The Renegades Writers combine passion for the game, with a lack of editorial oversight. When they aren't next to the water cooler bitching about that try assist the stats guys missed, they are churning out sports articles that have been widely touted as "readable".
It is the question more than 10% of coaches are asking and the answer is far from simple. Starting the year as the second most expensive player behind superstar David Villa, Koren was destined for big things. This, however, has not been the case. Separate soft tissue injuries have kept him out of the first two matches and his most recent calf injury is almost certainly keeping him out this weekend’s match against cross town rivals, Melbourne Victory. So what do we do with him? The Renagdes team gives their thoughts below.
Matt Robbins – Well, this is a tough one. On one hand, Koren will surely come back in the near future and more than likely will get off to a flying start providing Melbourne City with the much needed boost to finally get them on a roll. With reports of David Villa possibly spending only two more games with City, it means that all eyes will be focussing on Koren and I believe he’ll shine bright accordingly. On the other hand, having that much cash on the bench is a risky idea and no one knows how Koren will play when he returns from injury. There is a chance that he’ll lack the match fitness needed to go a full game and may lose price rapidly over his first few weeks. In summary, if you have Koren, I’d hold strong and KEEP him as there’s no point in wasting a trade on someone who could come back then next week and make you pay. If you don’t have him, however, I’d wait until he plays at least one game before you bring him in.
JWarrior - KEEP. It’s an unfortunate situation not having team lists. The word coming out is that he will miss one more game. Assuming you have a midfielder scoring on the bench, you have held Koren this long so you are committed to holding on. If you don't, then buy the best you don't have and get the Koren voodoo doll out and hope you make enough ground whist he is out.
Dan Kelly – KEEP. Despite being a non owner Koren is a beast and despite missing the first two rounds and being rumoured to be missing the third. When he comes back he will chime into the all star City team and while he may be quiet for his first game or 2 (which could lead to a big price decrease) he will get into his stride and will take over when Villa leaves.
Brett Papworth - Rumours have surfaced surrounded the "injury" status of Melbourne City's star signing Robert Koren. There have been murmurs that his lack of form and poor attitude on the training pitch have put Koren out of favour with Manager Schip. He is likely to ease his way back onto the bench in the coming weeks, but looks almost certain to miss Round 3. SELL! If he comes back and starts scoring like his price tag suggests you should then bring him back. But for now he is burning a massive hole in my boots!
BB - I am split; part of me is thinking of dropping Koren to free up cash and pick up Keogh. McGlinchey has shown himself to be a viable starter for fantasy teams and therefore you could downgrade Koren to someone cheap who plays week in week out and use them as an auto emergency player on your bench.
The other part of me thinks it could be a mistake leading to wasted trades to get him back in when he plays (which surely must be getting closer and closer now.) I genuinely believe he will be a gun and score really well once he plays. Watching Melbourne City, what they are missing so far is exactly what he will offer.
I also think Keogh may be a price trap. He has undoubtedly done well but the price he is at means that in a couple weeks his breakeven will be so high that he will have to fall (they do it to regulate prices.) If he has one or two barren weeks (which he is bound to at some point) he could easily drop 100k over a couple weeks. I also think that while Villa is here he is a must have. Therefore I am thinking I will KEEP Koren and Villa and then trade Villa to Keogh when he leaves.
So there’s the writers’ opinions on Koren, but in the end the decision comes down to you and what you feel is best for your team.
This article originally appeared here on the BWTF website, we liked it and got permission to reproduce it on RFS.
I must apologise for the lack of blogs in recent times. I had visions of doing my blogs on a more regular basis, however, as our season fell apart, so did my enthusiasm to write. One of the things I always try and deliver in my content is a rational perspective on any situation Rugby League related and in times like this, it’s very easy for misgivings and negativity to seep into anything we voice in a social media environment. Anyway, on to my point for this week.
When the Potter/Farah saga started some seven weeks ago, I was actually very surprised at the amount of fans that were showing and voicing their support for Mick. Let me preface this by saying that I think that Mick is a good man. He has acted with integrity despite the many turmoils and trials that he faced in his stint as coach of our beloved club. However, while being of ‘Good Character’ means you’re a good person, it does not necessarily mean you're a good coach.
