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Hi there Dreamers.

It's been a tough week at the Scout house, so this week I'm going back to the Q&A format, as I haven't been able to train all week and will need a needle just to get through.


Firstly, hands up if you brought Luke Douglas
last week.

Thankfully, my hand stays down. If you are sitting with your hand raised and feeling sorry for yourself, I feel for you (remember the Aubusson tragedy from a few rounds back), but suggest you pick yourself up and keep trucking. Dream Team will test you week-in and week-out, so shake it off, clear your head and make a new plan.

For a bit of background thinking on what to do with a lame Douglas, have a read of Question 1 from the article I wrote last week and change the word 'Tolman' for 'Douglas' and 'Douglas' for 'Hannant' where appropriate.

Plus, recent happenings suggest Ben Ross, Tariq Sims and Tim Robinson may have better long-term prospects than first thought, so factor them in if you decide on a big-money play up front.

(A word of warning on Sims – Newcastle back-rower Cory Paterson has now signed with the Cowboys and will start training with them from Tuesday.)


Next up, Peter Clark (tweets peeps) has 13 trades remaining and asks the other question that is on the tip of every Dreamers tongue: What's the go with Matt Srama?

The answer is Matt Srama looks to be mid-season Dream Team gold after he played 80 minutes in his NRL debut, for a more-than-handy 48. Srama is now apparently the frontrunner to be the future Titan's No.1 hooker (he signed a new contract with the Gold Coast this year) and may get to have a half-year apprenticeship as Nathan Friend struggles to shake-off his injury. Srama has been promoted to the Titans topline after Cartwright tried and apparently dismissed the alternatives (Brown & Lawton), making him even more attractive.

The future of Friend at the Titans is probably the key to whether Srama is a good long-term option. Friend is officially on the injured list "indefinitely" – although reports suggested he could be back around Round 20 or 21. In saying that, he could also be out for the season – particularly if the Titans are out of the running for the finals and decide to give their future No.9 more of a run in the starting side at the end of the year.

At the very least Srama should make decent money if he plays well enough to keep Riley Brown out of the Titans' 17, but the wise move could be waiting another week to be sure his scores will continue – and then pounce before he gets his first price rise. So, get on him if he's named to start in Round 14. The boy is a busy goer and has added benefits as a dual-position player. He may just be your ticket to an eventual trade-up to Cam Smith.

Peter also followed that up at the start of the week with one of those questions I've grown to hate: When will Srama be added and what position will he play in DT?

At the risk of blowing a gasket ... the answer is, he was added on Wednesday evening as a HLF/HOK as is usual for the DT administrators. So, please be patient with new players appearing in the system. There are plenty of people keeping an eye and all new players who play first grade will get put into the system as quickly as they can be.

Finally Peter wanted to know how long the 30 trades last (ie. will they be reset for the finals or something similar).

The answer to this is, sadly you have 30 to get you through to the end of the regular season of the NRL competition, with Round 26 being the GF for all Dream Team private leagues. Thirty trades maximum at two trades a week maximum. That's it, there are no more.


A week or three back Keith Judicrai (Jeditans) sent in a query about the Dogs' DT gun, David Stagg. As Stagg is always a strong topic of conversation I thought I'd reanimate it (in honour of Reece Simmonds' reanimation at the Dragons).

Keith writes: I've noticed that David Stagg's scores have gone through a sharp spike ... But I also remember that at the end of last year he stopped making tackles and you said that his coach was giving him limited game time, telling him to make less tackles, etc. Do you think I should pick him up for the rest of the season? (I'm not going to pick him up now that it is Origin season but I want to know whether his coach is going to stop him from playing again).

A: Firstly, good to see you're factoring in the basics, but Stagg is now well off the Origin radar, so this is not a factor you should consider.

Stagg is scoring well at the moment, generally playing close to 80 minutes as the sole backrow workhorse at the Doggies, especially now Andrew Ryan is filling Aiden Tolman's frontrow spot. He only posted 36 last week after playing just 58 minutes because of a hip injury, but should continue to score 50+ while Tolman is out. Michael Ennis could also get more of a rest in future weeks due to Origin, giving Stagg more opportunity to make big tackle numbers.

