KFC SuperCoach Cheapie Bible Round 4: Matt Croker set to surge from 0% ownership

Point of difference buys don’t get any more point of differencey than this boom Newcastle Knight, who is literally in 0% of teams – but not for long.

On the flip side, my ‘AVOID’ warnings on Josh Schuster proved warranted. A big score in game one masked the fact that he would have scored a paltry 11 points without attacking stats, and he duly flopped in a low scoring affair over the weekend. So is he the locked in purchase we all thought?

More on that below.

Shout out to Connelly Lemuelu who sits just outside Cheapie Bible price, but looks an absolute monster scoring 76, 65 and 58 points in full games on an edge for the Dolphins. Screams a POD play if you have the luxury!

A cheapie by definition is any player under $350k. As the season goes along we will give a running verdict on every cheapie that hits our radar, and give a final ‘Bon Voyage’ when they eclipse $350k. If a player is not on the list, we’ve determined they are not a viable selection.

Let’s go!

Matt Croker | FRF ($319,000 | NEW) – 54 points

Croker has been so impressive. Amongst the mass mid-game injuries and dramas going on at the Knights, Croker has quietly played 48 and 43 minutes the past two weeks for scores of 50 and 54 points respectively – essentially all in base, with one offload leading to an LBA against the Raiders. If you’re a Moale owner or in a break glass in case of emergency situation on field at FRF2 for a couple of weeks, Croker looks secure in this role with Daniel Saifiti out until round eight with suspension, and Adam Elliot out indefinitely with his groin injury. Currently in ZERO per cent of teams – but not for long.

VERDICT: POD-BUY. Not for me, though.

Jacob Preston | 2RF ($392,200 | BUL) – 42 points

Much like Hop-GOD last week, Preston has earned the right to stay out of the ‘Bon-Voyage’ section and stay front and centre for a final verdict given how incredible he has been. And it’s an important one… Ok, here’s the low point. The full 80 minutes were there, and I don’t think that is going to change anytime soon. The tackles were stable, you can lock in between 30-40 every week, tackle busting was down to zero and most importantly, the 20-ish points in runs came down to 13. Given we’ve already pocketed $200,000 in two weeks of price rises, and 42 points should be the low point with an upside of 80+ points on any given week along with a BE still sitting at just 7 – there is zero doubt in my mind that Preston is a hold through to the round 13 bye where he’ll be priced at around $500k, and potentially a hold for round 16 and 19 coverage.

VERDICT: HOLD. Indefinitely.

Jackson Ford | 2RF ($324,800 | NZL) – 72 points

Ford failed a HIA after just two minutes in round two and missed round three whilst in the concussion protocols, but came STORMING back after being dubbed the ‘POD-BUY’ of the week in last week’s edition. Even the guru Tom Sangster jumped straight back on the horse! 72 points in another full 80 minute game alongside SJ in a Warriors team functioning very well, and $43,600 later and we have now what I think looks like the legitimate cheapie of the week. Had it not been for a dropped ball over the try line it could have been 100+! The BE is still at 22 right now because the 4-point score where he failed the HIA is still in the rolling average for another round, then it’ll kick back into the negatives. With the Warriors’ bye schedule, Ford may well make slow-burn money and cover rounds 13 and 19, a great result if you’re on board.


Josh Schuster | 5/8|2RF ($241,200 | MNL) – 26 points

I laid out the ugly truth last week with the great score of 59 points comprising four try assist/contributions. Taking that out we would be staring at a lowly 11-point game. Well, we had it, no attacking stats bar one effective offload (4 points) and whilst the tackles improved to 22 the score of 26 points is evidence that Schuster is by no means a lock for a cheapie purchase, let alone a lock for everyone’s starting 17 each week. Hugely important dual position flexibility for trading and has great round 13 bye coverage also.

VERDICT: BUY. Despite the flags, I’m a huge fan and still advocating as a purchase. I’d be playing him in matches like Newcastle this week, and ‘sitting’ against the Panthers the week after.

Paul Alamoti | CTW ($348,800 | BUL) – 41 points

Alamoti pockets yet another $72,600 for the some 60% of KFC SuperCoach owners out there on the back of his 41 points against the Warriors. Somehow he avoided the attacking stats down his side early on, but his work rate (much like KING Kiraz in the same team) is exceptional. Barring the week one aberration, I think we’re looking at 40s as a worst case scenario built entirely off base stats and in matches where he nails some attacking stats it’s a beautiful 50+ result. Still possessing a -14 BE and prospective $50k price rise this week, Alamoti is playable every week, and should peak in price around $450k right around that all important round 13.

