NRL.com's Lone Scout answers your Dream Team questions ahead of Round 6.

Five rounds down and lots of talk about who to trade and when to trade, but still there are people asking me about the basics and committing rookie errors.

So, let's revisit the three commandments of Dream Team:

1 - Avoid trade rage

Never, ever, under any circumstances, make a trade before you have reviewed the team lists and checked the Friday late mail. To do anything different is to commit the cardinal sin of DT. You will get no sympathy from me and a lot of curry from the Dreamers working over my Facebook page. More often than not you will also get shafted on your trade.

2 - If in doubt, leave it out

The compulsion to trade is often overwhelming but you need to remain strong, people. If the trade is not part of a longer-term plan (buy that cheap guy, watching his price grow, trade him out for a gun) or to cover an imminent need (ie. an injury to one of your guns) then it's likely you're suffering from trade rage. Put down the mouse and walk away. Keep that trade for later on. You will thank yourself that you acted with restraint come Rounds 17+.

3 - Today's cash cow is tomorrow's gun

Success in Dream Team is about maintaining the highest-scoring team you can whilst working the angles to increase your squad value. The objective is to get enough money, without compromising your position in your league's Top 8, to purchase the ultimate 17. The way to do this is to target cash cows and (eventually) turn them into guns. There is no recommended timeframe to do this, but the earlier you can do it the better. So if there's an opportunity to get a gun, take it.

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With those rules in mind, let's answer the big trade query of the week: Should I trade in Elijah Taylor?

The answer is a clear 'yes', but only if it makes sense to your squad make-up long-term.

What does that mean, I hear you ask?

It means that if you trade him in for, say, Mitchell Aubusson, you need to be thinking about more than just the rise in your bank account. Do you have four other playing centres to cover if Taylor gets sat down in a round or three? Aubusson may be stuck in the centres and scoring slightly lower than we'd all like, but he is also one of the first names on Smithy's teamsheet at the Roosters each week. At this early stage it may be unwise to trade out that certainty.

There are too many alternatives for a Taylor trade for me to think through and document, but the trade advice is simple. Have a good think about who goes out (he's a CTW/HLF, so you have plenty of choices) and how that will affect the make-up of your playing 17 and your prospective trades over the next three to five weeks.

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Over the past weeks I've also been sent in a bunch of non-trade queries. A couple of them aren't mere laziness, so I thought I'd answer them.

From Eric White:
Q: Lots of managers have either Tariq Sims or Mitchell Allgood (some have both, if they are lucky). Each have played four of five rounds for a total score of 99 and 97, respectively. Both play the same positions and started on the same salary of $73,600.  Sims is now worth $122,200 (increase amount: $48,600, increase % of 66%) with a Break Even of 12, a Projected Score of 25 and Projected Price Change of +$7,200. Allgood is now worth $111,100 (increase amount: $37,500, increase % of 51%) with BE of 13, PS of 24 and PPC of +$6,200.

So, in addition to Sims' salary rising by 15% more than Allgood's, he also has a smaller Break Even for the upcoming week. How is that correct?

A: Good question Eric. The exact answer is a closely held secret of the developers, but I've got an approximate version that should fill you in; the analysis tools in the Dream Team Assistant Coach are not a precise science, and they give weight to the previous three rounds.

Amongst other factors, price changes are primarily based on three-round rolling averages. This is usually compared to previous year's scores and other scores from players in similar position, but in this instance these first-year players' rolling averages are compared to other rookies' scores/averages.

Sims scored a total of 82 points over the last 3 rds, averaging 27.33. Allgood scored 73 (avg 24.33). So even though they have both played four times and scored almost the same number of total points, their last three matches suggest Sims is in slightly better form. This then relates to the slightly increased BE, PS and PPC - that are mathematical approximates and therefore only indications.

Clear as mud, hey?

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From Aaron Thorn:
Q: Just a quick question, how can Con Mika go from $87k to $115k after playing 1 game this season? I assumed prices weren’t adjusted until they had played three games.

A: Ignore the $87K, it was a display error, due to his being named in Round 4, but not playing. This has now disappeared. Mika's starting value is $115K, slightly higher than others as Mika played a few matches at the backend of 2010.

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From Peter Vale:
Q: My question revolves around this little paragraph on the DT site: "You can create or join, and be a part of up to FIVE private or public mini-leagues with your single team entry. You can create and monitor your own league with friends, join a second league that you've been invited to by work colleagues, and play against family members independently".

I signed up, registered, then created a public league for my DT. Invited a few friends to join and then (as expected) the remaining spots were filled. Now, I've been invited to join a new league by some other friends, but the button to join another league is GONE!

A: The initial 16-team leagues are locked off at the end of Round 1 and no changes can be made. Primarily this is to avoid the major logistical issues and unfairness that would result if teams in a league are changed.

Players joining Dream Team after Round 1 are able to create private leagues, but these are always locked out and filled with newly registered teams only before the next round begins.

Apparently, this inability to have an existing team (from prior to Round 1) join a league created in any subsequent round is due to prior user complaints that they were disadvantaged. Existing teams are disadvantage by not having prior knowledge of which players are playing and scoring well, and by having already made trades, etc.

Newbies should note that, despite joining late, they have an advantage with initial squad selection and extra relative trades. This translates into a better chance of taking out a weekly scoring prize and of scoring higher weekly totals.

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That's it for this week. For answers to your Dream Team questions, send your queries to the Lone Scout at iamthelonescout@gmail, and remember to include your name, your team's name, your remaining trades and your current balance.