Fantasy rugby: Play on your own field of dreams

Dream Team Fantasy Super Rugby is simple. Register at dreamteam.co.nz from tomorrow, come up with a name for your team and you'll receive a fantasy budget to create your Fantasy Super Rugby team with players from Super Rugby squads.

Frank Halai (dollar value $8.5 million) should make a strong showing for the Blues. Photo / Greg Bowker
Frank Halai (dollar value $8.5 million) should make a strong showing for the Blues. Photo / Greg Bowker

Each Super Rugby player is assigned a dollar value based on their past ability to score fantasy points. Your challenge is to build a squad that combines superstars and up-and-coming players from New Zealand, Australia and South Africa to form the ultimate fantasy team.

Your fantasy team will receive fantasy points for the real-life performances of your selected players.

Fantasy points will be awarded to players for things such as the number of tackles made, tries scored and for playing more than 60 minutes. Players also lose points for getting sent off and missing tackles.

Your fantasy team will be competing with all other registered teams for the overall Dream Team Super Rugby title but you can also form private group competitions with friends and workmates. There are also a number of rugby greats, radio celebrities and Herald journalists to compete against in a special public league. Also competing will be The Colonel from KFC who will be represented by a mystery player who will be revealed at season's end.

Best of all, the highest scoring team at the end of the competition will win a once-in-a-lifetime South African safari experience along with tickets to see the All Blacks play the Springboks at Ellis Park for four people valued at over $24,000. There are also weekly prizes of $50 KFC vouchers. What are you waiting for? Get in the game today.

Here are a few tips on managing your team to help increase your chances of a successful season.

1. Plan your transfers

You can make up to four transfers per round only for the first 20 rounds, eight transfers for the quarter-finals, 10 for the semis and five for the final so it means you need to plan your transfers and use them wisely.

Keep an eye out for bye rounds and look ahead to ensure you plan your transfers accordingly.

Round one makes this difficult as only South African teams (Cheetahs, Lions, Sharks and Bulls) are playing. You may want to upweight the number of players from the South African teams you think are likely to win this weekend, but it is a fine line as you don't want only South African players in there for round 2.

2. Budget, budget, budget

You'll have a fantasy budget of $130 million for the season. You may want to monitor the latest news fairly carefully, as well as the player stats (published weekly online) to ensure players are on form/ not nursing injury etc.

Remember, too, there are some excellent players who aren't big names but provide great value for money.

Select your captain carefully as they are worth double points.

3. Try scorers

Having some try scorers in your team is important - especially if they're forwards as you'll score 10 points for a try. One strategy is to pick players likely to score against teams with poor defences. This, of course, will become more obvious as the season progresses.

4. Newbies and weak teams

Historically new teams receive a bit of a thrashing in their first year of Super Rugby. Bear this in mind - it may be worth up-weighting your team with players from whichever team is playing the Lions, who return after a year away, in any given round.

After a few rounds you'll be able to use the same premise against consistently weak teams, too.

5. Last-minute check

Players get injured in training, get cited for on and off-field activity or are put on the bench or dropped.

Remember to check in before 9pm this Friday and 6pm each Friday thereafter to make last-minute changes.

- NZ Herald

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