Bye planning: Sharks & Tigers are top of the food chain

Stats guru Jay Schubert takes a deep dive into the Sharks and Tigers who have a clear run home after completing all three byes


With the last major bye in sight, another two teams have completed their bye schedules for the season. The Sharks and Tigers are both free and clear for the last 10 games of season 2023.

Both teams will continue to have something to play for in the weeks ahead; for the Sharks, they’ll be looking to secure a top-4 finish and a second chance in the finals series.

Whereas the Tigers will be looking to find the form and spirit they played with only a month ago, potentially proving to be a thorn in many teams sides as they continue to blunt their opposition’s scoring opportunities.

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Nicho Nynes, Briton Nikora, Will Kennedy & Ronaldo Mulitalo are the cream of the crop this year at the Sharks. If the Origin snubbing continues for Hynes, all four will be available uninterrupted until the finals.

Hynes has the highest season average of any regular player this year, is as close to a must as you can get, and is a genuine captaincy option every week.

Nikora has found consistency this season, and running off Hynes, can find a try with ease. Kennedy and Mulitalo have both been great options this year as the Sharks backline continually puts on points for fun, with these two continually being in the right place most times.

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Almost everyone is looking for who to sell or who to buy for the run home, but who is worth holding?

If you still have Teig Wilton, he is a hold now until the end of the season. Great base, while the occasional attacking stat has him averaging 63 for the season with a high score of 102, slot him into your 5th 2RF, done.

Currently only owned by 8.4% of coaches, a POD that can save your team with any late outs.

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Hail Mary

If you’re one that really wants to chase the high risk / high reward player, have a look at Siosifa Talakai.

He’s been exceptionally consistent this year with only one score under 40 (37 in R1) but is still averaging 60.

To look at what he can do, just remember back to last season where he put on 165 against Manly, about 120 coming in 20 minutes.

Also, his 3.5% ownership makes him a clear POD. He can slot into a reserve CTW and just be played on match-ups.

Even if he doesn’t go huge, his lows this year aren’t going to hurt you either. But if he goes 160+ again, it’ll be a guaranteed boost up the rankings.

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The Numbers

Below shows the current playing roster in order of Season Average.

For those new to seeing the colours in my tables.

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Average & 3 Round Average

Purple = Over 100

Green = Over 65

Blue = Over 50

Black = Over 30

Orange = Over 20

Red = Under 20

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Purple = Less than 0

Green = Less than 10 below their season average

Blue = Within 10 +/- of their season average

Red = More than 10 above their season average

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Total Price Change

Purple = Over $200,000

Green = Above $0

Red = Below $0

Blank = No Change

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John Bateman & Isaiah Papali’i are the best of what the Tigers have to offer this year, both have had slow starts to the season though.

However, they are starting to find their groove at the Tigers. Bateman has a 5-round average of 75 (5th highest currently) and is still only owned by 13% of Supercoaches.

Papali’i has bottomed out in price after coming off career years in his last two seasons where he averaged 78.5 & 79.

A player of his calibre priced at only $540,300 is an absolute steal, add in his ownership of 3.9%, he’d be a welcome addition to anyone looking for a bench 2RF.

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With only his 3rd score under 59 in his first season, HOLD Jahream Bula. At least until Round 21 once all the Origin players are back on deck and not being a late out to be rested. In his first season he’s been a shining light at the Tigers, with most of their attack going through his hands.

He still has a three-round average of 83, but a BE of 99, isn’t the deal breaker many coaches are predicting. With a score of 50, he’ll drop about $39,000.

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It’s a TRAP

One to avoid for me is Jake Simpkin, even though he’s cheap and has a negative BE of -26. He’s only a stopgap, once Koroisau is back from Round 22, he’ll most likely be back to playing limited minutes from the bench.

This has AE nightmare written all over it, prior to Koroisau’s injury, he averaged 15 with seven scores of 11 or less. If you’re trading him in, you’ll need to use another trade to get him out.

One Response to “Bye planning: Sharks & Tigers are top of the food chain”

  1. Hitro Okesene

    Nice one Jay. Just on Simpkin – I know a lot of people (like myself a couple of weeks ago) can’t make the jump from Soni Luke to anyone decent. So if you’re stuck with him, you reckon Simpkin could be a short term play to nudge past that 400k mark by round 22? At that point, when Apisai returns, you can flick him much more easily to Brandon Smith or even someone like Mahoney. That was my strategy anyway. Couldn’t handle Soni Luke scoring 19’s anymore!

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