Well here we are, the final week of NRL SuperCoach 2016.
Coaches will be looking at taking out their head to head grand finals, winning their cash leagues and trying to crack their overall personal bests. While it’s an exciting time for all of us, it also brings sadness knowing that the offseason is soon approaching. Let’s make the most of the final week.
Those lucky enough to have a trade or two up their sleeve will be looking at the ultimate way to boost their round 26 score. Every match-up this weekend has a strong favourite in the betting market so I guess your trade/s should revolve around which team you think will punish their opponent the most.
The big positive with this week’s trade is choice. You don’t necessarily have to trade in a proven SC Gun; you just have to grab someone that you think will score well this weekend. Yep, that means there are more PODs to choose from.
First things first; who is playing the Knights?
Well this week it’s the underperforming Dragons but let’s be honest here, the Knights can make a poor team looking like Grand Final contenders and we could probably ignore the Dragons’ recent form when making our trade. This puts players like Josh Dugan, Euan Aitken and yes, even Jason Nightingale into the picture. Feeling a little ballsy? Tyson Frizell and Jack De Belin could also smash out a decent score this weekend. Let’s take a look at some Captaincy options for round 26.
The first thing that stood out when looking at player averages is Paul Gallen’s 91 point average against the Storm. It’s not surprising that Gallen steps up against a team laced with Queensland representative players and we shouldn’t expect anything different when the two teams fight out for the Minor Premiership on Saturday night. He’ll be a great Captain choice with many quality Vice-Captain options playing before him. I also like Shaun Johnson as a Round 26 Captain choice. He may have performed poorly last weekend but it’s rare to see him produce back to back poor games, especially when those two games are at home.
Round 26 SuperCoach Discussion Points
This week I’ve taken a look at a couple of scenarios we could possibly take advantage of. All of the popular SuperCoach players are playing in their usual positions this weekend so at least there’s no headaches in that department.
- Ben Creagh has returned from injury to play one last game for the Red V before his retirement. No, he isn’t SuperCoach relevant but his move into the second row could be. He hasn’t played since round three after suffering a knee injury and you’d have to think the only reason he has been included this weekend is to give him the send-off he deserves. I’m predicting that De Belin will feel the pressure of having Creagh and Frizell (both carrying injuries) among the forward pack and should produce some impressive stats as a result. It could be worth throwing the VC or C on the bloke with the man-bun.
- Popular SuperCoach Nuffies Joseph Manu (18% O/Ship) and Jaelen Feeney (13% O/Ship) have been named on an extended bench for their respective teams. Luckily though their games are on Thursday night and Saturday afternoon so we’ll have plenty of notice if we’re looking at taking a risk or playing with the Vice-Captain loophole. Best case scenario – they drop off the extended bench and we’ll have nothing to worry about.
- Boyd Cordner and Sio Siua Taukeiaho are out of the Broncos v Roosters clash on Thursday night which sees Ryan Matterson move to the second row and Nat Butcher (debut) come on to the bench. This is a massive downgrade to their forward pack which should benefit the Broncos significantly. Brisbane are already strong favourites at home so we may see some huge scores from a couple of the Broncos backs, halves and even Sam Thaiday and Matt Gillett.
- Josh Dugan (FB/CTW $333k) is currently the most traded in player this week and for very good reason. He scored 84 points in a losing side last weekend and will be playing at home against the Knights on Saturday. He’s actually been a very frustrating player to own this season with his lack of attacking stats and constantly looking half injured, but if he can play half as well as he did on Monday night we should see a very decent score from the Dragons’ fullback.
- With just one round to go, there’s nothing wrong with trading out a proven performer if you think their scoring potential will be low in Round 26. Some of us traded in Konrad Hurrell (CTW $322k) and Jarryd Hayne (FB/CTW $350k) in recent times but they may struggle to score well up in Townsville. Many popular CTWs and FBs score below their average when facing the Cowboys at home so you could look at replacing them for someone with a more favourable draw.
- Corey Parker (2RF/FRF $364k) has been SuperCoach royalty for a few years now and will play his final game this Thursday night. The man we call ‘God’ has served us all well and we owe it to him to show our appreciation. Are you out of all your Head to Head Finals? Can’t achieve that personal best rank you were chasing? Get Corey into your side, throw the Captain on him and thank him for all his hard work. He deserves a big send-send off from the world of SuperCoach
Congratulations to all those competing in their Head to Head Grand Final this weekend and good luck to anyone in contention for a share in the overall prize money.
Who do you think will be a high performer this weekend?