All-in-all Stagg is DT gold and you should think about adding him to your team – the most-desirable scenario is to have all your 2RFs as guns – as he will score well, perhaps not every week (all workhorses are more prone to injury or burn-out), but more often than not he will deliver for you.

When pondering how to get Stagg keep in mind that his score last week will see the Bulldogs' workhorse drop in price again this week, but he could be great value after that. Of course, when Tolman returns and the Origin series ends then he could start playing fewer minutes again – as he did at the start of the year.


And, after mentioning the revival of Reece Simmonds' career, I thought you'd enjoy checking out Bennett's left-over Dragons team for Round 14 against the Gold Coast (with thanks to Facebook fan Shane Silk).

With seven on the injured list and a likely seven out again for Origin duties, the Dragons may look like this:
Jason Nightingale, Peni Tagive, Nick Emmett, Jake Marketo, Reece Simmonds, Nathan Fien, Ben Hornby (c), Dan Hunt, Mitch Rein, Jon Green, Adam Cuthbertson, Jack Bosden, Matt Prior. Interchange : David Gower, Michael Greenfield, Daniel Penese, Nathan Jones

I reckon it might just be a fair fight.


This week there has also been plenty of chat about trading out Dallas Johnson.

Early in the year, Johnson was one of the best buys in Dream Team. A proven performer in his time at the Storm, Johnson returned from England and helped make the underachieving Cowboys a solid defensive team – making a heap of tackles every week.

After hitting scores in the 50s for four straight weeks, Johnson's scores have dropped off so much that he is now cheaper than his initial price. A concussion-affected score of 28 last week will take his value down further in coming weeks, meaning now could be the time to trade him out if you don't have faith he can turn things around.

But only consider scrapping Johnson if you can bring in one of the Dream Team big guns. If you are short on trades, keeping Dallas won't be the end of the world – he's usually going to be out there for close to 80 minutes and he could well go on another strong scoring spree in the lead-up to the NRL finals.

So, hang on to Johnson unless you have lots of spare trades burning a hole in your reserves. Even then I'd suggest keeping him – at worst you have the best 2RF sixth-man going around – and looking elsewhere to upgrade.


Brandon Groom has lobbed me a quick query about keeping or trading big Sam Kasiano.

Q: Is it too early to cash in on Kasiano? If I trade him out for a cheap player, it will take me over $100K in bank, and need that to upgrade my centres?

A: That's a difficult question to answer and one that highlights the importance of knowing your team's make-up (do you have other decent FRFs and how bad are those CTWs?), and also the number of trades to play with (we're at the point where many, including yours truly, have traded too much).

So, is it that worth it? It's hard to say without knowing your full team, but I think you should trade away if you have cover in the frontrow (ie. Sam is your fourth-best FRF) and need to improve other areas of your squad now. Which you apparently do in this year's most vulnerable and annoying position, the CTWs.

Kasiano may be in the starting line-up these days (meaning his scores shouldn't get any lower), but he's yet to top the 30-point mark this season. If he stays at his current situation/scoring, you will get another $20K+ from him over the next two to six weeks, depending on scores, but is it worth it if you're leaking points from the other end of the park? A big fat no.


On to a bit of PR for the Origin 2 Race that is giving fans a chance to win 20 tickets to the game. Check out the link below for more and make sure you give it a crack, I have a sneaky feeling Game 2 will be an absolute cracker! Races start at 9:30 and 3:30 daily and run weekdays until next Tuesday, so you have a good four or five chances left.

Enter the Origin 2 Ticket Race


And, while we're on Origin and, the site will be doing some good work to get you the Game 2 team announcements ASAP.

For more on this check out's State of Origin minisite


And, finally it might just be time to be wary of the Scouts. Although there's always room for improvement I think the boys are finally showing some decent form ... about time, I hear you say!

Best of luck. Here's hoping the god of league injuries is kind to us all (especially my lads, as the trades are drying up way too fast).

Catch you next week, when I hope my team is celebrating its first 800+.