Howdy Dream Teamers!<br><br>So Origin's only two-thirds over and it's already causing massive headaches for Dream Team coaches.<br> <br>Wednesday night's brutal encounter has already claimed plenty of casualties, and it only serves to highlight one vitally important point…trades in the bank are like GOLD at this stage of the season, and should be treated accordingly.<br> <br>Here's a quick look at the Origin casualty ward and a few value for money suggestions on how to handle the affected.<br> <br><b>Trent Barrett: </b>Accepted a two-game ban for the high shot that almost broke Greg Inglis' jaw.<br>Verdict: Punt him!<br>Suggested replacement: Tom Symonds (Sydney Roosters - $136,200).<br>This kid looks a real likely type and is dirt cheap. A good player to bring in.<br> <br><b>Greg Inglis:</b> Facing some time on the sideline with heavy concussion.<br>Verdict: Stick solid, he's a very classy player and now that his jaw's not broken, he may only miss one game.<br>If you want to punt him: Blake Ayshford (Wests Tigers - $126,700) is a good value option. You'll free up over $50,000 by bringing in this talented Tiger.<br> <br><b>Ben Hannant: </b>Set to miss 4-6 weeks with a knee injury.<br>Verdict: Bye bye Benny!<br>Suggested replacement: Cam Smith, Nathan Friend and Luke Douglas will all save you some cabbage, and they put up similar numbers.<br> <br><b>Ashley Harrison: </b>Set to miss at least a fortnight with a rib cartilage injury.<br>Verdict: I'd have Ash gone in a flash.<br>Suggested replacement: Mick Crocker, Gareth Ellis and Anthony Tupou are all cheaper and score better.<br> <br><b>Luke O'Donnell: </b>Has a knee problem that looks set to sideline him for at least this week.<br>Verdict: Not a great Dream Team player, but worth holding on to if he only misses this week.<br> <br>As I warned you before Origin I, be aware of the back-up factor when selecting your team/captains for this round.<br> <br>The following players are doubtful at the very least:<br>- Robbie Farah<br>- Paul Gallen<br>- Darren Lockyer<br>- Willie Tonga<br>- Justin Poore<br> <br>Also remember that the output from most Origin players will be down simply because they're having to back up.<br> <br>Now to the fun part - your emails.<br> <br>Keep them coming in folks, I'll get through as many as I can each week.<br> <br>Many of you are telling me you've only got a handful of trades left.<br> <br>Here's an extreme case-in-point.<br><br><b>Christian writes:</b><br><br><b>Hey dude, I'm coming 560-odd and I have no trades left! I'm a trade addict and can't help myself. Is Beau Scott from the Saints out this week?</b><br> <br>Christian, I've got some bad news for you, dude.<br><br>Beau Scott won't be back until Round 18 at the earliest. I've just had a look at your squad, and it makes for some pretty depressing reading.<br><br>There's not much I can do for you, but take comfort from the fact I'm using you as a prime example of the effects of over-zealous trading.<br> <br>With 11 rounds to go, you already have the following players either injured or out of favour:<br>- Greg Inglis<br>- Beau Scott<br>- Ashley Harrison<br>- James McManus<br>- Matt Hilder<br>- Willie Isa<br>- Jeremy Latimore<br><br>Remember people, if you don't have trades in the bank, your leaving yourself awfully exposed.<br> <br><b>Lewis writes:<br>I am pondering whether to get Jamie Soward next week.<br>I will have the cash but should I stick with Scott Porter from the Sharks as he is scoring well?<br>Cheers, Lewis Voisin</b><br> <br>Lewis, everyone seems intent on punting Scotty Porter and making a tidy profit.<br><br>My question is why?<br><br>The guy is scoring as well as any half going around, and I know for a fact Ricky Stuart isn't contemplating dropping him when Brett Seymor re-gains peak fitness.<br><br>Instead of spending an extra $200,000 on a guy that might earn you a few more points each week, look at using that money in a smarter way.<br><br>Try to strengthen an area of weakness in your squad, instead of wasting a trade - and a stack of dollars -on a swap that will reap little dividend.<br><b> <br>Scott writes:<br>Dear Lone Scout,<br>Just a query on Manly's up and coming pivot, Keiran Foran.<br>He scored 47 on debut, do you think he'll keep his spot in the side when the Sea Eagles' Origin stars return?<br>Scott Wilds</b><br> <br>Scott, to answer your question, no.<br><br>Keiran Foran is very much a player of the future for Manly, but despite his impressive debut, I think he'll be restricted to the role of Origin fill-in this season.<br><br>Barring injury, I envisage Des Hasler sticking with Matt Orford and Chris Bailey as his halves pairing.<br> <br><b>Sam writes:<br>I've made the final 2048 of the eliminator, do you think I should focus on that comp or the league comp? I've only got 6 trades left.<br>Sam Paterson</b><br><br>To be brutally honest Sam, you will struggle to be a contender for overall honours with only 6 trades left at this state of the season.<br><br>I'd be putting my eggs in the eliminator basket if I were you, it's a pretty sweet $1000 prize.<br> <br><b>Jeremy writes:<br>Hi Lone,<br>I'm thinking of trading Lyon for Mortimer, and replacing either Joel Moon or Jamal Idris with Greg Inglis.<br>I also plan to replace Sam Thaiday with Dean Young.<br>Your thoughts?</b><br> <br>The Lyon-Mortimer trade is a shrewd move because the Eels youngster is still dirt cheap, and coach Daniel Anderson has committed to blooding him for the remainder of the season.<br><br>On your centre conundrum, Inglis' Origin dramas have obviously thrown a spanner in the works there, but if you can stick it out and he only misses a week, bring him in.<br><br>Moon is back in the centres for the Warriors, so punt Idris.<br><br>So finally, it’s time for my ‘Value Pick’s for Round 16.<br><br><b>Atelea Vea (Sharks)</b><br>Position: Second-row forward<br>Current price: $165,200<br>Season average: 29.00<br>Last week: 32<br>The scoop: This hard-working back-rower has been on my radar for the last few weeks but I wasn’t convinced. Now, after just posting his third consecutive 30+ week, I’m ready to admit I should have tipped him earlier. He’s a tough little tackler and still great value at $165,200 – but get in this week before his price jumps up yet again.<br><br><b>Tom Symonds (Roosters)</b><br>Position: Five-eighth<br>Current Price: $136,200<br>Season average: 31.5<br>Last week: 39<br>The scoop: A tall, athletic rookie with plenty of ticker and the skill set to match. He gets stuck into the tough stuff and would be a fantastic back-up five-eighth heading into the Dream Team finals. His value will only go up.<br><br><b>Lewis Brown (Warriors)</b><br>Position: Front-row forward<br>Current price: $126,800<br>Season average: 24.2<br>Last week: 31<br>The scoop: This guy reminds me of a young Dallas Johnson. He’s a tackler and a starter – and that’s a tough combination to find under $150,000. He notched up 41 two weeks back, so he can post a score.<br> <br><b>Lone Scout Tuition</b><br><br>While I'm not off scouting ... and being alone ... I'm more than happy to cure all of your Dream Team headaches. <br><br><a href="mailto:email@example.com?subject=NRL%20Dream%20Team%20query">Email me your queries by clicking here.</a> <br><br>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. <br><br>Till then, good luck, but more importantly, good coaching!<br> <br>Scouts honour,<br>Lone Scout<br>
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