Round 4 of the 2018-19 Gallagher Premiership is approaching, and Fantasy League points are accumulating fast and exponentially, like an avalanche or my student debt. Ahead of this weekend’s action, we offer some pointers on who to sign and who to cut in order to make your Fantasy team bring home the proverbial bacon.
IN: Alex Cuthbert (Exeter)
After not featuring at all in Round 1, and warming the bench in Rounds 2 and 3 Exeter’s star (and indeed only) summer signing Alex Cuthbert is preparing for his first start on the wing against Newcastle on Friday night. After a stellar career in Wales, the former British Lion will be hoping to make his mark on the English game in the same way as international team mates such as George North, Jamie Roberts and Richard Hibbard. Exeter play an expansive, meticulously planned attacking game (as we’ve discussed in the past), and having been given a couple of weeks to find his feet Cuthbert should slot seamlessly into the Chiefs’ back line. A real potential points-machine here.
OUT: Denny Solomona (Sale)
1 try in the first three games isn’t a particularly bad return by any stretch, but Solomona isn’t quite hitting the points tallies that justify his 4.8m salary just yet. With Sale struggling somewhat, and a game against the formidable (Round 1 aside) Wasps, it seems unlikely that Big D will be adding to his haul to the same extent as other wingers this weekend. Obviously since I’ve said this, Solomona will now score a hat trick, be awarded Man of the Match and save a family of kittens from a house fire.
IN: Danny Cipriani (Gloucester)
Despite some phenomenal performances in the early rounds of the Premiership, Cipriani has (somewhat) surprisingly not been named in the England training squad this week. England boss Eddie Jones has claimed that his selections were made on form, though eyebrows were raised when Chris Ashton made the cut despite, you know, not actually playing this season. Nonetheless, Cipriani has a habit of reacting to critics by upping his game, so this omission might actually turn out to be a catalyst for even better performances. With seemingly no international commitments on the horizon, Cipriani is someone you can build your team around for the next few weeks. Provided nobody asks him to return his drink to the bar.
OUT: George Ford (Leicester)
A very controversial suggestion here, with Ford currently the MVP of the tournament so far on a hefty 66.1 points. However, despite our love of using statistical analysis to judge elite athletes whilst we sit on our sofas covered in crisps and remnants of Chocolate Digestives, it’s not all about the numbers. To paraphrase Grace Jones, one mustn’t be a slave to the algorithm. Leicester have delivered some decidedly mixed performances so far this season, and whilst the Tigers (and Ford) will most likely impress this weekend against struggling Worcester, it’s difficult to see Ford sustaining this form throughout the season. Given that he will almost certainly be absent due to his England duties for several weeks, you may wish to reconsider whether Ford forms part of your long term plans.
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