How much bye planning should you be doing? Is Liam Martin a better cash cow than Hudson Young? And which of the star halves is a must-have?
NRL Fantasy coaches have plenty of questions on their minds heading into round 10, so here are the answers to a few of them, via the Fantasy Facebook page.
This week's questions
Better buys this week out of Taumalolo, Jake Trbojevic, Farah and Cam McInnes? Can get one this week and one next week.
Also, is it worth holding Bateman if you are playing head to head? He's really only going to miss another 4 games because of the round 12 bye and it will save two trades.
From Anthony Hall
Here are the season averages for those first four players, if you take out the injuries to Taumalolo and Farah: Farah 64.5; Taumalolo 60.3; McInnes 59.2; Jake Trbojevic 55.6. Farah's minutes are in some question with Jacob Liddle now on the bench (Farah only played 62 minutes last week, albeit in a big win), Trbojevic will play Origin, and McInnes is the most expensive of the quartet. So I'd probably get Taumalolo this week, and see if Farah's minutes bounce back before grabbing him next week.
On Bateman, if you're not concerned with your overall rank it's really a case of whether your team can win head-to-head matches without replacing him in the next four weeks. If you are confident holding him won't hurt your top-eight prospects there's no harm in holding.
Bye bye planning
With Garner not playing again who do I trade in? Arrow will play Origin, Taupau looks great and will play the round 12 bye... are there any other options?
From Ben Dunn
Jason Taumalolo probably edged Taupau if you're looking for a gun who will play in round 12.
Rank these cows as a buy and why please. Papenhuyzen, Young Hudson and L. Martin.
From James Calvert
1. Hudson Young, 2. Liam Martin, 3. Ryan Papenhuyzen.
Papenhuyzen was amazing in a half-hour spell for the Storm last week and should score well at fullback this week, but will in all likelihood be a bench utility again next round so his scores could disappear quickly. Young is cheaper than Martin and will earn money quicker after two scores in the mid-40s, so even though Joe Tapine will bump him out of the starting Raiders pack in a few rounds he looks a slightly better bet to make $150k+ in price rises (he's projected to jump in value by $160k in the next three weeks if he averages 40).
Is Liam Martin a good pick up – seems to have a good PPM?
From Tim Burgess
Martin's points per minute is solid for a middle forward (at 0.75 this season it's the same as Jared Waerea-Hargreaves and Tevita Pangai jnr) but the reason he's caught the eye is that he scored 48 in 60 minutes in his last start and is now Penrith's starting lock, and if he can earn more 40+ scores he'll be great value at $281k. The worry is he could easily lose that spot – Hame Sele could return at lock, or James Fisher-Harris could return there (and definitely will when Isaah Yeo returns from a shoulder injury, expected to be in round 14). Hudson Young has similar job security issues but a lower break even and a slightly lower price, so I prefer him as a buy this round.
Bird and Nikora are my centres, with Xerri in my emergencies. Trade Masters in for Bird, or bring Xerri in to the starting team and trade Bird down to a cash cow and upgrade Burr?
From Stephen Donohue
Go with the second option. Ideally you'll have John Bateman in your centres for the run home, so there's no real point in having two keepers in your centre spots if you're going to replace one of them later. I'm running with Xerri for now and will bring Bateman back in later, and am strengthening my squad elsewhere in the meantime.
Is Milford, A.Reynolds, Cleary or Pearce a must have right now or is sticking with Morgan and trading in a cashie (Dearden) instead a better method this round?
From Brendan Brown
One of the interesting factors of this season is the lack of clear-cut "must-haves" in the halves. All four of the guys you mentioned look like good buys – Reynolds and Cleary are rock-solid base stats scorers as dominant kickers and goal-kickers, while Milford's kick metre numbers are terrific and he's only been more dominant alongside Tom Dearden in the Broncos halves, and Pearce has been in great form recently. Pearce's price tag remains his biggest selling point so if money's no concern I'd lean towards whichever of Reynolds or Cleary doesn't make the NSW Origin team (we won't know this for a couple of weeks unfortunately), just ahead of Milford who hasn't averaged more than 50 across a full season before 2019.
Dearden is a good buy, but Morgan should be upgraded when you can.
What is the better school of thought? Trading in bye-round targets and non-Origin players, or focussing on having a stronger 17 from as early as possible until seasons end?
If I can max my 17 now with keepers, whilst keeping plenty of depth and next crop of cash cows, does that negate the loss of a few points during byes?
From Sean Kelly
Strengthening your squad for the run home should remain the top priority – if you burn through too many trades worrying about the bye rounds you could just be shooting yourself in the foot if you cop a few injuries in the second half of the season. If you keep your focus on getting either cash cows or keepers (ideally ones who are playing in round 12 at this stage, then guys who are playing in round 16 after that) you should be fine.
Amazing Haas thrives again
How many trades do you have left? Seriously I'm in a league with you guys and am worried I've used way more trades then you and CK.
From Harry Rasheed
Don't worry, we're both burning through trades as well. Too many tempting cash cows this season. I'll have 17 or 16 left after this week.