Trent Copeland reveals version 2.0 of his 2020 KFC NRL SuperCoach team.
Trent Copeland reveals version 2.0 of his 2020 KFC NRL SuperCoach team.

Nines standouts force NRL SuperCoach carnage

Copes Crusaders' iteration two is a marked improvement in my eyes, well, of course it is, I'd be disappointed if I had gone backwards at this point given the great look we've had at preseasons and the Nines in Perth over the weekend - a few Roosters have made their way in, and it may not be who you would expect!

That said, some key points still remain …

 

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Trent Copeland reveals version 2.0 of his 2020 KFC NRL SuperCoach team.
Trent Copeland reveals version 2.0 of his 2020 KFC NRL SuperCoach team.

 

 

I'm going left field with some guns, 'FOTU' is ma boy, lots of mid-range/cheap CTW's with so much uncertainty at the position and Jason Taumalolo is not human.

I'll run through each change I've made below in the respective positions.

HOOKER

No changes, I am worried about Blayke Brailey with Cameron King reportedly killing it in pre-season, though.

Damien Cook | Rabbitohs | $705,500

The best in the game, averaging 75.9PPG in 2019 with no less than FIVE scores of 100 points or more. I ain't mucking around here. It's really only a decision of Cook or Smith, as anyone else is costing you points every week and priceless trades later on.

Blayke Brailey | Sharks | $201,000

Cheapie of the year candidate in the absence of his brother who has flown up the M1 to the Knights. I am not expecting the full 80 minutes, but even in 55-60 minutes per game Brailey should be able to whack out scores in excess of 40 and make some handy cash.

 

It’s safe to say Trent is a big fan of young Titans forward Moeaki Fotuaika. Picture: AAP Image/Darren Pateman
It’s safe to say Trent is a big fan of young Titans forward Moeaki Fotuaika. Picture: AAP Image/Darren Pateman

 

 

 

FRONT ROW

Braden Hamlin-Uele OUT Toby Rudolf IN

I love Hamlin-Uele and he remains a chance to make my starting squad, but, Rudolph seems a lock to earn a bench spot, and I've managed to upgrade a 2RF slot from a mid-ranger to a gun on the back of this move (see below in 2RF section).

Payne Haas | Broncos | $728,200

I like paying up when the best player in any position is so far in advance of the 'rest' and this guy is genuinely a freak of nature. Capable of 80 minutes in the middle with peak Paul Gallen or Corey Parker like workloads, Haas averaged 78.4PPG in his pseudo rookie season to finish 8th for overall points. I don't care that he likely plays Origin or that you could save money to Fifita etc. He's a must have.

Moeaki Fotuaika | Titans | $443,000

Here's where I've started to go a bit left of centre. I'm all in on this kid, and those that heard me shout his name from the rooftops last year will know why … 'Fotu' played reduced minutes to start the season, but have a listen to these numbers from round 11 onwards (13 games) in 2019, 54.7 minutes per game for 54.3PPG including a massive 75 points across the full 80-minutes in round 14. There's big upside if things break his way in a depleted forward pack, and the tragic re-aggravation of Ryan James' ACL will only help things.

 

Toby Rudolf | Sharks | $171,900

Rudolf is a young gun who's had to do it the hard way. In the lower grades his work rate has been exceptional and has a really SuperCoach friendly game. A stellar season with Redcliffe and a MOM performance in the Intrust Super Cup GF excites me. Gallen is gone. Prior is gone. Simply put, if he Rudolf earn a bench spot for round one, there are minutes there for the taking in the middle rotation.

Stefano Utoikamanu | Eels | $171,900

This guy is an absolute BEAST. The Eels upgraded his deal to try to keep hold of him (already signed for the Tigers from 2021, and there was talk of an early release), which tells us they may want to use the young pup alongside new signing Reagan Campbell-Gillard, Junior Paulo, Kane Evans and Nathan Brown in the middle rotation. Fingers crossed, as there's big PPM upside here.

 

 

Nat Butcher is Trent Copeland’s POD pick.
Nat Butcher is Trent Copeland’s POD pick.

