Expert Panel: Which Test players to get, How to tackle Round 13 & plan for the BBL finals

Round 13 starts today with SuperCoaches scratching their heads about trade targets, the Test players and the Adelaide and Melbourne weather, along with how to plan for the finals.

For what it’s worth, BBL SuperCoach continues on during the BBL finals, with unlimited trades enabling you to make as many moves as you’d like, but within your set team value after Round 13.

The top five BBL finals system is a tad complex, so here’s a quick breakdown on the rounds:

January 29, 2021 (round 14)
– Unlimited Trades (Eliminator/Qualifier)
January 31, 2021 (round 15)
– Unlimited Trades (Knockout)
February 4, 2021 (round 16)
– Unlimited Trades (Challenger)
February 6, 2021 (round 17)
– Unlimited Trades (Final)

With all that in mind, Honeyball decided to assemble an Expert Panel with two young guns Janath Fernando and Dylan Bolch along with our more seasoned guru Nigel ‘Boydo’ Boyden (@BoydosBest).

While we’ve spoken to self confessed Super Coach addict Boydo (who finished seventh in SC BBL in 2019-20 and is currently ranked 178th) before, Janath and Dylan are new to Honeyball.

Janath (@JanathFernando4) is a 20-year-old from Melbourne (Carlton and Renegades fan), who’s studying a Bachelor of Science at the University of Melbourne with a view to becoming a forensic scientist, while currently he’s a tutor and lecturer for AtarNotes. He’s also currently 211th in SC BBL and finished 146th in SC AFL in 2020.

Dylan (@BolchDylan) is a 19-year-old Journalism/Physiology student who resides in Melbourne and supports the Stars. He also does a bit of work with Doctor SuperCoach, Jock Reynolds and SuperCoach HQ. He’s currently ranked 119th in SC BBL.

HB: At this stage of the season, most SuperCoaches will be pretty happy with our sides, so what’s the priority for you in terms of trading?

Janath: It’s definitely about trading to generate value. Most of the players in my team (apart from a couple of the big guns e.g. Marcus Stoinis ($174k BAT/BWL) and Glenn Maxwell ($182k BAT/BWL) have quite low breakevens (BEs) which is all about maximising the team value ahead of finals. I haven’t really focused on sorting loops all season really but Marnus Labuschagne ($108k BAT/BWL) really helped me out this week with his 107 after trading him in. The greater the finals budget, the more capacity there is to afford the big guns ala Sean Abbott ($221k BWL) who’s primed for a big finals campaign.

Boydo: My focus will be trying to have the best loop options available. I am looking at Chris Lynn ($191k BAT), Matthew Wade ($176k BAT/WKP), Sandeep Lamichhane ($111k BWL) or Jason Roy ($139k BAT). Depending on funds.

Dylan: Agree. At this time of the year, maximising loopholes is one of the most important parts of the game. It gives you two stabs at a decent score, rather than just the one, a luxury that we didn’t necessarily have during the year when we were trying to generate cash using bench players. By now most sides should have a decent team value, allowing us to have the best of the best available players for finals. Break evens also shouldn’t play as much into your consideration either as it’s all about points now.

HB: Any specific players on your radar for Round 13 and finals?

Dylan with the great Anthony Koutoufides

Dylan: Three names I don’t have at the moment are Alex Carey ($179k BAT/WKP), Lynn and Ben Cutting ($148k BAT/BWL). I’m pretty happy with my team at the moment and the only way I can fit these guys in is if I sideways trade another one of my premiums. One name that does really intrigue me however is Abbott. He’s been a superstar in the BBL over the years and despite a lofty price tag, is worth a look. You can’t fit all of the big guns in though, so you’ve just got to pick who you take on and who you don’t. Easier said than done though!

Boydo: If I didn’t have D’Arcy Short ($184k BAT/BWL), Jhye Richardson ($248k BWL), Andrew Tye ($141k BWL) or Labuschagne I would make them a priority.

Maxy, Stoinis, Alex Hales ($194k BAT) and Adam Zampa ($194k BWL) all might have high BEs but my advice would be to stay patient. They are just as likely to go big if you were to trade one of them.

Janath: It might seem crazy but Nick Larkin ($122k BAT) is the most consistent batsman at the Stars apparently (aha).

As previously mentioned, based on how he goes in the last two games I’m definitely eyeing Abbott for my team. Will bowl four overs and with Test squad experience yet no debut, he will be raring to show the selectors for South Africa how good of a player he is.

Finally, the ultimate X-factor D’Arcy Short. Got rid of him mid-way through the season and haven’t yet pulled the trigger to bring him back in. If Hobart are to make the finals, and then go a long way in the finals he will be a vital cog towards that.

HB: Are any of the Test players in your side yet or on your radar? If so, why?

Janath: Marnus is the only Test squad member in my squad at the moment – a batting all-rounder which you cannot go wrong with. Previously mentioned Abbott. If the Strikers were to drop a bowler I would most definitely consider Travis Head ($167k BAT/BWL) as a potential option. Games at Adelaide Oval seem to be a batter’s paradise and he laps up the energy from the crowd. Could be the difference in SuperCoach finals between making the finals, finishing top four or taking the trophy home. Matthew Wade ($176k BAT/WKP) is a really interesting one – in my opinion he will either get 10 or 100 SC points each week and so may be a risk which I might take. Need to see a sizeable innings from him first though, which we got on Sunday.

Dylan: I jumped on quite a few of the Test players pretty early on. Labuschagne should be in every single SuperCoach team and those without him can still pick him up at a bargain of approximately $108k next round. He’s batting top three and bowling a couple of overs too. I also picked up Michael Neser ($152k BAT/BWL) and Head last round with mixed results. I was hoping Head would bowl a couple of overs but that didn’t eventuate, fingers crossed he gets a go soon. Neser features in less than 3.5% of sides so is a handy POD option if you are looking to climb the rankings.

HB: With the rain forecast for Adelaide on Monday-Tuesday and Melbourne on Tuesday, can you plan for rain? If so, how in this instance?

Janath (left), with Steve Smith and his father

Boydo: The game under the most threat with the weather is the first game. The most obvious advice is to plan your options early but leave your actual trades to as late as you can. The safest game weather wise is the Heat versus Scorchers.

Dylan: I think the weather should definitely play a role in your selections for the upcoming round. This is a perfect example of where loopholes can be super important and really help your side, so I would be looking to loophole players who are set to be involved in rain affected games. It’s worth noting though that the weather gurus can be wrong at times and Melbourne weather is super unpredictable too. A general rule I usually go by is not trading in guys who are playing in ‘rain games’ but if they are, it doesn’t mean they’re automatic trade outs either. All you can do is keep an eye on the forecasts and have contingency plans in place with loopholes etc.

Janath: I tend to leave the weather up to chance. From personal experience, planning too much for something often doesn’t result in it happening. Sure on Sunday there is 80% chance of rain on Tuesday but realistically if you really want a player, “potential rain” shouldn’t stop you. Of course if you can hold trades to account for the risk then for sure that’s great but you wouldn’t want to lose sleep over the rain factor. If I don’t have a team for R13 that’s on me (laughs).

HB: Awesome work lads! Many thanks and good luck in Round 13 and beyond!

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