Cold hard facts are damning, and simply put finishing 15th (2013) and 13th (2014) is not something you can consider a success in a two year tenure. I can already hear the defence's case, “What of our injury toll?”. No doubt it has impacted our performance over the course of the years, however, other clubs have had their fair share of injuries over the last two years too. The Panthers are a prime example of this. For a fairly large chunk of this season they have been without their first and second choice halves partners to Jamie Soward. While Segeyaro has been a great buy for them, at the start of the year Kevin Kingston was their first choice hooker before succumbing to injury. Add to that the likes of Elijah Taylor, Tyrone Peachy and Bryce Cartwright who have all been a major part of the Panthers forward pack and you can see that we’re not the only ones that have fought injury demons. Does that mean we should dismiss the impact of injuries on the Tiges? Not by a long shot, however, we have to acknowledge that we’re not the only ones.
We had some great wins this year, but we slid in a big, big way and had some horrid losses. To go from 5/7 to finish with 10/24 is pretty frightening and what concerned me personally was that we never saw Potter really unleash hell and bring out the inner mongrel, which is something I think is needed when coaching today’s personalities within the game. All of the top coaches in today’s game have it too – Bellamy, Hasler, Toovey, Madge, even Trent Robinson. Sometimes you do need the softly softly approach, and at other times you need a rocket right up your arse. Unfortunately, the latter was missing when it was probably needed most under Mick.
I’ve seen a lot of people say that Mick should’ve received another year, to me this doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. I stated a few months ago that any team that fired a coach in today’s environment ran a pretty big risk in their coaching selections. We’ve all seen the names thrown around for our next coach and I know you all have your own perspectives on who we should select and why, but it can not be denied that any club recruiting a coach this year or next is taking a risk. The coaches that I mentioned previously are all tied to their current clubs on either big money, or long term deals. But you need to look past that. Our current roster offers plenty of potential with what I consider to be a very delicate balance of young, promising stars and experienced players and to me, our best shot at a Premiership is going to be in 2016, or maybe 2017 at a stretch.
A lot of our current roster will either be seeking upgrades or extensions at that time and some tough decisions will have to be made. What happens to Manaia Cherrington, Tim Simona, David Nofoaluma etc etc? I accept that we will have to have other things fall into place for this to happen but to me, that will be our best possible chance for our next Premiership. Let’s throw a hypothetical out there. Imagine we give Mick one more year. 2015 season is done and dusted and we finish 11th, or 10th, or anywhere outside the 8. What do you think happens then? We try and introduce a new coach with the expectation that they deliver us a Premership in their first year? It’s an incredible expectation to put on anyone. The way I saw it, we either needed to offer Mick a two or three year extention and place all our hopes with him in delivering us a Premiership or we cut him loose now.
While Mick delivered a lot of good things to the club, of which I won’t go into detail in listing, I was still to be convinced that he had the ability to make the cut throat decisions required to be a truly top NRL coach. There were times this year where our attack was lacking any real threat or variety at all which to me was deeply alarming, as that was our greatest asset at other times, and especially given Mick’s playing history and knowledge of the game.
I could go on and on about the back office needing a shake up, or how the Board failed to support Mick when it mattered, or how certain players in our team let us as fans down. Simply put, that’s been talked about enough between various blogs, media articles etc. At the end of the day my point is this, I thank Mick for his time at the Wests Tigers, and despite the fact that his sacking was disappointing for a lot of people, it was a tough decision that had to be made now. Sometimes in a professional environment, being a ‘Good Person’ does not make you the ‘Right Person’ for a role.
All other problems aside, I’m at least glad that this issue didn’t carry on well into the off season. Now we can move forward.
Move over Burgess brothers – the Mata’utia boys are taking the NRL by storm, and this weekend loyalties will be divided when Knights pair Sione and Chanel take on Dragons sibling Peter.
All three are tryscoring machines but online bookmaker sportsbet.com.au has priced the youngest of the trio Sione at $2.15 to score the most tries, with Chanel at $2.30 and big brother Peter at $4.50.
Incredibly, there are 4 sets of brothers in action in round 26….the mighty Mata’utia boys are $1.90 favourites to score the most ‘family’ tries ahead of the Morris twins ($2.80), the Minichiellos ($6.50) and the less fleet-footed Burgess lads ($9.00).
“They could’ve sold tickets to watch the backyard games at the Mata’utia household back in the day. There are 7 brothers in all – 3 have played first grade, and younger brother Pat is also destined for big things in the Knights system,” said sportsbet.com.au’s Christian Jantzen.
Markets courtesy of sportsbet.com.au
Most Mata’utia Tries
Most Family tries
$1.90 Mata’utia brothers
$2.80 Morris brothers
$6.50 Minichiello brothers
$9.00 Burgess brothers
Renegades remind you to bet responsibly and within your means.
