SC expert, commentator, 2x top 350 overall finisher
November 17, 2023
Finding value is critical to balancing your squad and making cash in the early rounds of BBL SuperCoach.
And value comes in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes it can be unlocked by a change of role, or a turnaround in form.
In its simplest form, value means cheapies.
So here’s our guide of all the cheapies to watch heading into the BBL13 season.
Now firstly, we’ve defined a cheapie as anyone sub $80k in starting price. We’ll classify anyone between $80-120k as mid-rangers (article dropping soon) and the premium guns as being $120k+. So let’s jump in!
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McKenzie is a left-arm wrist spinner following in the footsteps of Brad Hogg and Beau Casson. In recent weeks has debuted in both the Shield and One-Day Cup and shown some promise. With doubts over Ashton Agar and Cooper Connolly’s fitness for round 1, he could sneak in some matches early doors. At bottom dollar, at worst he’s a perfect loop option for squads given he’s unlikely to be in the Scorchers full-strength XI.
Nikhil Chaudary, 42k BAT/BWL, Hobart Hurricanes
Chaudary is a much hyped prospect from Queensland club cricket. And while Tasmania will be thanking the Queensland system for delivering them a hard-hitting middle-order bat and spin bowler, SuperCoaches will be thanking the NewsCorp boffins for giving us a bottom dollar DPP.
On the depth chart, Chaudary is behind the likes of Corey Anderson, Tim David, Sam Heazlet and Chris Jordan for the 5-7 batting range. Once again, a perfect loop option for squads and could even be exciting if he gets a game.
Billy Stanlake, 62.5k BWL, Hobart Hurricanes
Big Bill was trumpeted last year as a huge signing for the ‘Canes but missed the season through injury. Finally in good health, he now looks like the fourth best pace bowler at the club. He’s behind some big names in Nathan Ellis, Riley Meredith and Chris Jordan but could sneak a game if the ‘Canes opt against the two spinners (i.e. if playing in Perth) in Dooley and Hatzoglou.
His returns in recent seasons have been mediocre but at the price if he plays you probably do pick him, just don’t expect the world.
Ben Manenti, 75.9k BWL, Adelaide Strikers
Manenti has shot into cheapie calculations with news that the Strikers international replacement for Rashid Khan is English quick David Payne.
This really leaves the side short a front line spinner, and the in-form Manenti could be the big benefactor.
Likely to bat at number seven, potentially as high as number six, he has a strong Supercoach role and looks a great buy to begin the campaign with the Strikers on the Round 2 double.
Jake Fraser-McGurk, 62.5k Melbourne Renegades
We all know what JFM did in the One Day Cup. The question is will he fit into the Renegades best XI. The ‘Gades are blessed with loads of options to open the batting – not to mention an awesome 5 matches in the first 3 rounds – with De Kok, Joe Clarke and Shaun Marsh all vying for the honours. The middle order of Finch (likely #4) and Maddinson/Wells are pretty set as well.
JFM’s best chance of a regular spot is going to depend on the availability of the recruits but with everyone on deck I see it unlikely he will get regular game time. Avoid for now and keep an eye on practice matches closer to the tournament to see his role – if he gets the openers spot, he could be a sneaky one.
Sam Whiteman, 62.5k BAT/WKP, Perth Scorchers
In a tricky WKP slot, Whiteman offers great value and, as it stands, decent job security given Mitch Marsh’s likely unavailability due to Test commitments. The West Aussie native has swapped spots with Cam Bancroft after two lean seasons at the Thunder and looks set to open the batting with import Zak Crawley.
Last year the WKP spot proved tough to nail with a lot of big names struggling – at his price, he’s a risk free guy you could play as a loop. He also is likely to miss selection with the Scorchers big names all on deck which would make him a perfect loop option.
Mitchell Swepson, 71.3k, Brisbane Heat
Verdict: BIG WATCH
A former international spinner, on the opening round triple game, in cheapie range, it’s perfect right?
Not so much, there’s a reason that Swepson is so cheap after a few below par seasons by his standards.
If he plays all three games at the price it’s hard to go wrong, but he’s not guaranteed to play the three fixtures at this stage.
Wait and see how the Round 1 Heat side is named and for any news around the squad.
