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After one round Neville Costigan (arm), Kurt Gidley (back), Scott Geddes (achilles) and Ben Lowe (foot) are all in the casualty ward, as are many other notables, while three others face a short ban.

So, how do you make the decision to cull or keep these players?

First, you need to remember your strategy for the season; car or win your league? Later in the season this distinction will be a major factor in your final decision, but after one round the distinction is irrelevant.

Next you can need to make some value judgments, always applying the golden rule of trading; only trade if it improves your squad’s long-term prospects. You want to trade in only the guys who will make you cash (cash cows) and who will cover or improve the weekly points you traded out.

My advice is trade now. You can’t afford to have that much wasted salary cap space doing nothing, when the opening two rounds provide the perfect opportunity to rectify obvious selection mistakes and, importantly, cover for significant injuries.

Ask yourself does the player have to go? At this early stage the answer will often be yes.

For instance, Geddes is an unspectacular scorer and is now gone for the year, it’s a no-brainer… cut him. The opening round should’ve shown you there are better options.

For someone like Gidley, who might miss a week or two, you don’t need to pull the trigger so quickly. If you’ve got a good squad you will be able to cover for his absence and be grateful of his return when your first head-to-head match-up team is selected.

The real dilemma is what to do with guys like Lowe and Costigan. If you picked wisely you may be able to cover for Costigan, thereby saving a precious trade for elsewhere.

Lowe is a different beast, as he is a potential 40-points-a-week player who costs close to $300K. Trade him now. If you work it right you can always pick him up again later – and likely for a cheaper price.

Read weekly columns from the Lone Scout in Big League magazine.