Such was the magnitude of the disruption caused by injuries and international duty that there was a staggering 6,735 transfers in to fantasy coach's squads this gameweek. That's nearly two and half thousand more than the next highest gameweek!
That aside, many of the changes were instrumental in delivering some great fantasy scores; Tom Lawday had a stormer, as did Ollie Thorley and Alex Dombrandt. All players who will undoubtedly shoot up in price in the coming weeks.
The weekend opened on Friday night with two fixtures, the first of which saw Gloucester welcome Leicester to Kingsholm, a match that delivered perhaps the try of the season from Ollie Thorley. It also delivered a strong victory for the men in red, one that has promoted them to third in the table. After an end to end try it comes as no surprise that Thorley topped the list of point scorers in this fixture with 52 points. Behind him, two further Gloucester players in Jason Woodward (34) and Fraser Balmain (33). Leicester's top performer was Mike Williams (29), though his performance stands out all the more given that the Tigers posted the lowest team score of the weekend at 280 points.
The second fixture saw Newcastle travel to London to face Harlequins, a fixture in which they would be hoping to get their Premiership campaign back on track. As it was, they succumbed to defeat, but young lock Andrew Davidson stood out the best player on the park, amassing 43 fantasy points. Charlie Mulchrone (38) and Alex Dombrandt (36) followed closely behind for Quins.
Saturday kicked off with a home win for Bath over a Worcester side who have been growing in confidence over the last few weeks. The victory has helped Bath to 6th in the table, as well as get them back on track after a run of successive defeats. Stand out players in this fixture were Elliott Stooke (48), Sam Lewis (38), and Dave Attwood (37).
When our projection algorithm picked out a win for Sale on the road at Saracens, there were certainly some raised eyebrows, but as the game unfolded and finished with Sale a meagre six points behind, we've decided to have more faith in future! Saracens will be delighted to have blooded some exciting talent in this game, though it was one of the more established youngsters who set the benchmark, with twenty-three year old Nick Tompkins heading up the fantasy points chart with 49. Close behind him were Sale's new South African import Rob du Preez (35), and Tom Woolstencroft (31).
Northampton finished the weekend as the top fantasy points scoring team after their excellent victory over Wasps at Franklin's Gardens, and it was their big summer signing who racked up the big points; Taqele Naiyaravoro finished the game with 51 points. Following him were the consummate Will Rowlands (36), and Northampton's other Australian summer addition, Andrew Kellaway (34).
The round closed out with a stunning match at Ashton Gate in which Exeter managed to claw a win with a penalty try in the closing moments against Bristol. Yann Thomas was the hero for the home side, earning 55 points, but he was closely followed by Jack Yeandle (48) and Tom Lawday (43) who both had excellent fixtures.
After some excellent performances from many players over the weekend, it was Yann Thomas who accrued the highest score of 55 points. With his salary currently sat at £195k, he also offers some great value if transfers are looking tight again for round 8.
Northampton turned out a quite excellent display against Wasps on Saturday, earning a combined total of 507 points, some way beyond the 452 scored by Gloucester. Things aren't so rosy for Leicester however, who after their defeat at the hands of Gloucester limped to a meagre 280 points.
Key Value Player
Yann Thomas would top this list, but given he stands out as the weekend's top performer, we have to search a little further. That search doesn't continue long though, as this weekend stands out as a bumper round for the hidden gem; Ollie Thorley (£113k), Andrew Davidson (£108k) and Tom Lawday (£153k) stand out as the top value performers.
Top Value Risers
There are plenty of outliers whose price is rising, none more so than Gloucester's Tom Hudson (+21%). Alongside him are Wasps' Michael Le Bourgeois (+15.6%), and Bristol's Yann Thomas (+14.6%).