Six Nations 2024 fantasy rugby: Cheat sheet with the best tips

by 24britishtvFeb. 3, 2024, 3 p.m. 21
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No need to dwell on the gut-wrenching mistakes of my World Cup fantasy campaign. I am completely over picking Max Malins over five-try Henry Arundell for England’s thumping win over Chile. Plumping for Shannon Frizell, who copped an early yellow card, instead of Ardie Savea ahead of the final? Totally forgotten.

A new Six Nations brings with it another official fantasy game, which is slightly different from the one that had me tearing my hair out in France. Why, oh why did I captain Matthieu Jalibert instead of Damian Penaud for the hosts’ defeat of Namibia? Never mind, here are some tips for the Six Nations.

Users are given a budget of 240 stars to pick a starting line-up from all six squads. The most expensive players, James Lowe and Damian Penaud, cost 20 stars, and all of them have been categorised by position. You need three back three players, two centres, a fly-half and a scrum-half in the backline. Up front, the pack must be made up of three back-rowers, a pair of locks, two props and a hooker. Do not get hung up over tighthead and loosehead props if you do not want to. There does not need to be one of each.

As for bonus roles, the captain tag does what it has done in most fantasy games across sports down the years; it doubles that player’s score. A very interesting wrinkle for this Six Nations game, which adds a strategic element, is the ‘supersub’ chip. This triples the points of an additional player that comes off the bench. However, if that player starts, they will only return half of the points they earn.

The Six Nations game is more stripped back than the World Cup one. That said, as well as metrics like tries, assists, tackles and turnovers, the scoring index includes 50:22 kicks, which are worth a significant boost of seven points. Line-out steals are worth the same. Most valuable, though, are coveted player-of-the-match awards. These net you a whopping 15 points. As ever, cards will cost the most. Yellows set you back three points, with a sending-off carrying a six-point sanction.

Pick Damian and/or Duhan

Do not try to be too clever or baulk at his price. Penaud will be worth 20 credits. Each beaten defender ticks over two points. The rangy wing glides past opponents at will. He finished the last Championship as top try-scorer and is also an effective link man, who will be surrounded by Bordeaux colleagues. Duhan van der Merwe (18 stars) slips tackles for fun, and Scotland will bring him into the action as often as possible.

Back yourself with newbies

A scan of the scoring lists suggests that relatively unproven internationals come cheap. Joe McCarthy (11 stars) and Tommy Freeman (8 stars) could prove to be rewarding bargains if they are granted decent game-time.

Positional flexibility

Just as Fantasy Premier League (FPL) players scour databases for midfielders that are labelled as defenders or forwards that have been put into the midfielder bracket, rugby presents similar opportunities. Tommaso Menoncello (11 stars) is down as a back three player. The explosive Italy star has been exclusively at centre for Benetton this season. Conversely, Mason Grady must be picked as a centre, despite spending most of the current campaign on the left wing with Cardiff.

Magic metrics

Finn Russell will be kicking at goal for Scotland and is sure to put himself in the frame for further points with try assists. He is also reasonably prolific when it comes to 50:22s, a seven-point feat that could make your week. With breakdown steals worth five and line-out steals seven, disruptors such as Maro Itoje, Tadhg Beirne (both 16 stars), Richie Gray (13 stars) and Tommy Reffell (12 stars) will be tempting.

Supersub options

One name springs to mind immediately at the thought of the ‘supersub’ bonus; that of Nolan le Garrec (9 stars). The scampering scrum-half is behind Maxime Lucu, yet has plundered six tries for Racing 92 in the Top 14. Of course, the risk is that in a tight game, as the opener against Ireland in Marseille might turn out to be, Lucu might stay on for the entire 80 minutes.

Engine men

One point per tackle, as opposed to one every five tackles as other rugby games have awarded, makes the defensive grafters more valuable. Michele Lamaro (11 stars) is worth considering, here. The output of Grégory Alldritt (17 stars) is always enormous, as well, and is unlikely to subside with the captaincy of France.

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