Ok, so this is going to be a short one this week, as Wildcard is taking a month holiday back in the motherland – Cape Town – and yours truely has gastric flu. What a time to be alive !!!
So, let’s cut to the chase, this week is a sh*t show. Blues, Bulls and Sharks on a bye, which accounts for 2 of the top 3 most selected – both Ioanes. If you factor in Rob and Dan Du Preez, Akker and then the resting of Lam and Tupou (I mean what the actual f*ck), then that’s 8 out of the top 20 most selected players not available. Tough week to say the least.
As ever, another week, another round of injuries. Keep your eyes on the casualty ward and on the #casualtyward hashtag on twitter for the lastest.
Teams on a BYE: Blues, Bulls, Sharks.
Teams with Tough Match-ups: Chiefs, Highlanders
Teams with Easy Match-ups: Sunwolves, Hurricanes
Before we get into some picks, a couple of bits of general advice and observations. Our very own Jonathan Els, the 2nd top scorer for gameweek 4, and the top scorer in the #SuperRugbyScout league last week, got 581 points with 3 players not playing on the bench. My point here is, it’s not a disaster if you can’t fill your bench. At a cost of 20 points per transfer out, the dude on your bench will need to score 40 points …. and how often does that happen. So don’t use transfers for the sake of using transfers, if you’ve got a good 15 out, and a sketchy bench, that’s ok.
The second observation is that you only get a 20 point penalty for dropping someone. So what, well, if you drop someone like a Brodie, or Reiko, who are nearly $400k, and you have some money in the bank, then you might be able to bring in 3 players. This has some longer term implications in trying to get expensive players back in, but is a way of minimising points hit.
And the last point – in 2 weeks time the Brumbies, Highlanders and Lions are all on byes, so be cautious about bringing in too many of those teams players, try to keep a balance if possible.
Also, Scott Barrett and Richie are due a rest next week. Oh, and next week could see the return of the Japanese internationals for the Sunwolves.
So where exactly does that leave you in trying to fill some gaps …….
1. BUY Laumape
I take Laumape over Kerevi, even though I like Kerevi to
2. SELL Brodie Retallick
I don’t like it anymore than you, as Brodie is better positioned for a decent game this week. However, he’s long overdue a rest, has been poor so far, in a poor chiefs team, and after this has two tough tour games before a bye. However, the main reason is that the 31% who own him need the $$$ to get a team out this week.
3. BUY whoever the hell you can to fill some gaps. I’m looking for squad players here rather than “big-names” – specifically:
PR/HK – Montoya – even though the Jags are on a bye next week, being able to cover PR and HK is too important to ignore.
LOCK – Dickson – seems to be the favoured Highlanders lock, despite missing one game, and is a points machine currently as 3rd highest scoring lock in the game. $143k is too cheap to ignore. I also like Helu, who is back to playing lock this week for the Sunwolves, but who can cover LK and FL. At $200k there’s a little more risk given the Sunwolves rotation policy.
FLANKER– (I’ve literally copied this from last week, as my position hasn’t changed, just watch the overall number of Lions and Landers in your team) There’s two standout guys here, Frizzell at 13% owned, and Schoeman at 8% owned. Both can only cover FL, but are nice cheap options at $189k and $151k respectively.
8 – with the top 3 scoring 8s all on a bye, be a little cautious about picking up the man at number 4, Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco. He’s basically got the same points at the big names, but at only $144k. However, some risk that he loses his spot to Himeno in the next couple of weeks. If you need cover at 8, then Kwagga and Ardie are the picks, not much original there.
WING – So this is a tricky one as I think people are pretty well spread across the big names – Jordie, Folau, Bridge, DMck, Richie are all above 30% owned. But, if you need some help because of no Lam or Reiko, then Saumaki has some pedigree, huge upside and is only $154k. He obviously has some injury issues, and some weird Sunwolves just don’t play him issues, but useful squad player.