VERDICT: HOLD. Alamoti is flying.

Tyrell Sloan | CTW|FLB ($347,200 | STG) – 15 points

Ugh, this was always the danger. 78 and 53 points with tries in good Dragons’ performances sold the story of potential, but here is the downside. 15 points in an absolute drubbing at home to the Sharks. Yes, there was a $48,600 initial price rise, but an alarmingly low work rate (just 10 points total, from seven runs) and no attacking stats show just how bad it can get. Match-ups against the Dolphins, Titans and Raiders the next three weeks should hopefully provide some opportunity but I’m certainly not optimistic – and given the BE has already jumped to 36 you might need to sell pretty quickly in a few weeks.


Sunia Turuva | CTW|FLB ($318,500 | PTH)

Turuva really is incredible. It felt like he caught 400 bombs from Mitch Moses last weekend, and every single one of them he ran at the line at 1000km/h. 50 points, with a whopping 42 of those in runs. Yes, that’s a great score for a CTW just with runs alone. With scores of 39, 44 and 50 points – good for a 44.3PPG average and $44,000 initial price rise – I’ve seen many looking to sell Turuva. NO! That’s all I’ll say. This is a 45-50 point worst case result in the centres with match ups against the Raiders, Sea Eagles and Knights in the next three rounds, playing in one of the best teams in the competition. When things start to click, I have no doubt Turuva will be a $450k+ player, and to be honest it’s worth considering him potentially being a keeper through the byes.

VERDICT: BUY/HOLD. Still presents value at the price in my opinion.

Soni Luke | HOK ($257,600 | PTH) – 9 points

Ugh. The dreaded HIA failure the week prices change. 9 points, 3 minutes, it could barely have gone worse for those who own the boom Panther (can you tell I do?!). That’s put an almighty skid on the money making process, and given the concussion protocols in place, it will be a few weeks before he’s back making money for us.

VERDICT: HOLD. I wouldn’t jump if you’re not an owner as there are really no alternatives at the price point. Unless you can swing Tanah Boyd to hooker, and buy Schuster.

Isaiya Katoa | HFB|5/8 ($258,100 | DOL)

Missed last week through injury after a fitness test at captain’s run last week, despite being named to start on Tuesday. Now Sean O’Sullivan is out for a significant chunk of the season (if not the whole thing) due to a torn pec, meaning Katoa’s job security is locked and loaded. Hopefully increased opportunity for last tackle/attacking options come his way rather than Anthony Milford’s. Wait and watch – I wouldn’t be selling to Schuster this week for no money made.


Alofiana Khan-Pereira | CTW ($372,000 | GCT) – 117 points

THIS. This is why you hold try-scoring freaks regardless of scores like the 5-point dud in round one. Because at the drop of a hat (even against the ‘BAD’ match ups of the Storm and Cowboys on paper) AKP has scored 65 and 117 points, jumped $170,000 so far and possesses a -70 BE following his bye this week in, wait for it, a matchup against the Dragons! Almost 10% of teams that started with AKP sold after round one, and were watching from the bleachers whilst the try scoring machine scored five tries in three weeks, and this past week had 18 points in tackle busts, FIVE line breaks and upped his work rate big time.

VERDICT: HOLD. I was hoping for a flurry of tries to kick over the $400k mark at some stage. Well, now the outlook is being priced at $550,000 in as little as three weeks. You beauty.

Jonah Pezet | HFB ($200,800 | MEL) – 64 points

Pezet looks an absolute superstar in waiting. Shock me, the Storm have got another one! Scores of 78 and 64 points through two games show his scoring upside, and for a player priced at $200,800 with a BE of -82 you could argue that even one week (Jahrome Hughes returns in round 6) of Pezet price rises would be worth the trade. Well, my opinion is that you could do that, but it’s not just the money equation for me. It’s the opportunity cost of having Pezet in your HFB slot. If you have him there, you can’t own both of Nicho and Cleary (or Walker/DCE/Hughes etc) and you really need four scoring halves to compete with the best scoring teams in this game.

VERDICT: PASS. I’m positive Pezet will end up a genuine KFC SuperCoach gun at some point in the next few years, but not right now.

