Lone Scout: When injury strikes

It's D-Day Dream Teamers!<br><br>It's been a horror week for injuries so get ready to do your homework and make some educated changes or trades...<br><br>As usual, the Lone Scout has done the dirty work for you - but if you want to delve a little deeper, you can always start by monitoring our <a href="http://www.nrl.com/telstrapremiership/casualtyward/tabid/10247/default.aspx"><b>NRL.com Casualty Ward </b></a>for the latest injury updates.<br><br><b>Petero Civoniceva ($239,000)</b><br>Injury: Toe<br>Due back: Round 24<br>Verdict: This is a no-brainer. The big unit won't score points from the grandstand. Ditch him now.<br>Suggested replacements in similar price range: Kade Snowden ($259,700), Dan Hunt ($249,900), Nathan Cayless ($255,700).<br><br><b>Michael Weyman ($211,200)</b><br>Injury: Ankle<br>Due back: Round 23<br>Verdict: It was good while it lasted but it seems Weyman's unusually long stint injury-free is finally over. Drop him like it's hot.<br>Suggested replacements in similar price range: Jeremy Latimore ($127,100) for a good value cheapie, Shane Tronc ($235,500), Aaron Payne ($231,900).<br><br><b>Mat Rogers ($188,000)</b><br>Injury: Ribs<br>Due back: Next week... but who knows.<br>Verdict: When you buy 'seasoned' (read: old) players like Rogers, you have to expect injuries like this. If you want to roll the dice that he'll be back and last the rest of the season... keep him. He's a nice high-scoring centre/wing, and a cheap bench five-eighth (depending on which position you have him in).<br>Suggested replacements in similar price range: Brett Delaney ($192,700), Jarryd Hayne ($192,300)<br><b><br>Karmichael Hunt ($81,000)</b><br>Injury: Ankle<br>Due back: Round 18<br>Verdict: If you have him and want to save your trades, keep him as a bench back-up. If you have trades left... you need to go to bed with a mirror and wake up to yourself! Why do you still have him? He's averaging less than 15 points and is often is single digits. <br>Suggested replacements in similar price range: Jason Nightingale ($89,900) - he's coming off the bench as a forward and could score well if Wayne Bennett gives him the minutes, Josh Dugan ($115,500).<br><br><b>Aaron Cannings ($151,700)</b><br>Injury: Hamstring<br>Due back: "Couple of weeks"<br>Verdict: He's a nice bench forward who is capable of posting an occasional high score, but if you can spare the trade - I'd be flicking him.<br>Suggested replacements in similar price range: Jeremy Latimore ($127,100), Jon Green ($121, 800).<br><br>Now that the nuts and bolts are out of the way, it's time for my weekly 'Value Picks'.<br><br><b>Jon Green (Dragons)</b><br>Position: Front row<br>Current price: $121,800<br>Season average: 24.00<br>Last week: 30<br>The scoop: The loss of Michael Weyman has opened the door for young Green to step into a starting role at the Dragons. Don't expect 50+ scores, but if you need a handy bench prop he's an absolute bargain at $121,800.<br><br><b>Anthony Tupou (Sharks)</b><br>Position: Second row<br>Current Price: $222,200<br>Season average: 41.33<br>Last week: 44<br>The scoop: OK. So he's not technically a cheapie. But this 'heart-on-his-sleeve' player is way under market value, and mostly courtesy of an injury-prone period which saw his workload decrease and value plummet from $306,000 to his current $222,200.<br><br><b>Jeremy Latimore (Eels)</b><br>Position: Front row<br>Current price: $127,200<br>Season average: 26.40<br>Last week: 28<br>The scoop: Again, if you want a 50+ prop, Jeremy isn't your man. But if you need a scoring bench player to survive any injuries through the final rounds (while earning some money along the way), Latimore is a useful option.<br><br>And now we come to my favourite time of the week... Question Time.<br><br><b>Preston writes: <br>Hi Lone Scout,<br>I was wondering who would make a better captain. I’ve got Jamie Soward, David Stagg or Cam Smith in the line-up for the captaincy role. </b><br><br>I think many people under-estimate the importance of captaincy selection, so I'm glad you've brought it up, Preston. Often it can mean the difference of twenty or thirty points - enough to win, or lose, you a head-to-head game.<br><br>To be honest, it should be a weekly proposition.<br><br>For example, when does David Stagg score his most points? Is it when the Dogs dominate possession and rack up a big score? No - it's when they're locked in an arm-wrestle and he grinds out 55 tackles in a desperate attempt to keep the line tight.<br><br>What about Cam Smith? Well, he's got the advantage of being a kicker, a playmaker, a tackler and a goal kicker. If Melbourne posts seven or eight tries, he's going to bag at least 10 or 12 points from goals alone. Not to mention that he'll often be the man to create the line-breaks and tries.<br><br>You would normally assume that Origin would wear down a player and would negatively impact on their points, but in terms of Smith (and Gidley) - he's just a machine.<br><br>As for this week? Well, Soward scored a massive 79 against the Roosters last time they met. I'd be relying on him to go close this time around.