Spy Talk: Tackling the week’s big questions, Round 4

Fresh off a 91st placed finish last season, the SC Spy looks into the big dilemmas facing SuperCoaches each week.


G’day all!

It’s a pretty big time coming up in the Supercoach world with the likes of Tommy Turbo dropping right down in price, N Cleary named to make his return this weekend, and a host of other guns becoming ripe for the picking including Cody Walker and outside backs like Alex Johnson, Reuben Garrick and co.

On the other side of the coin there are a couple of blokes who are going bananas early including Cameron Munster and Nicho Hynes, making decisions tough for coaches around Australia, NZ and the rest of the world!

From a personal viewpoint, the SC Spy Boys stayed steady over the weekend to sit around 16k overall.

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With a decent side and not a large gap to the top I’m pretty happy with where we are at, but have decided that it’s time to go hard at my plan to get in Tommy Trbojevic and Nathan Cleary to join existing elite squad members Harry Grant and Ryan Papenhuyzen.

From here I am happy with role players (blokes who will do a job without taking as much cap space), before turning as many of them into other guns as possible.

As you will see below we simply can’t have everyone, and the likes of Tedesco may not fit, Munster will be a miss for me, and Nicho Hynes long-term may be tough also if I opt for Cleary and Turbo.

This isn’t to say we can’t get a bunch of these studs down the line, and I will aim to do so as quickly as possible by cashing in money generating guys like Schneider, Brown, Billy Smith, Penisini, the Kings and hopefully Ilias, but unless a bunch of good options emerge we will be left to decide which of the big guns we want in our sides.

The other issue of course is that we still will require depth in COVID times, so it’s not simply a matter of trading guys who have peaked for nuffs (basement price non players), as we will need blokes who are available or at least a large majority.

I may opt to run one or two nuffs if it means a stronger starting squad, but there will be a fine balance here.

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As a result of all the above and my personal view that any money made is critical, I have made the call to target some upside guys who are all but guaranteed to make quick cash, whilst also scoring well (barring disaster!).

To help let you know exactly what I am thinking and how my head works I am going to share the word doc from my short-term plan that I have whipped up over the last few days, whilst also adding in some extra info as to why I am looking to do each move.

As always plans can change, but the short-term strategy below will leave my side in the best possible position to make decisions, and if Tommy, Cleary and any others lose more cash than expected then I can wait a little longer on them, but be ready to pounce if not, or if Nicho kicks on at 100+ average I can then look to keep him!

It’s always good to be adaptable, but it’s also good to be able to ensure you don’t get caught short of what you think you may be able to do.

I have listed below the players I would ideally want and the subsequent plan will show which of those I am likely to be able to afford and I’ll give you the tip, it’s in the minority!

It’s not a bad thing because it will mean different teams across the board rather than similar/identical starting line ups for each Supercoach side.

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Players I want in a rough order

Tier 1

Tom Trbojevic

Nathan Cleary

Tier 2

Harry Grant

Ryan Papenhuyzen

James Tedesco

Nicho Hynes

Cameron Munster

Cody Walker

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Bonus players who may become incredibly valuable

Reuben Garrick

Brian To’o

Alex Johnston

Daniel Tupou

David Fifita

Out of these I currently own Harry Grant, Papenhuyzen, Tedesco and Tupou.

So where do we find the cash to get the rest of them? In short, we don’t.

You are going to need to make tough calls and forego players who are very, very good.

As the season goes on you can then try and generate cash to get as many of the rest as possible.

In order to do so I feel like last year’s plan still rings true in that you can gather a bunch of solid forward contributors (Lolo!) and then unload on upside backs.

Given the extremely wet weather this hasn’t fully been the case yet, but the dryer it gets and the more decimated teams get I think it’s still the way to go.

Plus, if you can choose your skipper out of Tommy and Cleary every week this could well be INVALUABLE!

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Now for the specifics, starting from last week’s trades

1 – D Fifita to H Olakau’atu

This freed up $250k to target my upside backs in the coming weeks. Olakau’atu becomes hopefully a keeper at a decent price who plays the bye. Rough start, but conditions were horrible.

2 – Russell to Hiku

Just looking for short-term cash and possible points. He only got 28 on the weekend so that was a let down, but he will still make $50k before flipping him to Taylan May.

3 – Garlick (non-player) to Josh King

Easy one. A non-player to a cash generator who I also played for 80 points! I’m glad I nailed one of the two money makers to get me rolling!

Boost used. In retrospect straight to May rather then Hiku would have been the play to save a trade and get a ton which I was close to doing. This is where money v points can be a big call that can go either way! In my eyes though if Hiku made $100,000+ and scored well for a couple of weeks id be kicking myself.

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This week

1 – Utoikamanu to Fermor

Stefano was a let down, but he did get busted and played less minutes when the Tigers were blown out.

I hoped he would be that 55+ averaging solid front-rower, but these things happen. Fermor is coming in for money, plus decent points against the Tigers, hopefully before deciding in a few weeks if he becomes a keeper in the centres or if I cash him in to fund the big dogs.

2 – Tedesco to Hynes

This looks risky/sideways, but let me explain. If I intended to keep Teddy for the next eight weeks I’d never even look at selling him because he could, and should, go on a run!

The facts are though that I want Tommy Turbo in two weeks for the Titans clash. As a result I will need to cut Turbo or Ryan Papenhuyzen at the time. I can’t see myself cutting Papi at the moment, so it has to be Teddy.

