2016 SuperCoach winner reveals left-field cheapie options
IN 2016 I started the season with a little-known rookie by the name of James Fisher-Harris. He hadn't played any first grade yet but came highly recommended to me.
He ended up being a low ownership cheapie that made almost $200,000 in a matter of weeks.
This was the perfect recipe to provide much-needed funds - funds that not many other SuperCoaches had access to, due to not owning him - to be used for upgrading other ripened cheapies for bye-coverage players as well as season-long keepers.
So it pays to do your research, and with that in mind let's take a bit of a deep dive into some potential left-field, low ownership cheapies for 2020.
For this exercise, I've only looked at players who are sub-5 per cent ownership - REALLY low ownership levels!
Eddie Blacker (Dragons) - FRF $171,900 - 0.4 per cent ownership
Blacker was stolen from the Broncos by the Dragons at the start of 2019 and represented Queensland in the Under 20s State of Origin. He is a massive unit, standing 195cm tall and weighing 116kg. Blacker has earned a spot on the top 30 roster and shown some positive signs during the pre-season this year #TTHD (training the house down for the uninitiated). It will depend on injuries and other things lining up, but Blacker would not look out of place on the interchange bench for the Dragons.
Treymain Spry (Titans) - CTW $171,900 - 1.1 per cent ownership
The man with the coolest name in the NRL, Spry is in a fight for a spot in a Titans backline that has lost at least one of its players from late last season (Jesse Arthars). Fresh off representing Queensland in the Under 20s State of Origin in 2019, Spry has locked in his spot in the top 30 squad this year and an impressive showing at the Nines over in Perth could boost his claims for a starting backline spot for Round 1. Compared to Greg Inglis and also Latrell Mitchell (somewhat redundant, isn't it?), Spry could prove to be very KFC SuperCoach-relevant if given a chance.
Jack Johns (Rabbitohs) - 2RF $171,900 - 1.4 per cent ownership
The eldest of Matthew Johns' two sons, Jack is a backrower who has shown some promising signs during the pre-season, running with the first grade squad at times. With the retirements of both Sam Burgess (medical) and John Sutton after 2019, the Rabbitohs have backrow spots available. Whilst it is expected that Ethan Lowe and Jaydn Su'A are the frontrunners for both starting spots, it is hardly guaranteed and at the very least, there are still bench spots available. He might be a long shot but you can't deny that the bloodline carries a fair bit of rugby league pedigree!
Tom Amone (Rabbitohs) - FRF $211,900 - 1.7 per cent ownership
Another Rabbitoh but Amone's junior credentials are impressive to say the least. He was pinched from under the noses of the Sea Eagles at the start of last year and eventually forced his way onto the bench for five games, performing solidly without much fanfare. However, he has ability and I would expect him to earn bigger minutes this season, beating out the likes of Nicholls and maybe even Tatola for minutes off the bench.
Josh Schuster (Sea Eagles) - 5/8 $171,900 - 2.1 per cent ownership
SuperCoaches with Phoenix Crossland still in their line-up will be hoping for Schuster to rise from the ashes (sorry, couldn't help myself) to be a like-for-like bottom dollar 5/8 cheapie; however, Schuster has to beat out competition from Dylan Walker, Lachlan Croker and Cade Cust for the right to play beside Daly Cherry-Evans. Not a member of their top 30 squad, so unlikely to play for now, but there is still a chance we see him on the field later in the season. Keep an eye on the highly-touted youngster!
Tony Williams (Sea Eagles) - 2RF $201,000 - 2.7 per cent ownership
No this isn't 2011, I am actually talking about "T-Rex" again. He's back at the Sea Eagles and back with Des Hasler too. And the whispers are that he may find himself on the bench for Round 1. We know what T-Rex is capable of, on the field and on the stats sheet, so if he's there, look, I couldn't blame you for wanting a bit of nostalgia in your KFC SuperCoach line-up.
Spencer Leniu (Panthers) - FRF $201,000 - 3.2 per cent ownership
Leniu debuted in Round 21 last year and remained on the interchange for the next four games as well. We didn't get much opportunity to see him tear it up but there is plenty of hype for the youngster, with many seasoned SuperCoaches describing him as having a "SuperCoach-friendly playstyle" - music to my ears. He seems set to land another position on the bench and with the off-season departure of Reagan Campbell-Gillard, minutes are on offer.
Harley Smith-Shields (Raiders) - CTW $171,900 - 4.1 per cent ownership
Plenty of eyes are on the Raiders' backline situation with the initial departure of BJ Leilua opening up a spot, but with potential replacement Curtis Scott's 2020 future still in limbo that could open up another opportunity as well. 'HSS' is just 20 years old but he was already playing "with the men" at 19 last year, scoring six tries in just seven appearances for Mounties. Nick Cotric might be the frontrunner for the right centre position but HSS is certainly worth keeping an eye on.
Joshua Curran (Warriors) - 2RF $216,900 - 4.3 per cent ownership
What's that? A cheap backrower from the Warriors who is almost bottom dollar might be a surprise starter in Round 1? *insert 'Triggered' meme* John Palavi is to SuperCoaches what "The Room" is to movie critics - so bad the name has become legendary, for all the wrong reasons. However, Curran was a player the Roosters didn't really want to lose, and he is less likely to be 2020s Palavi after already managing to sneak three games off the bench last season. There are rumours he'll be in the starting 13 come Round 1, so if that's the case, find some space for the kid as he could end up a handy little scorer - maybe 2020s Lachlan Burr? If that's the case, well, *throws water bottle on the floor* "Oh hi Josh."
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