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TK's PlayBook - Round 9

Welcome back to TK’s playbook where I break down the winners, losers and black bookers from each game. The PlayBook article is Brought to you by - GameDay Squad. Create, Coach, Compete in Fantasy Footy. Be the coach & WIN. Download the app and play now.

Round 9

Score - 936 (before updates)

Rank - 1849 up from 4077

Main takeaways

  • There was method to my madness binning the chin for Nicho Hynes.

  • Got to control my trading despite the bargains that are popping up.

  • Round shows why you need a deep squad as NRL coaches out of all professional sports just don’t give us the information we need to play this game well.

  • Given I had both Haas and Matterson out and had to play Ben Murdoch Masila and Jacob Host I’m pretty happy with that round.

Trades on my mind

Paul Alamoti was on his last chance and will be traded out. Isaac Thompson is also on my

mind to trade out. I have $158K in the bank. My shopping list atm includes Raymond

Faitala-Mariner, Jayden Campbell and Tevita Tatola.


  • Mark Nicholls - Thumb (2 weeks)

  • Braden Hamlin-Uele - MCL

  • Tom Chester - ACL

  • Chad Townsend - Calf

  • Brenko Lee - Hamstring

  • Ray Stone - HIA

  • Matt Eisentuth - Shoulder

  • AJ Brimson - Hamstring

  • Kieran Foran - Toe

  • Josh Schuster - Quad

  • Paul Momirovski - Shoulder

  • Brandon Smith - TBA was taken to hospital as a precaution in a neck brace

Player charges

  • Fines - Coen Hess, Scott Drinkwater, Ray Stone, Herbie Farnworth, Soni Luke, Haumole Olakau’atu

  • Jeremiah Nanai - Grade 3 dangerous conduct (4-5 matches)

  • Toafofoa Sipley - Grade 2 crusher (3-4 matches)

  • Brent Naden - Grade 2 shoulder charge (3-4 matches)

Sharks vs Cowboys


  • Nicho looked on course for 200 at one stage. Scored 95FP and a very complete performance. With an average of 81 FP you just need to find a way to get him or get left behind. On Origin, very likely now for the NSW 17. Would be hard to see him in the 6 jersey given the success that Cleary and Luai have had for years. BUY

  • Season high 67 FP for Teig Wilton. Averaging 50 with a low of 38. Has only scored 3 tries in 8 games but with a base of 36 TCK and 132 MG he will be a strong consideration during the Origin period.

  • Sharks finish all byes at round 17 so it's handy to keep an eye on a few of them. Brailey has really turned the corner and it's led by his running game. Scores of 64,48 and 57 and two of the three games has season high run metres. I don’t mind him as a POD option.

  • Briton Nikora looked to get a cork in this one but wasn’t as involved as in previous years. Jesse Ramien is a bit concerning. Loses $40k in this one to mid $500ks. Has scores of 28,15 and 24. Has completely lost his tackle breaking and off loading. He did shed a considerable amount of weight. We know his quality but even on Nicho’s right edge his just not producing atm.

  • Reece Robson was a good buy for owners. That's the type of performance I'm happy with with just the base. Very consistent player in a very poor team at present. BUY

  • Drinkwater is an interesting one as he had some nice touches but some poor errors. With Townsend and Chester both injured there could be a temptation to move him into the halves where he has a career av of 43 at five-eighth. Still really cheap but you’ve got to believe in some sort of Cowboys recovery. The other thing in my head is wait out and get Xavier Savage for cheaper.

  • Nanai is having a terrible season. Another 7MT and looking at a 4-5 week suspension. The player to keep an eye on is Heilum Luki. Did his hamstring a few weeks back against the Dogs but was looking superb. Will return at $464K and BE of 20 and I have some cash in the bank if I want to do a slight upgrade on a Alamoti which I don’t mind. His time line is around round 10.