As such, I see it as the perfect time to grab Nicho a week out from playing the Tigers and seeing how he goes for two weeks.

If he goes mad and is a must keep I can look to flip him to HB and get Tommy at FB OR I will take his invaluable $100-150k price rise given his low breakeven (which Teddy doesn’t have) and turn him into Turbo for minimal cash.

Basically he gives me options whilst generating money and if he ends up being an all time Supercoacher I will know I have only missed the boat by one week and a little rise in $$.

These trades are aimed at generating cash while also grabbing potential keepers, and will ideally leave me flexibility in decision making moving forward.

*This would be an important time to note that a money grab can backfire if a bloke gets injured or has a shocker. But the same could be said for the bloke you’re trading out, so best not to worry about that and hope it falls your way!

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Next week

1 – Hiku to May

$200k spare in the bank and an obvious trade. May keeping his spot season long would be GREAT.

2 – Aitken to Staggs – $300k spare.

This of course will depend on Staggs role and runs this weekend. There is an option to go cheaper and grab another centre or back-rower (via duals). If this is the case then I would have $450k approx. to work with.

The above will set me up for the big move making round in two weeks time!

Two weeks time

1 – Nicho to Tommy T

I have projected this trade to cost me anywhere between $0 and $150k which would leave me $150-300k left in the kitty OR $250-450k if I go with a cheaper option rather than Staggs.

2 – Brown to Cleary

Sam Walker should be 5/8 eligible by this time which would allow me to trade Brown once the ton rolls out of his average.

Walker would go to 5/8 to open up the HB spot for Nath! I have this trade down as costing me approx $350-380k which I may be able to do in one trade pending how everything goes above.

Otherwise I’ll use my trade boost to downgrade Fermor to get the extra cash, as Fermor should be around $500-550k by then (or cash in someone else if Fermor is looking the absolute goods!).

3 – Fermor down to a cheaper centre or second-rower

Free up the required money to get the two trades above. This may be a minimal downgrade or I may need to go a little cheaper. It’s too far out to worry about this, but I’ll assess the market at the time and see if there is a premo option in waiting!

Estimated money in the kitty (Anywhere between $0 to $200-300k)

From here it’s a bit far out to know what will happen, but you can see a rough plan below and it certainly doesn’t involve bringing back in Hynes, adding Munster, grabbing To’o and Garrick all in quick succession.

It’s simply not possible at least until later in the season. What I can likely do however is something similar to the below:

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Round 6

1 – Schneider to Cody Walker at bottom price – $200-250k needed approx!

2 – Kelma Tuilagi downgrade OR (Curran/Olakau’atu if necessary for extra money)

Round 7 onwards

This is once more cash is generated! This could take a while, but we will see at the time.

1 – Tupou/Coates to the likes of Garrick/AJ/To’o on the cards.

2 – Ilias to Munster/Nicho

This will be the big one as soon as possible! Sam Walker allows either option from a position viewpoint.

I am hopeful to be able to properly cash in the Kings, Penisini, Curran, Randle and any other money makers I can grab in the meantime.

Time will tell whether or not the above strategy will allow me to get the below bolded players, whilst having to forego the rest initially.

Tier 1

Tom Trbojevic

Nathan Cleary

Tier 2

Harry Grant

Ryan Papenhuyzen

James Tedesco

Nicho Hynes (HOPEFUL)

Cameron Munster

Cody Walker

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Bonus players who may become incredibly valuable

Reuben Garrick

Brian To’o

Alex Johnson

Daniel Tupou

David Fifita

If I can have Tommy, Cleary, Grant, Papenhuyzen, Hynes, Cody and Tupou I’ll be stoked. Enormous upside!

And that’s where we are at the moment! The moral of what I am trying to say is that money/trading for value is really important and there is going to be decisions to make with regard to who you would like from the big guns.

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You may forego a Turbo or Cleary to try and get an extra Tier 2 player. No one knows how it will play out, but my priority will be these two boys and I will build from there.

Making a rough plan could be really useful to determine if you require an extra money making trade or two, but I understand time and effort may not always allow this so no dramas if you can’t!

Would love to chat about it and if you have a different view then go for it and feel free to let me know.


5 Responses to “Spy Talk: Tackling the week’s big questions, Round 4”

  1. anthonyjvine

    Love to see this type of planning in SC. Strategy feels overlooked in rugby league fantasy generally, so keep this kind of chat coming!

    Selling Teddy seems a risk. If Teddy continues to average 5 more points than Turbo, would you still want to get Turbo in before round 6? Turbo could continue to drop in price, and you would be set behind on points? Teddy’s next three are all against teams he put a score on last year – Cowboys (131), Broncos (99, 97) and NZ (74).

    The trade-in of Nicho sounds great, but having a plan to sell him in two weeks means you need at least a $200k price increase to justify the trade, right? I learnt the hard way this year that price rises are not guaranteed (I traded in Kikau and Hiku this week…).

    I struggle when making these kinds of moves – you have to try and predict the future and we are historically all pretty rubbish at doing that. Is there merit in persisting with ‘guns’ such as Teddy and Fifita who have the potential to put on points and go up in value, because their downside risk is relatively low (dropping $50k), rather than make two or three trades to get another gun in like Turbo?

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