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Jack Edwards, 62.5k BAT, Sydney Sixers
Another whose caught attention with great early season form which has included not only runs, but bulk wickets too. The only question on Jed is where he fits into the XI for the Sixers. There’s been some chat that he could take up the Dan Christian ‘finisher’ role, and offer a 6th bowling option. There’s also the possibility of batting in the top 3 given how poorly Kurtis Patterson has started the season for NSW.
If he does bowl regularly – which I don’t think he will in what is already a stacked bowling unit – then he will be a must have. Either way, at his price point, he could worth the risk. The draw for the Sixers is a little boring with only SGW after the first round double, but watch team lists and buy if opening the batting.
Jack Wood, 62.5k BWL, Brisbane Heat
Verdict: BIG WATCH
An intriguing prospect. Back in the COVID season of 2021 he played a single game as a left arm wrist spinner. Two seasons later, he’s a certified gun batter who is plying his trade nationally at various clubs. He was equal top run-scorer in the Queensland T20 comp, second top run-scorer in the NSW T20 Comp and even smacked a century in the Final of the Northern Territory comp against a decent Pakistan ‘A’ side – that’s a helluva resume.
He’s a big, tall right-handed opening bat who I see in competition for the openers slot alongside Munro to start the season. With Khawja in the Test side, Wood is against last season’s cult hero Josh Brown (who is in awful form) and probably Nathan McSweeney for the spot.
Interestingly, if he does play, he’d earn DPP status part-way through the season given he’s listed as BWL only now. While we know batters are fickle in SuperCoach, the formline he’s built in the last 12 months is hard to ignore and with the chance for some overs of spin alongside his batting, Wood has the potential to be Cheapie of the year if he gets his chance. If he’s named round 1, make sure you’ve got a plan to get him in.
D’Arcy Short, 67.5k, BAT, Adelaide Strikers
Verdict: BUY round 2
A huge fall from grace for the two-time player of the tournament. D’Arcy has made the move to Adelaide in the offseason and now looks set to form an ‘all Short’ opening partnership with Matt. With the double in round 2, D’Arcy looms as a great bench stash to begin the season.
Given his uncertain form line and role however, you could opt to watch in round 1 and target him as a trade in. His form to-date has been mediocre for West Australia and at age 33, he could be fading. The change of scenery worked for Chris Lynn, so if D’Arcy can get back to his best you’ll want him in your side.
Cooper Connolly, 70.5k BAT/BWL, Perth Scorchers
The hero of the Big Final last year, Connolly is finally out of the shadows of being just the perfect ‘Loop’ option for coaches – he’s a solid player.
He’s been injured this summer, but could push for more regular game time this season with a dearth of genuine allrounders in the Perth squad. If he’s fit to start the year, he could sneak a game or two, but I don’t think his bowling is quality enough to see him guaranteed his allotment – plus he will bat at 6 or 7. If Agar goes down for an extended period, he becomes a watch alongside Hamish McKenzie.
The tough thing with cheapies is that they’re usually batters with fickle roles. Hardly a rookie, the evergreen Peter Siddle has emerged as a huge candidate for Cheapie of the year.
At a bargain price, the death bowler who is ‘king of the junk’ moves back to the ‘Gades this summer in an attack shaping as a contender for best in the comp. Alongside Kane Richardson and Tom Rogers, they now form the best trio of death bowlers any club possess.
Now for the negative – he’ll be 39 when the competition starts and with Mujeeb and Zampa to squeeze in, he’s realistically in competition with Will Sutherland for the 5th bowling spot. If Sutherland bats 6 and they fit Sids in, he will 100% be in my starting team. The ‘Gades have an awesome draw to start with five games in three rounds so watch closely on the Team sheet for his name, but beware that his old body could make him a bit of a rotation player.
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Tanveer Sangha, 83.8k Sydney Thunder
Verdict: BUY before round 4
Now not technically a cheapie, but I wanted to include him anyway. Tanveer is good – like really good. And at this price he is guaranteed to make money this season. The Thunders draw is a bit weird with three SGW followed by a DGW in round 4. You’ll want him for that, and going early could be a masterstroke IF you can fit him into your plans.