Fantasy is back and isn’t it glorious?
Round one has thrust us into another year of potential sleepers, let downs and superstars.
After the dust settles on the initial draft most coaches feel like they have a solid team. Apart from those of you who ended up picking up Isa, Yamada or even the myth Inagaki. For those coaches I can say one thing… Do your homework!
For the rest of us, it has only taken 720 minutes of rugby for the rugby hangover to start. “Does McKenzie have second year syndrome?”, “Maybe Izzy should play flyhalf to get his hands on the ball more”.
With all the negatives of round 1, there were also a number of positives.
Things to take out of round 1:
- The fail safe of just picking All Blacks may not be that safe in 2017. This is largely due to the upcoming British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand.In previous years picking up an All Black would almost assure you decent points week in, week out, but this year you wouldn’t even put money on them starting. Player match time management has already shortened the kiwi internationals pre-seasons and has seen the likes of Moala, Barrett, Coles and Kaino sitting on the bench or even in suits in the stands.Never fear, there will always be your kiwi sleepers who should be ready and raring to go each week, Reiko Ioane anyone?
- Don’t assume the starting sides, for me this is the biggest thing to take out of round 1. If you weren’t already sweating about picking your side when a number of lineups weren’t out, you would have been when you saw the team announcements.Mainly from over the ditch, in the land of the fantasy and rugby superstars, the coaches seemed to make their selections through a game of musical chairs.
- How good is REIKO! The bloke is only 19 and he looks unstoppable. I don’t care what you have to do; rob, beg or steal, get this man in your team. With 150 run metres and 3 tries, this bloke is fantasy gold.
- Beware the overwhelming shadow of concussion. The concussion has continued to keep players and fantasy coaches in the dark during the start of the 2017 season. Charlie Ngatai and James Broadhurst are currently two of the high profile cases plagued by long-term concussion symptoms. Ngatai hasn’t taken to the paddock since a “minor head clash” in May 2016, while even more concerning is the fact that Broadhurst hasn’t played since August 2015, when he received dual head knocks in the same match. Thrown in the fact that Bernard Foley missed the Waratahs season opener and Ben Smith received a big head knock for the Hurricanes, the concussion looms as a real sidestep to your fantasy plans.
Team Of The Week
- Pierre Schoeman (BUL) – 49 points – 1 try, 1 line break, 1 tackle bust
- Pauliasi Manu (BLU) – 46 points – 1 try, 1 line break, 2 tackle busts
- Ricky Ricciteli (HUR) – 59 points – 1 try, 6/6 lineouts, 1 line break, 21 run metres
- Will Skelton (WAR) – 52 points – 1 try, 1 lineout steal, 5 tackle busts, 45 run metres
- Michael Fatialofa (HUR) – 52 points – 2 tries, 9 runs and 55 run metres
- Hanro Liebenberg (BUL) – 65 points – 2 tries, 3 tackle busts, 7 runs for 58 metres, 2 line breaks, 6 lineout takes
- Leonardo Senatore (JAG) – 62 points – 1 tries, 12 runs for 143 metres, 2 line break, 3 tackle busts
- Scott Higginbotham (RED) – 58 points – 1 try, 1 try assist, 4 tackle busts, 10 runs for 66 metres, 2 line breaks, 1 turnover forced
- Piet van Zyl (BUL) – 45 points – 1 try, 4 tackle busts, 2 line breaks, 3 offloads
- Fred Zeilinga (CHE) – 45 points – 6 penalty kicks, 8 runs for 62 metres, 1 line break, 1 offload, 9 tackles
- Vince Aso (HUR) – 68 points – 2 tries, 12 runs for 194 metres, 3 tackle busts, 3 offloads, 3 line breaks
- Ngani Laumape (HUR) – 79 points – 1 try, 2 try assists, 11 runs for 102 metres, 7 tackle busts, 2 offloads
- Joaquin Tuculet (JAG) – 74 points – 1 try, 1 try assist, 13 runs for 156 metres, 6 tackle busts, 1 offload
- Waisake Naholo (HIG) – 71 points – 12 runs for 152 metres, 10 tackle busts, 2 offloads, 1 pilfer, 1 turnover forced
- Julian Savea (HUR) – 66 points – 1 try, 11 runs for 171 metres, 4 tackle busts, 3 offloads
“God bless fantasy football. There are many things a man can do with his time… this is better than those things.” – Pete (The League)
Written by Nelson Dale