  • Granville made some cash but could only manage 25FP in his 53 minutes. Once I found out Dual positions are redone after round 13 I lost interest. I just can’t see why he plays 53 minutes and starts then one of the best middles in the comp in Cotter pays off the bench for 35 minutes. AVOID

  • Dearden is an interesting one depending on the injury report from Chad. Season high 66FP and he had been struggling to create for his team. Was good though with 1TA and 2LB in a busy allround performance. Career av of 43 at half back but most of this was at a struggling Broncos. Given the team’s form I wouldn’t chase but keep him on a watch list.

Eels vs Knights


  • Mitch Moses with his greatest ever game with 103 FP. If you not comfortable holding Origin players through rounds 13-20 i’ve heard of worst ideas however he is going to be $800k so prefer his half partner. CONSIDER

  • Dyl Bags finally breaking through for a try. 71FP and at his price around $660k on open he looks juicy if you’ve got the cash. BUY

  • Hopgood back to being good and punishing the some 30% of people who have sold him over the last month. Only 4% of the top 5000 actually have him. No RCG really put him back in the requirement of huge minutes. HOLD

  • Lane didn’t do much in a game where they scored 43 points with Dyl Bags having a run first approach today. MONITOR

  • If you want a giggle, Josh Hodgson will be around $340k. Sounds silly but you’ve got to monitor this situation. He will bottom coming up.

  • I wouldn’t be chasing Guthos score. He looks good in an NRL front but to score 3 tries, bomb another and only score 79FP I wouldn’t be looking at him yet. That was his first 50+ score since round 3.

  • For the Knights they just got outclassed and out enthused. Standard good digs from the right edge combo of Gagai and Frizell. Friz is still a BUY if you want him after the Bye.

  • With all the returning forward, Leo Thompson is struggling to crack a 50 for the past month. If you were on early might be time to sell as they enter a bye.

  • Crossland and Ponga with poor nights. Crossland was benched and only managed 20FP despite a nice 50 minute spell while Ponga was on a negative score for most of the night and managed a 9. Ponga will be low 400k and just looks lost a times next to Hastings. His defence is also a massive concern with Parra just picking him off a will. Crossland actually made some cash so consider a sell out with one of with Luki or Savage appear in round 10.

Broncos vs Rabbitohs


  • Campbell Graham is the best centre in the NRL, i’ve said that since round 1. If Freddie doesn’t pick him I'm not watching it. I’d buy him if I wasn’t so confident he was playing Origin.

  • Cam Murray is a tough watch with heaps of demerits in this one. Is leaking cash but really whats the alternative at the moment? Given only 3 matches before you trade him out, I’d say back a return to form ahead of Origin. HOLD

  • Cookie bombed a couple of tries also. Not playing bad but hasn’t hit a 60+ score in a month. Is age catching up with him as his run metres the last month is 53,44,33,65. In his defence his middle men are different on the weekly. HOLD

  • Tatola is a really interesting one. Elite level guy with just zero luck on a concussion and his MCL. Came back strong from the bench and will actually be around $460K and a high BE. Got through 45 minutes and racked up 192MG. Given 10 demerits he can easily clean this up. I’m seriously considering him. His return also meant less minutes for Moale and Sele. CONSIDER

  • Host with a solid 31FP which was a nice bounceback given his issues from round 8. Only 1 miss tackle and penalty and a decent work rate in a week where we are significantly undermanned. HOLD

  • Broncos side with no Haas or Mam was always going to be different and it hurt them across the board. Forget the game happened and move on a reassess after the Manly game on Friday.

Raiders vs Dolphins


  • Lemuelu with a career game of 90FP with 2 tries, 6 tackle breaks, 1 TO, 147MG and 40 tackles. The noticeable difference between his game on the left vs right edge. On the left he can use his footwork more effectively and also has a more experienced half in Nikorima where they have a good combination. Left edge scores minus the HIA vs the Raiders in round 2 - 64,43,48,90. Right edge scores - 48,36,35,34. He is 50% owned by top 5000 so you have to BUY him.

  • If you’re looking for a Origin period hooker and don’t trust Robson then Marshall King is your next best. Didn’t get his running game going but did set up a nice try picking off the Raiders ledge edge for Bromwich’s try, also got through a mountain of work.

