As we move into the penultimate round of the Super Rugby season, teams are very much playing for their lives. The Highlanders head to Canterbury to play the mighty Crusaders on Friday night in what could be a first week finals preview if results go the Dunedin sides way. The Rebels have a massive match away to the Reds as they look to hold off the Brumbies and lock themselves into the finals, while the Jaguares can leapfrog the Lions into first place in the South African conference if they can win away to an extremely out of form Bulls side. Nearly all nine matches have real stakes and huge consequences.
Let’s look at the top fantasy plays from each position.
Front Row – Anaru Rangi ($8.2m)
Anaru Rangie is the hottest mid-priced front row option in the sport at the moment, knocking out scores regularly in excess of 400 and coming off a monster 575 last week. If the Rebels win, they’re in the finals, so look for them to play to their blossoming forward pack to get over the line. Rangi should comfortably top his 398 average.
Second Row – Guido Petti Pagadizaval ($10m)
The man with the best name in all of rugby, Guido Petti Pagadizaval is playing like a man who knows it. He’s still $2m or so cheaper than the top line options but is banging out monster scores unlike anyone else in the position right now, including an absurd 1115 last week. Jaguares can go first with a win and Guido will be heavily involved in the forward-dominant system the Argentina side run.
Back Row – Ardie Savea ($15.7m)
Ardie Savea has consistently been one of the best 3-5 back row options in fantasy rugby for years and really one of the best 3-5 back rowers in all of rugby. The fact he can barely get near an All Blacks start is another ridiculous reminder of the depth of the world’s best team. The Hurricanes are playing the hapless Blues this week, and I’m backing Ardie to do what his brother has done to Auckland so many times, and that’s cross the line. Big score for big Ardie.
Scrum Half – Michael Ruru ($7.3m)
Michael Ruru is still reasonably priced after taking over from the injured Will Genia, and has shown he is capable of going big. He’s got the highest average of any scrum half that has played more than one game and it’s over a decent sample size. Don’t spend too much time or money in a position that reaps the least rewards, Ruru has plenty to play for and is relatively cheap.
Fly Half – Beauden Barrett ($19.3m)
I don’t normally like going so expensive or obvious with my picks, but with Beauden Barrett and the Hurricanes heading to play the Blues, there will be plenty of points on offer for the All Blacks no.10. I can see the Canes throwing up 50 on an Auckland side that is waiting for the season to finish, and the Canes will be looking to lock in second place in the conference. Barrett is a gun pick.
Centre – Andre Esterhuizen ($14m)
The rampaging Sharks winger has been outspoken through the week about his side’s chances of making the finals and not letting their bitter rivals the Stormers end their season. I’m backing Andre Esterhuizen to lead the way for his side and keep whatever slim hopes of making the postseason alive. He’s in good form personally despite his side showing no consistency, and I think he can replicate his 755 effort last week against a team with nothing to play for.
Back Three – Israel Folau ($23.2m)
It seems too easy to pick Israel Folau, given he might be the biggest name in all of rugby and certainly is the highest scorer on PlayON (averaging 1008), but at home against a Sunwolves side that has conceded nearly 100 points more than their next opponent, it is almost unthinkable to look anywhere else in your back three. He’s worth the money.
These are the top plays for this week’s daily fantasy Super Rugby games at PlayON. Now go pick your team and win your share of guaranteed cash prizes in the $10,000 SuperContest.