The Mercato - Cleary Chaos!


Welcome to an emergency market update from The Mercato, the normally long-form series from Talking League! We had a “stop the press” moment last night when Nathan Cleary was sent off for a dangerous tackle on Dylan Brown in the 17th minute against the Eels.


Per nrl.com:

“Cleary was charged with a Grade Three Dangerous Throw offence, which will see the halfback sidelined for five matches with an early guilty plea, or six weeks if he unsuccessfully challenges the charge at the judiciary."


In NRL Fantasy Land, you would expect this would be season over for Nathan Cleary as the Panthers would be unlikely to roll the dice at the judiciary and risk the co-captain missing week 1. With the penalty and resulting send-off bringing Cleary’s score down to 1, we’d expect that he will open up at around $840k and be a red dot for the rest of the NRL Fantasy season.


In Riley’s Falling Gun article this week, he put the “gunslinger” tactic as the least effective option to use for your “bonus” 4 trades this week. Now granted Riley couldn’t predict Cleary would put Brown past the horizontal, but he did point out about this strategy that the “issue is that you have no trades remaining to cover injuries and suspensions for the final six rounds”. And sure enough, less than 36 hours after publishing it we get our first major injury or suspension. So, what now?


For a lot of coaches, reversing trades will be the safest option particularly if you had budgetary constraints when it came to picking the players you traded in. If you were careful about how you executed your trades (which is something I covered for Renegades Fantasy Sports earlier this year), you should be in a position to do so. In my team, I had carefully set up my trades so I could reverse them by “confirming” each trade I did one by one. I did this to prevent the system “flipping” the players involved in the trades which has happened to a lot of coaches (including our own Kyle). To enable you to reverse trades, you may need to jump onto a PC (or tablet) to view the web browser version, move the traded player onto your bench before reversing the trade. If you can’t reverse all your trades; try reverse as many as you can so you have at least 2 to play with next week. If you’ve saved trades like Corby, just grin like a Cheshire cat as every else scrambles.


So why reverse trades? Well if you’re a Cleary owner, you’ve just been notified that you’re going to have a ~$840k red dot for 5 rounds. Granted reversing the guns you were going to bring in will affect your score; but a lot of teams are already looking at a low round after the scores in the first two matches and 24% of team captaining Cleary (sobs loudly). Any gain you would have from holding firm on your trades this round would be offset holding a $840k ship that’s hit an iceberg; not to mention the untapped potential of trading Cleary out and maximising his value with as many trades as possible.


But more importantly, who do we trade Cleary to? That will come down to what the positional coverage is like in your team. For teams with not a huge number of halves, a straight swap to DCE or Munster would be on the cards. For those who would like to be more creative in the halves, Jamal Fogarty or Adam Reynolds could be the play and we spoke about them on this week’s Buy, Sell, Hold, Avoid. For those with plenty of halves coverage, the potential is limitless although the expected price drop for Cleary makes it hard to go up to Damien Cook. We’ll cover this in more depth across the Talking League Family on our Sunday Wrap, Tuesday Show and be sure to look out for another cracking edition of Falling Gun, where Riley will cover this conundrum in detail.


But for now, those who didn’t captain the Penrith ace are laughing as they’ll gain ground on their rivals. From a game perspective, it’s going to be really interesting to see how this news changes the strategy of coaches for the final 5 rounds. Those who failed to plan adequately for another long-term absence will be stung as the landscape opens up for coaches to jump off a highly-owned falling gun and take their team in any direction they please. If you need help seeing whether you can reverse trades and don’t hesitate to reach to us on Facebook or hit me up in the Twitter DMs (@JasiSept). Otherwise, good luck for the rest of round 20!