Trade guide: Who you need for KFC SuperCoach BBL finals
BBL finals are here - and so is a whole new level of excitement and opportunity in KFC SuperCoach BBL.
Coaches who have logged in after Round 13 will have noticed the magic words "unlimited trades" - so you can finally ditch those underperformers and load up your side with superstars on every line. Right? Well, it's no quite that simple.
First, the basics.
There are four more rounds left in KFC SuperCoach BBL:
Round 14 (2 matches): Eliminator/Qualifier
Round 15 (1 match): Knockout (Sunday, January 31)
Round 16 (1 match): Challenger (Thursday, February 4)
Round 17 (1 match): Final (Saturday, February 6)
The two matches you need to know for Round 14 are:
The Eliminator: Brisbane Heat v Adelaide Strikers, Gabba, Friday 7.15pm
The Qualifier: Sydney Sixers v Perth Scorchers, Manuka Oval, Saturday 7.15pm
So, for this round you only want players from the Heat, Strikers, Sixers and Scorchers.
If you've got Thunder players, you can trade them back in for the Knockout. Players from the Hurricanes, Stars and Renegades are done for the year.
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The simplest way to cram as many high-scoring guns on the field is to pick a bench line-up comprised entirely of $42k players.
That is certainly a valid strategy, but it could also pay to have a playing option from the Heat or Strikers on your bench who you can nominate as an Emergency for the first game. If they fire, stick a zero player on the field to maximise your total.
The downside is it eats into your available cash, but if you can't afford the top-line guns at least you get two shots at a good score.
HOW MUCH CAN I SPEND?
Your total team value after Round 13 is effectively your salary cap for the first round of finals - the amount you'll have if you trade out all your players, plus whatever you had in the bank.
Hopefully you have some Heat, Strikers, Sixers and Scorchers already and built your bank by trading in the likes of Zak Evans, who added almost $50k to his value last round with an incredible 5-33 in the Renegades' final game.
So, who should be on your shopping list? Here are the top targets from each team plus a low-budget bargain option.
TOP FINALS TARGETS
1. Chris Lynn BAT
2. Marnus Labuschagne BAT BWL
3. Mitch Swepson BWL
Lynnsanity anyone? The Brisbane Heat captain is hitting form at the right time with scores of 97 and 86 in his past two matches and shapes as a finals must-have. Labuschagne has jumped into the top three after dominating since his return from the Test team, scoring 70, 107 and 139 in his three outings on the back of solid batting scores at the top of the order and multiple wickets. Unfortunately if you don't have him already, he has gained almost $90,000 in value in that time. Swepson has taken two wickets in each of his past two matches and is still very affordable at $113k.
BARGAIN: Joe Denly $71,800 BAT
Hasn't shown his best this summer, falling in value from a starting price of $120k. But he bats at No.4 and bowled two overs against the Scorchers. Ben Laughlin ($93k) is underpriced if he can snare some wickets at the death.
1. Michael Neser BAT-BWL
2. Alex Carey WKP-BAT
3. Peter Siddle BWL
Hard to judge the Strikers on their last game, when Jake Weatherald was the only batsman to get past 21 and the bowlers took a combined one wicket for the match. It didn't help that the game was reduced to 14 overs a side either. Neser still appeals after scoring 52 and 66 in Rounds 11-12. He was in superb form before being part of the Test squad and has a perfect role for KFC SuperCoach - likely to bowl four overs and bat at No.7. Carey has one insane score this summer - the only BBL century - and has been handy the rest of the tournament but it would be a big call to start him as keeper over Sixer Josh Philippe. Siddle has been hot and cold - his past six scores are 5, 94, 7, 87, 78, 5. Put him on the bench with the E and hope he goes big.
BARGAIN: Phil Salt $112,900 BAT
Welshman has had five single-figure scores but pumped out a 66 last time against the Heat. Bats at No.3.
1. Dan Christian BAT-BWL
2. Josh Philippe WKP-BAT
3. Sean Abbott BWL
Christian surprisingly didn't bowl in the Sixers' win over the Stars but his big hitting was still enough to post 74 KFC SuperCoach points, and he was unlucky to miss out on the 10-point bonus for a half-century after finishing not out on 49. Philippe is likely to be the most popular keeper although he hasn't hit a big score for a few rounds. Fortunately, he usually picks up a catch or two and when he goes big with the bat, it's huge (four scores over 110 this summer). Abbott, Ben Dwarshuis, Carlos Brathwaite and Stephen O'Keefe all bowled four overs against the Stars. Abbott has the best BBL record but also the highest price tag.
BARGAIN: Daniel Hughes $51,000 BAT
Hughes has had a frankly abysmal tournament but you only have loose change he does bat at No.3 so the opportunity is there.
1. Jhye Richardson BWL
2. Liam Livingstone BAT-BWL
3. Andrew Tye BWL
Richardson is the leading wicket-taker of the summer with 27 and the good news for or coaches who don't have him already is he dropped in price slightly after his last match - by $1000. Livingstone is on a great run, averaging 77 KFC SuperCoach points over his past five matches, taking six wickets in that time as well as scoring plenty of runs. Tye has bowled without luck for much of the tournament, yet is still averaging a wicket a game. Mitch Marsh's form since returning from injury hasn't been overly inspiring but he blasted 54 off 26 balls against the Heat and is available for $113k.
BARGAIN: Aaron Hardie $77,400 BAT-BWL
The all-rounder hasn't set the world on fire but he is a double threat. You would need to hope the Sixers' all-star bowlers get down to No.7 and he snares a wicket or two with his customary two overs.
… and don't forget the Thunder. You don't need these guys this round but here's an early guide on who to look at for Sunday's Knockout.
1. Daniel Sams BAT-BWL
2. Alex Hales BAT
3. Ben Cutting BAT-BWL
If Sams is fit - the Thunder are optimistic after he missed three games with a hand injury - Sams will be close to the first player picked by KFC SuperCoach teams for BBL finals. If he returns, his combination of power hitting and accurate death bowling makes him a must-have. Few batsmen can wield the willow like Hales, who has scored over 100 in two of past three games. Cutting would be a speculative pick, but there's no doubt the scoring ceiling is there. His value soars if Sams is ruled out.
Originally published as Trade guide: Who you need for KFC SuperCoach BBL finals