About the Author: Pat McConville (Team - veritable macdaddy)
I’m in my second year of Dream Team. As a DT addict, my wife is constantly begging me to spend more time with her, and less looking at player prices and break-evens, but it is a losing battle for her. I mainly play for the banter and to beat my mates, but my competitiveness makes me want to finish as high overall as possible. I’m in 5 leagues and plan to take them all down, but am always willing to provide support and advice to anyone who asks. I have always been a league nut, and DT has just furthered that.
As this is a major bye round, literally thousands of people have set up a ‘cash sniper’ team to try to have a grab at the cash on offer for the highest score this week. I have decided to join in, because everybody loves cash, right? Here is the team I set up. Remember that you still have to pick a 25 man squad and stick to the 4.4 million salary cap.
WFB Matt Bowen (Cowboys) 220,000
WFB Ben Barba (Bulldogs) 275, 800
WFB Konrad Hurrell (Warriors) 142, 500
CTR Mitchell Aubusson (Roosters) 215, 300
CTR Matt Cooper (Dragons) 194, 800
HLF Daly Cherry-Evans (Sea Eagles) 334, 900
HLF Jeff Robson (Sharks) 245, 200
FRF Aaron Woods (Tigers) 265, 500 FRF Sam Burgess (Rabbitohs) 211, 200
HKR Josh Reynolds (Bulldogs) (VC) 260, 100
2RF Liam Fulton (Tigers) (C) 308, 600
2RF Anthony Watmough (Sea Eagles) 254, 700
2RF Simon Mannering (Warriors) 260, 500
HKR Matt Ballin (Sea Eagles) 273, 800
HLF Tom Humble (Tigers) 139, 200
HLF Michael Morgan (Cowboys) 96, 900
CTR Josh Mansour (Panthers) 77, 100
2RF Sam Tagataese (Sharks) 77, 100
With all of the origin players made unavailable for their club this week, a number of players get the chance to step up in the absence of their clubs stars. For this reason I have chosen the Cowboys’ Michael Morgan and Matt Bowen (in the absence of Johnathan Thurston), Cronulla’s Jeff Robson (Todd Carney) and Sam Tagataese (Paul Gallen), whilst Wade Graham moves into the halves in place of Carney), West Tigers’ Tom Humble (playing hooker in place of Robbie Farah) and Manly’s Anthony Watmough (Jamie Buhrer, Tony Williams and Glenn Stewart). Also, some players, especially attacking players, will benefit from their opponent missing star players. This especially seems to be the case for the Bulldogs, who are playing the Sharks minus Carney and Gallen, and for this reason I have picked up Ben Barba and Josh Reynolds. I have also chosen to make Reynolds my vice captain this week.
Konrad Hurrell has shown in the last two weeks that when he gets 80 minutes he is capable of busting tackles and some big dream team scores.
Matt Cooper is a bit of a gamble, but is an established gun centre who is capable of a big score if he gets some early ball with room to move. It was a 50/50 call between Mitch Aubusson and Dene Halatau for the final centre spot, but I went for Aubbusson on a judgement call as I feel he will score higher this week.
Daly Cherry-Evans is the second highest scorer in NRL DreamTeam this year (only behind Cam Smith) and as Queensland went for Matt Gillett for their bench utility, ‘DCE’ is available to play for Manly (and my cash sniper team!) this week. I have decided to go against using him as my captain/vice-captain as Manly may struggle due to missing a full back row. However, he would still not be a bad choice for any of those who choose to use him.
Aaron Woods has stepped up extremely well this year after the Tigers let go off Gibbs and Fifita to accommodate the arrival of Adam Blair. He has the third best average of all props this season, and the best of players playing this week. Sam Burgess is another proven DT gun, and could go nuts against a Dragons side missing basically a whole starting forward pack! (Merrin, Fien, Weyman, Scott, Creagh and Prior!)
Matt Ballin may appear to be an interesting choice as my second hooker, but having a look at his recent stats, he has hit 50 tackles in his last 3 matches, and has a 3 match average of 59.3
Liam Fulton (featured photo) is a DT gun who is scoring very well now that he is back in the starting side. The last few games between the Tigers and Warriors have been close fought games, and as such I have made Fulton my captain this week. This however is a gamble based on the fact that both teams love to shift the ball so the game may not be played as much up the middle. Simon Mannering is a player who quite often promises so much, but delivers so little. But with scores of 45 and 49 in the last two weeks, he is worth a risk.
The rest of my squad has been filled out with 77,100 players who will not play this weekend, as the last thing we need is a very low scoring player providing a bad auto emergency score should one of the 17 players picked not play this weekend. That is the role of the 18th man. A few players can be considered unlucky to have missed out on this squad. Players I would love to have picked include Issac Luke, Benji Marshall, James Graham, Jamie Soward, Adam Reynolds and the list goes on and on. But seeing that we must stay within the cap, I think this is a balanced squad, that with any luck, could have a tilt at the cash.
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