Another great week of Super Rugby, with fantasy veteran Folau coming through for many, and his Waratah team mates raining points against the Sunwolves. However, the usual smattering of eggs were laid by big fantasy names, most significantly the Ioane brothers. Such is a Fantasy Managers life.
It would be remiss of us to point out our picks for last week didn’t perform particularly well, and in the case of Hollway and the Waratah’s he was one of the few not to get well into the twenties. If you watched both the Tahs and the Highlanders game you’ll have seen how close both Hollway and Hemopo came to breaking lose. Remember, this is a season long game and it’s first and foremost about the depth and strength of your squad. These guys are great investments, stick with it.
Plenty of injuries to contend with this week, keep an eye on the casualty ward. But also one super juicy match-up to try to get a piece of. The more significant seeming injuries to the likes of Craig Miller (11% owned), Mataele (6% owned), Rob Thompson (11% owned), Whiteley (8% owned), Lood De Jager (14%) will leave managers looking at options. There’s also a smattering of concussions, so we’ll focus on some of those positions as well as what we like short and longer term for some of the more interesting match-ups this week:
Teams on a BYE: Waratahs.
Teams with Tough Match-ups: Brumbies (although that didn’t seem to matter last week), Reds, Sunwolves
Teams with Easy Match-ups: Chiefs, Jags
***Disclaimer: we put this together before all the team news is out, so of course, watch those starting line-ups***
1. BUY Moeakiola OR Etene Nanai-Seturo OR Stevenson
2. BUY Damian McKenzie
3. SELL Michael Hooper
BUY (ENGAGE): CHIEFS – So look, it’s easy to say buy McKenzie, Brodie, Leinart-Brown and Ardron. But in the case of DMck and Brodie if you didn’t pick them to start with you’re unlikely to have $400k spare and want to ditch one of your other super stars. That’s why DMck only makes it at number 2 in the list. He’s already owned by 44% of managers, but if I’m in the 56% of managers that don’t have him, I’m definitely trying to bring him in this week.
We know ALB is being rested, so you can’t take advantage of what would be a killer match-up for him, but there’s also significant risk with Brodie. Strictly speaking the all black resting policy means he should only play 33 mins. I expect that to be relaxed somewhat, but we might be looking at a half at most for Brodie this week, especially if the Chiefs jump out to a comfortable lead at half-time. If you’ve got him, you have to start him, but unless you really want to get rid of Lood, as his injury is only 2 weeks, I don’t think you make the Lood -> Brodie move JUST for that reason. I like Brodie over Lood long term, but there’s not much in it.
So the three picks you really want to focus in on are Moeakiola / Etene Nanai-Seturo / Stevenson. I can make a case for all of these, they’ve all got bags of potential this week, and are also good season plays. They are also most likely much more budget friendly. They will inevitably be hit and miss, as is the case with outside backs, but will give your squad something across the season, and could pay off in a big way this week. They have slightly different positions – CE,WG / WG,FB / WG,FB – so prioritise them based on where you need cover. If you’ve got cover across all positions, then I’ve listed them in my order of preference – Moeakiola is a big, fast, powerful running, and the Sunwolves aren’t the best tackling team out wide, as we’ve seen with the likes of naiyaravoro running wild before.
The above should give you some cover for the injuries of Mataele and Thompson, but there’s a couple of other people I’m keeping an eye on. Dependent on Mataele’s injury length, Ennor ($108k) might see some game-time at wing. He’s started the season on fire and is nice and cheap. The other guy you could take a flyer on is Jordan Petaia ($135k), who looked great in week 1. If you want a more direct replacement for Thompson then Goodhue was excellent in return from injury and is bang on the price point at $242k, and a pretty safe bet.
Prop is the last position you want to have to make a sub, but with Miller done for time, then 11% of us need some help. He was a value pick pre-season, but fortunately there’s plenty of good options out there -> Harry JH, Dylan Smith, Medrano should all slot in nicely for the season and are around the same price points. I still like Lomax for the Highlanders, despite the crap week, but as he’s rested this week that doesn’t help in the short-term.
