Underdog’s Analysis – 10 Key Supercoach Talking Points: Round 3

Updated: March 15, 2017

Hello to you all! In this week’s edition I look into 10 of the key Supercoach questions and talking points heading into Round 3 of the NRL.


  1. Should I buy Luke Keary?

The short answer is YES, but as a cash cow and not a keeper! Luke Keary has flourished at his new club and with a breakeven of – 69 if he scores 50 this week he will make you $65k. However you need to take that with a grain of salt, as in 2014, 2015 & 2016 he averaged 41, 39 and 41 respectively.

The comparisons to Moses Mbye’s start to the 2016 season are valid. For those who don’t remember the situation was this; like Keary Mbye started the season with a more involved role at the Bulldogs, he also was a similar price to start the season (270k approx). The comparisons go on, Mbye also started the season on fire and by round 4 was sitting with a 96 point average. Mbye like Keary was also playing the round 12 big bye round.

By round 6 Moses Mbye had made $122K for his owners (me included) but that’s when the wheels started to fall off and in the next 6 rounds he scored over 50 only twice and his price started to go back down. Still many persisted noting his round 12 bye coverage but by the time these people could get off the Mbye train in round 13 he had levelled out and was only a measly 50k from his starting price.

Why is this relevant? In round 10 – 13 this year Luke Keary faces the Eels, Canberra, Bulldogs and then the Broncos. Some of the best defensive teams in the competition. By all means get on the Keary express this week and make that money however be wary of when to get off. Do not fall into the Mbye trap and persist until round 12 if his scores start to plummet.

Here is how I think the journey will play out, Keary is going to make a nice bit of cash this week and I for one am going to bring him in. However I will not be playing him in my starting 17 against the Panthers (bold prediction is that he goes sub 45). He should see some more points and $$ when he has the Rabbitohs and Manly in rounds 4 -5 before levelling again against the Broncos in round 6. Hopefully you will then be able to see some final price rises following this when he faces the Knights and Dragons in rounds 7-8.

Mark my words Keary will be a sell in round 10 so if you are looking for a keeper through the byes go for Corey Norman instead. Keary should only be treated as a cash cow (unless we see some remarkable consistency) and you need to say mbye mbye as soon as his BE starts to climb.

For the same reasoning, if you are replacing Hayne with Keary in your STARTING 5/8 position then look elsewhere. Keary just does not have the Supercoach pedigree yet to put your faith in him week in week out. He is a handy reserve but not starting material at this stage. I expect that once the Chooks go up against harder opposition he will struggle and Pearce will take over as the dominant playmaker.

I’ll leave you with this handy statistic, So far in 2017 Keary has only averaged 26 Points in Base Stats.. So when the chooks aren’t scoring points neither is Keary. By all means milk him for all his worth but get off at the right time!

  1. Outside of Keary who is the best replacement for Hayne in 5/8

This depends on what you are looking for:

Need a Cheapie with good money making prospects? Brock Lamb is your best bet, he has put on some size in the off season and is the go to man in the Knights improved attack. He has developed his running and kicking game and Supercoach Gold predicts he will peak at $282,600 in round 11 – the perfect time to get in a bye replacement or upgrade.

Looking for a mid ranger who you can field each week? Outside of Keary the options aren’t great. Kane Elgey is yet to set the world on fire so your best bet is Te Maire Martin ($298,800) who is dual position, plays the Knights in round 4 and should make 50 – 100 k over the coming weeks depending on how he performs.

Looking for a keeper? Outside of the proven guns it JT SJ etc your value and bye relevant options are either Corey Norman or Cody Walker. There stats for 2017 speak for themselves and there has been enough published about them this week so I won’t go over it again but don’t be discouraged by the news that Corey Norman is out this week.

