SuperCoach NRL: POD watch
SUPERCOACH NRL is all about finding the point of difference players to set you apart from the rest of the competition.
There's no man who enjoys POD hunting more than former champion Dave Von Kotze, who looks at the forgotten guns leading into the new season.
1) Shaun Johnson HFB/5/8 ($603,000) - 13.3 per cent ownership
2) Esan Marsters CTW ($568,500) - 13.7 per cent ownership
Marsters had a breakout year in 2018 scoring the second highest points of any CTW player but only 13 per cent believe he can back it up. His lethal offload (highest of any CTW) and accurate boot (76 per cent) saw him average 60 despite only crossing for three tries throughout the year. He will play his first three games at home against the Sea Eagles, Warriors and Bulldogs which is a pretty favourable opening to the season and with many SuperCoaches predicted to run with a heap of cheapies in their CTW, a couple of early 17-pointers could see Marsters give his owners a red hot start.
3) Angus Crichton 2RF ($646,900) - 11.9 per cent ownership
For the second year in succession Crichton finds his way onto this list and as with Shaun Johnson, SuperCoaches may be a bit spooked by the switching of clubs and Bunnies fans probably won't be picking him on principle. Sanga recently dished out a comprehensive 'Player in focus' article on Crichton so be sure to read it. It appears that whatever team he is playing in, if he plays big minutes, he is consistently one of the top performers in the game. In the past two seasons, in the 38 games in which he has played 70 minutes or more he has amazingly only scored under fifty three times and averaged a brilliant 72. Those stats are tough to ignore especially when we take into account that he only crossed for three tries in 2018.
4) Blake Ferguson CTW ($611,700) - 2.7 per cent ownership
The SuperCoach community, especially those who started 2018 with an overpriced Jordan Rapana, want nothing to do with the massive price tag that comes with Ferguson despite him scoring 111 more points than his nearest rival (Esan Masters) last season. He has left the premiership winning Roosters and coaches don't feel he can replicate the 18 tries he scored last year on the end of the Parramatta backline. Whilst he did find the try line frequently, it was his base stats which stood him out from the rest of the pack and his ownership may increase again once his price drops if he can reproduce his 2018 work rate.
5) Rhyse Martin 2RF ($634,300) - 10.7 per cent ownership
Martin had a 'wow' of a season in 2018 and there are a few stats that suggest he could actually offer some value even at $634,300 big ones. His price is based on a 68 average but if we look at the twelve games in which he played the full-eighty we see that he knocked out a 12-game average of 74 and if we take out his score of 10 in 17 minutes during round twenty four, it leaves him with 49 as his lowest score of the season. Not too shabby.
6) Paul Gallen 2RF ($539,000) - 1.2 per cent ownership
In 2017 the SuperCoach stalwart that is Paul Gallen finished the season as the highest scoring player in the game and the highest averaging 2RF option (76) despite only averaging 64 minutes a game. However, last year he took one hell of a nose dive averaging 58 points and 59 minutes so the big question is whether or not Gal has one more year left in those old legs or if it's time to officially put a line through his name? It might be worthwhile keeping an eye on his minutes for the first five rounds just in case he climbs back up to the 65 minute mark because he still scored his points at just over a point per minute last year.
7) Anthony Milford 5/8 ($511,900) - 11.5 per cent ownership
Milford is another who suffered a big fall from grace averaging 54 in 2018 which was well below his season averages for the previous three seasons of 70, 67 and 65. He is over $100,000 cheaper than the currently more favoured Kalyn Ponga and will serve as a sneaky POD for the 11 per cent who have him on their roster if new coach Anthony Seibold can help the little wizard of Suncorp get his mo-jo back.
8) Nathan Brown 2RF ($582,000) - 6.3 per cent ownership
9) Gareth Widdop 5/8/FLB ($553,400) - 8.2 per cent ownership
Gareth Widdop sat in this very same spot of 2018's version of this yarn and for the second year in succession he came out of the blocks at a rapid rate and served as an incredible POD starting the year with scores of 106, 64 and 173 to sit with an opening three-game average of 114. In 2017, he was also outstanding at the start of the year and had an opening seven-game average of 82. He has a similar 5/8/FLB dual positioning to Kalyn Ponga for those looking to have a bit more flexibility. Potential owners need to know that he scored the above mentioned points in the halves and he is predicted to switch to fullback this season to accommodate new Dragon Corey Norman.
10) Damien Cook HOK ($726,000) 17.5 per cent ownership
He posted five triple-figured beauties, scored over 60 in 77 per cent of his games and 80 or over in 50 per cent of his match ups last year. However, an enormous price tag coupled with the unknown 'Bennett factor', the most dominant SuperCoach player of 2018 is sitting just outside POD range. SuperCoach is an incredibly competitive and tight game for overall players and there is very little room for error to secure some cash in the top ten so Cook scoring 246 points more than the second ranked hooker Cameron Smith despite playing one game less than him simply can't be ignored. If he is anywhere near as good this season those who don't start with him or at least put him atop their target list risk being left behind to flounder in the pack.