Spy Talk: Origin period, planning ahead for bye rounds

Meticulous with his planning, the SC Spy shares his approach to tackling this year's dreaded bye and Origin period.


Hey Everyone,

It’s time for some bye-planning, following on from this week’s discussion on the SC Playbook podcast.

To make it as simple as possible, I’ve broken down the best options for Round 13 and also Round 17.

As a note, anyone in my team already is in bold and players in yellow are who I have decided to target with my trades.

You will note that I much prefer Round 17 players. I also am trying to generally bring in players who could be part of my team for the season.

This is more important for round 17 as you then don’t need to use any trades to move them on. Round 13 can really be anyone!

The key thing to note is that if you do have a decent crack at bye coverage then trades can run low post Origin if you try to then bring Origin Stars in for the run home. So only make trades if they are really worth it.

This is why I’m generally avoiding cheapies outside of some guys I think are value as we still need to free up cash somewhere.

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Pool of players for Round 13

Bold indicates I already own / Names with an asterisk* are trade targets

Titans – No one

Cowboys – Taumalolo, Drinky (Minutes/role with Hammer also there?), Deardon (small base), Cotter (Origin?), Robson (Huge recently with big minutes).

Penrith – May, Tago, Kikau, Edwards, Crichton (if no Origin), O’Sullivan, Fish

Dogs – Pangai, Kiraz (if named), Hold Max King, Burto

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Manly – Garrick*, Olakau’atu, Ben T* (Will he start in round 13?), Schuster*, Tuipulotu, Koula

Warriors – Aitken, Curran, Walsh, Tohu – Vailea (Only because I own already)

Canberra – Tapine, Starling Hold, Schneider Hold, Elliott

Roosters – Manu, Nat Butcher/Tupouniuas (value if continue to start), Tupou, Crichton, Suaalii, Sammy Walker. I think is a definite avoid – Horror run for the Chooks so I will likely steer quite clear. Crichton interests me hugely back on the left edge even though he will likely play Origin also.

Players for first bye – 11 at this stage. If I like anyone leading in I can of course jump on.

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This week

Coates – I.Papali’i

Tuilagi – Ben Turbo

Prior to byes

Arrow – Garrick

Papi – Schuster/Drinkwater.

Note there’s a small chance I hold Papi if no one is screaming out at me and I can get my bye targets another way.

21 trades left

($450-560k spare approx. after trades)

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Pool of Players for Round 17

I’ll be going going Taaffe to Papi as soon as he returns!

Melbourne – Papenhuyzen* (Origin?), Hughes, Meaney, Brandon Smith

Sharks – Hynes, Talakai, Mulitalo (Pending price tag and Sharks form), Ramien, Kennedy, Katoa, McInnes*

Newcastle – Klemmer, Randall (I’m holding for now to save trades)

Souths – Koloamatangi*, Campbell Graham*, AJ, Tass, Cody, Taaffe, Ilias (May hold until round 18 but happy to move on – trades and options the factor here)

Tigers – Nofo, Hastings, Twal, To’a (if FB), Stefano* (CHEAP – Back up front rower run home), Doueihi

Eels – Papali’i, Brown*, Moses, Gutho, Reed, Russell* (Hoping he is named), Penisini

Broncos – Carrigan* (Huge watch!), Staggs

St George – Lomax, Bird, Ravalawa (Cheap)

Players – 15/16

= 26/27 Total across both byes

This is all of course speculative with injuries, Origin call ups, dollars in the bank and the like, but it’s a decent rough plan of attack for me to keep as a point of reference. I can then adapt on the run.

Looking at that all going to plan I would have 13 trades remaining with a view to then grab some guns post Origin for the run home.

I’d allow 1-2 trades for downgrades to free up cash.. Then:

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Tier 1 – Must own



Tier 2 – Optional

Cam Murray



I’ll have 6-10 trades left after this, which doesn’t factor injuries across that time.

As you can see it could get hairy if that eight number is instead three or four.

I see this happening if you overcommit to bye round number one and still want to prepare for bye number two.

This is all future stuff so I won’t worry about it now, but it does mean I want to ONLY trade for proper value, whether that be keepers, points over the bye period and freeing up cash to get a star.

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General Thoughts

  1. Angus Crichton looks good back on the left edge. I am considering Staggs to him this week.
  2. Benny Trbojevic, I wonder if I need him? I don’t necessarily need the cash, though it would also be handy. It might be a path to an extra bye number in round 17, but he could also go low twice in a row and end up on the bench for round 13. Worst case though with 100 odd in his rolling average money will come and the upside is of course there. The only concern for me is burning a trade and then another one possibly having to move him on without any real reward. If you have a non-player maybe that’s the best option… Or a downgrade of a non-performer like Tuilagi would mean extra cash, plus his price rises will go a long way to swapping Papi straight back in when he returns. This may clinch things for me!
  3. The Chooks have a TOUGH run, so I worry about their attacking players. They face Parramatta (possibly badly rain effected), Penrith, Sharks, Canberra without Origin stars, Melbourne, Parramatta, Penrith, followed by the bye, YUCK! Manu is also a question based on that but could be a one week round 13 play at FB.
  4. Manly are also not ideal – They face Brisbane in possible flooding, Parramatta, Melbourne, Warriors, Tigers, Nth Qld, Melbourne followed by the bye. Turbo won’t play the Warriors which is the best matchup and he may well sit out the Tigers clash. Not ideal! I may avoid…. Round 13 and 14 players (Warriors/Tigers are still decent options) so I am happy to own few blokes for the bye play.

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I hope this insight into how I am planning things helps.

I am happy to update this if as we edge closer to the bye period because as we know things change quickly!

For now I need to decide on Burbo, Staggs, what to do with Papi and when to grab Garrick?

Cheers all!

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