Fantasy Rugby: What we learned from Round 2

Kyle Steyn Scotland Wales
All three matches in Round 2 of the Guinness Six Nations matched the hype and gave us plenty to think about in the fantasy game.

All three matches in Round 2 of the Guinness Six Nations matched the hype and gave us plenty to think about in the fantasy game.

Ireland lived up to their world number one tag in Dublin to kick off proceedings, defeating France 32-19 in a Championship classic between the world’s best sides.

Scotland then finally put an end to their hoodoo of failing to win their opening two matches, comprehensively beating Wales 35-7 at BT Murrayfield to back up their Round 1 win for the first time since 1996.

And on Sunday, England got Steve Borthwick’s reign up and running in a 31-14 win at Twickenham to bounce back from Calcutta Cup defeat a week ago.

Three home victories with plenty of tries – and even more fantasy points up for grabs.

Scotland packed with options

Last week the overwhelming fantasy option from Scotland was clearly Duhan van der Merwe, but this week Scotland proved they are packed with fantasy options.

Finn Russell and Kyle Steyn were the picks of the bunch in Round 2, Russell earning 90.6 points with his three try assists, and Steyn 83 points thanks to his brace.

That is now the entire Scotland backline, bar Stuart Hogg, who have been involved in a try of some description in the first two fixtures, while Blair Kinghorn delivered off the bench and Matt Fagerson and George Turner also scored tries.

It is now vital that you maximise this potential and have four Scotland players in your team – despite their matches against France and Ireland.

Differentials prove valuable

This was the first week you may have been trying to play catch-up and the most effective way of doing that is to include differentials in your side.

This week, a whole host of good value, low owned players did exactly that, including England’s Ollie Lawrence and Henry Arundell, with the latter acting as the perfect Supersub at 11 stars when scoring.

Luke Crosbie and Ethan Dumortier had their moments last week, and if they are still available at good value in Round 3, they could reward owners.

There is value out there – you just have to find it!

Keenan now key

Hugo Keenan proved once again in Dublin that he is not an option but a necessity, scoring and generally putting on an incredible show in front of his home crowd.

98 points earned made him the highest point scorer of the weekend and he seriously rewarded owners, with his value shooting up from 17.3 stars to 18.9 in one week.

After a Player of the Match performance last week and a simply bonkers 205 metres made this week – Keenan is absolutely vital and will be a must-have for Round 3 and beyond.

England forwards catch the eye

England scored three tries directly from the driving maul, while their other two started with mauls with Jack Willis, Jamie George and Ollie Chessum all crossing.

Willis was probably the pick of those despite only playing 53 minutes – making 20 tackles in that time as well as a trademark turnover, which saw him earn 65.7 fantasy points, but in all honesty, it was a day in which all of the England forwards stood out.

Ahead of their clash with Wales in Cardiff in a fortnight, you could certainly have a headache with which forwards from Steve Borthwick’s side to include, considering Wales too struggled to handle the driving maul.

Are Wales a team to avoid for now?

Two weeks, two defeats and -52 points difference is hardly the return to the Wales head coach role that Warren Gatland had in mind after a fairly timid display in Edinburgh.

This form has translated into the fantasy game too, with Ken Owens the pick of the Wales players this week with 38 points thanks to his try.

Wales host England next, before heading to Rome and Paris and they may be a team to largely avoid now – apart from those all-important differential picks of course!