Geez, what a season we’re having! I know for most people a weekend hasn’t gone by without a key injury, a high scoring bench selection or (and!?) a lackluster Captain choice.
While these sorts of things can make you want to throw in the towel, give up on the 50k and focus on 2016 – don’t despair just yet. It’s only round 5, plenty can happen.
At this stage what your starting squad looked like will no longer influence where you end up ranking. What’s done is done. What’s matters now are your trading strategies – and where you sit in the rankings should influence how you apply them.
No matter where you are ranked it’s obvious you need to target the best of the best players.
Captain worthy midfielders are your first choice in this regard. I won’t linger here. If you don’t own Nathan Fyfe, you should – and start planning on how you plan to pick up Rocky and Gaz soon enough. If Rory Sloane’s performance taught us anything last weekend, it was not to lose sight of just how few players are worthy of carrying our C each week. Throwing the VC on a Swan, Martin or Franklin is always a worthy move but it’s big a risk following this up with the C on a form player. My guess is that Pendlebury will be a popular VC choice come this Friday night.
Supercoach’s no. 2 ranked player is currently Todd Goldstein. Every one of the top 10 teams has him in the rucks. If you are ranked highly he needs to be traded in ASAP! Simply put, he is building a gap between those with him and without him. I think a defensive trade is needed to close that gap.
If, like me however, you are an unfortunate coach who doesn’t own him (and are not ranked at the top of the pile) I think you have an interesting choice. He is priced at $615k and climbing. Unless you’re sitting on a kitty and bringing Goldstein in isn’t going to hijack your trade plans – don’t chase him. Instead I would recommend staying focused on looking for value in fallen premiums these next few weeks and target Goldstein when our rookies really peak in value.
Put simply, you need to find points others don’t have. Patience and planning are rewarded in this game. Trading in the Goldstein’s of this world are NOT bad trades but they are the vanilla moves most others pursue. Will trading him in lift you out of the pack? Probably not, but smart value trading might. Choosing which trades NOT to make will some weeks be more important than the ones you do.
I will be a very interested, and at times nervous, observer of the Bont’s performance week to week having chosen not to trade him in last weekend. I’ve made the decision to pursue players like Goddard, Franklin, Harvey or eventually Bartel & Lids to complete my forward line partially because so many players have made the opposite choice.
In the next few weeks some mids will be available at very attractive prices. Stevie J, Luke Parker and Michael Barlow are all shaping as popular trade ins. With JPK, Gaz and Rocky right behind them however I’m not sure I’ll be chasing them. Before you go filling too many of your mid slots in the next few weeks, think ahead to the final team you want.
When I make my trades in the coming weeks my focus will be on bringing in consistent high scoring players with proven scoring histories. Trading in guys like Tom McDonald who appear to have crossed that allusive premium threshold is a bit like selecting mid-pricers in your starting team. It’s especially risky if you are bringing them in at the top of their price cycle, so be prepared to let the boat sail. I’m happy to play it safe and get Kade Simpson at a discount personally.
So, when should we start to cull our cash cows?
As a general rule we are told to wait until their break even approximately matches their average. Following this rule, we’ve probably got a week or two to wait – but a couple are starting to show signs.
Christian Salem has probably under performed on what his owners hoped but with a BE of only 12 this week there is still a good chance that he has another $50k or so to rise. If you are looking for a down/upgrade option this week however I think we could go a little early on him, particularly considering his tough upcoming draw. What’s more Salem is on field for most coaches, thus an upgrade should yield extra points whilst a downgrade may not lose any. Consider trading cash cows you own that have this kind of profile first. On the flip side Heeney in the mids is a hold. I think he’s got a bit more cash to make us and we aren’t exposed to his score each week – just keep him on your bench.
Finally, if you are ranked highly don’t become trade obsessed to ‘stay ahead’. Your squad is probably pretty well set up. Back the guys you’ve got now that have been performing well. In fact, preserving a few trades is probably a good move in the coming weeks. That doesn’t mean don’t trade – you need the best cash cows and shouldn’t pass up a bargain priced premium – but put some trust in the gap you’ve put on others. Consolidate a bit towards the byes before putting the foot down. Where you are ranked after round 23 is what matters.