The 2017 NRL Draw has been released so we can loosely start to plan our SuperCoach starting sides.
We’d all like to put in countless hours of planning but here’s a word of advice; try not to put your heart and soul into finding your ideal 25 players at this point.
I can almost guarantee that any thorough planning will be ripped apart by preseason injuries, player signings and unexpected positional switches and performance issues.
Now that you’ve been warned, let’s sink our teeth into the 2017 schedule.
I’ve colour-coded the teams according to the 2017 betting odds.
Red – Top 4 Yellow – 5th-8th Blue – 9th-12th Green – Bottom 4
Bye Period Winners
The Eels and Rabbitohs will play all three big bye rounds which makes them the big winners here. Unfortunately these two teams don’t boast too many SuperCoach Guns (besides Sam Burgess and Semi Radradra) but you never know who’ll put their hand up for being a potential keeper. I’ll be keeping a close eye on players from these two teams prior to the bye period commencing. We need to make sure we don’t miss those golden opportunities where we can bring in a cheap, bye friendly player that can be offloaded for a profit after their SC duty is done.
The Sharks are the third most appealing team due to being available for the first two big bye rounds. The 2016 Premiers have their first week off in round 13 but this shouldn’t provide any problems with fielding numbers. There is just one other team who will join them on a bye week that round – the Rabbitohs. As long as you haven’t gone overboard with Bunnies and Sharks players you’ll likely be fielding 17 players with a couple sitting on your bench as standby.
The Bulldogs and Roosters may also be playing two of the big bye rounds but they won’t be available for round 15 (second big bye round). This is where a wide variety of tactics come into play. Do we hold on to these players through the core of the Origin period? Well, first things first. Don’t ‘panic trade’ any keepers from these two teams! You should be holding these guys through to the end of the season, unless of course they’ve strung together some bad performances or succumb to injury. Secondly, this is where you can find those diamonds in the rough while getting an advantage on your opponent. You’ll need to take a look at the break evens, projected scores and opponents of a wide range of players to give yourself the ultimate balance of PODs, keepers, money makers and appropriate availability. Yes, this might seem a little overwhelming at first but we’re not going to reach the pinnacle of SuperCoach greatness through dull trades and sheer luck.
The final winner of the 2017 bye draw is the Melbourne Storm. They might not be available for round 12 but they’ll take the field for the final two big bye rounds. We should be looking at which Storm players are appealing buys are as soon as round 12 is over, mainly due to their scoring potential against Newcastle in round 13.
A favourable opening draw opens up a world of SuperCoach opportunities and could sway you towards a point of difference for your starting team. It can make certain players more appealing for a number of reasons:
- A cheap, low averaging CTW/FB can be used as a stepping stone towards a bye friendly player or potential keeper.
- Most second-rowers have an increased likelihood of snagging an attacking stat against weaker sides. You could decide to start with a mid-range 2RF with a favourable draw to later upgrade him to a keeper.
- Many halves are capable of cranking out a huge score on their day, even if they’re usually a mid-range scorer. It could be worth choosing a cheaper halves option to later upgrade when they’ve topped out.
If you’re looking for a CTW Point of Difference for your starting side then look no further than the Panthers and Warriors. These two teams are playing three of the bottom four favourites in their opening four rounds. Seriously, do we need another reason to convince us that Roger Tuivasa-Sheck is a good starting option? We’ll need to tread carefully due to the injury he’s been carrying but there’s plenty of preseason action for us to witness his current form. Popular SuperCoach performers Shaun Johnson, Nathan Cleary and Bryce Cartwright’s appeal have also risen due to their opening draw.
Johnathan Thurston has also become one of the better halves options due the Cowboys’ opening draw. The boys from up north are playing just three games of their opening ten again top eight favourites. This makes Lachlan Coote, Michael Morgan or even one the Cowboys’ CTWs a great Point of Different option.
When looking at the other end of the scale, the Broncos have certainly copped the rough end of the stick. They’re playing four of the top five teams (the other being themselves) in the opening four rounds of the season. No joke, this is possibly the worst opening draw a team could ask for. It’s safe to say I’ll be ignoring all of the Broncos’ backs for my starting side and hoping to pick up Anthony Milford for a very cheap price in round five or six.
Usually Jarrod Croker and Joey Leilua would be solid CTW options for your starting side but their opening draw may prevent them from scoring above their average. The Raiders will play the Cowboys (Rd 1, Away), Sharks (Rd 2, Home) and Broncos (Rd 4, Away) in their opening four rounds which could all result in low scoring games. This could cause their prices to drop by limiting Croker’s conversions points and Leilua’s attacking stats. Like Milford, they could be better options to pick up in round five or six.
Which players are you now looking at due to their opening draw?
Get around the best in the business on Twitter: @CKings_Cowboy