 

SECOND ROW

John Bateman OUT Jai Arrow IN

Ryan James OUT Nat Butcher IN

Jed Cartwright OUT Pasami Saulo IN

Arrow is a SuperCoach STUD who now has no Ryan James in the middle, so I would expect he, ma boy Fotu and Jarrod Wallace to do all the heavy lifting in the forward pack, outside chance to be available for Round 12 an added bonus. Now for my new addition. I want you to read this, do nothing, say nothing and just let me have him. OK? Nat Butcher is my under the radar gun for the 2RF keeper category this season. In reduced minutes off the bench last year, the future captain of the chooks produced some remarkable performances. His PPM is ridiculously high, and if the mooted switch of Angus Crichton to centre sticks, then Butcher will be looking at big minutes.

Jason Taumalolo | Cowboys | $723,400

See Payne Haas rationale. The best are worth paying for, particularly with cover of the first bye round. I mean, did you see the Nines? WOW. Nuff said.

Jai Arrow | Titans | $575,700

Bateman goes out with injury, in comes a guy who's capable of being the best SuperCoach back rower in the game, if healthy and if he played 80 minutes (which he's capable of) every week. My expectations are that that perfect combination of minutes and health will not be there, I would expect 65 minutes, a huge work rate (approx. 1.1-1.2PPM) for a 70 point average. At $575k, that's serious value.

David Fifita | Broncos | $501,900

Pretty obvious one this. The guy busted out BIG time alongside Payne Haas for the Broncos in the back half of 2019, playing 80 minutes in all of the final eight matches, for an average of 76.9PPG including scores of 121 and 116. Get on, or get left behind.

Nat Butcher | Roosters | $522,800

As mentioned above, the prospect of Angus Crichton filling the Latrell Mitchell-sized centre role leaves big minutes in the pack for a young gun like Butcher. Butcher averaged 56.1PPG at a stellar 1.2PPM, and impressively, when he played over 50 minutes (9 times) in 2019 he produced scores of 77, 71, 88, 46, 98, 75, 75, 44, and 47 for an average of 69PPG and ridiculous 1.4PPM. Sure, Mitch Aubusson will likely start on an edge, but there's serious upside here. Fingers crossed watching the World Club Challenge and pre-season.

Billy Magoulias | Sharks | $221,700 & Pasami Saulo | Knights | $184,900

Two young guys with big upside should they win respective spots on the bench for their sides. Magoulias probably the most likely, even if he didn't beat out Jack Williams for the lock rotation.

HALFBACK

No Changes.

Mitch Moses | Eels | $579,300

I don't mean to be a Debbie downer on the Nathan Cleary train (literally my favourite SuperCoach player since his rookie season), but the Panthers have a tumultuous opening five games this season - Roosters, Dragons, Storm, Broncos, and Raiders. Yuck. So, on we go to a man who broke out last year, averaging a very impressive 62.3PPG and finding the consistency we need to invest in SuperCoach. Plays the first bye round if all goes to plan as an added bonus.

Jerome Luai | Panthers | $257,400

Love this kid. He just passes the eyeball test no matter what position he's been asked to play in the past as a utility.

FIVE EIGHTH

Phoenix Crossland OUT Kyle Flanagan IN

Crossland has unfortunately succumbed to injury and won't be a round one starter, but, that has allowed me to get one of my favourite mid pricers in the whole game of SuperCoach into my team. Flanagan allows great dual flexibility with Luai & George Williams, and when playing the full 80 minutes at the Sharks with the kicking duties he averaged a solid 55PPG, walking in to a better side with the goal kicking locked in, I'm excited.

 

Roosters recruit Kyle Flanagan has been drafted into Copes Crusaders. Picture: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images
Roosters recruit Kyle Flanagan has been drafted into Copes Crusaders. Picture: Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images

 

 

Kyle Flanagan | Roosters | $461,200

Serious talent, shown he can be a consistent scorer, solid defensively, the goal kicking duties in tow in the halfback jersey for the reigning premiers. What's not to like? I guess the only question is can he be an out and out GUN. We shall see.

