Let’s take a look at those players you should be investing in, holding or letting go, as well as some of the better captaincy options for Round 16.
Ben Hampton | HLF/WFB | $101,600
An unfortunate injury to regular Storm five-eighth Gareth Widdop has seen Brett Finch ($209,000) move into the vacant no. 6 jersey, with Hampton named on an extended bench. Storm coach Craig Bellamy will no doubt have one eye on the future, and might look to get Hampton involved again at some point this year. If he does get his chance, a nice price rise would follow given his 39 on debut last week. If not, it might not hurt either. Hampton could be the ideal downgrade target, and given his dual position status, could fill a spot on your bench as a NPR at the back or in the halves.
Ashley Harrison | 2RF | $263,200
Harrison’s Queensland Origin pain is a DT coach’s gain. After getting dropped last week and playing for the Titans, Harrison showed his scoring potential with 59 in a victory over the Storm at home. Multiple low scores caused by injury have impacted his price throughout the year, but now that he is out of the Origin squad (and unlikely to return after Queensland’s big win), Harrison could be a premium back-row option to cover for other Origin players, and could get a healthy price rise with a break-even of 1.
James Graham | FRF | $366,800
Amazingly, Graham is one of the most traded players this week. In the loss to the Roosters, Graham left the field in the 39th minute through injury and didn’t return. Despite this, he still managed 94m, 23 tackles and a DT score of 33. While the Bulldogs do have the first of their two byes this week, Graham should be back in Round 17, and is the very definition of a keeper.
Cooper Cronk | HLF | $400,900
He may be impacted by Origin selection during this time of year, but despite the break-even of 79 for this week, Cronk is a definite keeper, particularly given Smith’s injury. Coach Craig Bellamy has already shown he’s not afraid to rest players, however Cronk has already sat one week out, and would be unlikely to do that again with another Storm bye in the coming weeks. One of the most consistent halves in the competition, ignore price changes for the moment, Cronk is a keeper.
Cameron Smith | HOK | $559,900
The Australia, Queensland and Storm skipper was ruled out of his club’s Round 16 trip to Leichhardt Oval with a cut to his right eye. However, it’s very likely that the DT superstar will be back the following week. Don’t waste two trades at this point of the season - start your reserve hooker and leave Smith on the bench.
Peni Terepo | 2RF | $223,900
The young Eels backrower has impressed many during his debut season in the top grade, and has made $122,300 in DT after seven rounds, but now seems the right time to move him on. The Eels have the bye in Round 16, and faced with a BE of 48, a downgrade to a bargain-basement player or an upgrade to a premium 2RF (if you’ve got the cash) seem to be logical moves.
James Maloney | HLF | $341,300
Maloney still has all the scoring potential in the world, but it seems his form has hit the wall. The 50s, 60s and 70s that he was producing earlier in the year are now becoming 30s and 40s, and while a break-even of 67 is more than achievable, it is time to move on from Maloney and upgrade to a top quality half toward the end of the season. He could be missing with a broken cheekbone, so jump out before you lose too much cash.
Round 16 Captains - players to consider
Corey Parker | 2RF | $512,300
Daly Cherry-Evans | HLF | $448,300
Andrew Fifita | FRF | $526,800
Robbie Farah | HOK | $502,100
Adam Reynolds | HLF | $427,000
Wildcard: John Sutton | HLF | $411,200