Welcome back to Falling Gun. For Round 21’s edition, let’s rename the article Suspended Gun, as this week I will strategise how to replace Nathan Cleary (priced at 833k). Depending on your money in the bank and team balance, I will analyse the point scoring, fantasy positioning and availability over the remaining five rounds of Damien Cook, Cameron Murray and Cameron Munster as three premium trade in options. Players including Nicholas Hynes, Isaiah Papali’i, Matt Burton, Payne Haas and James Tedesco will not be covered in this article, as they are each owned by more than 25% of fantasy coaches and 64.04% of those in the top 5000.
Damien Cook (919k) (BE 75) (Owned by 66% in Top 100, 52.70% in Top 1000 and 43.64% in Top 5000)
Cookie is currently the premium hooker option, averaging 66.8 points per game in 2022. With coaches having 0 - 5 trades remaining for the last five rounds, they should not be using two trades to trade Cookie in. With a bench that does not include a second hooker (Havili plays in the middle forward rotation), Cookie’s workload is not looking to be managed, meaning he is in for a big minute role to help Robbo’s Rabbitohs secure a top eight and possibly top four spot. Cookie’s scoring output over the remaining five rounds will be consistent with his 2022 average. When considering whether to trade Cookie in, coaches must ensure they already have at least two gun halves and a reliable emergency option (like Ezra Mam as your 18th man). Having Cookie in your team as a second hooker (assuming you already have Grant) allows you to luxury trade Mahoney up to another gun in future rounds if returns to scoring poorly.
Cameron Murray (838k) (BE 51) (Owned by 48% in Top 100, 42% in Top 1000 and 35.04% in Top 5000)
In 2022, Murray along with I paps have been the premium mid options. At 838k, Murray is a straight swap for Cleary. Without being inflated by attacking stats, Murray’s base and scoring output over the last two rounds has proportionally increased with greater minutes. In Rounds 19 and 20 with a three forward bench rotation, Arrow was the other interchanged starting forward, leaving Murray to play the 80 minutes. With this rotation likely to continue, Murray is a consistent 65 - 70 point scorer and a safe captaincy option. Like if you were to consider trading Cookie in, coaches should already own three halves players that can be played in there 17.
Cameron Munster (777k) (BE 61) (Owned by 11% in Top 100, 9.70% in Top 1000 and 9.94% in Top 5000)
Munster now looks like the second best halves option. On the run home in 2021, Munster averaged 71.33 points per game (six game sample size). With Melbourne’s draw all of a sudden opening up and them needing to consistently return to winning ways, Munster is poised to fire. Across sixteen games in 2022, Munster has only registered four scores below 52. As a dominant half with a high floor and clear attacking upside (known pedigree), Munster is an obviously like for like replacement for Cleary that allows you to bank 56k. Banking this cash is beneficial in helping you make future trades to cover injuries and suspensions.
My Trade in Ranking
Damien Cook (HOK)
Cameron Murray (MID)
Joseph Tapine (MID)
Cameron Munster (HLF)
Dylan Brown (HLF)
That’s a wrap for Falling Gun in Round 21. Be sure to check out Talking League’s weekly podcasts as well as other published articles. Remember, strategy and planning for utilising your remaining trades is key to maintaining and improving your overall ranking.