The first week of the Guinness Six Nations is now upon us – so it is time to stop tinkering and settle on your Fantasy line-up.
For a reminder of all the rules and how to play, here is our helpful reminder from last week.
If you still haven’t signed up – then click here to get involved.
But for those of you nearly ready to rumble – here are some final reminders and tips on how to get one over your competitors.
Who will definitely play?
It might be an obvious thing to say, but make sure you check back after each team has been announced.
The countries announce throughout the week – with Wednesday and Thursday normally the busiest days for team news – although Warren Gatland isn’t afraid to drop a bombshell earlier in the week.
Don’t take a punt on a player that you love unless you know he is in the team.
And you don’t want to be making too many changes week to week, so it is a safe bet to get a fair few home bankers in your squad that you know, barring disaster, will be there week in and week out.
On top of that, you get a greater share of your team’s point for a win if you play a longer portion of the minutes.
So props who routinely come off at the start of the second half, are going to be of less use to you than 80-minute men who can last the course.
Take a look for players that are rarely taken off by their coaches: Owen Farrell for one or Conor Murray for another.
Know the fixture list
The Championship is full of surprises every year – but a look at the history books can give you an inkling.
Away wins count big for your team, so you might want to keep an eye on teams heading to Rome this year – Wales, Ireland and France.
But all three of those have come a cropper in Rome before, and Italy have also proved they can win on the road as recently as 2015 in Edinburgh.
Scotland are an interesting team to consider here also, their home record in the Championship of late is sublime but their away record is the polar opposite, so bear that in mind when looking at your Stuart Hoggs and Jonny Grays for inclusion.
Don’t gamble on fitness
Rarely in the blood and thunder of a Championship can a player get away with being less than 100 percent fit.
So if your player selected is carrying a niggle or goes off in the match the week before, it probably makes sense to shift them on and look elsewhere.
He might be one of your favourite players, but it is not in your interest to wait for them to come back to fitness.
Set your own bias aside and pick on merit – there are only five rounds of action and you can’t afford to have an off day.
Kick to win
Any player that kicks goals for their team is worth a look, as points are divvied out for conversions, penalties and drop goals.
So while Owen Farrell and Jonathan Sexton are obvious candidates here, don’t be afraid to think outside the box.
Elliot Daly slams over long-rage efforts for England from time to time, so might sneak into your back three.
Conor Murray has been known to kick goals late on for Ireland if needed, while in Wales it is equally fascinating with Leigh Halfpenny injured for the start of the Championship and Dan Biggar in a battle for the No.10 shirt.
That might bring Gareth Anscombe into the equation, while over in France Morgan Parra or Camille Lopez will probably be the kicker – keep an ear out for who Jacques Brunel goes with and act accordingly.
Tackling the numbers
Every tackle made by your player wins you 1 player point – double what it was worth last year.
But attack is essential and a try for your player wins 15 points if they are a back, 18 if they are a forward. They will also earn 0.2 points for every metre made, and 2 points per defender beaten, both double their value in 2018.
So your tackle machines like Jonny Gray and James Ryan will be worth a look, but there are some young attacking stars that this year have become even more important.
Think Garry Ringrose, who routinely tops the defenders beaten charts for Ireland, or Joe Cokanasiga who skittles tacklers for fun.
Scotland’s Darcy Graham is also one to keep an eye on after his recent form for Edinburgh, while Jordan Larmour can step his own shadow with his twinkling toes.