Lone Scout: Dream Team late mail

Ladies and gentlemen... welcome to trade day!<br><br>The Glory Bound Rounds are in full swing and with the Dream Team finals just two weeks away... it's time to unleash the big guns.<br><br>Dropping a game here could be disastrous... so let's get stuck right into the latest casualty ward updates to ensure last week's nightmare injury curse doesn't strike again.<br><br><b>Trent Barrett: </b>Got a face like a dropped pie after a nasty collision with Brett White.<br>Due back: 2010<br>Verdict: This is why you save trades, people!<br>Suggested replacement: Tim Moltzen (Tigers - $143,100).<br>If you don't have the cash to upgrade, Moltzen is an 80 minute halfback and he's super cheap. Also scored 52 last week.<br><br><b>Anthony Laffranchi:</b> Suspended.<br>Due back: Round 22<br>Verdict: Stick with him.<br>Suggested replacement: Nathan Smith (Panthers - $267,000).<br>Another cog in this no-frills Penrith machine. Not a super-star, but scores consistently and is cheaper than Laffranchi.<br><br><b>Adam Blair:</b> Suspended.<br>Due back: Round 22<br>Verdict: He's been very quiet of late and the trend could continue with Melbourne's big guns back.<br>Suggested replacement: Dave Taylor (Broncos - $176,700).<br>In great form. Handy little trade for a strong bench forward.<br><br><b>Marc Herbert:</b> Busted hand.<br>Due back: Round 24<br>Verdict: If he's your starting halfback... trade him now.<br>Suggested replacement: Josh McCrone (Raiders - $96,200).<br>Straight swop between these two. While Herbert is out, McCrone will be in so you can't lose.<br><br><b>Steve Price:</b> Ribs<br>Due back: Hopefully Round 22<br>Verdict: Tough one. If you have trades, go for it.<br>Suggested replacement: Roy Asotasi (Rabbitohs - $229,000).<br>Cheaper option who has been finding some hot form of late.<br><br><b>Kieran Foran: </b>Replaced by Steve Matai.<br>Due back: Ask Des.<br>Verdict: He's made you a stack of money. Either trade him out... or wait for Steve Matai to get injured again.<br>Suggested replacement: Tim Moltzen (Tigers - $143,100).<br>Value and point scoring have sky-rocketed after being shifted into halfback.<br><br><b>Other big players still on the sideline</b><br>Matt Cooper, Jeremy Smith, Ashley Harrison, Matt Rogers, Chris Walker, David Milne, Justin Carney, David Shillington, Scott Logan, Tom Learoyd-Lahrs, Nick Kenny, Israel Folau, Peter Wallace and Sam Thaiday.<br><br><b>Players in doubt</b><br>Frank Pritchard is a 50/50 proposition. Play him at your own risk.<br>Ben Hunt was named to start in the No.7 for the Broncos but Karmichael Hunt will play at halfback, meaning Ben Hunt is unlikely to play.<br>Anthony Tupou has been named for the Sharks but is also in doubt. I'd steer away from playing him.<br><br>Now for the good news!<br><br><b>Players back in action this week<br></b>Greg Inglis, Dallas Johnson, Ryan Hoffman, Steve Turner, Darren Lockyer, Karmichael Hunt, Tonie Carroll, Paul Gallen (wasn't named but could be a late inclusion), David Stagg, Michael Crocker, Steve Matai, Kurt Gidley, Jarrod Mullen.<br><br><b>So who should wear the 'C' this week?</b><br>1. Jamie Soward<br>2. Robbie Farah<br>3. Nathan Hindmarsh<br>4. David Stagg<br>5. Cameron Smith<br><br><b>Now for the Q&amp;A...</b><br><br><b>Aaron writes:<br>At the moment I have $125,500 in the bank with two trades left. Deans Young's performance at the moment is terrible for my team - I don't know who to get for him if I traded him. I thought it had to be between Cam Smith or Ben Hannant. Happy to get either. Hannant is more expensive but capable of more points. Who do you think? </b><br><br>I'm not quite sure I agree that Hannant can outscore Smith. Sure, Smith has been relatively quiet but I think that could all change against the Dragons with the likes of Inglis and Hoffman running off him again. Don't forget, two weeks back he scored a 69. <br><br>You have to remember that Smith scores plenty of points via goal-kicking and try-assists... so when the Storm are hot, so is Smith.<br><br>As for Hannant, he's a workhorse and when he gets back to peak fitness... he'll be a solid 50+ player again.<br><br>Flip of a coin, mate! But be aware both will most likely drop in value after this week (due to previous scores). Then again, so will Young!<br><br><b>Empty writes:<br>I am currently sitting first in my comp with $200k in the bank and 2 trades left. I am looking to upgrade one of 3 positions. I can either upgrade a reserve front rower like Lewis Brown (bad pick up) for Robbie Farah, Anthony Tupou for Hindmarsh, or I can get on the bandwagon and go for Soward as a replacement for one of Porter or Mortimer.<br><br>Am I correct in assuming that with Barrett out for the remainder of the year that Porter will be assuming more of the kicking duties? This would influence the trade more towards taking the Farah deal.<br><br>What are your thoughts?</b><br><br>Nice analysis with Porter, Empty. He certainly will pick up Barrett's slack in the kick-metre department.<br><br>With just two trades left, I'd suggest you make your decision mathematically. How many points do you think Porter will average for the rest of the season (remember, his best scores came when the Sharks were winning). Now calculate how many points Soward will average for the rest of the season (approx. 60 per game).<br><br>What's the difference? My estimation would be about 15-20 points per game difference.<br><br>Now do the same with Brown for Farah. And the same again with Tupou for Hindmarsh. I won't do the sums for you... but that should put you on the right track! <br><br><b>GXIII writes:<br>Moltzen got 52 last week. Will he continue this form? Matt Keating looks to be on the decline. Dallas Johnson and Cam Smith - What is going on with these guys?<br><br>Will Tupou start posting 40's again?<br><br>I look forward to your words of wisdom.</b><br><br>I wish I had some, GXIII! I don't think Moltzen will go 50+ again, but I do think he'll average 30+ for the rest of the season. Not a bad option for a bench half.<br><br>Dallas Johnson has been battling injury since Origin. His value is very low so it's probably not the best time to offload him. I'd expect him, along with Smith, to crank up the averages over the next few rounds.<br><br>Tupou? He's really starting to annoy me, to be honest! I tipped him in a previous column as a good value buy... and since then he's strained a hammy and can't seem to recover from it. Word is he'll miss this week too.<br><br>Is he worth keeping? Possibly not. He scores points via offloads, metres gained and line breaks. He is not a tackling workhorse... so if the Sharks revert to their old ways, he may struggle scoring 40 consistantly.<br><br><b>Willkie writes:<br>I'm really not sure if I should trade my five-eighth Terry Campese whose been out of touch since Origin really. I have Kieran Foran but I don't think he is the right option because he could get replaced by Chris Bailey any minute and also he doesn't play the full 80 minutes. </b><br><br>Foran hasn't been named this week, with Matai back in the centres and Lyon at five-eighth. He's a young Toyota Cup player who's excelled at the top level, but I don't see him getting too much more game time while Manly is at full strength.<br><br>Don't rely on him in the halves.<br><br><a href="mailto:lonescout@nrldigital.com">Click here</a> to email me your Dream Team dilemmas.<br><br>Apologies to all the emailers who I simply couldn't get to in today's column. And a big thank you to everyone who sent in their suggestions to improve NRL Dream Team in 2010. We've taken them on board and will get back to you with our findings!<br><br>Scouts honour,<br>Lone Scout<br>