Fantasy Rugby: Wimpie shows hard edge

By Cameron McMillan

With eight rounds of Fantasy Rugby out of the way, Cameron McMillan looks at the players who should be picked up and those who need to be given the axe

Wimpie van der Walt. Photo / Getty Images
Wimpie van der Walt. Photo / Getty Images

Hot

Wimpie van der Walt

Not only does the Southern Kings backrower have the best name in the Super 15 but he is the in-form Fantasy player scoring 60 points in the last two rounds. Van der Walt backed up his 33-point performance against the Brumbies last week with 27 points in a win over the Rebels on Saturday. Tries in both games have helped his cause but he's also limited his knock-ons, which saw him drop points in four of his opening five games. Priced at $4,340,000 he is almost $2m cheaper than compatriot Pierre Spies, the ninth most popular back rower.

This week - vs Bulls (home). A huge test for van der Walt and the Kings.

Steven Luatua

The Blues backrower started the season strong before going cold for three weeks, as did most of his teammates to be fair, but he's bounced back with two strong games against the Highlanders (23 points) and Hurricanes (19). Like van der Walt, the youngster is at great value ($4,680,000) especially with the likes of Pieter Labuschagne and Sam Cane (see below) regressing.

This week - vs Bye. Look at a possible pick up next week as the Blues roller-coaster heads to Brissy.

Heating up

Quade Cooper
His stats aren't fantastic reading but Cooper has had a huge improvement in the last three weeks. After opening the season with single-digit scores for the first five rounds, the Wallabies five-eighth has gone 25, 14 and 17 since. Missing kicks continue to hurt him with six in the last three games, while he has knocked on 23 times this season. But the Reds are on a roll and he'll continue to keep scoring well if they keep winning. Word is Robbie Deans is picking Cooper up in his Fantasy team this week.

This week - vs Brumbies (home). The Brumbies are coming off a win over the Highlanders - but who hasn't this season.

Cooling down

Sam Cane

Like the Chiefs, Cane was unstoppable in the opening five rounds scoring an average of 24 points each week. He could be forgiven for scoring eight points coming off the bench against the Blues but just six points in Saturday's defeat to the Reds is a big drop.

This week - vs Waratahs (away). Ardie Savea scored 29 against the Waratahs two weeks ago. What's stopping Cane doing the same?

Cold

Rene Ranger

Continues to be the most popular player in Fantasy, appearing in 33 per cent of teams and with that much representation you'd expect more than 30 points over his last four outings. The ball just didn't come his way last week, while Charles Piutau (18) and Frank Halai (12) cashed in.

This week - vs Bye. Time to rest up and think about how to please one third of Herald Fantasy players.

Tom Marshall

The Crusaders back was a popular choice after a 28-point performance against the Bulls in round five and followed that up with 16 against the Stormers but $9,120,000 is a lot to pay for his 12 points over the last fortnight. He's failed to cross the tryline since that Bulls game and made just one tackle out on the wing last week.

This week - vs the Highlanders (home). Just the fixture to boost your Fantasy value.

Block of ice

Elliot Dixon

You've got to feel for the Highlanders' reserve front rower. Twice in the last two weeks he's been subbed on with his team trailing late in the game and walked off the field with -4 points. Jamie Joseph obviously doesn't play Fantasy.

- NZ Herald

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