The cheapie chapter: Guide to nailing your bottom dollar players, 2023

The SC Spy ranks the best bargain buys to target to help you prepare for Round 1

NRL Pre Season

We all know the most important part of the early stages of the Supercoach season is nailing your bottom dollar players.

Plenty overlook the importance with the knowledge they can trade early on to any cheapies they’ve missed, but getting your bargain buys right from round 1 can save numerous trades to stash for later in the season.

Below I’ve ranked the cheapies for the start of the 2023 season in order of priority, with the cheapies being priced at $350k or below, or at a 33 point average.

It’s important to note that this list could change dramatically once teams are named, but I think the below should be a good indicator, especially the guys who we already know are set to play.

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1.    J’maine Hopgood ($298k – 2RF)

A stand out. As close to a must have as there ever will be. Just pick him if you want to play properly.

2.    Sunia Turuva ($275k – Centre-wing, fullback)

Whoever jags that vacant wing spot for Penrith becomes and must-have!

3.    Alofiana Khan-Pereira ($200k – Centre/Wing)

What I really like about this guy is that he appears to have hat-tricks/doubles in him. This means FAST cash.

4.    Paul Alamoti ($200k – Centre/Wing)

A genuinely good player by the looks who could lock up that centre spot long-term, boasting a SC friendly game. Get him.

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5.    Josh Schuster ($241k – 2RF/5-8)

The only question here is whether you start him? Given the emergence of Katoa at the Dolphins then you don’t really need to unless you are short of 2RFs, in which case I like him as the last spot to save a trade later.

6.    Soni Luke ($234k – HOK )

Just so cheap and given he should see 50-60 minutes I can’t see why he won’t make easy cash. Not a must however, given the other options in the hooking position.

7.    Will Warbrick ($200k – Centre/Wing)

Looks the goods to me. Decent work-rate, tacklebusts and hopefully tries. Could be a handy player in 17s also.

8.    Izaac Thompson ($336k – Centre/Wing)

Similar to Warbrick, but plays outside Latrell!! Does he lose his spot when Taane Milne returns? I don’t know, but he has to be every chance to hold his spot and if he does he will be very handy!

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9.    Stefano Utoikamanu ($319k – FRF)

The only real concern here is around the depth of the Tigers forward pack and the minutes he will therefore see. 

I think he should still see 40+ and average around 45-55 at least, but he may be a slightly risky play in 17s given his scores can fluctuate a little based on try scoring and games where he doesn’t see additional game time. 

In the end though, 35 minutes isn’t the end of the world and running off Api could shoot him to 80+ points on any given day, He is a major talent!

10. Charnze Nicoll-Klokstad ($327k – Centre-fullback)

I’m a little bit torn here. In full games he tends too average mid 50s in the past. This is huge! Will he hold the FB spot? 

Work-rate will be very good, so if he can return to past form he will be a great addition to any squad early on. In the mix no doubt.

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11. Tommy Talau ($301k – Centre-wing)

A try-scorer who was outstanding in his second trial back from a bad injury. Outside Doueihi is definitely a good spot to be. He should make decent cash if named and be an okay play if required.

12. Isaiya Katoa ($216k – HB-5/8)

Bottom dollar. Maybe he goal-kicks if Isaako misses out? O’Sullivan is another option. I like him as bench 5/8 if you previously had Schuster there like myself. 

13. Brent Naden ($345k centre-wing)

Wouldn’t shock me to see Naden do well in attack and get back to near a 50 average of the past. Job security a concern if he isn’t performing.

14. Haze Dunster ($234k – Centre-wing)

Speculative here, but if he was to nab a wing spot I’m a big fan. Returning players at the Eels just cloud his job security.

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15. Hamiso Tabuai-Fidow ($330k – Centre/Fullback)

Such an interesting watch. I think he will go okay in Supercoach without being spectacular. Can tackle bust, needs to run a lot to score well perhaps. Not in my side but I don’t hate it if you want to see how he goes.

16. Jackson Ford ($281k – 2FR)

A bit of chat he could start on the edge. If so he would be hard to go past, but he may be worth a look for a few weeks while we see how the Warriors settle.