Brandon Wakeham | HFB|5/8 ($234,800 | WST) – 26 points

I’m out. As far as the Tigers are concerned, I’m out until I see otherwise with my own eyeballs. Big Stefano can stay based on reliable cheapie scores, but Wakeham’s 26 points in what was an ‘improved’ performance for this team included a linebreak and 19 tackles, to go with his -10 in kicks going dead and penalties conceded and I’m not convinced one bit there’s more money to be made here than there is with Katoa. And you cannot possibly own both at once.


Michael Chee-Kam | 2RF|CTW ($353,100 | STH) – 50 points

Somehow Chee-Kam’s avoided any attacking stats again and despite Jacob Host being named to start, he logged another big minute game, another 50 points and a $53,000 price rise for the almost 10,000 KFC SuperCoaches who are on board. That keeps the BE at just 6, and whilst you could argue he’s the perfect downgrade to Josh Schuster or sideways to Jackson Ford, it seems there’s more money to be made in the next two rounds.

VERDICT: HOLD. Until Jai Arrow is fully back up to speed.


Bryce Cartwright | 2RF ($387,500 | PAR) – 63 points

The Carty Party used to be all about sky-high upside and seriously low floor, but this year’s hot ticket in town has been a model of consistency – almost like a work Christmas party, you know who will be there, it’ll be a fun time, but you probably want to pack it in before midnight. Carty started at $234k, has played 80 minutes every week for scores of 59, 58, 53 and 63 points – good for a 58.3PPG average and making owners $150,000 thus far whilst still possessing a BE of just 1.

Ryan Matterson returned on the weekend to the right edge which was Carty’s first bullet dodged, but Shaun Lane is returning to that left edge meaning Carty will be looking at bench minutes at best. Factoring in the coming price rises even with low scores – you can probably wait until round 8-9 for a sell. But if it’s me, I’m looking very hard at a sideways move to Eli Katoa or Zac Hosking if he keeps the 80 minute role.

VERDICT: HOLD. More money to make, and even once Lane is fully up to speed, Carty may well be a handy number for some important byes.

Charnze Nicholl-Klokstad | CTW|FLB ($355,300 | NZL) – 48 points

CNK returned from his concussion and delivered exactly what we know and love. 48 points with no attacking stats, well there was two effective offloads, but really it all comes down to the 20 runs (totalling 31 points) and overall impact in the come from behind win. CNK should provide 40+ scores like this on the regular and when attacking stats come he will be a great scorer for your 17. Playable every week regardless of matchup.

VERDICT: HOLD. Through to all-important round 13 coverage, before a sell prior to round 16.


Davvy Moale | FRF ($249,100 | STH) – 20 points

Moale incredibly LOST money this past week. That’s as much information as you need, really. Even with all the Rabbitohs injuries – Arrow, Tatola, Sele, Knight and Shaq Mitchell to name a few – Moale was relegated to 20 points in 20 minutes.

VERDICT: SELL. It’s time to move on to Matt Croker, or via duals to Josh Schuster/Jackson Ford.

Braydon Trindall | HFB ($334,200 | SHA)

Nicho Hynes returned (don’t all of us non-owners know it!) and smacked out a 180 point masterclass, whilst Trindall missed with injury. So as unfortunate as it is, the Trindall story is over for the time being. He still possesses a -39 BE so if you can afford to hold through the bye there’s more money to be made here. If Nicho was to ever (God forbid) have a recurrence of the calf injury Trindall could be a $500k player in no time.

VERDICT: HOLD. For two more games where he takes the field even off the bench, then sell.


Valynce Te Whare | CTW ($200,800 | DOL)

Viliami Fifita | FRF|2RF ($200,800 | MNL)

Siua Wong | 2RF ($200,800 | SYD)

Jack Howarth | CTW|2RF ($200,800 | MEL)

Haze Dunster | CTW ($234,800 | PAR)

Jack Bostock | CTW ($200,800 | DOL)

Trey Mooney | 2RF ($234,800 | CBR)

Luke Metcalf | 5/8 ($250,400 | NZL)

Brendan Hands | HOK ($200,800 | PAR)

There you have it! A huge edition to kick off the Cheapie Bible for 2023. Be sure to tweet us what you think @copes9 and @SuperCoachNRL. Good luck for first lockout!

Originally published as KFC SuperCoach Cheapie Bible Round 4: Matt Croker set to surge from 0% ownership

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