Right, so now we’re onto that most annoying of human being – the Scrum Half. Let’s be honest, they’re a pain in the arse on the pitch, and a pain in the arse off the pitch 😀 In Rugby Magazine they are also somewhat of a squad filler, similar to props and hookers, where they generally struggle to get much past 25, let alone push towards 30.
Here’s what 2018 looked like across the point categories:
So, Scrum half is a difficult one. Unlike nearly every other position, there’s not a great deal of value at the position, with player prices typically more than 10x their average points per game – that’s sort of the benchmark for pricing. With props and hookers, as it’s a lower scoring position, I advocated paying a premium for points if you can pretty much guarantee them. I’d still back that strategy, but for SH’s it costs you a little more money. It’s probably going to be one of the last positions you tweak based on where you’ve spent your money.
TJ – topped the scrummy rankings last year in points per game at 28.6 and nearly topped Joe Powell in total points even though he played 3 less games. $320k is A LOT to pay for the position, and for high 20s in terms of points. He’s probably the closest thing to a lock for SH points given the way the Hurricanes pay, but I think you need to weigh up paying a high premium for not even 30 pts,versus what you can get at other positions. If you can afford him, do it, no brainer.
Genia – very much back to his best last year, before getting injured. The Rebels and Genia for that matter were playing an attacking brand of rugby, which always helps. At $298k he’s a little cheaper than TJ, but still very expensive for someone that averages around 25 pts. To be honest, I don’t see why you’d pick Genia over TJ given they’re basically the same price bracket, unless TJ isn’t starting the season or is injured.
Pulu – now I know that $245k isn’t REALLY a value player, but it’s all relative at SH. Last year Pulu seemed to be constantly battling against injury and coming off early. At his best he should up there with TJ and Genia in the high 20s, and in a Blues side that plays from behind and has to run the ball a lot, there’s potential for points. He’s more of a gamble than TJ or Genia, but there’s an opportuinty here for Pulu to get the same points for $50k less. $50k is a lot of $$$ when it comes to trying to get a decent squad out there.
Brad Weber – probably the only real value pick in the top 10 players, Brad Webers a great player, but will lose some game time due to Te Toiroa Tahuriorangi. However, this is usually offset by the game the Chiefs play and Weber’s opportunity to break the gain-line, goggle up run meters and steal the occasional try. $189k is hardly cheap, but at SH it’s a steal if he can replicate last season.
The rest of the SH market is a real lottery at the minute, especially until we see the starting sides. With Schreuder captaining the sharks you got to think he’s getting decent game-time, but he’s just not a bit points scorer. Last year Bertranou was great for the Jags, but Cubelli is now back in the fold, which means they’ve got a plethora of great SHs, which can only hurt from a fantasy perspective.
Vermaak– Duvenege was one of the steals at SH last year for the Stormer. They tend to play a pretty open game, especially in SA, and that really helps whoever’s at SH. Vermaak is back, and he’s also RAPID ! If he can lock down the starting spot there’s potential for him to be a top 5 SH this year, and at $175k it’s not too much of a gamble to take considering the price you have to pay for points at the position.
PROCEED WITH CARE
Aaron Smith – he’s simply too expensive at $392k. That’s the 8th most expensive player in the game, and getting around 25 pts per game. You can spend your money more wisely in other positons, and pick up a SH at basically half the price who will probably get you there or there about’s in terms of Smiths’ points. You’ve also got the added pain of him missing time with the All Blacks.