Filling The Blanks

Fantasy rugby is more than being able to simply pick the players who have form or did well last year. There are more logistics then that.

This article well put you in good stead to minimize the chances you get caught off guard.

 Many rookie managers get swept up into the figures that are thrown at them in regards to last years points per game (PPG), points per minute (PPM) or even how their players performed in Round 1. All this focus on the numbers may leave them blindsided when the triple bye rounds roll around.

On top of that, people get injured, some times they are minor and you can manage to hold onto them on your bench, sometimes they are long term. You may even get unlucky and the injuries could coincide with bye weeks for another one of your players in the same position.

The first triple bye week isn’t until Round 5, however they start popping up more regularly after that. Rounds 7, 9 10, 11 and 14 are all also triple bye weeks, meaning if you don’t consider their impact you may get caught out.

Round 5

Round 7

Round 9

Round 10

Round 11

Round 14

Bulls, Sharks, Blues

Lions, Brumbies, Highlanders

Sunwolves, Waratahs, Hurricanes

Bulls, Jaguares, Crusaders

Rebels, Reds, Blues

Sharks, Sunwolves, Brumbies

So what do you do if you have only just realised you are up (Hiroshi) Yamashita creek without a paddle? Well, you have a few options.

Firstly, i wouldn’t sweat it if the player isn’t what you would consider as a start quality player, meaning if you are in an 8 person draft league they aren’t one of the top 8 scrum halves. In this case you may be left to either pick up someone to simply fill a starting role, or if no one is left, playing a man down or picking up a bench player.

An example of this would be if your two scrum halves are Augustine Pulu (BLU) and Jano Vermaak (STO). In Rd 5 they will both be on a bye and people may be hesitant to trade either of them due to the question mark around Pulu starting and Vermaak having yet to prove any value for his managers.

This would leave you with the choice to drop Pulu, who has more upside (4th scrum half in 2018), or Vermaak who is likely a poorer quality starter, in order to pick up an available scrum half. That is if there are any.

In the case that you are holding two decent players, you may be able to get some more value than that which is available through free agency.

An example of this would be if your two hookers were Malcolm Marx (LIO) and Folau Fainga’a, who both have a bye in Rd 7. In this case your best option is to look for a trade.

Other managers may be enticed to trade the likes of Fainga’a (ranked 8th in my hooker list) for someone of a slightly less value e.g. Brandon Paenga-Amose (ranked 9th).

In desperate times a double trade can be very beneficial. To set this up you should scan your oppositions team lists to see when other managers are likely to be down a player due to injury/byes whilst assessing if you can fill the whole in their side. If that is the case, a mutually beneficial trade can be struck to fill both managers starting sides. Even better if you end up trading them a man who is on a bye the week you verse them 👍.

If you have planned ahead another options would be to scan the free agency for someone returning from injury such as Jaco Visagie of the Bulls. If you have done your due diligence you would also know that Adriaan Strauss departure may leave him not only with the starting jersey, but increased minutes.

So there you have it people. To stand out from the pack you don’t just need to pick the top players, you need to plan ahead.

Written by Nelson Dale

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