With the closing rounds and head to head finals approaching it’s time to take a look at some point of differences.
Many coaches will be fielding a similar seventeen and we’ll need one or two unique players that’ll either nudge you up the rankings or get you get you that head to head win.
There’s no need to go overboard with PODs for your run home team, ideally you’ll still want a minimum of seventeen guns in your side. The most beneficial PODs for your team will be backs of any description (halves, centre/wings and fullbacks) as they’re capable of those monster scores when playing a defensively weak opponent. Forwards PODs will usually sit on your NPR list as a depth player and may be used when they have their best chance to jag an attacking stat. Let’s take a look at some options.
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Issac Luke $ HOK $ (8.7% O/Ship)
Luke is the only viable first choice hooker alternative to Cameron Smith. He’s in great form with his form average hovering around 70 PPG and comes with a cheaper price tag than the Australian captain. He also has the kicking duties for the Warriors although we have to expect that SJ will get those back any week now. Although I’d recommend Cameron Smith as your primary hooker, Luke is a solid choice for those who need to save a few dollars.
Josh Hodgson HOK $ (12.3% O/Ship)
Josh Hodgson shouldn’t be considered as a first choice hooker but he could be beneficial sitting on your bench. It’s unlikely that he’ll be an AE nightmare for the run home and the Raiders have a favourable run home besides the round 22 and 23 games against the Sharks and Storm. 12% ownership isn’t usually in POD territory although most coaches will be running with Smith or Luke.
Gavin Cooper 2RF $ (7.4$ O/Ship)
Cooper is a high-risk POD option for your forwards, especially after his woeful 24 point game last weekend. His season average is hovering around 60 PPG and we’re all familiar with his capability of breaking the line off a JT pass. He isn’t consistent enough to put into your seventeen although he’d be a nice addition to your bench/NPR list to provide coverage. He doesn’t come with a huge price tag either so give a look for your run home side.
Wade Graham 2RF $ (5% O/Ship)
Like Cooper, Graham isn’t scoring well enough to make your seventeen but he is a good back up if you need some coverage in the forwards. I wouldn’t recommend him as an option to trade in, although if you’re one of the 5% of coaches that still own him there’s no rush to get him out of your team. If you’re one of the many coaches that still own Ma’u and/or Taukieaho from the Origin period, it’s best not to consider Cooper or Graham as a replacement as it’s too sideways.
James Maloney HB/FE $ (7.1% O/Ship)
James Maloney should be on everyone’s radar if he’s named to play this weekend. He missed last week’s match through injury but is expected to take the field in the Sharks’ round 21 match against the Titans. You’re probably looking at his 35 point form average and thinking, “Why on earth would I consider this dud?” Well, consider this. He’s the goal kicker for a team that keeps producing great performances each week and their run home draw is quite good. He has a habit of finishing seasons off strongly and he comes with a ridiculously cheap price tag of around $280k. Jimmy would have to be my favourite POD choice for the run home.
Jack Bird FB/FE $ (4.5& O/Ship)
Bird is an extremely debatable POD choice but he can’t be ignored as one to consider. He may not be a stand out performer as far as the full season is concerned, but we’re talking about getting him for a mere six rounds against mostly weak opponents. We would have to expect the Sharks to win most of the final games of the season and almost none of those teams are defensively strong. It goes without saying that Bird could be an AE nightmare although he’d be in your seventeen each week unless you decide to switch him to a NPR against the Storm in round 26.
Konrad Hurrell CTW $ (7.8% O/Ship)
Coaches are currently jumping all over Koni for the run home and he may even jump to over 10% ownership. His season stats look horrible but that’s due to playing the opening games of the season from the bench at the Warriors. He is now in full swing at the Titans and has produced 57 and 104 point games since cementing that centre position. It goes without saying that he has the potential to be an AE nightmare when you’re leaving him out of your seventeen but that shouldn’t be enough to deter you from getting him into your side.
Euan Aitken CTW $ (7% O/Ship)
Aitken was a great pickup for the Origin period and has continued to perform very well. He’s averaging anywhere between 65 and 75 PPG in recent times and he doesn’t even need attacking stats to score well. Unfortunately you’ll be forking out quite a bit to get him into your side now, especially since he was under $300k when the bye period began. With the lack of consistent CTWs available he’s definitely one to consider for the run home.
Matthew Moylan FB/FE $ (4.4% O/Ship)
I’m a big fan of getting Moylan in as a POD fullback for the run home. There are four fullbacks that coaches are currently favouring – James Tedesco, Cameron Munster, Ben Barba and Tom Trbojevic, but it looks to be a good idea to use Tommy Turbo and Munster in your CTWs. The Panthers have a very good run home, probably the best in the comp, and I can see a fullback partnership of Tedesco and Moylan being capable of producing some epic scores for your team.
Jack Wighton CTW/FB $ (7.3% O/Ship)
Wighton has been producing some absolutely huge scores lately which has resulted in his price jumping quite high. The two big concerns with the Raiders’ fullback is his scoring potential against the Storm and Sharks in rounds 22 and 23 along with his PPD (points per dollar) figure with his price being so high. He may not be a favourable option when looking at who to trade in, although there’s no rush getting him out of your team if you’re one of the 7% of coaches that own him.
Which Point of Difference players are you looking at for the run home?