the goal-kicking to Reece Walsh.
I’ve seen plenty selling this week, I don’t like it. He’s been outstanding up until this point.
He’s a perfect reserve halfback to play based on opposition, and the Warriors have a great run home after the next two weeks so he’ll be a play more often than not. Although I’d probably sit him for the next two rounds.
After they face the Panthers and Rabbitohs, the Warriors draw opens up with games against the Tigers, Sharks, Dogs, Broncos, Raiders and Titans.
Reece Walsh would be tempting now goal-kicking, but Nikorima may regain the duty once fully fit, while Chad Townsend will return soon and may take up the role.
I just don’t see Walsh being the number two pick to Tom Trbojevic, plus there’s the niggling hamstring issue to worry about.
Addin Fonua-Blake has been strong in recent weeks with a 3RA of 64PPG with 56BPG in that time.
While last week was the best time buy, he’s still incredibly cheap at $453k with a breakeven of 31. I like him as a buy, but it’s hardly a necessary trade unless you’re stuck at front-row.
In massive news, Tohu Harris has been named on the extended bench in what would be an early return from injury.
That’s significant for those who held to move to Fifita this week and can now save trading out. genuine SuperCoach gun, big!
Panthers: 1. Dylan Edwards 2. Charlie Staines 3. Stephen Crichton 4. Brent Naden 5. Brian To’o 6. Matt Burton 7. Tyrone May 8. Moses Leota 9. Api Koroisau 10. James Fisher-Harris 11. Viliame Kikau 12. Kurt Capewell 13. Isaah Yeo
Bench: 14. Mitch Kenny 15. Scott Sorensen 16. Spencer Leniu 17. Liam Martin
Reserves: 18. Izack Tago 19. Matthew Eisenhuth 20. Paul Momirovski 21. Robert Jennings 22. Jaeman Salmon 23. Ja’maine Hopgood
Analysis: After having nearly their entire side SuperCoach relevant prior to Origin, all of a sudden the Panthers don’t have too many options for the time being.
Losing their star halves has had an obvious impact on this.
Matt Burton is the third most sold player this week which surprises me.
He’s been excellent in the halves, putting up a ton in his last outing against the Sharks as a playmaker.
I couldn’t believe he played centre against Parramatta with Tyrone May preferred in the halves.
However, with Luai and Cleary both out he’ll be back there.
He should score well this week then plays the Broncos next week, I’m more than happy to hold.
No one else overly excites me until the star halves return to action.
Tigers: 1. Daine Laurie 2. David Nofoaluma 3. Junior Pauga 4. James Roberts 5. Ken Maumalo 6. Adam Doueihi 7. Luke Brooks 8. Stefano Utoikamanu 9. Jacob Liddle 10. James Tamou 11. Luke Garner 12. Luciano Leilua 13. Thomas Mikaele
Bench: 14. Joe Ofahengaue 15. Alex Twal 16. Tui Simpkins 17. Moses Mbye
Reserves: 18. Michael Chee-Kam 19. Tommy Talau 20. Alex Seyfarth 21. Shawn Blore
Analysis: Following a savage month of games, the Tigers draw finally opens up with a dream run against the Broncos, Sea Eagles, Warriors, Bulldogs, Cowboys, Sharks, Panthers and Bulldogs.
While I’m hesitant to recruit any players as I don’t rate the team, it’s hard to ignore David Nofoaluma at $380k which is a ridiculous price.
He averaged 76PPG last season and was going along rock solid this year before that tough month of games where he averaged just 35PPG against the Panthers, Storm, Rabbitohs and Eels.
Prior to that he was averaging 63PPG!
Ken Maumalo’s arrival also pushes him back to his preferred right wing which I like for him from a SuperCoach perspective.
The fact you can bring him in effectively as a reserve CTW to be played on match ups (most weeks), looks a great option to me.
I’m tempted to bring him in to free up cash to get David Fifita.
He’s a huge POD play being owned by just 9% of the top 100 ranked SuperCoach teams and 10% of the top 1,000.
Back to five-eighth, Adam Doueihi also must be considered with that run with an average of 71PPG.
Doueihi is owned by just 1% of the top 100 through to the top 10,000 ranked SuperCoaches.
Prior to that tough run of games he averaged 76PPG, then he managed to put 97 on the Rabbitohs, massive play!
If you held Daine Laurie this long I’d probable just stick strong as an extra CTW option for the run home.
Bulldogs: 1. Nick Meaney 2. Corey Allan 3. Will Hopoate 4. Aaron Schoupp 5. Falakiko Manu 6. Lachlan Lewis 7. Jake Averillo 8. Jack Hetherington 9. Sione Katoa 10. Luke Thompson 11. Corey Waddell 12. Josh Jackson 13. Renouf Atoni
Bench: 14. Bailey Biondi-Odo 15. Dylan Napa 16. Ava Seumanufagai 17. Joe Stimson