George Williams | Raiders | $333,800

Given his unbelievable season in the UK, I find it hard to fathom a situation where the English star doesn't at least provide a 45-50PPG average in a very good Raiders outfit - which would still provide a nice cash injection and value at the price. The upside is that we have a $333k, 60PPG player with dual position to make into Munster/Cleary/Cody Walker at some point.

CENTRE/WING

Blake Ferguson OUT Adam Doueihi IN

Tommy Talau OUT Jason Saab IN

Albert Hopoate OUT Harley Smith-Shields IN

Brad Fittler speaking glowingly about Fergo's Origin incumbency along with the unknown at the position on who the top four keepers will be means I'm pulling the cash out of the position, and putting it into players in other areas I know will excel. Bringing in Doueihi who will kick goals and play fullback for a Tigers team who should improve has him definitely underpriced, and Jason Saab is a near lock to start on the wing for the Dragons, who should benefit hugely from the new tactics exploiting the NRL rules around contested high balls at the try line.

Adam Doueihi | Tigers | $343,100

Doueihi is being judged unfairly in SuperCoach circles in my opinion. The kid never had a chance to lock down one position at the Rabbitohs, fullback one week, wing the next, three weeks at centre and a few games as a utility off the bench doesn't equate to us knowing who he is yet. Locked in as the starting fullback, likely kicking goals, and a team that should be on its way back to relevance, at least in an attacking sense. I think Doueihi can average 45PPG, making him clearly underpriced to start the season.

 

 

Copes has backed Aam Doueihi to be kicking goals, literally and figuratively, in 2020. Picture: Darren Leigh Roberts
Copes has backed Aam Doueihi to be kicking goals, literally and figuratively, in 2020. Picture: Darren Leigh Roberts

 

 

Zac Lomax | Dragons | $324,600

Super light in the CTW is the theory, so it's either Lomax or Jamayne Isaako as my second most expensive option - the theory being until I know who the top echelon of players in this position are, I'm not going to spend up there. Lomax - provided he does get the mooted fullback slot - will have some nice upside, goal kicking duties and a relatively nice run to start the season.

Bradman Best | Knights | $240,700

Had a brief look at the Knights youngster last season, and while he doesn't quite average 99.94 (sorry, cricket joke), he still showed flashes of what he's capable. If starting at centre he will make plenty of coin for SuperCoaches!

 

Jason Saab | Dragons | $271,100

What a CRACK-ing performance Saab put in at the Nines (sorry, had to do it). Not a huge amount of tries, but the two-meter-Peter showed enough and had Mary talking his prospects up. Round one starter on the wing for the Dragons and he's a round one starter for me. Shibasaki from the Knights would be the other option at the price.

 

The 'rest' are placeholders with serious talent, but unknown job security - likely to shuffle come TLT …

Xavier Coates | Broncos | $203,500

Harley Smith-Shields | Raiders | $171,900

Greg Leleisiuao | Titans | $171,900

FULLBACK

No Changes. Teddy fast becoming a POD!

James Tedesco | Roosters | $781,500

Simple, the best player in the game. Leave him out at your peril. Don't believe me? He's averaged 84.1PPG, 73.6PPG, 67.6PPG, 69.8PPG and 74.3PPG the last five years, importantly, playing over 20 matches in all but one season. GUN.

Ryan Papenhuyzen | Storm | $508,200

I've started the last three seasons with Teddy & Turbo, but this time I think the value and upside combo in the 'PAP' is too hard to pass up. He averaged 54.7PPG last season, and you may think yeah - not bad, but he's not as good as the best. Well, NINE of his 19 matches played last season were under 30 minutes played off the bench. You know what's coming next, the matches he started and played the full 80 minutes … Scores of 87, 71, 108. 123, 98 and 85 for an average of 95.33PPG. Obviously we're not expecting that, but at $500k PAP is significant unders.

There you have it. Crusaders 2.0 with many more drafts to come no doubt!

 

CHECK OUT MORE EXPERT KFC SUPERCOACH NRL ANALYSIS

 

 

 


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