Updated: Bargain buys: Cheapies to target in BBL11

We take a look at the all-important cheapies you should be eyeing off ahead of the new BBL SuperCoach season.

Key Analysis Pre-season

Let’s take a look at the best cheapies on offer for BBL|11.

Now firstly, we’ve defined a cheapie as anyone sub $80k in starting price. We’ll classify anyone between $80-120k as mid-rangers and the premium guns as being $120k+. 

If you’re familiar with NRL SuperCoach, you’ll notice the price rises can differentiate a lot over the course of a season, especially for batters.

Two examples of this are Marnus Labuschagne who rose from last year starting at $62.5k, to this year starting as the most expensive player at $247k thanks to some outstanding SuperCoach scoring with both bat and ball.

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The other is Aaron Finch who went the other way, from a premium option all the way to a cheapie. This is why you’ll note a lot of ‘fallen guns’ in this year’s list.

And again, before we dive in, what are we looking for?

Unlike NRL SuperCoach, it comes down to way more than just making the team.

To genuinely be considered a good cheapie with both ‘cash cow’ and point scoring potential, we need to find players who have attractive roles.

For BBL SuperCoach, this pretty much means any player who will bat in the top 4, or bowl at least three overs.

We know middle-order batters and part-time bowlers are really unreliable in BBL SuperCoach so I have focused this list based on players from our ‘predicted starting XI’.

Righto, so with some updates for injuries and squad selections, here’s some names we list to start the season.

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Josh Kann – $42k

Ok this one’s a little cheeky – this man looks to be the ‘Jarred Anderson’ of BBL SC this year. A bottom dollar rookie allrounder, he could be the perfect player to carry for looping purposes all year. Currently fit, but way down the depth chart.

Caleb Jewell – $62.5k

New recruit Harry Brook, slated to bat at four, will be unavailable for the first three rounds with English Lions duties. That paves the way for either Mac Wright ($112k) or – my tip – Caleb Jewell to take up a spot in the top four for the Hurricanes. Jewell is a much improved player from the youngster who previously opened the batting several years ago. Keep an eye on the team sheet for his inclusion, but beware he or Handscomb will likely compete for the final spot in the XI once Brook returns.

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Will Sutherland – $73k

A solid and improving allrounder whose been around for a few years now. He was called on to bowl death overs at times for the ‘Gades last year and showed decent skill. Available as an allrounder, he won’t bat higher than number 7 but should be in their best XI most rounds.

Tom Cooper – $62.5k

The Heat’s loss is cheapie-lover’s gain with veteran Tom Cooper poised to fill a void in the middle order for the Brisbane side without Englishman Tom Abell for their round 1 double. The decimation of their bowling attack (Neser, Steketee, Swepson) also means he’s their only noted bowling option in the top 6, so he could be called on by skipper Jimmy Pierson. 

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Matt Gilkes – $62.5k

The Thunder’s batting core has been rocked since last season, with Callum Ferguson not retained and Khawaja now in the Test squad. They need an opening partner for Alex Hales and the man most likely appears young keeper Matt Gilkes. Gilkes can play, and when he gets going can score at an incredible clip. A perfect reserve batsman for your side, especially for those who had been planning to use Ollie Davies.

Harry Nielsen – $76k

Nielsen has played behind Alex Carey for several seasons now and has shown glimpses of great potential at times. With no Phil Salt this season, he’s a chance to open the batting for the Strikers. A round 2 DGW also makes him attractive when you factor in Carey potentially lining up for Australia A. He’s a great reserve keeper for round 1. He played two matches last year, including a score of 53 points against the Heat.

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Daniel Hughes – $78k

While he’s never front of mind when you think about the Sixers best, Hughes has quietly carved out quite a strong resume in Magenta. Few would forget his incredible match winning innings against the Stars on the Gold Coast and it’s his role which I like to start the year. Likely to bat 3 on the DGW, he’s a risk worth taking given his great Shield form.