  • Katoa continues to hit pretty good scores and make money while Hammer despite a nice try is losing cash. Do not sell him before where we see him placed for this Origin squad.

  • BIN THE TAPIN. Ever notice how bad Tapine has been since he cut off the mullet. Was loose early and looking to off load but could only create one. Just doesn’t have the pop of last season. SELL. His last 5 rounds which includes a bye and a week off for a birth is 47,36,46 and only two 60 point games in 7 games and loses another $20K.

  • The guy you want to be all over is Horsburgh. Starting at lock has played 3 straight games of atleast 70 minutes. Scores of 46,54 and 76. Bit of an outlier game with 5 offloads but still would of hit above 50 without them. Will be low $600k’s. My only concern is he would be in the sights of Billy Slater but thats still 50/50.

  • Both Raiders halves stepped up with Wighton hitting 64 FP and Fogarty 61 FP. Both scored a try but both also got their running game going. Wighton is $548K and actually zero chance of Origin given his retirement. With his contract now sorted just put him on the watchlist. Can’t remember him ever being classic relevant so put him on the 3 dates. Fogarty you would only buy if he gets the goal kicking back and that would need Croker to get dropped which would be unfair.

  • Hudson Young continues to knock out 50’s. Thats 3 in a row and scores of 60,67,38,54,59 and 51 since the start of the season. I would actually pick him for Origin as he just has that mongrel in him. CONSIDER

  • I watched about 15 minutes of the NSW Cup and Xavier Savage looked massive. Had some good runs but a couple of poor defensive reads. Keep on the radar.

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The next live podcast will be Saturday 6th May at Magic round weekend. Meet and greet from 12pm and live podcast at 1pm. The venue is Leftys music hall Caxton street across the road from Suncorp Stadium. Come hang out with TK, Andy, Corby, Riley, Rich, Jake, Robo and Sean. Entry is free just get in early for some banter and beers, first game for the day is 3pm with the Warriors and Panthers.

Sea Eagles vs Titans


  • DCE the only stand out with 68 FP. Tried to carry the team on his back with a 40/20 into a try assist for Keppie. To close to Origin to buy him

  • Olakau’atu with back to back huge games (59,63). 6 TB, 147MG and 37TCKs and is so close to Freddie’s team and with cheaper edges its hard to go near despite his $691K price tag.

  • Weekes didn’t make the most of his opportunity to start for Turbo. 1 bad error and just couldn’t get going. He is an exciting talent.

  • Garrick just isn’t a centre so go no where near him atm. I would be surprised if he doesn’t play fullback next time Turbo is out. AVOID FOR NOW!

  • Sipley back to the pack with a sin bin and low minute game. Paseka though with another great game and has scores of 46,48 and 52 in his last 3 to finally fulfill his promise.

  • Fifita was best on ground and finally broke his try drought. 77FP in a dominant performance which I think puts him into the QLD 17 given the Nanai suspension. The most improved elite player in the NRL. The only thing stopping me buying him is timing of Origin.

  • Tanah Boyd continues to reward those who kept the faith. Top 5000 he is 43% owned. HOLD as that dual is so valuable.

  • Khan-Pereira was angry I sold him so was trying to ton up. Finished with 39 FP and two tries but that was literally all in the first half.

  • AJ Brimson done his hamstring again opening the door for Jayden Campbell who is dirt cheap. Brimo missed 3 weeks which included a bye but this time could be different. Campbell at around $459K has great fantasy prospects and set up a beauty of a try for Haas and was dynamite in only 39 minutes. Anything high grade and I’m buying Campbell.

Panthers vs Tigers


  • Incredible performance by the Tigers across the board in shocking conditions. Brook kicking game was elite level stuff.

