Spy Talk: Strategy for navigating tricky bye period

2021 91st overall, the SC Spy looks into the big dilemmas facing SuperCoaches each week.


G’day Legends,

Let’s get straight into it this week because I wanted to jot down our chat from the podcast around analysing your own position in relation to bye coverage over the Origin period.

Below is a little strategy on how to check and then set things up which should make it easier for anyone who is a little unsure.

I have used my team to help make it as clear as possible.

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Key points

What are the critical major bye rounds and how many players do you need?

Check your current numbers for Rounds 13, 16 and 19 because you will ideally need 13 scoring players for these weekends.

This is your 13 best scorers from your chosen 17 players, plus 1 auto-emergency available if that’s required.

Having more than 13 players that week is a bonus, so perhaps 14 is a decent number to aim for to cover a dud score/early HIA etc.

Anymore than this could be either a huge waste, or a stroke of genius if you have a couple of poor scores as they would drop out.

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How do I check this?

Click on the below tab to make it easy. Then take out anyone who will likely play Origin.

This will give you your current numbers for each of the major bye weeks.

An example of my current Round 13 side below.

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Current players

Tapine / Keppie / Hopgood / Schuster / Brown / Holmes / Garrick / Lemuelu / B Trbojevic / Walsh / Mitchell  (Strikes through my origin players)

With Holmes and Latrell Mitchell out this leaves me with nine currently as per the below.

That’s five trades to get to 14.

Who to trade out?

Following this review of your side have a rough look at who you can trade out over that period and who you can bring in?

For example I will look to sell Val Holmes, David Fifita and then a couple of other guys like Turuva, Peachey and Luke who miss round 13 and Round 19.

This will of course be team dependant and you can assess closer to Origin in relation to the big guns.

It is worth noting you get three trades heading into the major bye weeks (four if you boost) .

A note on Latrell is that he has an incredible draw in round 14 and 15, so I won’t sell early and in fact will try and hold if I can through Origin!

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What about the other bye rounds?

I have found that my side is already set up for round 16 which is super handy (see below) and you might find you are the same.

As you can see below, I am looking at 14 players (minus Origin guys) for round 16 once I make my five trades for round 13 (crossed out below), so nothing major needs to be done unless injuries hit. Handy!

Round 16 Projected –

For round 19 I currently have eight players, but I’m thinking if I can get five quality players for round 13 who also play round 19 then that automatically goes to 14 players.

I have circled the five I have in mind to make it easier to keep track of numbers.

This all shows me that Round 16 players are likely less value than Round 13 and 19. Certainly for me that is the case! Check for yourself.

To sum up, I am currently five trades away from having 14 players, 14 players and 13 players for the major bye rounds respectively!

That leaves 20 trades to fix issues and target others or even aim for a couple of extra players to maximise points while keeping a bunch of trades handy for the run home.

Round 19 projected –

Round 14 Key Notes

Well Round 14 is a trap, so this may be critical to how many players you bring in from Parramatta and then Newcastle/Manly who all have the bye in addition to any Origin restings.

We have a 25 man squad so you can’t afford to have more than 8 out. You can of course make a trade or two if required!

Personally more than four Parramatta players may be too much, but it is team dependant and depends on how many Newcastle / Manly players you have.

Make sure you check out round 14 to ensure you are covered because you will need a full 17 players that week.

Below shows exactly how my team will look. Fifita will become Lane, so he is crossed out with the Parra bye.

With Lane added in, I’ll have exactly 17 with the risk of Origin restings. This will make me reassess a little on the Lane trade or move someone else on.

Those one or two trades may be required come round 14.

You are set!

With a little bit of planning you will be ready to rock come Origin and have some trades up the sleeve if you need to do anything extra, because things always change in this game of ours. Good luck and any questions let me know!

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