The NRL is back, with a blockbuster five-day round starting with two big games on ANZAC Day. It's time for Dream Team coaches to start planning for the tricky State of Origin period, when getting a full team together will become a near impossible task. There's five weeks between now and then, so use your upcoming trades wisely.
Remember that the "reverse trades" feature will stop working when the first games of the round begin on Thursday, so if you've got trades planned that don't involve the Roosters, Dragons, Storm or Warriors I recommend holding off making them until Friday.
Now, onto this week's fan questions.
From Tim Bussoletti
Is it worth going for Tedesco? What are his chances to hold into fullback when Marshal returns?
Injuries to Benji Marshall (toe, round 10) and Braith Anasta (groin, round 12) have opened up big Dream Team opportunities for young guns Curtis Sironen and James Tedesco, with Sironen replacing Benji at five-eighth and Tedesco going to fullback this week, with regular No.1 Tim Moltzen moving to halfback. Assuming Marshall doesn't make an early return from injury Tedesco should get three weeks at the back, and that should be enough time to make some decent coin (he costs $156,300 and has a break even of -5).
After that, who knows? Tedesco could well be the Tigers' long-term fullback, but it'll be a battle between himself, Moltzen and Sironen when Marshall gets back. Most likely Tedesco will be pushed back to the wing then, where his scores will drop.
From Jeremy Hall
Do you think it's possible to have a full quota of 17 players scoring through the bye and Origin period and what's your advice to handle this best?
For starters, I don't think it's possible to have a full 17-man lineup for all four of the bye rounds. If you went all-out with your trades you can probably do it, but it would probably wreck your chances of scoring well for the rest of the season.
So instead the key is to get the balance right of getting enough players on the field for each of those rounds, while also not burning too many trades by getting rid of guns you'll want to bring back in later. Ideally, you'll be able to load up on a few non-Origin players from those teams who will be in action for the first bye round (that's the Rabbitohs, Titans, Dragons, Knights, Warriors, Broncos, Cowboys & Bulldogs in round 12) and then use some smart trades during the bye rounds to keep a half-decent team on the park every week without weakening your wider squad.
Keep in mind you get an extra trade for each of the big bye weeks (so three trades a week for rounds 12, 15, 18 and 19).
The first step is to set up a decent bye planner. There's one you can download here.
And if you're only focusing on your head-to-head comp, then you can ignore the byes and keep more trades up your sleeve for the finals.
From Arnold Villegas
John Morris only played 32 minutes against the Sea Eagles. Time to disembark?
Yes. Although Morris has kept his starting spot as the Sharks hooker, Isaac De Gois played 48 minutes in round 6 and chances are he'll get the majority of game time again this week. Morris needs about 50 this week to hold his price, so I'd say he's hit his peak.
From Michael O'Keeffe
Will Jarrad Hayne lose more value or should you snap him up this week?
Hayne's been one of the biggest disappointments for the Scouts this year, with his price diving by $94,200. But he is a proven Dream Team performer, is still averaging 40 points a week and has a break even of just 24 this week. Unless you're scared off by the Origin period (he's a near certainty to play for the Blues and the Eels have a bye in round 16 as well) then now is the time to snap him up.
From Craig Finkle
Is SBW an absolute must-have now or is that knee injury likely to keep him out at some point?
As a genuine star who plays 80 minutes, is great in attack, does his fair share of work in defence and won't play Origin, Sonny Bill Williams is getting very close to must-have status now. There's always a chance he succumbs to injury at some stage, but that goes for every player in the league.
From Brendon Kim
Paul Gallen is $73k less than when the season started. Is he a good buy even though Origin is coming up?
Gallen's break even is still a lofty 72, meaning there's a good chance his price has some more way to fall. I'd hold off for a week or two unless you're desperate to bring in a gun this week.
From Turi Soyeser
Is Tariq Sims the trade of the week, considering he's starting and finding his old form lately plus won't play Origin and has good bye rounds?
I'm not sure he's the trade of the week, but now is definitely a good time to get Tariq Sims. After a very quiet start to the year off the bench, Sims was bumped down a grade to get his match fitness right and is now back in the NRL and – as of last week – playing 80 minutes. There aren't many other 80-minute forwards who cost just $154,800 out there.
From Paully Thomas Messell
Is Anthony Don worth getting?
Not yet. He is playing again this week, but won't get a price rise until his third game (he's only played one) and is a winger so won't score huge. See Vai Toutai, Daniel Tupou, etc.
From Alex Crook
Hey Lone Scout, thoughts on Scott Moore? Will he come back into first grade or not?
I think he will, but who knows when? As soon as another quality low-priced starting hooker arrives I'd jump off board Moore, but at the moment there aren't many options out there so you're probably best off saving up and making the upgrade to someone like Andrew McCullough or Issac Luke when you can for the Origin period. (Of course, Moore himself could be very handy over Origin if he does come back.)
From Tyson Dempsey
Do you think Tohu Harris has reached his peak price in Dream Team and should be traded as Kevin Proctor has returned?
Ryan Hinchcliffe's injury until round 13 means Harris is likely to keep a starting spot in the Storm pack for the short term at least, so hold onto him. His price should rise again this week.
From Raymond Tran
Hey LS, worth buying Frizell/Stockwell this week?
Tyson Frizell's emerged as a very good Dream Team buy after becoming an 80-minute back-rower at the Dragons and scoring back-to-back 50s. He's got a low break even and is available in the centres as well, although he isn't a cheapie at $281,200.
Stockwell is cheaper at $166,200 and has a break even of zero. He already jumped $35,100 last week but will keep climbing for another couple of weeks.
That's all the questions I've got time for, but if you want some more Dream Team chatter plus the late team changes make sure you check out my Facebook page.
Good luck this week,
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