The loophole has existed since the dark ages of NRL Fantasy, before the times of the Rolling Lockout and although it isn’t quite what it was it continues to exist. Although some quarters maintain a stubborn attitude towards recognising its legitimacy, most serious NRL Fantasy players accept it as part of the game and will use it where they think it gives them an advantage.
The key thing to understand is the loophole comes with benefits but it isn’t a risk-free move so you’ve got to weight the benefits and risks accordingly.
Part of the standard set-up of fantasy is to select a captain and a vice-captain. The captain receives double points, while the vice-captain gets double points only if the captain doesn’t play. The loophole is about exploiting the captain not playing. Both the Captain and Vice-Captain selections are locked in at the start of the round but they can be shifted around your line-up.
Step One: Select a VC who plays earlier in the Round than your Captain.
Step Two: You need to also consider your reserve bench as the Captain needs to be able to be moved out of your starting line-up. If for example your captain is a hooker and your second hooker is one of your four reserves, and he plays before your captain does then he’s locked and so is your captain.
Step Three: See how your VC goes. If he scores great he’s in play, if he scores average do nothing.
Step Four: If your VC scores well and you want to go for the loophole then shift your Captain to your NPR, make sure you still have four other reserves selected or just take the AE.
Step Five: By the end of the round your VC will have been awarded double points.
It is pretty easy right? But obviously, there are some risks so let’s cover them.
First if your captain isn’t in your 17 he’s not scoring points and he’s probably a pretty good player. Because you don’t know what your captain will score when you remove him from the line-up there is always the chance that he scores pretty well himself and if he does the math might not add up.
This is further compounded by the fact you are probably bringing in your 18th best player who probably isn’t that good either.
Depending on your line-up you might not even get your 18th best player. If you can’t juggle your reserves around you could end up getting an Automatic Emergency as your 17th player and he could be a very poor player.
For this reason, most fantasy players only consider using the loophole during bye weeks or other instances when the side only has 17 or less players. This greatly reduces the risks while producing the same rewards. Here’s that same scenario but when there are only 17 active players:
The risk is reduced to just whether the VC can outscore the C rather than worrying about an AE or the impact of other players. In fact, the loophole can be used as a pretty conservative mechanism to give you two bites of the captaincy cherry.
So, the key things to remember:
1. Pick a VC who can score big and plays before your captain.
2. Make sure your line-up is set-up appropriately to accommodate some moving about.
3. Only do the loophole where there’s a clear point return.