We are now three rounds into the Guinness Six Nations and the Championship is starting to take shape, but some individuals have gone under the radar despite their top performances.
Ireland are bidding for their first Grand Slam triumph since 2018 after victory over Italy in Rome, while Scotland, England and France are waiting in the wings with two wins from three after Les Bleus edged past Scotland and England left Cardiff with a win.
And there were signs of heading in the right direction for Wales and Italy despite a third consecutive defeat.
But while many have been rightly singing the praises of the likes of Hugo Keenan, Finn Russell and Niccolo Cannone, there are some players who remain underrated after a series of excellent performances without the fanfare – and players who remain excellent fantasy options due to them going unnoticed!
Ben White (Scotland)
Scotland’s scrum-half Ben White has quickly made the starting jersey his own after a series of top-quality performances for Gregor Townsend’s men.
White began the Championship with a second try in as many years against England, as Scotland made history by winning consecutive matches in London for the first time since 1909.
And he then played an active role in Scotland making more history a week later, easing to victory as Scotland put Wales to the sword to end their run of not winning their opening two matches since 1996.
His best performance though was arguably in defeat, with White going toe to toe with the Antoine Dupont as Scotland came within a whisker of maintaining their unbeaten start.
White’s consistency has been absolutely exceptional across those three matches, with his stats from game to game almost an exact replica of the previous one.
He has two broken tackles in each of the three matches, and has racked up 64 metres, making it into the 20s for metres made in each match, not bad for a scrum-half whose main responsibility is to get Finn Russell quick ball.
Perhaps White’s most astonishing statistic is his incredible defensive record, making 20 of 21 tackles across the three matches, including 10 in the Calcutta Cup win.
His performances have not quite come across in the fantasy game, with White making only 72.6 points so far, but with his value at just 10.8 stars and clearly showing he is in form, he could be a bargain option for Rounds 4 and 5.
Cyril Baille (France)
France are a difficult team to stand out in, with so many exceptional talents across the board, not least Antoine Dupont, Gael Fickou and Gregory Alldritt, but loosehead prop Cyril Baille has been quietly impressing up to this point.
Another with remarkable consistency, Baille has certainly become one of the key men in this France side and remains one of the best looseheads in the world, putting in almost faultless performances in each of France’s opening three matches.
He averages 33.67 metres per match, and has now made 26 tackles, including 14 in the Round 2 defeat to Ireland, but easily his best attribute has been at the set-piece and his discipline.
Baille has starred in a France pack who have had to dig deep against both Ireland and Scotland, forward packs in excellent form in the set-piece, while incredibly in three matches, he has not conceded a single penalty.
In the fantasy game, Baille has made a respectable 63.6 points from prop, holding his value of 14.8 stars, and with England and Wales to come, he is definitely a player who can deliver even more in future.
Juan Ignacio Brex (Italy)
Italy’s resurgence has been there for all to see, and outside centre Juan Ignacio Brex has been a key component of their upturn in form.
Always an excellent defender, it has been Brex’s attacking that has caught the eye this Championship, with him making 208 metres so far, including 92 against England, more than anyone on the pitch bar full-back Ange Capuozzo.
Despite reaching his 21st cap against Ireland, Brex still appears undervalued by many, but with now making more metres than before, that may no longer be the case, with his linking ability key to the Azzurri’s new fast paced free-spirited attack.
Incredibly in Guinness Six Nations Fantasy Rugby, he costs just 9.9 stars, meaning he could be a very good budget option for Italy’s final two matches against Wales in Rome and Scotland in Edinburgh, keep an eye out, as Brex seems to get better every time he dons the Azzurri jersey.
Lewis Ludlam (England)
Perhaps one who has had plenty of plaudits so far this Championship, but it still feels as though Lewis Ludlam is underrated, that is how good he has been.
Ludlam at blindside flanker has been absolutely outstanding and is surely set to be one of the key men for a long time to come in Steve Borthwick’s England side.
Excellent in both of England’s matches at Twickenham, he continued that level of performance in Cardiff and seems to be the man England were missing all along.
On both sides of the ball he has been fantastic, showing his ball-carrying ability from playing No.8 a lot at club level, Ludlam is making well over 40m per match from carries, breaking the line once and even assisting for Max Malins’ second try at Twickenham in Round 1.
And in defence, he has been at the top of his game too, making 38 tackles (15.8% of which are dominant) and two breakdown steals as England’s back row all appear capable of being a nuisance at each ruck.
A fantasy superstar, Ludlam is making his owners 49.8 points per game so far, with his cost rising to 14.5 stars, and in a highly competitive area will be one to watch for the final two rounds. He is also clearly a favourite of Steve Borthwick, having played every minute of the campaign to date, despite England’s extensive back-row options.
James Ryan (Ireland)
It seems incredible that Ireland second row James Ryan can still be underrated, but in this Championship, it feels once again as though he has been.
In the shadows of Caelan Doris, Keenan, James Lowe and Finlay Bealham as Ireland’s most eye-catching of stars so far, Ryan has been just as effective as ever as he captained his side to victory in Rome in the absence of the injured Johnny Sexton.
Ryan has even crossed for two tries along the way, as he made a remarkable 124 metres from the engine room, while in defence he has been at his best too, making 38 tackles (12.7 per match) and winning a lineout steal.
Unsurprisingly, fantasy points have followed that level of performance, and he is averaging 45.93 points per round, which has seen his value shoot up from 14.6 stars to 15.6 stars.
Fitting in four Ireland players can be difficult, but Ryan should definitely be in your plans as he seems to deliver every single week.
Adam Beard (Wales)
Wales second row Adam Beard has been one of the constants in a Wales team that has been constantly chopping and changing as Warren Gatland looks to pick his best team after resuming as head coach.
But with Wales struggling so far this Championship with three defeats from three, not many have noticed Beard’s quietly good performances.
The 27-year-old is one of only two players, alongside hooker Ken Owens, who has started in all three matches for Wales in the forwards, and he has been influential in each game.
So far this Championship, Beard has averaged 12 tackles per match, highlighting his excellent work rate that has always been apparent in his time in the Welsh jersey, while he remains the main option at the lineout.
Of those 36 tackles, 9% have been dominant hits, while he also has a breakdown steal to his name showing his Fantasy Rugby prowess despite the defeats – making 71.6 points so far and still representing amazing value at 12.2 stars.