138k – This is the basement price for a player. Occasionally, coaches will refer to a position they haven’t yet filled as being a 138k. Basically, some rookie cash cow they haven’t found yet.
Auto-Emergency (AE) – If you have a player in your 17 (13 on field and 4 reserves) who doesn’t take the field for his club (this includes staying on the bench for the whole game), you get an AE to cover that player’s position. The AE is the lowest scoring player (greater than 0) who you have in your remaining NPRs. Also, you only get one!
Booted: Getting removed from the group. Crimes include, blocking a fellow Renegade, deleting posts/comments, making up shit about last minute team list changes, and sharing Renegades info with other groups.
Break Even (BE) – the approximate score required for a player to hold his value. If he scores less, his value will drop. More, and it increases. Approximate BEs are kindly provided right here at RFS.
Byes – Because the NRL insists on putting State of Origin over many weeks in the middle of the season, the competition has an 8 week period where some clubs have a bye. Every club gets two byes over this period, during which time your players in those clubs will not score you points. For H2H teams, this isn’t a big problem as most of these rounds are also H2H byes. For Overall players, this 8 week period is the most import part of the season. You will need to work hard to keep 17 players on the field over this time to keep the points rolling in. On top of the byes, State of Origin will make certain Fantasy guns unavailable. It’s the toughest part of the season, requiring spreadsheets, post-it notes and a lot of booze. But, it’s also the most exciting time of the season.
Captain (C or Cap) – Your captain scores double points. Choose him wisely. If you need to make up ground you can take the high-risk winger playing against a weak club, and then watch him get rested by the coach when his club builds up a big lead…
Cash Cow – a player who starts very cheap and increases in price over the course of the season. Cash cows are normally players you wouldn’t run in your scoring 17 if you had a choice.
Dual Position Player (DPP) – A player who can be placed in two different positions. Common examples are players who can fill both CTR and WFB. This is useful for DPP trades. For example, you could trade a WFB out, bring one of your CTRs into WFB, and then purchase a new CTR. You can do multiple DPP switches per trade.
Ghost Cow (also, MCK) – A cash cow with great potential who never plays.
Gun – A non-stop fantasy point-scoring machine. Gun status is often argued about, but players like Cam Smith, Corey Parker, Daly Cherry-Evans and Greg Inglis are undeniable fantasy gods. Importantly, a gun in a position like WFB and CTR doesn’t need to average as much as a gun in a high point scoring position like HOK or 2RF. It’s all about what players are available.
Head-to-head (H2H) – By getting your mates together you can play head to head matches over the season, with a final series at the end. The bye rounds are mostly unimportant with personal matchups and rivalry the source of the fun. It’s entry level stuff and all the glory is in playing overall.
Keeper – a player who is good enough to not trade out of your team by the end of the season. The definition of a Keeper is unique to every team, as the number or trades, available cash, and other problem positions may lower or raise standards.
Loophole – Made available by the introduction of rolling lockout in 2013, the loophole (or, Captain’s Loophole) was a strategic maneuver to get two bites at the captain cherry. Unfortunately, because some people didn’t understand how to use it, it is lost in the past…
Mid-ranger – A player who’s not a cash cow and not a keeper. He’s scoring mid-30s and if you listen to your mate, he’s about to go huge. Normally your mate is wrong, as 70% of players are mid-rangers, and stay that way for their entire careers. But, you have to pick a few…so they better be the ones that turn into keepers…
Non-playing Reserve (NPR) – A NPR is a player who is in your 25, but not selected in your scoring 17.
Nuffie (occasionally, 138k nuffie) – At the end of the season, coaches will trade out their cash cows to make cash for big upgrades. However, to avoid bringing in potentially shit AEs, they bring in basement price (i.e., 138k) players who will never play. Maximum cash, minimum risk. In the injury crisis of 2013, this strategy left many teams with less than 17 players.
Overall – Overall coaches are those that are aiming to accumulate as many points during the season. Initially, this is to win the major prize. Most overall coaches realize they cannot win the prize from very early on. But, this isn’t an excuse to give up. Your end of year rank is a badge of honor (or shame) that will give you cred in Renegades and will need to be beaten next season.
Points-per-minute (PPM) – The average scoring rate of a player.
Reverse Trade – Before the first game of the round starts, you can trade and then reverse that trade.