<br><br><b>K-Dog writes:<br>Hey mate,<br>I've got three trades left for the rest of the season and I'm tossing up trading Michael Crocker for Nathan Smith. Have next to nothing left in the bank.<br>I saw smith posted a couple mid-50 scores in a row but I'm weary of Luke Lewis coming back to take his spot.<br>Do you think Smith is a good buy in light of the risk of Lewis taking his spot?</b><br><br>Wassup, K-Dog? You make a fair point about Smith posting back-to-back 50's but it's not enough to convince me he's a long-term prospect. He's had plenty of game-time all season and hadn't done too much. That said, the loss of big Petrol Seventy-cents-a-litre could require him to step up the workload.<br><br>If you're low on trades, as you say, I'd be sticking with Crocker. He'll miss one more game with Origin, but he's getting better and better with fitness and is a genuine 80-minute player. Long term, I'm confident he'll rack up a stack of 40+ scores. Nice suggestion... but save the trade in this case.<br><br><b>Bill writes:<br>Hi Mr. Scout,<br>I have eight trades and $43,400 left.<br>I am currently 2nd in my league on 19 points, (I can't believe I had a draw) and my goal is to win.<br>But I can't do that with my current team, 1st place scores a lot more points than me every week. I play him in Rd22.<br>Do you think I should trade Benji Marshall for Scott Porter this week while the price is good?<br>And what do you think about swapping Petero for Cameron Smith, after I free up some cash?</b><br><br>You've got this game down-pat, don't you Billy-boy? Your suggestions are spot on, if a little late. You still have eight trades so I'd be axing Benji Marshall ($221,200) for Scott Porter ($213,600). (You missed the boat on the Porter trade, but better late than never).<br><br>This leaves you with $51,000 to replace big Petero Civoniceva ($239,000). For $290,000, you won't get Smith this week. But I'm sure you can find a way to squeeze him in after Origin III.<br><br><b>Peter writes:<br>Hi Lone Scout,<br>Looking for some advice.<br>I have $75,000 available and 9 trades remaining. <br>I traded out Russell Packer for Nathan Friend last week; was thinking about that or Crocker for Hindmarsh.<br>What's the likely hood of Jake Friend being stood down after the assault charges over the weekend? I think all I can do is squeeze some extra points out of FRF and 2RF. Is one of Crocker or J Friend to Hilder / Corey Parker a worthwhile trade?</b><br><br>The Jake Friend scenario is a tough one. To be honest, it's anyone's guess. The Roosters have stuck with him, so I'd suggest you do too. While he's starting at hooker, he should continue to score well, and there's no reason to believe that will end anytime soon.<br><br>As for Crocker for Hindmarsh... well, you'll never regret trading in Nathan Hindmarsh. But is it worth the massive $100k+ extra to bring him in? It's risky... but hey, it's your Dream Team. If you want him, buy him.<br><br>And finally, a shout-out to the <b>Black Muff Ninja</b>. This is the email he bet I wouldn't publish.<br><br><b>Lone Scout,<br>I was amused to see how you used my email last week. I knew you would give me a run and use it as a worse case scenario for leaving no trades.<br>My man, you mis-read my squad last week, I have no trades left but here is my squad again for you...<br><br>Ben Hornby, Kirt Gidley, Willie Isa, Mathew Wright, Greg Inglis, Simon Mannering, James McManus, Beau Scott, Alex Glenn, Terrence Campese, Daniel Mortimer, Luke Walsh, Marc Herbert, Bronson Harrison, Cameron Smith, Matty Hilder, Jake Friend, Nathan Hindmarsh (c), Trent Waterhouse, David Stagg, Alan Tongue, Richie Fa'aoso, George Rose, Jeremy Latimore, James Tamou.<br><br>I scored 730 this week, 750 the week before the bye, I'm soaring up the charts to 450th and it won't stop. <br>I will continue to kick on with NO TRADES BROTHER and don't worry I’ll let you know how I’m travelling as you wrote me off last week in your emails.<br>I told you I’m a gun. I am a special talent. Watch this space</b>.<br><br>I like your style, Black Muff Ninja. (You aren’t a former Dragon-turned-boxer, by any chance, are you?)<br><br>I also like your team. Keep us posted throughout the year so we can test the 'Trade Saver' theory.<br><br>Here's my offer to you... if you continue to "kick on with NO TRADES BROTHER" and drive home the brand new Toyota... you can have your very own weekly column on NRL.com next year as our Dream Team guru.<br><br>Sound fair? Good luck, mate! And good luck to the rest of you... remember, 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:lonescout@nrldigital.com?subject=Dream%20Team%20query">Email me your queries by clicking here.</a><br><br>Apologies to all the emailers I didn't get to this week... scouting is a busy business and I always work alone. Keep them coming and I'll do my best to get to them next Tuesday.<br><br>Until then, good luck, but more importantly, good coaching!<br><br>Scouts honour,<br>Lone Scout<br><br>PS. Did you know you can check your Dream Team LIVE scores while you’re at the footy, the pub or discreetly under the table while dining out with your better half? That's right - you can check your LIVE scores on your mobile!<br><br>Just enter <b>wap.fantasy.nrl.com</b> into your mobile phone browser.<br>