If anything this gives you an extra week to save some pennies and with a lot of people either having Carty or Dylan Walker who have 5/8 flexibility you can trade in one of the CTW/2FR cheapies this week (discussed below) and then bring in Norman next week before his price rises. That’s my plan anyway!

n.b I’m going to wear my tin foil hat with pride and say that there is more to the Norman story. Hamstrings are rarely a 1 week issue and if it was that minor wouldn’t he feature in the 21? My thoughts are either he is being rested against an underdone titans outfit or has been dropped for a week for disciplinary reasons.

  1. Outside of D Walker who is the best replacement for Hayne in FLB?

With the news that RTS is sidelines this week after failing a further concussion test, those who have Hayne as a reserve fullback will be looking for players to fill the void. You have a couple of options depending on how your team looks. If any of your CTW have dual FLB availability (Tommy Turbo for example) then you can move them to FLB and again look to one of the many CTW cheapies available this week (again options discussed below).

If you don’t have a dual CTW/FLB to sub in the best options are Tommy T, Tedesco, or Moylan IMO based on scores to date, pedigree and upcoming draws.

Going for an unproven mid ranger is unadvisable but if you don’t have the cash for the premium buys, consider Bevan French ($336,800 – Horrible Base stats but decent bye schedule and attacking superstar); Josh Dugan ($372,800 – 78 average in 2017); Jack Wighton $363,300 (Massive ball hog and bit of a rollercoaster in past years but scored 91 on the weekend in a well beaten team); David Fusitua ($338,700 – Average of 68.5 thus far in 2017 and looking like a decent POD with a good bye schedule to boot) or the riskiest of them all Billy Slater ($300k and god only knows how he will go). Another one for the risk takes is Valentine Holmes ($329,300) if named this week.

There is also a plethora of bottom dollar FLB cheapies lining up this weekend if you are really struggling in Joseph Manu, Kayln Ponga, Brad Abbey, Tyler Cornish and Tyronne Roberts-Davis. Since none of them are confirmed for 3 games just yet I would normally say avoid at all costs but RTS is a definite hold and if you are battling for cash you may have to consider one of these guys.

  1. Hess v Wallace?

Another big question on the lips of Supercoaches this week. I have both currently! But if I had to choose I have Jarrod Wallace ahead by a country mile. Lets break it down –

Price – Jarrod Wallace – $251,800 – Coen Hess $243,900

Average Minutes – J Wall – 66; Chess – 55

PPM – J Wall – 0.89; Chess – 1.34

Average Score 2017 – J Wall – 59; Chess; 73

Base Stats – J Wall – 58; Chess – 37

Break Even – J Wall – 0; Chess; – 32

There is no doubt that both players have had their minutes inflated by injuries in rounds 1 and 2. The reason I have Wallace ahead is that according to a Podcast I listened to this week with Titans coaching staff, regardless of injury Wallace will be looking at 60-65 minutes each week. The reason being that the Titans already have enough impact forwards and Coach Neil Henry is looking for someone to hold down the middle and do the grunt work for extended periods. With his output and those sort of minutes he firms as a must have, he is way undervalued, has dual FRF/2FR flexibility and would not look out of place in your starting 17. J Wallace may take a bit longer to make cash in comparison to Hess but he will make more in the long run and give you consistent 55 + scores each week.

Chess on the other hand is a much more speculative proposition. NO ONE KNOWS how the forward rotation is going to play out at the Cowboys in the next few weeks without Lolo and Scott in the pack. If I had to guess I can see it playing one of two ways.

  1. a) Fensom starts at lock and Hess stays on the bench – If this is the way it goes then I am hoping that Fensom (keeping in mind its is his first NRL game since round 20 last year) plays about 50 – 60 minutes max and Lowe covers the lock position whilst he is off. Noting that Lowe also gets a spell Hess should see his minutes increase to about 45 + which in light of his PPM (I know its try inflated) is enough to make me take the risk.
  2. b) Lowe starts at Lock and Hess starts on an edge – For obvious reasons this would again see an increase in minutes which = $$$

The reason I am trading in Hess this week (for Hayne via D Walker via S Mat) is that he is the perfect springboard to Lolo in 2 weeks time when his suspension is up. At this time Supercoach Gold predicts Hess will have made 100k provided he scores 57 each week. Its high risk high reward but I am much more comfortable running Hess in my 17 this week over Keary. As opposed to Wallace, Hess is a quick cash grab but not a long term option at this stage.

