For the first time I have broken my two cardinal rules in Fantasy Rugby. They are my only two rules, and the reason I have been able to stay at the top of any fantasy rugby league I have been in since I started playing in 2002. Each rule has been broken only once this season, but I have now slipped from third place to thirteenth place in my Super 14 Fantasy Rugby league. I am sure my neighbours on the table are not even participating.
Rule Number One: Always have a valid team.
This is not rocket science. If you do not have a team valid you get no points for the entire round. What I have now learned is that you should not even alter your team close to the deadline. I made an arbitrary change in my fantasy rugby team, and just as I was about to replace the player my computer froze and I couldn’t find a way to replace him. As I tried to find a way to get online I watched the time tick away until eventually the cut off time was reached and my carefully crafted team was invalidated for the whole round; all because I tried to alter the team too close to the cut off date.
Rule Number Two: Make sure your entire team is supposed to take the field.
It seems simple, but this must be a priority. A few hours before kick off scan the news for any late withdrawals. I normally scan through my team and compare with the latest team lists to make sure everyone is playing. The week after I had an invalid team I backed this up by making the terrible fantasy rugby mistake of having a player who was ruled out mid-week remain in my team for the weekend. To make it worse, the player was Dan Carter. As everyone else sold him my team value went down $400,000 and one of the premium spots on any fantasy rugby team, the inside backs, was worthless.
These rules may seem simple, but they are relatively easy to break if you are not careful. The repercussions of breaking either, especially rule number one, can break your whole rugby season, and send you towards the bottom of your fantasy rugby league. This is what has happened to me. There are additional benefits of paying attention to rule number two though. If you are quick with selling any injured players you get to sell them at the best price and everyone who sells them after you will get a progressively worse price.
You will not be guaranteed to win by abiding by these rules, but if you break them you won’t stand a chance. I have had some great point scoring rounds since I broke the two rules, but I never recovered from the round where I had an incomplete team. Financially I have also struggled since I lost all that money on Dan Carter.
So with these two tips in mind, good luck with the coming season.