N8 – so if you’ve got Whiteley you need to ship him on as he’s done for a while. There’s a number of options here. If you can trade up and don’t have Akira, take him as a priority. Otherwise I go 1.Kwagga, 2.Naisarani, 3.Holloway, 4.L Whitelock 5.D Du Preez, 6.Dempsey, 7.Samu (Valentini), to give you cover at 8. Largely all in the same price bucket, but again, squad depth is everything so you want to make your pick based on maximising your cover i.e. if you need more cover at lock as well as 8, then take Holloway/Du Preez. If it’s just 8 and flanker, then that’s my order of preference, although with Samu starting this week I’m tempted to push him right up the top of the list as he’s been superb off the bench the first two weeks. Ardron should be in the mix there, but I’m not sure he’s going to be starting this week, so for someone needing an immediate Whiteley fix that’s not too helpful. The other play impacted by Whiteley’s absence will be Schoeman. He should be a lock for good playing time and seem to be a points machine. He can only cover FL, but if you can get him in, do it.
We mentioned Lood earlier, and at lock there’s a few options. If I had Lood, and didn’t need to fill other spots, I’d flip him out for Scott Barrett, straight away. Barrett has been getting better and better over the last 18 months, and really seems set on trying to snatch a starting lock spot for the ABs, whilst Whitelock is out. He’s just everywhere at the minute and I have him as a priority name to try to get into my side, especially given he can cover Lock and Flanker. The other two players to give you some cover are Orie, continuing his great form from last season, really seems to be have taken over that workhorse role from Mostert. Dickson has also been a monster for the Highlanders, but frustratingly they seem to be f*cking around with their second row and he’s rested this week.
SELL (DON’T TOUCH): For the most part, you’re going to be selling the injured, but I also think there’s a strong case to ditch Hooper (11%) now he’s on his bye. He’s 11% owned, which is reasonably high, only plays flanker, and also costs a whooping $383k. Last year he was just nudging 22 points per game, which was entirely mediocre, and he hasn’t started this season looking like he’ll change that. I think you can pick up a better option for $200k, or even less if you go Marnus Schoeman, and leave yourself the rest of the money to trade up across other positions.
I’m close, to putting Duane on this list, given his mediocre start, and if nothing changes for his bye in 2 weeks he’s in for the chop.
HOLD (PAUSE): As we mentioned earlier, hold onto Lood, unless you really need to free up the cash. He’s only out for a couple of weeks, and is looking good in that Bulls side. I still think he’s a bit expensive for the position, and only covers lock, but he’s a buy and hold all season.
Then there’s some MASSIVE names, with very high ownership, who simply aren’t performing right now. Reiko Ioane is the 2nd most owned player at 48% and has managed just 15 points in the first two games. I’m not sure this week is going to get much better, and I’m THIS close to suggesting you flip him out for McKenzie (if you don’t have him), but the Blues play the Sunwolves after this week, so if you’ve kept the faith this far, stick with it the next two weeks at least until their bye.
Pieter-Steph is the other big name, who is 37% owned, and is struggling in a poor stormers side at the moment, with only 29 points through 2 games. That’s an ok point tally, but at $265k those points aren’t cheap. The Stormers are on a bye after this week, so this is another guys who’s close to the chopping block – especially with these young locks like Dickson, Mitchell, Orie around – but who you probably can’t afford to cut just yet as there’s holes all over this week.
JAGS – so, good match-up this week against a week Blues side. However, despite playing at home the Jags haven’t really broken out points wise, and no-ones blown the doors off. After this week they embark on their tour of SA, which will be tough, so despite the match-up, I’m not targeting Jags players. If you’ve got them, start them this week, but I’m holding off bring more in pre-tour.