Rolling Lockout – Because Tuesday team lists tend to be a bit unreliable, NRL Fantasy gives you the opportunity to keep trading and adjusting your team through the round. As a player starts a game, they get locked in and you can’t change them. NOTE: if you want to trade during rolling lockout you cannot reverse trade.
Sideways Trade: a trade where the player being taken out is likely to have the same net benefit on your team’s weekly scores over the whole season. For example, trading Tolman to Graham (assuming both are fit and getting similar scores). As they both play for the Dogs, their byes are identical, and are FRFs, they are equivalent. Trading one to the other (other than in the case of injury, or if Tolman is selected for Origin) is a wasted trade. It is often difficult to identify a sideways trade as many features have to be weighed up, including; bye cover, average, price, position, injury/suspension prone-ness, and job security.
Smokey or Point of Difference (POD) – A player, who most other coaches haven’t selected, that may score well. This is a good strategy if you need to play catch-up. But remember, there is often a reason that most coaches haven’t selected that player.
Source (or sauce) – One of the great benefits of belonging to the Renegades family is the access to information. People who find articles online, or tweets will normally share them in the group. But, occasionally, someone will share some gossip without acknowledging where it came from. Not sharing the source can be because there is no source and it’s just someone trolling. Otherwise, it could be privileged inside information. Get to know the insiders, they are important people.
Trolls who lie about team changes just before lockout will be abused and booted.
Team List Tuesday (TLT) – Every Tuesday, clubs will release their team lists, which will be progressively posted up in Renegades through the day. Take them with a grain of salt, they are just a guide. The NRL Fantasy website will also show which players are selected to play with green lights next to player names. These are based on Tuesday team lists, and may not reflect who actually takes the field.
Trade Rage – Many coaches will follow a bad round by making rash, ill-considered trades in an attempt to improve their team. This will normally leave rookie coaches with no trades well before the finals. Patience is the most important skill in NRL Fantasy.
Troll – A complex term. Some trolls will get booted (people making up shit about last minute team list changes), while some will get applause (baiting an origin fan into a rage). See here for some background – http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=troll
NOTE: Saying “I was just trolling” or “hook, line and sinker” after someone publicly humiliates you in an argument is not cool. Real trolls never admit to being trolls. So, just take it on the chin, accept you were wrong, and slink away.
Vice-Captain (VC) – If your captain fails to take the field for his club, your VC scores double.
Some common player abbreviations
DCE – Daly Cherry Evans
CS9 – Cameron Smith
CP13 – Corey Parker
PG13 – Paul Gallen
JWH – Jared Waerea-Hargreaves
RTS – Roger Tuivasa-Sheck
SKD – Shaun Kenny Dowall
SBW (SBW OMG, $BW, Money Bill) – Sonny Bill Williams
Many strategies exist for setting up your team. And, much disagreement revolves around how much cash you should have left over, how many guns to buy, what positions to stack with cash, and is Cam Smith worth the cash. This is how I set a team up, so hopefully it will help.
This is my strategy for “overall”. I will add some H2H notes at the bottom.
Quickly, I will outline the objective of an overall team. You want to start making big scores as quickly as possible. Unlike H2H, where your team should be peaking when the finals start, you want 900+ scores as early in the season as possible. To do this, you may burn a lot of trades through the season and your team may fizzle out when late season injuries hit. But, to win, you need to start strong. This requires a careful balance between the three categories of player: cash cows, mid-rangers and guns. You can’t afford 25 guns, so compromise is the game. In an ideal world, you will recruit a team where all the cash cows and mid-rangers explode and turn into guns, but it just won’t happen. Instead, you will need to recruit cash cows that turn into mid-rangers, who can be cashed out for more cash cows, or upgraded to guns. Ideally, any mid-rangers you start with will become keepers, or even guns.
First, pick Cam Smith. He’s your captain. Doubling his reliable points every week will set you up for a solid score.
Second, identify the cash cows. Some will be obvious, such as rookies starting at $138k and holding down a starting position. Some will be less obvious, requiring hours of study, some guess work and a bit of luck. Importantly, don’t pick a player who isn’t named in the Round 1 team lists. Every year there is some rumored superstar cash cow that everyone recruits, but doesn’t end up playing for the first half of the season. You need every position available to generate you cash.
How many cash cows should you have? – As many as you can get who will get reliable minutes and game time. Beware the cash cow that is covering for a soon-to-return star. Remember, to increase in value, the player must play 3 games.