  • Jahream Bula is a gem. 45FP in a first class performance. Was safe under the high ball, positional play was great and the try he put on for Nofa was veteran stuff. BUY

  • Keep an eye on Ipaps shrinking price for the Origin period. Only scored 40FP so loses $30K to be high $700k. Both his defence and attack were a touch off but we know his quality. WATCHLIST

  • Love what I’m seeing from Api. He is the heart and soul of the team. That’s three 50’s in a row. Would probably be 50/50 for Origin but low $600k for his quality is tempting if you have a lot of trades. Has actually had a surprising 7MT in back to back games so those scores could easily become low to mid 60’s.

  • It's an interesting time in the Chin vs Hynes match up. Since Hynes has been back Cleary has had scores of 57,63,65 while Nicho has had scores of 73,72,95. So head to head if you captained them, Chin averages 62 vs Nicho’s 80 (an extra 108 points to Hynes owners). Not to scare Chin fans but the Panthers next 3 before Origin are Warriors, Roosters and Broncos while the Sharks have the Dolphins, Manly and Knights. You could ride it out given Chins quality but there is a case to trade up. My expectation is that Nicho will be the 14 for NSW which will mean the chance of him backing up is close to guaranteed vs 50/50 for Cleary. In this one Chin did drop a certain try but the biggest concern is him not goal kicking. The extra 6-10 points his given up per game is adding up.

  • Dylan Edwards was first class and saved the Panthers on a number of occasions. Scored 57 FP with 180MG and 7 tackle breaks. A tidy bounce back after back to back 35’s. Probably bit pricey to consider now.

Warriors vs Roosters


  • Terrible conditions really took away any chance of your attacking stats so the likes of SJ, Teddy and Manu were significantly affected in this one (SJ had around half his normal run metres). It's really hard to analyse these games as those conditions just were not normal.

  • Addin punched out 76 minutes and 59FP. Given they are saying Tohu is only 1-2 weeks would be hard to go after him.

  • Lots of chat about punting Jackson Ford but I'm going to hold him. 43FP with 18 demerits and a drop ball over the line, I think on a better day he still scores well. HOLD

  • Butcher brothers were stand outs getting through a mountain of work but i would pass on them with Sitili and Angus on the bench.

  • Price watch, Angus Crichtons 28FP sees him lose $58K to $705K, Teddy remains unchanged at $576K, Manu adds around $10k only to $625K and Cheese adds around $25K to $545K. So some quality players at bargain prices. To buy Chrichton you would need to see him return to the starting team and playing 80 minutes. At his best he gets through a mountain of work and adds a couple of tackle breaks and 1-2 offloads so he is still way off the pace as expected really.

Dragons vs Bulldogs


  • Jack de Belin was huge for Dragons. 74FP with 43 TCK, 4TB, 1 OFH and 161MG. Massive BUY and is still relatively cheap

  • Another flat track bully performance by Ben Hunt but still couldn’t close out the game for the Dragons. AVOID

  • Despite a 49FP, Zac Lomax can’t kick any more and his lost his pace.

  • Birdy had a really slow start before he made his way into the game. Never seen anyone fend off big players so easy. You need him in your centres.

  • Not sure why Ben Murdoch-Masila was benched as he kiled it when he got out there. Maybe it was the short turnaround. Couchman scored a try and could only manage a 22FP. Unfortunately we will be playing these guys in round 13 LOL.

  • Raymond Faitala-Mariner was huge and I'm sticking a buy on him now that Max King is out for a minimum of 4 weeks. The Dogs needed a forward leader and he stood up. Scored 58FP in 60 minutes in an old school RFM full of work rate, tackle brakes and offloads. Only concern is the short turnaround into Friday night.

  • Jacob Preston copped a HIA to shrink his score a touch. I sold him out to balance my MID’s and I think he is entering SELL territory coming up.

  • I gave Paul Alamoti one last chance and he just didn’t produce. As a rookie just misses silly tackles and I think he really misses the attention of Josh Addo-Carr and Viliame Kikau on that left edge. SELL

  • Nice debut for Karl Oloapu with 21FP in 48 minutes from the bench. Played a bit in the forwards and the halves but had some nice touches. Can see him taking that 6 jersey in the next few weeks. WATCHLIST


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