Super Saturday is here and it is a now a case of “If not now, then when?” for Fantasy Managers. If you are close to the top of the Rankings, then it is time to go big to secure the all-important top spot in your mini-leagues!
Round 4 saw a mixture of huge scores and some frustrating underperformances from various fantasy favourites. There were also some unfortunate injuries to a number of highly-selected players.
Leading the way in terms of big performances were Mack Hansen, who again outscored his illustrious Ireland Back 3 team-mates with a huge 95.8 performance, follow up on his 98-point score from Round 3. His team-mate on the other wing, James Lowe did however deliver another consistent high-score with 71 points.
There were big points being produced in France’s historic visit to Twickenham, but unfortunately for England, it was all for Les Bleus. Leading the way yet again was France’s attacking and kicking double threat, Thomas Ramos, with a massive 93.2 haul. Also racking up the fantasy points were Damian Penaud who reached 73.2 in what was a sensational second half performance for the Clermont winger. Charles Ollivon also made a big splash and topped off an excellent all-round performance with a memorable try (his third of the tournament) and took home 67 points.
There were points to be earned in the engine room on Round 4, and if you selected both James Ryan and Thibaud Flament in your Second Row, you would have ended up with a massive 140 points between those two alone.
Finally, those who gambled on a Jack Conan SuperSub performance were rewarded handsomely. A try-scoring performance off the bench yielded 53 points, which grew to 159 points if you put the SuperSub tag on him!
With four rounds gone, the Top 4 scorers (based on average points gained per match) are Thomas Ramos with an average score of 69.8, James Lowe with 69.6, Mack Hansen with 65.1 and Hugo Keenan with 60.1. All will be in contention again in Round 5, which on paper seem to present 3 straightforward home victories, but as we know, it is never that simple!
Kicking off Super Saturday is Scotland v Italy at Murrayfield. Scouring the team sheets, one name jumps out, replacing Stuart Hogg at 15 is Ollie Smith. Smith is an excellent attacking Fullback and due to his versatility he’s classified in the Fantasy Game as a Centre. A Scotland Back Three player? Set as a Centre? At home to Italy?? What’s not to like? Don’t move so fast however, as there are other great Scotland options in the Centres, including the prolific try-scoring Huw Jones and the ever reliable Sione Tuipolotu. Tough calls to be made.
Elsewhere Duhan Van Der Merwe and Kyle Steyn will feature on many team sheets, although there is another positional dilemma with Blair Kinghorn starting at Fly Half (most likely with the kicking tee) but classified as a Back Three.
While many will go first for Scottish assets, there is plenty of Fantasy talent in the Azzurri. There is value all over their Front Row, while in the pack, Sebastian Negri and Lorenzo Cannone provide great value to allow budget to be spent elsewhere.
The action then moves to Paris, and you are spoilt for choice for Fantasy assets in the French side in what should be a straightforward victory (if form is anything to go by). Ramos, Penaud, Ethan Dumortier, Gael Fickou, Antoine Dupont, Julian Marchand, Flament, Ollivon and Gregory Alldritt. All should go well, but you can only have four, so which ones are you taking? I’m plumping for Penaud, Dumortier, Ramos and Dupont in my starting XV.
Last up, Ireland welcome a chastened England team who will have a point to prove after last week’s capitulation at Twickenham. I suspect Ireland will not allow England to crash the party and you can expect more great fantasy performances from their outstanding Back 3 triumvirate in Keenan, Lowe and Hansen. Elsewhere, Dan Sheehan and Caelan Doris have both recovered from their knocks in Round 4 and will hopefully be able to make a bigger impact this week. Fantasy managers would also do well to consider the likes of Andrew Porter, Tadhg Furlong, Ryan Baird, James Ryan and Josh Van Der Flier in their teams. Athletic and capable of big plays, I’m taking a chance on Baird this week.
On the English side, not many fantasy players will want to gamble on them after last week’s performance at Twickenham, but Ellis Genge remains a huge threat at Prop, and a first start for Henry Arundell is an intriguing prospect that could pay off for those willing to take a risk.
My Team For Round 5:
15 Thomas Ramos (France)
14 Duhan Van Der Merwe (Scotland) – CAPTAIN
13 Ethan Dumortier (France)
12 Ollie Smith (Scotland)
11 Damian Penaud (France)
10 Johnny Sexton (Ireland)
9 Antoine Dupont (France)
1 Danilo Fischetti (Italy)
2 Dan Sheehan (Ireland)
3 Ellis Genge (England)
4 Ryan Baird (Ireland)
5 Lorenzo Cannone (Italy)
6 Sebastian Negri (Italy)
7 Jack Dempsey (Scotland)
8 Josh Van Der Flier (Ireland)
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