Team news is flowing in as we speak, but as ever, keep your eyes on the casualty ward and on the #casualtyward hashtag on twitter for the latest.
Teams on a BYE: Stormers
Teams with Tough Match-ups: Bulls, Crusaders, Blues
Teams with Easy Match-ups: Brumbies, Lions
General Transfer and Squad advice:
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. Focus on that starting 15, captain, and making sure you’re ok for the net couple of weeks.
You only get a 20 point penalty for dropping someone. So what, well, if you drop an expensive player around $400k for instance, and you have some money in the bank, then you might be able to bring in 3 players, but it won’t cost you any points. This has some longer term implications in trying to get expensive players back in, but is a great way of improving your squad.
***BONUS*** right, there’s a key bit of info that @SuperRugbyScout learnt hadn’t picked up before. Players not on a bye who are missing a game because of injury or because they are rested, WILL LOSE A DECENT AMOUNT OF VALUE. Player price is based on a combo of popularity and last 5 games. However, there seems to be a big impact if you miss a game
Rob Du Preez (26% owned) – been poor nearly all season. On a bye after this week
Pieter-Steph Du Toit (28% owned) – got a shoulder injury and the Stormers are on a bye. He’s been decent this year, but you could look at taking the $276k and reinvesting it.
Akira Ioane (44% owned) – has been poor for him this season. He’s scored over 40 once, and over 30 once, and that’s pretty much it. The Blues schedule isn’t much to get excited about, and for $358k if you can get two players in to make sure you’re getting a full squad out, I’d be tempted to ditch Akira and make sure you have Ardie Savea + Dan Du Preez to cover 8, with Scott Barrett, Frizzell, Hemopo, Matera covering flanker. Only make this trade if it allows you to get two quality players in though, I don’t think this one as much as getting rid of PSDT, just because it’s so hard to field a whole squad at the minute.
McKenzie (26% owned), Folau (18% owned) – I mean, it’s frankly unreal these guys are still in peoples squads, get rid like three weeks ago.
Right, so it’s make your mind up team. In theory the rotation should cease a little as teams make their run to the playoffs. Make sure you check out our Strength of Schedule on the homepage, but it’s going to be all about marque players, and makings sure you’ve got those key positions locked down. However, this week is a tough one, with a lot of difficult to call match-ups. This is where the big names make their mark:
Marx or Fainga’a at hooker. Lizo, Tupou + a.n.other at prop.
SH has turned out to be the most important position this year. Check out the form and the top 3 are all SHs, you should basically have one of the top 5.
Lock is crucial, as is flank / 8. Savea, Scott Barrett, Snyman.
Forwards are a little more straight-forward than the backs, and the above isn’t rocked science. However, the backs are where the difference is made this year:
Sevu Reece / Bridge – tough test for the Crusaders this week, but then after this week it’s a very tasty looking schedule.
Samu Kerevi – the reds have a decent look run it. Centre is a VERY competitive spot, but Samu has been solid all year, much more so that other big names.
Josh Ioane, Goosen, great options for the backs.
On paper the Rebels have the best run in, and not more byes. So bare that in mind you decisions. Normally I’d not look outside of Genia, but players like Phillip, Cooper, Naisarani, could be good flyers if you’re in a coin flip situation.