We know you’ve been waiting, so here is the first Stock Market for 2018.
With the loss of 3 sides this year, The Casualty Ward and our analysis of blue chips and smokies may just be the difference between you being a fantasy Crusader or a fantasy Sunwolf.
We know last weekend was round 2, but ask any Aussie or Kiwi and they will tell you that the 2018 Super Rugby season truly kicked this past weekend.
Damian McKenzie (Chiefs) OUTSIDE BACK
DMac proved some of his haters wrong in round 2, demonstrating he can be as effective for the Chiefs at 10 as 15.
In his first 80 minutes guiding the Chiefs backline he looked dangerous with ball in hand, creating 2 last touch assists and 3 line break assists. He didn’t away from the defencive line however, making 9 tackle busts and 2 line breaks off 8 runs. Throw in 5 kicks from 5 attempts at goal and I have no doubt that he can be in the running for top fantasy point scorer yet again this season.
Jaco Kriel (Lions) BACKROW
Last years second top scoring backrower for Points Per Game (PPG) is set to return to the fray in the next few weeks. Throw in the fact that the Lions play the Sunwolves at home followed by the Jaguares away in round 5 and 6, quite likely two higher scoring matches.
Akira Ioane (Blues) BACKROW
With his name one of the first to be written into each weeks team lists, Akira looks set to revel in some extra minutes this year.
Scoring 61 points in his first outing, the big number 8 is set for a breakout season.
Franco Mostert (Lions) LOCK
To pretty much everyones surprise, Mostert will be lining up in place of the injured Kriel and Kwagga Smith who has been left out of the match day 23 on compassionate grounds.
As discussed on our first podcast this season, having a lock playing in the backrow is fantasy gold. I’d expect this to only be for a week or two, however Mostert should be a relatively high scoring lock none the less.
Lodewyk de Jager (Bulls) LOCK
This man had his hand in just about every pie on the field last weekend. In 80 minutes he bagged a try, 10 runs for 76 metres, 3 tackle busts, 1 offload, 1 counter ruck turnover, 1 line break create, 6 tackles, 12 lineout takes and 1 lineout steal.
He was unstoppable!
If he can manage to maintain even some of this work rate he is staring down another massive year.
Jordan Uelese (Melbourne Rebels) PROP
Uelese (or should we say Ulysses) is in a unique situation of having played more matches in the Wallabies’ gold than at Super Rugby level.
At only 21 this young hooker is headlining the young talent coming through the ranks in Australia and should be one to watch throughout the season.
Listed as a prop on Fox Sports Fantasy, notoriously a position that doesn’t score many points, taking a chance to pickup Uelese could pay dividends.
In his first game of the season he racked up 27 points, not exactly setting the world alight, but he is definitely one to watch.
Brendon Paenga-Amosa (Queensland Reds) HOOKER
Seemingly out of nowhere, BPA leap-frogged both Alex Mafi and Andrew Ready to earn the first crack as the Reds main rake.
The 22 year old had a breakout NRC for the NSW Country Eagles last season, rampaging opposition defence close to the try line. He even bagged himself a hat-trick against Brisbane City.
Seeing as there is nothing more valuable for a hooker to score tries in fantasy, he would have his fantasy/draft coaches licking their lips with anticipation.
Coaches beware: The biggest risk with BPA is the stiff competition he faces from his fellow Reds hookers. Mafi came on around the 50th minute last weekend and will likely get decent minutes regularly from the bench.
Kazuki Himeno (Sunwolves) LOCK
Listed as a lock and playing on the flank, Himeno looks to be a truly great prospect for the Sunwolves as well as the Japanese national side.
After making his debut and snatching a try for the Japanese Brave Blossoms against the Wallabies last season, this guy has started to lock down the starting 6 spot for the national side.
Count on this young man being a house hold name by the end of the season.
Word of warning, he has taken a knock to his hip and will miss at least this week.
Written by Nelson Dale