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Well Dream Teamers… it’s game day!

Time for those last minute trades and tweaks before a seriously tough Dream Team split round.

Yesterday I promised to offer my ‘value picks’ for the round… and Marcus Bolton from Albion beat me to the punch. Marcus writes…

Hi Lone Scout,
What do you know about Matthew Wright from the Sharks, he has scored big
time last 2 weeks, is he playing in the forwards partly?? I'm always a
bit suspicious about players who have played before and come out of the
box like he has. I am looking to replace Ben Smith ($183K) who must be
on the outer at Parra and was hoping to pick up some excess cash too,
what do you think??

Marcus Bolton

You’ve spotted a diamond in the rough there, Marcus.

No – he hasn’t been playing in the forwards but he’s been getting through plenty of work.

In Round 13, he made 25 tackles, ran 74 metres, set up a try and scored one to boot.

Last week, he again notched up more than 20 tackles – and bagged another four pointer.

His consistently high tackle count (for a centre) could be a result of teams targeting him in defence (he’s young and inexperienced) but he doesn’t seem to be missing many.

I was in the same boat as you with Ben Smith – and I actually traded him for Wright two weeks ago. If you recall, Smithy made some rather unappreciated comments about Brett Finch’s departure from the Eels and has been on the outer ever since.

It’s a shame. A centre playing in the forwards is the Dream Team equivalent of Michael Phelps swimming in flippers. It’s not even fair.

The Lone Scout’s advise? Make the trade. You’ll pocket $60k for your trouble and – so long as the Sharks stay competitive – you’ll have a consistent scorer and an increasing team value.

So – on with my ‘value picks’.

Matthew Wright (Sharks)
Position: Wing/centre, fullback
Current price: $123,700
Season average: 23.67
Last week: 38
The scoop: With the Sharks winning, Ricky's unlikely to drop this young kid. He scored 34 and 38 in his last two rounds, so expect his value to go through the roof (Plus the Sharks don't have the bye this week).

Scott Porter (Sharks)
Position: Halfback
Current Price: $146,000
Season average: 47.33
Last week: 34
The scoop: Like Wright, he's at no risk of getting axed if the Sharks keep winning. There’s a fear Brett Seymour could replace him when he returns from injury – but will Stuart change a winning formula? Porter could follow in the Dream Team footsteps of Jamie Soward, so keep him in mind as a brilliant back-up (or even starting) halfback.

Kevin Locke (Warriors)
Position: Fullback
Current price: $108,400
Season average: 32.67
Last week: 43
The scoop: A goal-kicker and a try-scorer. The young rookie won't be leaving the top-grade any time soon. Enormous value at just a tad over $100k. (WARNING: Warriors have the bye this week)

Back to the mailbox…

David Hua writes:

I'm planning to make this trade this week: Mullen out, Campese in (Gives me an extra player to work with rounds 15 and 19 and a solid buy for the back end of the season).
This gives me 18 players to choose from in my squad for this round.

I’ve got 7 trades remaining (6 after I trade in Campese).

I’m considering trading out Taufua for Wapau (Broncos player for Round 15 in case I want to use Wapau instead of one of my useless centres eg. Robertson or Graham).
This gives me enough money for next week’s upgrades of Williams for Luck (or some other gun second row forward) and Walsh for Soward.

I currently have about $230k spare cash.

Cheers in advance for a reply :)
David Hua

David – my advice to you… you’re a trade addict!

Stop it. Now. It’s hard to resist (trust me, I know) but with only six trades left – you could run into serious trouble in the business end of the season.

Campese will never let you down… but he’s been consistently losing value over the past month… and with 36, 53 and 45 in his last three rounds… he doesn’t look like completely reversing that trend.

The major advantage is that he’s unlikely to play any more rep football and his team has no remaining byes.

Mullen has two byes remaining – but do you really want to drop a guy who has scored 56, 59 and 49 the last three rounds? He’ll tip over $300k should he continue in that vain next week. If you had 20 trades left it would be clever – but you really need to start conserving for your long run home.

I notice you have Brad Tighe as your reserve five-eighth. Sure he’s playing on the wing this week – but at least he’ll score. I’d be tempted to take the short term hit for the long term gain.

As for Wapau – he’s hot and cold and has been named in plenty of extended squads without making the final 17. He could provide some value during Origin – but long term I just don’t think he warrants one of your few remaining trades.

As a general rule of thumb – if you have less than ten trades remaining mid-way through the season… it’s too late for money grabs or stacking plays.

If you have the cattle to survive the byes – stay put, see what happens, and make sure you have some breathing space in the final weeks.

As for your 'gun' second row forward - keep an eye on Paul Gallen. Once the rep season is over - he'll again be one of the standouts.

Just one final message to Dream Teamers... split rounds can make or break your team! Take the time to configure the best possible starting line-up. Remove any rep players or players with byes... and manage your reserves. If you're going to be short - don't panic! Nearly everyone will be in the same boat. If you have plenty of trades remaining, look for Bulldogs and Raiders players this week - neither team has any remaining byes.

Remember - while I'm not off scouting ... and being alone ... I'm more than happy to cure all of your Dream Team headaches.

Email me your queries by clicking here.

Don’t forget to paint me a picture (how much money do you have in the bank? How many trades remaining? Where is your team ranked? Which players are under-performing?) and I'll have crack at a solution in my next column.

Till then, good luck, but more importantly, good coaching!

Scouts honour,
Lone Scout

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