17. Sean Keppie ($274k – FRF/2RF)

I have a good feeling about Keppie this year. With some added punch in attack maybe he can build towards a point per minute. The question then is how many minutes he gets, 30 doesn’t help, 40+ does!!

18. Davvy Moale ($234k – FRF)

Chance to make some cash before being moved on. It’s important to note he could be a rarer FRF cheapie which adds value.

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19. Jacob Preston ($200k – 2RF)

Exciting. Hard to know where to rank him. I’m assuming maybe a bench role in which case minutes may be harder to come by. Ranking could soar at any stage!

20. Ray Stone ($246k – 2FR)

We just don’t know the minutes, but if he gets a bunch he will tackle all day!

21. Reimis Smith ($316k – Centre/Wing)

Unconvinced myself that he can make adequate cash, but he does play for Melbourne and he is a good footy player.

22/23. Matt Doorey ($234k – 2RF) Bryce Cartwright ($234k – 2RF)

Both of these guys could be handy early on, but job security long-term is a huge risk. I’m just not sure where I stand on them until teams are named. Lane and Matterson may return before much cash can potentially be made.

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The Rest

Below is the rest of my list, with opportunity obviously being the key for each player named.

I have also categorised into the players I’m eyeing, the ones who need the right role, and the ones I’m avoiding.

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Possible Value

Junior Tupou ($334k Centre – wing)

Could be a star, but it all depends on where he plays and if Ken Maumalo is close who may push him out. Awkward price.

Harley Smith-Shields ($300k – Centre – wing)

I like this kid! How many weeks will he get if named? A wait and see.

Karl Oloapu ($200k – 5/8)

The young star! Maybe he pushes Flanagan out quick smart? We don’t know, but it’s easy to wait and pounce when needed.

Franklin Pele ($216k – FRF)

Let’s see how the Doggies bench looks before assessing his possible role.

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Braydon Trindall ($234k – HFB)

If Nicho is ever out long-term (4+ weeks) plug this guy in immediately! A 70+ average I believe is possible as a goalkicking HFB. 

Jack Williams ($247k – 2FR)

So cheap based on past history (45+ average), but will he be able to find 40+ minutes in this pack? Let’s wait and see.

Braydon Wiliame ($234k – 2RF – Centre-wing) 

If named at any stage will be relevant.

Luke Metcalf ($250k – 5/8) 

Huge shout if named sometime this year. I think he will be a major factor at some stage.

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Tom Ale ($256k – FRF) 

Bench make up may see him rise significantly. 

Zac Cini ($200k – Centre/wing)

Job security the issue even if named.

Ben Murdoch-Masila ($234k – FRF/2RF) 

Job security the worry here.

Siua Wong ($200k – 2RF) 

Role and minutes will define his value. Let’s see where he lands.

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Corey Allen ($258k – Centre/Fullback) 

If he nabbed a spot he would be a steal!

Justin Matamua ($234k – 2RF) 

Close watch. Role and minutes like most of these guys is the factor.

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Question Marks, Potential With Minutes

Pasami Saulo ($243k – FRF/2RF)

Trey Mooney ($234k – 2RF) 

Emre Guler ($342k – FRF)

Jack Bostock ($200k – Centre/Wing)

Valynce Te Whare ($200k – Centre/Wing)

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Robert Jennings ($267k – Centre/Wing)

Joe Stimson ($316k – 2RF)

Kaeo Weekes ($234k – 5/8)

Tyran Wishart ($234k – 5/8-Hooker)

Jack Howarth ($200k – 2RF/Centre)

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Tom Eisenhuth ($279k – 2RF/Centre)

Leo Thompson ($315k – FRF)

Moses Mybe ($299k – Fullback/Hooker)

Jayden Sullivan ($319k – 5/8/Hooker)

Tyrell May ($253k – FRF)

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Danny Levi ($329k – Hooker) 

I can’t have him based on past numbers unless we see him playing HUGE minutes.

Jacob Host ($295k – 2RF) 

Nope. Terrible PPM traditionally outside of one season when minutes were low.

Tyrell Sloan ($298k – Fullback / Centre) 

May not even play.

Jack Hetherington ($266k – FRF/2RF) 

Would need minutes 50+ and is a suspension risk.

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