The Lone Scout is back with more answers to your question on NRL Dream Team.
So, by now you've all had a good chuckle (or worse) at my 573 for Round 3. Obviously, I'm not happy about posting my lowest round score (bar non-private league weeks) for the last four-plus years.
But fortunately head-to-head starts this weekend, so I’m grateful the dodgy score came at the right time and doesn’t really count. Still I have not had the brightest of starts and have plenty of work to do over the next few weeks to get the Lone Scouts firing. Count yourself lucky if you’ve drawn me early in your league match-ups.
Injuries, poor DT form and team selection are causing extra concern this week and affecting the Scouts like everyone else. With that in mind, here’s my latest Q&A. Hopefully I’ve chosen an indicative selection of questions and the answers assist those chasing last-minute tips ahead of the first Dream Team league matches of the season.
For those playing me in their head-to-head league this week, please look away now.
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Phil Dollisson (dodgers) - Trades: 28, Bank: $350.8K
Q: I am having trouble deciding whether to trade up for some better 2RF or to improve my centres or do one of each this week?
A: I think the CTW line will be the real differentiator this season, so having a strong CTW line is essential. But, you must also have a gun 2RF line, so I'm saying go with one of each this week.
Part one is to drop Jarrod Croker for Lewis Brown. This will limit the Croker damage (after his back-to-back 12s), add more consistent points (Brown starts this week) and give you a solid CTW line of Glenn, Gordon, Lyon and Brown with Reed as your back-up.
Part two is to upgrade a 2RF. As you still have plenty of dosh to splash around, so let's aim high. Greg Bird out, Corey Parker in. Now you have a captain for the remainder of the year, plenty more weekly points and about $120K in the bank.
Next week, look to use one further trade that strengthens your 2RF line further. I'd suggest subbing Hall for Taylor and then trading-up on Hall. It doesn't have to be a more expensive player, rather you want someone who will start and play solid minutes if available. Chris Houston fits the bill nicely, but there are others.
And, keep an eye on Fien's price. When he stops going up &/or loses the starting hooking role, upgrade either him or Buhrer.
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Lyle Bushill (Balls to walls) - Trades: ?, Bank: $115K
Q: I’m in a bit of bother on the injury front at the moment, but I’m also concerned about my centre/wings performances of late as well as fullback and hooker. What should I use my trades on this week? Repairing some of the injuries or fixing up my weak areas? Or should I focus on something else completely?
A: Injuries are a concern for a lot of teams these days, but you're not looking too bad all things considered. Ashley Harrison you can sit out this week – he should be back soon and you'd be making a major mistake if you traded him out just for one H2H match-up – while Jamie Lyon and Mitch Allgood are back this weekend.
Your CTWs aren't too bad at this stage – there's two guns (Aubusson and Glenn), and Lyon, and to a lesser extent Uate, are capable of scoring well – and you can delay trading out one of your cheapies as they continue to make a little cash.
Your big problem is at hooker, where you're missing out on serious points with Buhrer and Casey McGuire. I'd trade out McGuire now (his injury makes the selection easy, but I’d have chosen him to go regardless). You can either bring in a $250K hooker, or cash in on Glenn Hall as well and bring in a bargain prop and a gun No.9. I don’t think I need to point out who the prime candidates are.
That's a better move than trading for short-term injuries at this stage. After that you can steadily improve the other areas of your squad.
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Daniel Taylor (Ranga-Eels) - Trades: 26, Bank: $405k
Q. I have most of the major cash cows. but I feel my team is a bit light in the hooker and half areas. Is it a good time to upgrade these positions with;
1. McGuire out, C. Smith in
2. J. Smith out, Soward in
A: This is an easy one. Do it and do it now. Although these trades mean you've used six already, you will have created a good side that you can (hopefully) run with, and win with, for some weeks. Keep Fein as your back-up hooker until Cam Smith is done with Origin.
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David Yanni (ssfc 2011) - Trades: ?, Bank: $294.9K
Q: Just wanted your thoughts on if it's too early to go all out and buy DT big guns or hold on to the money for later on in the season?
A: The whole point of DT is to score as many DT points as you can each week, so the answer to your question is 'go all out'.
If all goes well you have 22 trades (30 minus the ideal 8 spare for the finals series) to get the best 17 players possible. It seems like plenty, but injuries will require up to half of these (if not more), so why waste your precious trade on bringing in a non-DT gun if you can! The quicker you do it the more likely you are to win your H2H match-ups.
The only reason to trade-in a non-gun is to get (potential) money, via a cash cow, so you can eventually get the gun.
Get it? Pick up the DT guns when you can!
A quick look at your team says you currently have three (Smith, Harrison & Fensom), so you need more ASAP. Start by trading Sam Rapira in for Aiden Tolman and Learoyd-Lars or Shillington in for another big scorer.
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And finally, this week a little lesson in late mail.
There's plenty of rumour and innuendo that flies around on a Friday when it comes to the likely make-up of an NRL team's final 17.
It's the nature of the game. Sometimes this is where DT is won and lost, deciding on who and what to believe when it comes to late mail rumours. Trusting the papers can backfire as even the experts are sometimes wrong.
In the NRL, teams aren't finalised until an hour before kick-off. There are last-minute pull-outs and additions to the final 17s every week.
Having a player pull out at the last minute is no different from having a player get injured early in a game. It's unlucky, but it's just how it goes. You need to suck it up and move on.
You need to keep an eye on all the late mail on Fridays, but beware of putting too much stock in rumours.
For instance, last week on my Facebook page, one DT player (let’s call him Aaron) claimed to have the scoop that Alex Glenn had been ruled out of Brisbane's game against the Titans. There was also some apparent evidence that the Courier Mail had supported this rumour. Despite plenty of statements to the contrary, I think Aaron was probably being sincere with his tip, but unfortunately it turned out to be wrong.
Although I suspected he was genuine, I reread the Mail article and thankfully I decided not to put any stock in the rumour. Glenn stayed in my team and scored a handy 29.
Time to give your brother a good kicking Aaron!
In keeping with late withdrawals theme, here's a list of players noted as injured or recovering from concussion who have been selected for Round 4. Be wary, some will play and some will not: