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With the first week of head-to-head action now behind us, you’ll either be content with your top eight position or keen to register a win this weekend.

Ahead of Round 5, there aren’t as many clear cut must-haves on the market. That’s not to say there aren’t still trades to be made...

Let’s take a look at those players you should be investing in, holding or letting go, as well as some of the better captaincy options for Round 5.


Jack Stockwell | FRF/2RF | $131,100

Played his first game for 2013 against the Sharks, finishing with 40. What impressed me the most was his discipline - no penalties or errors in his 35 minutes on the field. That means coaches reaped the full reward from his 96 metres and 25 tackles. Has been named to start this week, and with Michael Weyman out for up to three weeks, Stockwell is looking like a prime cash cow, even just for the short term. Monitor his progress and buy next week if you’re cautious, but if you need to free up some cash, look to buy this week.

Adam Cuthbertson | 2RF | $266,400

Cuthbertson has grabbed his opportunity with both hands this year, scoring 49 and 64 in his two games in first grade. While he’s not playing big minutes, there’s no denying his impact - 102m, two tries and two line breaks against the Raiders is an impressive return. He won’t score a try every week (those two were his first since the Dragons’ 2011 finals loss to Brisbane), but he’s still got points in him and a price rise on the way. One to consider - a unique option for your second row.


Chris Sandow | HLF | $313,400

Many coaches (myself included) were left dumbfounded when seeing Sandow’s score of -4 in Round 4. With Parramatta held scoreless, and the enigmatic halfback making seven missed tackles, his points return was never going to be great. Faced with a BE of 71, many coaches have hit the trade button, but I would hold for now. While he might drop in value this week, he is capable of matching his BE (his highest score against the Sharks is 72) and should still rise in value over the next month.

Sam Thaiday | 2RF | $370,000

When the Broncos travel to Skilled Park this Friday, they will be without their skipper, who was suspended for one week. There’s no need to remove him from your DT squad though. He’ll be back and raring to go against the Cowboys the following week, and with a handy season average of 47, he’s proving to be an shrewd point of difference for those who have him.


Nathan Peats | HOK/2RF | $256,100

Regular readers of the Market Watch will remember I advised selling Issac Luke last week. While he had been sharing minutes with Peats in 2013, Luke spent 75 minutes on the field in the win over the Bulldogs. Peats was restricted to just 5 minutes. It remains a mystery as to what will happen this round, but it would appear that it’s safe to avoid both - particularly Peats. He is a terrific player and generally scores well, but if he’s not going to get on the field, consider your options elsewhere.

Nathan Smith | 2RF | $148,100

Loomed as a prime cash cow, particularly after his round one score of 47. However, his scoring has unfortunately suffered since, and has been left out of the round five squad altogether. A trade for Stockwell should be popular this week.

Round 5 Captains - players to consider

  • Daly Cherry-Evans | HLF | $480,100
  • Cameron Smith | HOK | $534,400
  • Sam Burgess | FRF/2RF | $375,500
  • Sonny Bill Williams | 2RF | $354,700
  • Johnathan Thurston | HLF | $368,500
  • Wildcard: James Tamou | FRF | $366,500

Acknowledgement of Country

National Rugby League respects and honours the Traditional Custodians of the land and pay our respects to their Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the lands we meet, gather and play on.

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