  1. Should I sell Bryce Cartwright?

NOOOOOOOO – I don’t have him but if I did I would be holding. You have all heard it – the number two rule in Supercoach (Number 1 is never have Mitch Aubusson) is never trade a keeper! Yes Carty is struggling with some on and off field issues currently but he is the type of player that can make or break your H2H matchup. Yes he is back in the 2nd row but if you watch any of the panthers plays in attack you will see him roaming all over the field.

Last year he had a similar start to the year with scores of 47 and 51 in the first two rounds before cracking 100 points twice in the next 3! Did I mention he plays the Knights in round 4? Yes his value will dip this week but price is only relevant if you trade him out.

  1. I need a new hooker who is the best value?

On the cheapies front Jayden Brailey is miles ahead of Pritchard so it’s a no brainer there but for those who started without Cam Smith there are a few decent options. Many of you who started with E Taylor or Issaac Luke may be looking elsewhere and there are 2 solid options that stand out from the rest – Cam McInnes or Andrew McCullough.

Unlike previous years both these options are firming as 80 minute players and their improved averages respect that. The bench utility at the dragons is being used to cover McCrone and unlike last year Kodi Nikorima is nowhere to be seen at the Broncos (Wayne Bennet has stated that he will bring him back very slowly from his shoulder injury and he is not going to be in first grade anytime soon).

Flip a coin, both are solid and should provide a springboard for you to get Smith in sooner rather than later.

  1. Best cheap forwards ?

By looking at Job Security, Bye Coverage and value for money here is my top 5 in order –

  1. Felise Kaufusi ($192,600)
  2. Suaia Matagi ($192,600)

iii.  Zane Musgrove ($225,000)

  1. Herman Ese’ese (S143,600)
  2. Luke Yates ($122,000)

n.b Charlie Gubb was on this list but has been omitted as he has lost his starting spot at the warriors this week

  1. Best cheapie CTW?
  2. Moses Suli ($122,600)
  3. Brian Kelly ($122,600)

iii. Nick Cotric ($122,600)

  1. Dean Whare ($143,600)
  2. Tatau Moga ($167,100) // Akuila Uate $172,500

n.b those who are yet to play 2 games have been omitted from this list for reasons below

  1. Should I trade in Ponga/Jennings/Burns/Edwards etc?

No, not unless you are facing a fullback conundrum as outlined above. The reason being is that first grade coaches do not care about your Supercoach team and with rookies especially they can be dropped or blooded slowly an any given time (Talaki anyone?). Furthermore Initial injury reports never seem to be accurate these days and so whilst you think your rookie is safe as injury cover, their is always the chance that the player they are covering comes back weeks earlier than expected.

Given that these guys are unlikely to feature in your starting side their main purpose is to make you money and this cannot happen unless they play 3 games minimum.

It is good though to have a plan of who you can trade out to these guys once they have been named in their third game so have a look at your squad in advance and plan accordingly.

  1. Joel Thompson award (trap of the week)

Wade Graham – In the past 3 years Wade Graham has averaged above 60 only once (61.5 in 2014). Yes he scored 101 on the weekend but he scored 3 tries, equalling the TOTAL number of tries he scored for the entire 2016 season in which the Sharks won the premiership (Up Up). He is such an awkward price and I have no idea what people are planning on doing with him long term but there is just so so so many other better options than him this week, despite his negative BE. He is not nor has he ever been a keeper and his 50k price rise is not enough to justify the two trades required to trade him in and out.

Written by Kyle Robson –  Instagram: underdog_fantasy


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