Next, get some guns. I like at least one in every position. Prime candidates are -HOK: Smith, FRF: Fifita, 2RF: Parker, HLF: Cherry-Evans, CTR: (not sure this year), WFB: Greg Inglis. An important consideration when thinking about guns (and mid-rangers) is how they will be affected by the byes. If they are origin certainties and their team has byes when origin isn’t restricting availability, they will miss more games than some other guns. Look into it.
Finally, pick the good mid-rangers. This is where the high risk is. Will that player returning from injury play well, or will his knee explode again? Will that rookie from last year keep improving? Will that workhorse forward get the minutes required to score big at his new club. Remember, mid-rangers need to do better than their price predicts they will, otherwise you just have a player who averages less than 45 who hasn’t made you any money.
So, once you have locked down these players, you should have a few positions left over that you haven’t filled yet. You don’t have the cash for guns, there are no more obvious cash cows left, and the remaining mid-rangers look too risky. There are three remaining strategies: 1) Pick some cash cows and hope they play (bad idea, see above), 2) Buy some reliable mid-ranges who will keep scoring 40 all year (better, but not great), and 3) Take a gamble on some exciting mid-rangers who will improve.
Personally, if you want to win Overall, you have to take option three. Sure, Mannering is mister reliable, and will not get injured. But, someone else will pick that player who is the same price as Mannering and ends up scoring 15 pnts/round more. You have to find that player.
These final selections are where all the hard work goes in. Taking players in and out. Tweaking, adjusting, reading articles, making spreadsheets, asking questions on Renegades – make all the work count!
For me, I like to spend all my cash when setting up my team. But, if there is a mid-range player who is too risky to snap up straight away, but could be a must-have once his true form is obvious, than some spare cash may be advisable. Because, before the price rises too much, you will want to get that player, and as none of your cash cows will have made anything yet, you need the money. Last year, I did this to keep an eye on SBW, and it paid off.
H2H is difficult to give advice for, as your strategy really depends on how good the coaches are in your league. If there are enough noobs in your league (you know, the guy from accounting who follows AFL and is in the league to make up numbers) your position in the top 8 will be assured. In that case, go for lots of cash cows so you have plenty of cash come finals. If it’s a gun league, expect the competition to be tight and making the 8 a difficult proposition. In that case, you may want to start with a more balanced team, such as one aimed to win overall.
Every Friday afternoon, you need to set your lineup. Assuming you have already made your trades, this involves selecting your starting 13, 4 reserves, a captain and a vice captain. This may seem straight forward, but it isn’t. These are the things you need to remember.
First, do some research. Tuesday Team Lists will be out of date, so don’t trust them.
Your Captain choice should be easy, the highest averaging player in your team. Thanks to the power of the stupid majority, you don’t have to worry about the Captain’s Loophole. But, remember that your captain will be locked in, so if he is any chance of a late withdrawal, it may be worth captaining another player to avoid a shitty AE.
Now, who should be in your starting 13? This may seem obvious; your best players in each position! But, it’s not that simple. First, it is important to note that it makes no difference to your score if a player in in the starting 13, or one of the 4 reserves. So, it is more sensible to set your line up to maximise flexibility.
For example, put players on the bench who play last in the round. This way, they are available to switch onto the field if a player is a late withdrawal, and the reserve can be switched if needed. If your player is locked onto the field (because the reserves in that position have all played) he cannot be taken off the field if needed.
Also, take advantage of rolling lockout to protect yourself against injury prone players. Put them on the bench if they play late in the round. For the same reasons as above, this will enable you to switch a reserve if they are a late withdrawal.
H2H: Look at your opposition’s team and set a team to suit the matchup. If you can see you will need to make up ground, run PODs and a risky captain.
- The Defensive Centre
Sharing your team with others online is useful to get feedback and suggestions. However, if you take a bad screenshot, you’ll probably find that most people will just give you shit about your screenshot, rather than help.
Another important tip is to give people some background (H2H or Overall, and trade ideas you had). No one likes a leech.
Finally, don’t spam.
Common mistakes include -
* Posting the entire screenshot, rather than cropping to include just the screen. Remember to not crop out the number of remaining trades and salary cap. This info can help people help you.
* Trying to crop to just the image, but actually just erasing the unnecessary space, leaving a massive white border around your team.
* Taking a blurry photo of your team with a smart phone.
* Posting a team up every day, asking for help. Spamming will just lead to abuse.
Here are some helpful screenshot guides.
And, here’s how you crop.
Once you have the photo, share it!
Important: If you can’t work out how to do this, just type your team out (in an easy to follow format).
- The Defensive Centre