Round 2 of the Guinness Six Nations is just around the corner and with teams being announced, it is time for fantasy managers to make those all-important decisions.
The deadline this weekend is not until kick-off during Ireland’s mouth-watering tie with France in Dublin at 2:15pm on Saturday, giving you time to mull over your squad.
This week is much easier to select a squad, after a full round has been played, allowing you to have an idea of who is in form and have a look at the stats.
Biggest questions facing each team ahead of Round 2
But if you are still struggling to make a decision or are short on time and have not been able to do your research – fear not as we have compounded a list of five players to watch this weekend.
James Lowe (Ireland – Back Three – 18.3 stars)
Last year’s joint-top try-scorer James Lowe was on the scoresheet to get his 2023 Championship off to a flying start when he raced away with an intercept try in Cardiff.
But Lowe was far more effective than just scoring his side’s third try of the afternoon, putting in a complete performance on both sides of the ball.
His 112 metres from just six carries ranked second behind only Ange Capuozzo (114), while nobody made more metres per carry (18.67) than Lowe in Round 1.
He was also excellent in defence, making five tackles and winning two turnovers (joint-best with Johnny Sexton) showing he can make you serious points again this time out.
Gaël Fickou (France – Centre – 16.2 stars)
Fickou has for a long time been a massively important part of this France team and is now one of Fabien Galthié and Shaun Edwards’ most trusted players as the defensive captain.
Last week was a real test for France against a resurgent Italy side, but Fickou as always showed his class, and ensured his side went on to secure their 14th consecutive win.
What are the teams for Ireland v France?
Defensive perfection is what is expected of Fickou, and he showed that in Rome, making 16 tackles (most among backs) and missing none but it was actually with the ball in hand that he was perhaps more impressive.
From 14 carries, he racked up 66 metres, while his six broken tackles were only bettered by Liam Williams and Duhan van der Merwe.
He will certainly be a hugely important player in France’s side as they attempt to defeat the world number one team and he can earn your fantasy team plenty of points too.
Matt Fagerson (Scotland – Back Row – 14.1 stars)
Scotland’s No.8 was in fine form at Twickenham as he once again delivered a superb Calcutta Cup performance.
Van der Merwe was understandably awarded Player of the Match, but Fagerson must have been close after putting in another outstanding defensive display.
What are the teams for Scotland v Wales?
Not just for his assist for Van der Merwe’s match-winning try and his underrated 32 metres made from nine carries, but mainly in defence, where simply put, he was outstanding.
No player made more tackles than Fagerson’s 26, two of which were dominant, and it is those defensive points that will make him such a fine asset throughout the Championship.
For just 14.1 stars, he represents excellent value, and could well be a long-term member of your team.
Federico Ruzza (Italy – Second Row – 11.1 stars)
One of the standout performers in Italy’s narrow defeat to France in Rome, Ruzza has developed his game to become a real presence in the Italian pack.
His all-round game was on show at the Stadio Olimpico, with Ruzza making 36 metres from six carries, as well as 13 tackles (two dominant) and winning one turnover.
But perhaps most impressively, Ruzza has become an excellent lineout operator, winning eight lineouts (only Ollie Chessum had more) and making a lineout steal.
His value is incredible considering what he is capable of and ahead of a trip to Twickenham, he is certainly someone who should be among your thinking.
Dan Biggar (Wales – Fly-Half – 15.4 stars)
It was not Wales’ best performance in Cardiff a week ago, but if there is one man who will bounce back and thrive the week after a defeat like that, it is Dan Biggar.
The Wales fly-half has history when it comes to seeing his team over the line when their backs are against the wall – including against Scotland in Cardiff a year ago, when he landed the winning drop goal.
In the fantasy game too, Biggar did earn points a week ago, with a try assist, a conversion and a penalty as well as 36 metres made, a broken tackle and nine tackles of his own, he showed he can earn points even when the team are not at their best.
At 15.4 stars and with Biggar at the heart of everything Wales do, he could be a great option for Round 2, in a position that making the right decision is absolutely vital.