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The Schedule - Bye Strategy and Planning for Round 5, 6 and onwards

Welcome back to another edition of The Schedule’.

Nicholas Hynes ($1.002M) was outstanding in his return performance last weekend, scoring 98 fantasy points. He scored across multiple stats, registering 3 TAs, 21 TCKs, 3 TBs and 148 RMs. While he took over the goal kicking duties (5 Gs), Hynes only recorded 257 KMs. This lack of KMs may be due to the Sharks’ dominance in attack, with the team having a total of 380 KMs.

After only one date however, Hynes looks like he will be one of the top fantasy players in 2023. With a bye in round 6 and the potential to have a limited role in State of Origin, fantasy coaches need to determine when the best time is to bring Hynes into their sides. This article will analyse the two different situations that confront coaches.

Owner of Nathan Cleary ($878K)

Cleary looked outstanding on return from the Panthers round 3 bye. He had an uptick in his output across multiple stats, registering his first TA for 2023 in addition to an increased net tackle count, RMs and KMs. These stats are consistent with his 2022 output, where he averaged 68 fantasy points PG when playing over 70 minutes.

Coaches that held Cleary are potentially in the best position. With a BE of 67 this week, Cleary’s price may also have bottomed out. Over the next two weeks, mid-rangers that may not become keepers including Cartwright, Chee Kam, King, E. Katoa, L. Thompson, Nicholls and Loiero could peak in price or lose their role. This makes them viable options to be used as a trade down to another cash cow. Adam Doueihi ($707K) and Matt Burton ($599K) may be suitable upgrade options when trading Hynes in. A performance reduction due to a predicted turf toe injury according to NRL Physio limits Doueihi’s explosiveness. With a BE of 68 and a 41.3 fantasy point average PG in 2020 when starting at fullback, Doueihi may be priced at mid $600K come round 7. Burton’s price looks to have bottomed out with a BE of 40 this week, but a reduction in net tackles, RMs, KMs and attacking stats means he may not be a top three HLF option.

Non-Owner of Nathan Cleary ($878K)

This is the most difficult position to be in. Multiple trades will be required, with Cleary’s lack of availability during the State of Origin period meaning you may need to way until the run home to bring him in. The current issue is that you may be running two second tier HLFs including DCE ($865K), Moses ($791K), Johnson ($696K), A. Reynolds ($733K), S. Walker ($675K) and Ilias ($540K) that may average 50-60 PPG for the season.

Whether or not your final squad includes four keeper HLFs (two current options plus Cleary and Hynes), fantasy coaches will be forced to make sideways trades. DCE does not have a second bye before the Origin period, but straight swapping him to Hynes in round 12 (misses round 12 due to Origin camp) does not benefit overall coaches due to Nicho having a round 13 bye. Moses is a HLF option that plays in all major bye rounds, meaning he could potentially be upgraded to Cleary in round 20 or 21. Johnson’s round 12 bye and Walker’s round 13 bye does not benefit overall coaches wanting to trade Hynes in, meaning they could be held over until their second bye. Reynolds and Ilias are both candidates that may be upgraded in their team’s first bye round.

This indicates that most conservative coaches playing overall may not be able to trade a HLF for Hynes or Cleary for up to 10 rounds. Fantasy coaches not wanting to fall behind the pack may need to consider sideways trading come round 7. Consider Hynes as a bigger target than Cleary due to potentially having a lesser role in State of Origin.

As a Cleary owner, my Target Path to Hynes

I opted last week to give Doueihi at least one date at fullback. The perfect trade may have been Doueihi to SJ, banking $100K and because my reasoning for starting with him was he would play five-eighth all season and remain fully fit. I was prepared to potentially take a point scoring and price deduction loss.

With some cash in the bank and the Tigers having a bye in round 7, I consider Doueihi and a peaked mid – ranger as the ideal upgrade target for Hynes and a relevant cash cow. I may continue to take an overall point scoring and price deduction loss until round 7. Having the top two HLF options come round 7 will allow me to make up potentially lost points on higher ranked coaches.

That’s a wrap for ‘The Schedule’ in round 5. In two weeks time, I will look take a deeper look at bye planning and the need to maintain a balanced squad.

Be sure to check out Talking League’s weekly podcasts as well as other published articles. Remember, analysis and strategy are key to weighing up the benefits of trade decisions. Until next time, think about what strategy you will adopt to bring Nicholas Hynes into your team.

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