Lone Scout's Dream Team Q&A: Round 13
State of Origin I is done and dusted, with the Blues crowing, the Maroons battled and bruised, and Dream Team guns Robbie Farah and Paul Gallen both set to spend round 13 on the sidelines.
Two teams stand atop the Holden Origin Dream Team standings, scoring 500 points from the series opener with the lineup of Jarryd Hayne, Michael Jennings, Cooper Cronk, Luke Lewis, Gallen and Cameron Smith. But with two games to go, there are still a lot of contenders for the $5000 Origin DT top prize.
The big question for Robbie Farah owners this week is: do you trade him out? If you're playing for overall points you probably need to, with the Tigers skipper unlikely to turn out for his club side again until round 16. Leaving him in your squad would mean $500,000 of your salary cap sitting unused in your reserves.
If you're playing to win your head-to-head league, the wise move is probably to hold onto him and keep a couple of trades up your sleeve. It'll cost you two trades to get rid of him (you'll want him in your side by the end of the season) and at this stage of the season all you need to do is to stay in touch with the top eight of your league. Come finals time, having those extra trades at your disposal could be the difference between an early knockout and becoming your league champion.
Now, onto this week's other big questions.
From Myron Naidu
Is Kelly to Marshall a good trade? Looking to upgrade other areas.
It's a bit of a risk, but I like this trade. Albert Kelly's been one of the real Dream Team success stories this season, rising in value by $196,500 and averaging 45 points a game. In saying that, he needs about 70 points in his next game to avoid a price drop and the Gold Coast have the bye this week, so now is the time to sell him if you are playing to win your head-to-head league.
If you're playing for overall points it could be worth keeping him until after round 15, when the Titans play in the next major bye round. In saying that, Benji Marshall will also play in that week, as well as this week, and he's $165,200 cheaper than Kelly. Marshall's been seriously below his best this season, but he's coming off a 43 and if he continues that kind of scoring he'll make a fair bit of cash. He's also likely to take on more kicking duties in the coming weeks with Robbie Farah set to miss games through injury and Origin.
If you're confident Marshall can go close to matching Kelly's scores for the rest of the season, make the trade now and use the spare cash to bring in a keeper somewhere else.
From Matthew Duggan
Do you think Kelly is a keeper?
He's very close to being one. My general rule is that a keeper is someone who scores 45 points a game (allowing for some lower scores in the outside backs). Kelly averages 45.67, but will he keep up that scoring form over the rest of the season? Aiden Sezer is the dominant halves partner at the Gold Coast, with Kelly frequently boosting his scores with ad hoc long-range tries and line breaks (he's crossed eight times in 12 games so far this year). Of course he could continue doing that all year, but if the Titans go through a rocky patch then Kelly's scores could easily drop.
He certainly won't be a bad player to have in your squad at the end of the season, but I'd rank him just below the top group of Dream Team halves.
From David Stone
Hey Lone Scout, George Burgess scored 67 this week and his break even was 60. Why did he decrease in value?
This one's a bit complicated, so anyone who's not interested in break even calculations or Assistant Coach can skip to the next question. Basically, the break even for each player ahead of a round is a prediction from Assistant Coach, not a certainty (ie. it predicts that if a player hits a certain score his price will stay the same).
The reason it's not 100% accurate is that player price changes partially depend on how all players are scoring generally. So there's an average Dream Team player price (say about $250,000) which corresponds to the average Dream Team weekly score, and below-average players are cheaper than that while above-average players are more expensive. But that "average" score obviously changes a little every week, depending on how all players are scoring.
So if players generally all start scoring higher, a player who keeps scoring at the same level will start to lose value. Or if scores are generally low, then high-scoring players will go up in value more than usual.
Again, it's complicated, but it's how Dream Team has worked for years. Don't expect the break evens to be 100% correct and you'll be fine – those break evens are still great indicators of whether a player's price has peaked or bottomed out.
From Caolan Cullinane
When does Craig Gower become available? And will he be a dual position player?
Ex-Panthers star and new Knights recruit Craig Gower is available in Dream Team now as a dual-position hooker/half, at a cost of $171,900.
From Nathan Lam
Who is the better cash cow, Nofoaluma or Greenshield?
It depends what you need out of them. Tackle-busting Tigers winger David Nofoaluma is at the bottom-dollar price of $101,600, and has managed to score 90 points in two games, but there are serious questions about his job security with fellow outside backs Blake Ayshford, Chris Lawrence and James Tedesco all expected to return for Wests in the next week or two. He should make good cash this week, but there's a real chance he won't play again all year.
Clint Greenshields will play a few more games at least, filling in the Cowboys fullback spot with Matt Bowen injured until round 18. But he already costs $171,900 so isn't likely to get massive price rises. He'll go up by about $60,000 by round 18 if he keeps hitting scores in the mid-30s. Is that worth a trade?
So I'd lean towards Nofoaluma, if only to free up more cash now, with the possible bonus of offloading him for much more later. But be prepared for him to spend some time on the sidelines if the Tigers return to full strength.
From Luke Moore
Do you think Dane Gagai will improve?
Yes, but there are no guarantees. Gagai was terrific for the Knights in his debut season at the club last year, averaging 43 Dream Team points a game, but he's only scoring half that this season. His scoring has been affected by an injury-hit -7 back in round 2, and he has shown flashes of brilliance in games. At his best he's a real tackle-breaker and try-scorer, so if the Knights manage to find some consistency and give Gagai some scoring chances he should start posting good scores again.
From Seckin Kanmaz
Who should I trade out Scott Moore for?
At this stage you really want to be concentrating on keepers, cash cows, or players who will get you through the bye rounds. Nathan Peats is probably the best cash cow option, but has the bye this week and is likely to be a bit-part bench player apart from the next pre-Origin round (round 15). Joel Romelo was named to keep his spot at five-eighth for the Bulldogs on Tuesday but will presumably make way for Josh Reynolds. And that's about it as far as the cheap options go.
So, I'd stock up cash from elsewhere and spend big to bring in a decent hooker. Michael Ennis is the best option for the bye rounds (as long as he doesn't get a call-up to replace Farah in Origin II), and there are several other No.9s who average 40 points a week or better. Obviously the goal for all Dream Teams should be to end up with the Smith/Farah combo.
From Praneet Namakal
Hey LS, Tariq Sims looks like he has peaked, who would be a good replacement for him?
I'll be keeping Sims for now, with the Cowboys back-rower one of very few decent options for the tough round 18 bye week. But if you don't care about points in the bye rounds then now's certainly a good time to trade. Feleti Mateo's an interesting (but risky) option after last week's 57, Eels lock Peni Terepo still has some money to make, and Tyrone Peachey is a nice cheap option who will play while the Sharks are missing Paul Gallen and/or Luke Lewis.
Generally speaking though, now's the time to be either cashing out your cash cows for $101,000 cheapies or upgrading them to genuine keepers.
From Ben Vernon
Time to sell Ryan James?
The big thing in James's favour is that his Titans play in round 15 when half the teams have the week off, but that only matters if you're playing for overall points. On the other side of the coin: his price has peaked, he isn't playing this week, and there are cheaper players out there who will also play in one of the upcoming bye rounds. It's not an urgent trade unless you need an extra scorer this week, but it's certainly time to start looking for a replacement for him.
That's all for this week, happy trading and good luck to your team.