First up, some good news for Dream Teamers out there. Popular cheapie Konrad Hurrell is back in favour at the Warriors, getting a starting spot in the centres this week in place of the injured Kevin Locke (Jerome Ropati moves from centre to fullback). In yet more good news, Dragons young guns Kyle Stanley and Jack de Belinare both back in action after being ruled out last week.
Titans rookie Aidan Sezer looks like the buy of the round, if you're in the market for a cheap half, despite being in doubt this week with a buttock injury (stop sniggering, you up the back). He's been named to start at halfback in place of Scott Prince, who's out with an elbow injury. The switch, and Prince's absence, means plenty of kicking for Sezer if he plays, and he'll get his first Dream Team price rise after his third game. Unless he's definitely ruled out today I suggest you buy him anyway to ensure you pick him up before his price changes (at worst, you can trade him in now and leave him out of your 17 to play it safe this weekend).
Now, onto the questions that came in this week, via email, Facebook and Twitter. Feel free to get in touch if you want your questions answered next week.
From Paul Hayden, on Facebook:
Mr Scout. Time to punt Hindy in head-to-head?
Yes. He's in the Dream Team Hall of Fame but the retiring great simply isn't playing 80 minutes a week any more (although last week's 41-minute stint was surely reduced because of Parramatta's early blowout against the Tigers). As someone who scores practically all his points through tackling, Hindmarsh needs to play big minutes to be worth a spot in your team. Upgrade to Parker or Gallen if you can, otherwise Liam Fulton, Chris Houston or Shaun Fensom (next week) are good bets.
From Josh Spigelman, and Zac Crisp, on Facebook:
Any chance Matt Scott will be a late inclusion?
A big chance. I'm thinking he will be playing at this stage. He wants to get some game time in to sure up his Queensland Origin spot.
From everyone, on Facebook:
Is Matt Ryan worth a trade?
Yes. The young forward has earned a starting spot at front row for the Eels (yes, I know he's only available as a second-rower in Dream Team – Parramatta initially identified him as a second-rower, and player positions can't change in DT) so he should get an extended run in the first-grade side, particularly for a struggling team like the Eels. He's at the rookie $77,100 price and will jump in value this week. So he has cash-cow value if you're still hunting for money, but otherwise looks like a reliable reserve option to have if you just need to free up cash now by trading out another second-rower.
In saying that, if your back row is going along fine – ie. your starters are scoring and your cash cows are still making money – then there may not be any reason to bring Ryan in.
From everyone who owns Jayson Bukuya, on Facebook:
Why did Bukuya only score 14 points last week? Didn't he score a try?
Yes he did, but he didn't do much else. Eight tackles, 77 run metres and an offload took him up to 25 points, but a couple of errors, two missed tackles and an ineffective tackle took him back down to 14. Bukuya was on the park for more than an hour but simply didn't have much to do, with a dozen tries in the Sharks-Raiders game not leaving a lot of time for tackling.
Bukuya may be a forward but, like outside backs, he scores a lot of his points through tackle breaks – which means he won't necessarily be a reliable scorer week-to-week. Don't panic if you've got him, there's every chance he could hit 60 against the Bunnies on Monday night.
From Clarence Va'a, on Twitter:
Time to upgrade Buhrer you reckon?
Jamie Buhrer's had a great run at Manly and remains a starter in the back row, but he does look to have hit his price peak for now. Either trade him out now, or wait until after Origin – he'll get plenty of game time in the Sea Eagles pack while Glenn Stewart and Anthony Watmough are away on NSW duty, as expected.
From Tim Hodgson, on Twitter:
Will Jamie Soward start to fire over the rep period?
It's obviously hard to say whether Soward's scores will lift, but there's a lot to like about him as a trade option at the moment – despite some below average scores from the Dragons playmaker so far this season. Soward is an established DT gun, thanks largely to his kicking game, and he's about as cheap as he'll get this year after dropping $69,100 in value. He has four 50+ scores this year, but unlike other mid-priced halves he's yet to find the tryline. He's also made just four try assists, meaning when he gets more involved in try-scoring plays his scores are sure to rise.
Unlike some other halves, Soward doesn't do a lot of tackling, meaning he relies on attacking plays (kicks, goals, try assists, tackle breaks) to supply his points. That means his scoring is dependent on the Dragons playing well and winning games, but with upcoming matches against the Panthers, Eels, Titans and Raiders over the Origin period that certainly isn't out of the question. Plus he looks to be out of the picture for NSW selection. So Soward could be a smart buy at this stage, although he's well behind Daly Cherry-Evans and Cooper Cronk in the Dream Team pecking order.
Want your question answered next week? Get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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