Ok, so most teams have played a couple of games now and we start to get a real feel of where they’re at this season. Below are our weekly picks:
Teams on a BYE: Chiefs
Teams with Tough Match-ups: Blues, Hurricanes, Crusaders, Stormers
Injury Watch: check out the Fantasy XV Draft casualty ward. Some high profile injuries to top stars such at Pulu and Mo’unga so keep watch.
DON’T TOUCH (SELL)
All the Brumbies except maybe Godwin and Naisarani. The Brumbies look terrible in my opinion and after losing to the Reds. They need Pocock back ASAP.
Hurricanes, if you bought Savea, Jordie or Boden, I’d get rid of them as they are on a bye next week and face The Crusaders who despite losing Mo-unga have a huge form advantage. To be the fair the Hurricanes have a been travelling all over and I think later in the season when they play at home could come back into form. For now avoid I’m afraid!
The constantly under-performing Jaguares, Creevy and Tuculet have been below average at best. I’d get rid of them as the Jaguares play way to risky and don’t take ownership of the matches they are in. Even Matera has an average 25 points only…
Hurricanes – if you’re anything like me then you’ve got 6 Hurricanes and it’s time to cycle a few out before their bye. Savea came good last week, but this week is a different story. Dare I mention it, but you could, could even look to cycle out Laumape. There’s a lot of options at centre in the game this year. I’d cash in on Ricciteli if he’s your starter, as Aumua will likely start to eat away his game-time and might leapfrog him into the starting spot. I’d also swap out the likes of Beauden, Fifita, Lousi. The Hurricanes were sloppy against the Jags, have travelled a huge amount over the last couple of weeks and they’re facing a Crusader’s team that spanked the Stormers. There’s better match-ups this week, and I think it will be a tight one.
Brumbies – Leali’ifano, Speight, Peni. Pre-season Brumbies looked like team to beat in the Aussie conference. They struggled past the Sunwolves and then were horrible against the Reds, in a truly horrible game. I’ve lost the faith. The only player I stick with is Naisarini.
Blues – both Ioane’s have been great this season, and they’ll have some space on tour against both the Lions and Stormers, so unless you need money I’d keep them, but I’d switch out of some of the marginal blues like crazy man Duffie, Tuipulotu, Gatland, Moala.
Lions players, the team is not out yet but they have The Blues at home followed by The Sunwolves. I love their attacking style of play and believe if you have them keep as many as you can for the next 2 weeks at least.
Mafi, Dane Haylett-Petty, Sefanaia Naivalu and Maddocks are all averaging over 40 points. I said it at the start of the season, ‘this could be the Rebels year’. Koroibete is yet to return, with him there, their back 3 will be the best in the Australian conference by a mile.
I’m still keeping the faith with Ardie this week, and with Pulu out, TJ’s hanging around. You can call me foolish after this week.
I’m still holding off believing a) that the Rebels could be the real deal, so I’m not looking for Genia to replace Pulu, or slotting in Naivalu or Haylett-Petty (HP burnt me last week) or that b) the sharks backs are reliable. Am, Esterhuizen, Mvovo have been very good through 2 weeks, and this week against the Sunwovles if a GREAT match-up. If you picked them, keep them, but I’m not looking at them currently.
Izzy – The Points Machine! If you don’t already have him, this is week you need him in my opinion. Had a quiet week last week and still made 34 points… He may well inflict a lot of damage in Argentina and you don’t want to miss out on that.
Naholo – Has was not too busy in the first game of the season but I think he’s the best winger in the competition. They face the Stormers who have lost 3 of their starting locks from the starting line-up. Their line-out have been shocking at times and they have had to shuffle their backline around as well. This could well mean easy pickings for Naholo.
Sharks Players, especially Esterhuizen and Am scored 58 and 65 respectively last week against The Tahs. This week they face The Sunwolves at home. The Sunwolves looked dangerous at times at home but I think away from home they will struggle and this could mean mega points for these 2 centres.
LIONS – ship them in. I expect the Blues to put up a good game this week, but the Lions are strong at home and after this week they have the Sunwolves and Jags. That’s a points-feast. Marx, Dyanti, Coetzee, Mapoe, Mostert the premium picks, and then even Kwagga (assuming he’s back) Whiteley, Cronje, Mahuza, RJvR. Given injuries at FH and SH to key players Lions are solid options.
With Mo’Unga hurt premium FH’s are a little thin, but there’s some great short term picks if you need some tactical options. Du Preez vs the Sunwolves. Sopoaga against the Stormers, and if you’re just looking to free up money get Hunt in. Won’t do anything that exciting but a $112k starting FH for a top team isn’t bad bench fodder. The easy options is to swtich in Foley for this week against the Jags, if you’re good for money.
DMck is off, so a lot of people might need some options here. Folau at the Jags has the chance to seriously go off, but you need some serious cash. Naholo’s back and due a try or two, and the Stormers could provide a great opportunity. You could even take a flyer on this new giant on the wing, Tevia Nabura.
For those with Schickerling, who’s the 3rd most selected lock, then you need lock options. If you can afford to trade up to a Snyman, Lood, Pieter-Steph, Mostert – great. Otherwise take a flyer on the Stormers replacements to free up some money, or look to someone like Hanigan or Whitelock.