Ben Manenti – $76.5k

The big mover on this list. Injuries to Bird, Dwarshuis, Brathwaite and the unavailability of Sean Abbott means there’s plenty of spots for bowlers at the Sixers. Given the round 1 draw (Stars, Hurricanes) I expect Manenti to not only make the XI but also to bowl his full allotment of overs. At times he has been a reliable wicket-taker, and with a full pre-season in Tasmania under his belt you’d expect improvement. A perfect option for round 1.

Aaron Finch – $62.5k

No surprises here, the man who will be in most teams to start this season is Renegades skipper, Aaron Finch. He skippers the Australian short-form sides and on his day is absolutely devastating – but beware, he is cheap for a reason. Finch had an absolutely shocking season last year, while overall we saw poorer SuperCoach returns from batters with the new rule requiring a 20-run minimum before strike-rate bonuses were applied.

At worst, Finch will become an untradable log in your batters, at best you can loop his scores in. He will be in my team based purely on what his starting tag does for the rest of my salary cap.

*UPDATE: Finch is expected to miss at least the first round due to injury, and is expected back come Round 3 or 4. So it may be worth holding fire a few weeks for his return.

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Watchlist cheapies:

Oliver Davies – $74k

Expected to miss at the least the first three rounds through injury, the Manly man had tongues wagging last season with some eye-catching games for the Thunder. He had two SuperCoach scores of over 70 and four of 10 and under so his inconsistency is why he’s cheap. Why he will be popular is his role – no Callum Ferguson at the club and Khawaja in the Test squad, he will bat top four and potentially open. With his upside, he’s a fantastic loop option just like the man at number 1.

Joel Paris – $62.5k

The West Australian has crossed over this season after several injury plagued years. Ignore his record, because prior to a series of back injuries the kid was so good he played ODI cricket for Australia. The left-armer is currently fighting to be fit for round 1 and could take the number 7 spot at Hobart vacated by James Faulkner. Watch out for injury and also competition for spots from Tom Rogers and potentially Englishman James Thompson.

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And just because, here’s some players who are also great value at less than $100k:

  • Ashton Agar, $89k – Finch is the only cheaper regular national player, and available as a BAT/BWL. Could be one of the great cash makers.
  • Xavier Bartlett, $97k – Announced last week by the Heat and should feature in their XI for the DGW. Young and swings the ball. Will be popular for round 1 and rightly so.
  • Jake Fraser-McGurk, $65k – The prodigal son of Victorian cricket. Showed glimpses last year. Doesn’t have a great role but oozes class. *UPDATE: The injury expected to keep Aaron Finch out for three or four rounds likely opens a spot for either Fraser-McGurk or Harvey to bat at three, potentially opening, which is significant for their SuperCoach stocks. The Renegades play in the third of five games in Round 1, so it’ll be worth monitoring that final team sheet then potentially jumping on the man named at three should it eventuate.
  • Mack Harvey, $97.8k – Had a few good scores last year to lift his price. Could be set for a breakout season but like Fraser-McGurk, doesn’t have a great role. UPDATE: As per above with Fraser-McGurk.
  • Ashton Turner, $84k – A player whose value in real life doesn’t translate well to SuperCoach. Bats too low to be trustworthy but can go big.
  • Sam Rainbird, $97.3k – Rewarded for a good showing as a replacement player last year with a full contract by the Stars. Could fit into their plans for round 1
  • Sam Heazlett, $97k – Has promised a lot but rarely delivered. Two scores over 70 last season. Keep an eye on his selection for the round 1 DGW.
  • Nathan Lyon, $89k – Very unlikely to feature this year due to Ashes commitments, but is a genuine star of the format. A lock if he’s named by the Sixers.
  • Jack Edwards, $76k – Not in the Sixers best XI when all the troops are back but could fit into their plans t some stage.
  • Matt Renshaw, $67.4k – Listed as an allrounder, coming off a blistering 156* (109) in his most recent Marsh Cup game. He’s on Aus A duty for likely the first three rounds, but will be a serious option on return.
  • Brody Couch (BWL) $42.5k and Syed Faridoun (BWL) $62.5k – Very late Melbourne Stars signings who may emerge as Round 1 contenders, particularly with the injury to Billy Stanlake. Monitor for Round 1 teams as the Stars play in the opening game.

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