The Dream Team world can sometimes turn things upside down. The two fanbases currently ranked last and second-last in Dream Team belong to the Rabbitohs and Storm – the top two teams in the NRL. Meanwhile the Warriors, who were running last until Sunday's win over the Gold Coast, have the highest-scoring Dream Team fanbase.
And the state that has the best scoring Dream Team coaches is... Queensland. Okay, some things never change. (NSW actually ranks a lowly fifth in terms of DT points per round, behind Queensland, the ACT, international coaches and, strangely enough, Western Australia. C'mon my fellow Blues, we can do better than that!)
It's time to keep one eye on the future, with the likes of Paul Gallen, Benji Marshall and Ben Barba all set to become absolute bargains in the next few weeks. But in the meantime, here are my tips on who you should trade in or out before round 9...
From Chris Robson
Ryan James and Jack Buchanan are both levelling out in price. James may increase his minutes through Origin but Buchanan looks like he is going to lose them. Hold or trade?
I'll be trading Buchanan this week – he's been a great cash cow but at $223,700 he's probably hit his peak and isn't a great scoring option for the bye rounds (his Tigers aren't playing in round 12).
James is a slightly different story, at least for Dream Teamers playing for overall points. Like Buchanan, he's peaked, but unlike Buchanan he'll play in both the first two major bye rounds. With the Titans to be without a few forwards due to Origin (Nate Myles, Greg Bird, Ashley Harrison), James's scores should only go up during those bye rounds.
Of course, that's irrelevant if you're just playing to win your head-to-head league, as there aren't any head-to-head match-ups those weeks. So sell James if you're playing head-to-head, but consider keeping him until after round 15 if you're playing for overall.
From Turi Soyeser
Is Albert Kelly to Trent Hodkinson a realistic trade for head-to-head as Hodkinson will hit $300k sooner rather than later, which gives me options to upgrade Jacob Miller to Daly Cherry-Evans?
Like James, Kelly has a very good bye draw, so I think he's a definite keeper for now for overall points Dream Teamers. He's averaging 44 points a game, despite scoring just 18 last week after being knocked out.
If you're playing head-to-head, Kelly's price has certainly peaked for now. He'll probably drop by $20K or more in the next couple of weeks (although he might make that up later). Hodkinson meanwhile is rising in value fast, so now's the time to get him if you want him in your squad this season.
So again, I'd only trade if you're focusing on your head-to-head league.
From Lukey Mac
Have we missed the boat on Brenton Lawrence and SBW?
You could certainly have had them for cheaper if you picked them up earlier in the year, but both are looking like keepers anyway and it's never a bad time to bring in a keeper. Sonny Bill Williams is almost a must-have, while Lawrence is one of a handful of great front-row options this year (the others being Fifita, Woods, Hannant, Merrin, Waerea-Hargreaves, Gallen, Graham, and both Burgesses). James Graham and the Burgess brothers have the best bye draws for overall points DT coaches, but Lawrence is still probably underpriced so remains a great buy this week.
From Myron Naidu
Who is the best person to trade out Buchanan for, Lawrence or Graham?
I'll say Lawrence for head-to-head, Graham for overall points.
From Chris Apostolidis
Lone Scout can you please tell us what you think about Jason Clark? He's a dual position hooker and 2RF and is about to play his third game. Good investment or dud?
I thought about him this week (as I'm still trapped with non-playing Cowboy Scott Moore as my reserve hooker) but in the end I decided against Clark. Yes, he played well last week – scoring one try and almost grabbing another – but as a Souths bench player playing limited minutes his scores are likely to be erratic at best. If you bring him in and he only makes $40,000 in price rises, it's probably going to be a wasted trade. If his price was $100,000 instead of $200,000 I'd recommend you jump on board, but as it stands there are probably better cash cow options out there.
From Steven Uglow
Is it time to pick up Barba, or will he continue to slump?
His price is still dropping so I'd wait another week or two. If you don't get him this week and he posts a huge score, at least you can bring him in next week with the confidence that he's getting back into form.
From Greg Hales
Hey LS, is it time to get off Daniel Tupou? Who the best cheap buys in WFB?
I traded Tupou to Matt Moylan last week, so that's my advice. Jordan Kahu is the other rookie winger/fullback who will get his first price rise this weekend, but I prefer fullbacks over wingers so recommend getting Moylan instead.
From Jarvis Zochling
Hey Scout, is Fifita a good buy now that Gallen is injured?
Andrew Fifita was already a good buy, but he is a big chance of producing another monster score with no Gallen in the Sharks side this week (he went nuts last week after Gallen got injured). The only risk I see with Fifita is he might be playing well enough to earn a NSW Origin spot, but otherwise he's probably the best prop in Dream Team at the moment.
From Nathan Williamson
What do you think about Jacob Lillyman, hold or sell?
Sell. It's not a huge rush – his price shouldn't drop much more than it has already – but he's neither a keeper or a cash cow at the moment. If anything, the Warriors' improved performances are actually hurting his scores, as he now isn't forced to do as much tackling as he did in the early rounds.
From Simon Bishop
Benji Marshall had a huge price drop, is he worth taking on as a third choice half now? Or will he continue to drop?
After scoring -5 on the weekend, you can be confident his score is still dropping. His break even this week is actually a whopping 96. After starting the season at more than $400,000, Marshall could drop below $250,000 this week and will be an absolute steal soon (assuming he and the Tigers eventually get their act together).
From Daniel Needham
I need to offload Humble at WFB. I've got $270k to spend and am leaning towards Reece Robinson, thoughts/suggestions? Many thanks.
For that price, Robinson, Jorge Taufua and Dane Gagai are probably your best options. Ben Barba and Matt Bowen are also potential buys if you're confident they'll regain their old Dream Team form. Robinson's probably your safest bet.
That's all for this week folks. Happy trading and good luck to your team.