Those that have followed Jock Reynolds over the years are familiar with this term.
Only two rounds remain and many coaches are experiencing that warm sensation and regular movement in the crotch region. Peak trouser arousal has arrived and many of us are waiting to see whether we’re worthy of either the top 1000 or a Head to Head Grand Final!
I hope you all manage to make that epic Captain choice this weekend and your reserves out-score your NPRs. There are a few players out there that seem to be a yo-yo from week to week; these are the candidates we need to analyse and select with caution.
If you asked me what I’ll remember most about the 2017 season, it would definitely be the onslaught of injuries and one crucial decision that could see me drop out of the top 1%. Well, we still have two rounds to go so I’ll be keeping everything crossed hoping I can hang in there. I’m currently ranked 912th but I fear a quadruple digit rank is on the cards after this weekend. My wife jumped into the top 1000 this week and I won’t hear the end of it if she pips me at the post!
- David Nofoaluma ($402k CTW) is owned by 9.9% of coaches and will be up against the injury riddled Cowboys this weekend. He will also face a fairly weak opponent the following week where the Tigers will play at home to the struggling Warriors. Nofo has a five round average 60 PPG where his only poor performance was against the Roosters (34 points). We should also note that he scored 98 points when he last played the Cowboys but he is yet to face the Warriors this season.
- Josh Mansour ($315.8k CTW) is a fairly risky choice but could be your answer if you’re looking for a cheap CTW from an in-form team. He’s currently owned by 7.7% of coaches and has produced a respectable three round average of 68.3 PPG. He hasn’t been too impressive since his return from injury but I like what I saw during his past two matches. I’d be willing to ignore most of his prior scores; the Panthers have shown their best form during the past two matches and they look like a team hungry for finals footy. They will play the inconsistent Dragons and Sea Eagles in their final two matches of the season.
- Joel Thompson ($396.2k 2RF/CTW) is your answer if you’re looking for a safety pick in your CTWs. He’s an 80 minute second-rower that’s rarely a complete failure and has also scored a handful of tries this season. Now don’t get me wrong, he isn’t the sort of player you’d want to rely on for numerous weeks; he’s more of a low-risk CTW that is capable of scoring 70+. He’ll give you peace of mind when your opponent is playing four wingers/centres/fulbacks in their CTW position and he’ll likely avoid those 20/30 point games that players such as Rapana and Mansour can produce. I like how his final two opponents (Panthers & Bulldogs) aren’t known for their strong defence; this gives him that rare chance for attacking involvement. Give him some thought if safety is your priority this week.
- Shaun Johnson ($481.1k FE/HFB) has recovered from injury and is a borderline POD at 12.1% ownership. He’ll be up against the Sea Eagles and Tigers for his final two matches and should be considered as a viable trade option. The only downfall is his expensive price tag. SJ produced a five round average of 79.4 PPG prior to his injury and this includes his 62 minute game against the Panthers. The last time Johnson played the Sea Eagles he scored a monster 111 points. He is yet to play against the Tigers in 2017.
- The Broncos (Vs Eels) and Raiders (Vs Knights) will play the first two games of the round and both boast monster favouritism. Anthony Milford scored just 52 points when he last played against the Eels (Round 21) but it should be a different story when playing at Suncorp. He had one of his best games of season last week and looked dominant, confident and in control. James Roberts pumped out 85 points in the round 21 clash but I’m worried that the Broncos have been favouring their left hand side attack in recent weeks. Roberts now has a three round average of 34.3 PPG so he may be a risky VC option.
Jordan Rapana is coming off a lousy 24 point effort and his five round average has dropped to 45.8 PPG. Should we be worried that Rapana scored just 26 points the last time the Raiders met the Knights (round 10)? Newcastle have been playing respectable footy in recent weeks so I think he may be too risky if you’re looking for a ‘semi-safe’ VC option.
- I think we can ignore the fact that James Tedesco scored just 46 points the last time the Tigers met the Cowboys (Round 6). North Queensland has plenty of injuries and seem to be lacking organisation in both offense and defence. Teddy’s 89.6 five round average along with his high base stats (especially tackle busts) should make him a popular VC choice this week.
- If you’re not going to run the Milf or Teddy as your VC then I’d strongly recommend taking a look at Billy Slater (unless rested, of course). He may be coming off two horrible performances (39 and 34) but I think he’ll score much better playing a poor defensive side while Cronk is on the field. Slater’s 39 points was during a close fought battle with the Roosters while his 34 point effort was last week when Cronk was rested.
Keep in mind that if you don’t choose a VC from the Storm V Bunnies match then you won’t have too much to choose from in the matches after. I’d be looking more towards a Captain choice from the final three matches of the round.
- Nathan Brown once again plays the first game of the round and may be a wasted VC choice. If you decide to use your VC during the first two matches then I actually like the idea of putting captaincy on Teddy. I can’t see him failing against the Cowboys. Cameron Smith could benefit from numerous conversions against the Bunnies but just be sure to check that he isn’t a late scratching.
My favourite Captain choice for the week would be between Paul Gallen and Andrew Fifita. The battle between the Sharks and Roosters should be a low scoring affair and I think the game will be won in the forwards. Nathan Cleary has been in epic form but he plays the final game for the round and is too risky to give captaincy to.
Top 5 Break Evens
(Must have played 2 games and are named in the starting side this week)
Cameron Murray ($257.2k 2RF): -39
Lachlan Fitzgibbon ($351.8k 2RF): -22
Ben Hampton ($145.4k FE/FB): -21
Ken Sio ($215.2k CTW/FB): -17
Will Smith ($184.3k FE/FB): -16
Bottom 5 Break Evens
(Must have played 2 games and are named in the starting side this week)
Billy Slater ($449.4k FB): 144
Ben Hunt ($393.1k HB): 141
Tom Trbojevic ($507.5k CTW/FB): 120
James Roberts ($344.8k CTW): 106
Aaron Woods ($416.2k FRF): 99
Team List Tuesday
Bevan French is out injured
Nathan Ross has recovered and is named at fullback
Elijah Taylor is out injured
Ryan James is out injured
Jarryd Hayne returns at fullback
Jarrod Wallace returns at prop
Tohu Harris and Trent Merrin remain on the bench
Cooper Cronk returns to halfback
Sam Burgess returns at prop
Alex Johnston is out injured
Shaun Johnson returns to halfback
Matt Moylan is out injured
Euan Aitken is out injured
James Tedesco to crack 75 points
Shaun Johnson to crack 70 points in his return match
Billy Slater to crack 80 points
That’s it for this week, feel free to leave your comments below, or
Twitter : @CKings_Cowboy