Coming into the home stretch, here’s our weekly thoughts on your line-up deliberations.
Teams on a BYE: Brumbies, Kings.
Teams with Tough Match-ups: There’s a handful of teams that are conceding on average about 20 pts a game. There’s a whole host of teams who might struggle (again) this week – Stormers, Cheetahs (although they throw is about so I’m less concerned), Rebels, Reds (against quite a few rested Chiefs looking to prove a point after last week), Force, Bulls, Sunwolves. We’ll highlight some names to be cautious of.
Injury Watch: Slightly unexpectedly Dan Coles is now out in part due to his calf but also concussion. That’s really torpedoed me ditching Ricciteli last week ! There’s a few squad players to keep an eye on with our #srsinjury tag on twitter, but the bigger names are Read still being a question mark, Karmichael Hunt looks like he’s now out after initially looking available, and both Stormers Locks are crocked.
Don’t Touch (SELL)
1.Waratahs players. They won last week but are on a bye after this week, so I think it’s a good time to start offloading them as they are under-performing except for Hooper who made 60 points last week.
2. Eben Etzebeth and Pieter-Steph – have been sent home, its a shame as both were making great points. With 4 transfers this week, I reckon thats a good time to sort out your locks.
Stormers – even the Stalwarts have been struggling for the Stormers, and they’ve been hit by injuries. Given they have a BYE next week and a really tough game against the Canes, my preference is to look to the Stormers if you need to switch out. Whilst they promise a running game, if the Canes control the game like they can, some players just won’t touch the ball and they’ll be missed tackles everywhere. Last week 4 players cracked 40, and I don’t expect the same this week. If you took a flyer on Kolisi and Carr, well played, but get rid now. It’ll be much tougher for those big Stormers forwards, and more of a lottery with the backs. The ONLY person I might stick with is SP Marais. But he’s been so hot previously even getting 50 means he’s losing value.
After that I’m not sure there’s many players from any of these teams I’m starting this week – Rebels / Force / Bulls / Sunwolves. There’s only about 10 players across those teams averaging above 30. The Sunwolves are off next week, so if you’ve been playing Kamikaze with a Fukouka, Carpenter or Britz, they’re on the block. The only person I’d hang onto from those teams is Mafi from the Rebels. Loves picking it up from loose kicks, and is a points machine.
Chiefs – The chiefs screwed a number of Fantasy Managers last week (including yours truly). Given they’re on a bye next week, they’re next on the list of players to look to trade. James Lowe will need a MASSIVE game not to lose money, so trade him out for similar / better options. If you took a flyer on Cruden, it didn’t pay off, and there are better options at that $300k price point, so I’d ditch him. Otherwise, a lot of the rest of the chiefs are pretty cheap, so if you can stick with them, but with a view of them being squad players as they return against the Crusaders so you might not play them for two weeks – the likes of Elliot / Cane.
Then there’s a few players on good runs that you might want to look at cashing in on
Hunt – I think Hunt’s played himself into the Wallaby 15 jersey, or should have at least. However, the Cane’s will be hard work, and you’ve got a number of other Centre options that look tasty this week. I also ditch Higginbotham, as there’s plenty of other Backrow options for the longer term.
If you were insane enough to take Kings, then clearly cash your chips in with Mapimpi, Banda and Ntslia as they’re on a bye and some back against 2 decent defences in their first two games.
Luke Whitelock – I had him on my bench last week due to a concussion but I figure with The Highlanders next few fixtures being mostly bottom of the table teams he’s worth keeping around.
Codie Taylor – He played 71 minutes last weekend and scored a solid 41 points. With Dane Coles there is not much better than Codie out there for under $400K so hang on, he may exceed that in value in the next couple of weeks…
I’ve mentioned a few already from the teams with tough match-ups – SP Marais, Mafi, and some of the cheaper Chiefs. Let’s face it telling you to keep two quality players like Marais and Mafi isn’t rocket science.
There were a few players to lay eggs last round and a load who plummetted in value. but mostly not big name or anchor players. Personally, even with Whitelock suspended, and dropping by $46k, I figure that’s the lowest he’ll go, so I’ll bench him and wait. Most of the other players to struggle, AND drop in value are already mentioned and should be on the block.
Hooper – if you have him clearly he’s a starter, but this week I’m not bringing him in because of the Tahs bye the week after. Suck it in and hope he doesn’t have a monster game.
Crusaders – I’ve missed the boat with these guys, and whilst they will probably kill the Bulls, they they play the Canes and Chiefs back to back which will be a real test. I’m going to perhaps foolishly not bring them in now – Havili, Bridge, Mo’Unga, Tamanivalu – basically because I can’t afford them. If you’ve got options, and money, then you’re guarenteed a price bump, even if they crap out against the Bulls.
But let’s face it, this week is all about the sells though, with 4 transfers and a chance to FINALLY get have some options of who to BUY for some of the juicy match-ups …..
BUY of the Week – this is someone we both agree on, who should have a stormer:
Matt Faddes – He is rapid and playing 15 in Ben Smith’s absence could bring you mega-points against the Cheetahs. The only risk factor is if he’ll consistently start for The Highlanders week after week.
Naholo – Another Highlander is a must, he scored twice last week and in an open game a weakened Stormers side, I expect him to rack up a massive score.
Mafi – He has been scoring 40-50 points week in week out. The Rebels have been terrible and this guy is still making these scores which makes him a banker. He loves to run the ball and takes some stopping.
Highlanders – Loads to chose from here not just for this week against a porous Cheetahs defence but also across the next 3/4 games. If you haven’t already got him back Naholo, Naholo, Naholo. There’s also Hunt, Coltman, Whitelock providing pretty good value at their respective positions. I think the real star this week could be Faddes playing at 15. At $300k he’s an option if you can’t afford “premium” centres.
Lions – another team with a good run. I was THIS close to putting Jantjies in last week, and he should have a reasonable run if you can’t afford the golden trio of Foley, Barrett, Mo’Unga. The Lions will have relatively tough games away to the Rebels and Brumbies, but then have a run of Bulls, Kings, Sunwolves so get in some forwards now, and backs in a week or two – Whiteley (who’s due a big game) Ackerman, Mostert, and Elton the safest back option given the need to take points on tour and kick for posts.
Sharks – have the easiest run in from here on in and certainly for the next 3 games. I stack up on forwards if you need some replacement options – Van Der Walt is a great premium option. Du Preez and any starting prop should all be good options as well. I’m a little less confident on the backs given the change at 10 with Bosch with the Junior Boks, and plenty of other options across the back-line across the Kiwi teams. But Am could be a great value pick, and you could even take a flyer on Rhyno smith who is super cheap.
Luatua – Made 22 runs last week. Was awesome before his ban, looks to be making a point before his move to Bristol. Great value.
Vince Aso – playing at 13 against the Stormers. Hatrick last week and at $266k will absolutely rocket even with only a half decent game. I take him over Laumape and Barrett.
Clearly stack up with Hurricanes as they’re now not on a BYE for the rest of the Season. I don’t need to tell you that.
Hooker’s been a difficult one this year and I think you go Marx / Creevy / Taylor / Coltman dependent on budget, as they all have a good run. I’m probably going to foolishly bring Ricciteli back in because he’s due a pushover and is cheap and I have next to no money 😦