The Fantasy Ruckers League Begins Second Season
By: John Fitzpatrick
Feb 12, 2023 - 9:30pm
Welcome to the Fantasy Ruckers league!
The fantasy what?
You mean a fantasy rugby team that includes Jonah Lomu, Brian O’Driscoll, and Sebastien Chabal?
That's cool, but no.
Something even better!
A fantasy sports league that combines Major League Rugby and all the elements of your standard fantasy sports experience - snake draft, waiver wire picks, and last-minute roster maneuvers!
Are you still reading!?
Great - let me explain how this all came together and why you should follow along.
The Fantasy Ruckers Story
Brothers Matt and Ryan Ye convinced their long-time buddy, Vandy, who never followed the sport, to join them in creating a fantasy sports competition featuring MLR players.
What followed last season was a group of eight MLR supernerds who hand-scored all the matchups and plotted the day when fantasy MLR would take over the world!
We didn’t take over the world, but we did recruit new members to expand the competition.
Joining us this season are big names in American rugby media:
- Rugby Wrap Up - Matt McCarthy & Zach Lanning
- MLR Stats - James Deeley
- Eagles Overseas - Bill Baker
- MLR All Access - Stacy Paetz, Marc Stcherbina, and the show producers
New developments this season include a website and an enhanced stats collection process courtesy of Alistair Kirsch-Poole, writer for Glorious Rugby, proprietor of The Rugby Fan Blog Network, and co-host of the Glorious Rugby Podcast.
Are You Not Entertained?
Why should you care about The Fantasy Ruckers?
Because it’s something new, it’s something fun, and why the heck not, right?
More seriously, we think fantasy MLR engages with avid and casual fans, especially if they already play fantasy sports, such as football.
For example, our boy Vandy, who had never seen a rugby match before, is scouting players in the NPC and Super Rugby to prepare for the 2023 MLR Fantasy Draft.
He’s more knowledgeable about the sport, having fun, and owns merchandise of his favorite MLR team, the Utah Warriors.
All positive outcomes from playing in a silly fantasy MLR league.
Plus, you can tune in each week to watch the highly entertaining Fantasy Ruckers Show as Matt, Ryan, and Vandy review the prior week and preview the week ahead.
League Settings - Scoring
If you’ve read this far that might mean you are interested in learning more about how the scoring works in the league.
Individual players accumulate, or lose, points based on the following stats:
- Tries = 5pts
- Try Assist = 2pts
- Conversions = 1.0 pts
- Penalties = 1.5 pts
- 70+ minutes played = 0.5pts
- 80+ minutes played = 1.0 pts
- Yellow Card = -4.0 pts
- Red Card = -8.0 pts
**- Meters gained = 0.1pts/meter (replaces last year's try distance meters)
- Tackles = 0.3pts
- Breakdown steals = 2pts
- Turnovers = -0.5pts **
MLR clubs accumulate points based on their collective performance with set pieces, scoring and defensive effort.
- Set-piece Try Assist (Any try scored off of a maul/scrum by a player participating in a scrum or lineout) = 2.0 pts (awarded to Set piece TEAM)
- Offensive Bonus Point (Team scored 4+ tries in a game, exactly like MLR’s bonus point standing system) = 1.0 pts (awarded to Set piece TEAM)
- Defensive Bonus Point (Team loses within 7pts of opposing team, exactly like MLR’s bonus point) = 1.0 pts (awarded to Set piece TEAM)
League Settings - Rosters
Each owner must field a lineup that includes the following positions:
- Hookers scored the most (behave yourself!) fantasy points in the front row
- Counting tackles will boost their fantasy relevance
- Riekert Hattingh was top six in fantasy scoring last season
- An additional player from any of the forwards
- Matty & Ryan Ye's favorite position
- Points for successful conversions and penalties
- Dominated fantasy scoring last season
- Can Ed Fidow repeat his league-leading try scoring efforts?
- An additional player from any of the backs
Team Defense/Set Piece
- Points from the set piece, bonus points and defensive effort
Five Bench Players
- Need depth in the reserves
How to Follow the League
Discord:The Fantasy Ruckers
Facebook:The Fantasy Ruckers
Instagram:The Fantasy Ruckers
Twitter:The Fantasy Ruckers
YouTube:The Fantasy Ruckers
In tomorrow's post, I’ll share the results of the 2023 MLR Fantasy Draft and provide playoff probabilities for each owner in the league.