Fantasy Tips: KickersAuthor: Nick | Filed under: Fantasy Rugby Tips
With the launch of our new weekly kickers poll (to compliment the captaincy poll) we unpack the early kicking options this season. If managers didn’t read our articles thoroughly last week (or the week before) they might have found themselves sans kicker. The main thorn in managers sides was Aaron Cruden who is no longer kicking for the defending champions. It wasn’t a surprise, Gareth Anscombe had been taking all the kicks in the warm-up matches. We might be sounding like a stuck record to our regular readers/twitter followers but this is for the people who… how do we put this politely? Don’t yet know about the Harlem Shake trend, for instance.
So here’s our top 6 kickers based on price and prospects:
1) Gareth Anscombe (9m); we’ve talked about. Great price; playing as an outside back in a good team, and kicking. I hope you bought your silver-polish Cruden, coz that was gold!
2) Morne Steyn (11.5m); early days but he’s kicking dead-straight again and his price is not as high as it used to be. At Loftus he’s usually a safe bet, even an average Steyn will be in the top 3 points scorers because he’s hardly ever injured or subbed off.
3) Pat Lambie (13m); the Sharks are looking good this season and so is “punisher Pat” who will score the majority of their kicking points; although Frans Steyn will knock over a few from his own tryline.
4) Dan Carter (13.5m) might be the sickest flyhalf on the planet (read that however you want). There will be days when he kicks everything over and scores tries and assists but there also might be weeks when he’s not even playing. At a princely sum of 13.5 million it might be too soon to invest but if he’s fast out the gates don’t leave it too long before placing your bets.
5) Johan Goosen (11.5) the Cheetahs might not make the top 6 but if he stays fit, The Wunderkind will. Was rated statistically (based on difficulty of kicks as well as accuracy) as the best kicker last season. Missed a few against the Sharks but they weren’t all easy and he’s still rusty. The Cheetahs don’t always win but they always score points.
6) James O’Corn-row (12m), my my my. Down injured again but like Conrad Smith, says he wasn’t concussed, just having a nap on the sideline so is good to go! Kurtley Beale then is obviously a no-go. Playing at fullback should also mean some tasty tries as well, if he stay fit O’Connor could be a gem.
Bubble boy; Beauden Barrett (12m) misses out because O’Connor is at centre giving you a 3rd kicking option and with the 5 flyhalves already mentioned there’s just no room left for Beauden.
A word on the also rans…
Piri Weepu kicked 5 out of 9 for the Blues so they’re struggling for a kicker. Mike Harris doesn’t always make the Reds starting lineup but when he does that puts Quade Cooper’s kicking duties under threat. The Brumbies have used 3 different kickers this season. The Tahs have the same guys as last year, McKibbin and Foley were average then and are average now. Elton Jantjies was taken off kicking duties because he couldn’t hit a barn, let alone the door and his replacement Joe Pieterson may yet be replaced by Peter Grant (like last year); either way- too much uncertainty. Sopoaga had a good first game for the Highlanders but he still has to prove himself and we also don’t think the team are as good as all the preseason flattery suggests. That just leaves The Force, and the Kings who are both going to lose plenty of games so even a guy like Catrikilis is fantasy Bronze at best.
Don’t forget to vote on our Kickers Poll for this week. Morne Steyn currently leads, ahead of
Aaron Cruden- Gareth Anscombe no surprise with them playing the Force and Cheetahs respectively.