NRL SuperCoach Position Breakdown: Centre/Wing
The Centre/Wing position is the most open I can remember in all my years of SuperCoaching with plenty of premium priced options worth considering and a host of mid-range POD picks for your delectation.
We have rated more than 25 of the leading contenders here and if you have a sneaky POD that we missed or think we got our analysis wrong - or much more rarely - right, then let us know in the comments below and let the SuperCoach banter begin.
* Please note that we have not considered the merits of any cheapies in this article as those are covered in our Cheapie Bible here.
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Latrell Mitchell CTW/FLB ($653,100)
The ex-Rooster had a sensational year for his club last year averaging 70PPG, and if you exclude his three forgettable games at five-eighth that average lifts to 74.7PPG. Mitchell is often derided as lazy, and when you consider he averaged just 20PPG in base and made only 164 hit-ups in 22 games (for reference see the table below setting out the workrate of fellow Premium/Mid-price centres) the critics may have a point. However, as a glass half-full kind of guy, I prefer to consider Latrell efficient. No CTW does more with less and therein lies Latrell's magic. He may only make seven or eight runs per game, but with that small sample Mitchell averages three tackle busts (at the best ratio of tackles busted to hit-ups made of any CTW), an offload and either a try/linebreak or try assist/linebreak assist. And, on top of all that, Mitchell averaged 14PPG from his goalkicking. All these stats now come with a big BUT (no I'm not having a go at how beefy Latrell looked coming back from his off-season) and that is that Mitchell has now joined the Rabbitohs and South Sydney have indicated he will get his wish and play at fullback for the club. Playing at fullback should see Mitchell make plenty more runs with the ball, if he manages the increased workload AND maintains even a semblance of his efficiency then he could finish with a per-game average in the 80s in 2020. Big ifs though … BIG.
David Nofoaluma CTW ($604,700)
A pre-season shoulder injury sidelined Nofoaluma ahead of the 2019 season. Once healthy, the Fijian winger was left languishing in the Canterbury Cup for a number of weeks and he did not play for the Tigers until round 11. Despite playing just 14 games, 'Nofa' made the sixth most tackle busts of any CTW averaging better than five per game and he also averaged 1.5 offloads per game. Nofoaluma has averaged better than 50PPG across each of the past five seasons and better than 60PPG in 60% of games twice in the past four. Paying such a steep price for a non-goal kicking CTW is a big ask and most players would instead start with a cheaper CTW who they back to increase in price allowing an upgrade to Nofoaluma sometime in the middle of the season.
Paul Momirovski CTW ($561,800)
If you had told me at the start of 2019 that Paul Momirovski would begin 2020 as the third most expensive CTW the following year I would have asked to partake in a little of whatever you were smoking. However, the numbers don't lie (and the absence of a host of CTW eligible 2RF removes a host of former high-priced players at the position), and Momirovski's prolific end of the year which saw him score eight tries and kick 21 goals from 28 attempts across the final nine games of the season saw him finish with a season average of 60.5PPG.
Ken Maumalo CTW ($557,200)
In 2018 Ken Maumalo scored five tries, in 2019 he scored 17. That's one hell of an improvement. The beneficiary of a Shaun Johnson-less Warriors, Maumalo saw far more action on his side of the field in 2019 and formed a great try-scoring partnership with fullback Roger Tuivasa-Sheck. Maumalo also lifter his workrate averaging almost 20 runs per game and leading the NRL in post-contact metres. With a solid if not spectacular base (35PPG), Maumalo is another player I would not start the season with but would have on my 'Buy' list for later in the season when upgrading a cash cow cheapie.
Maika Sivo CTW ($547,900)
Massive Maika Sivo was a SuperCoach sensation last year, a cheapie who became a keeper. Sivo made the most linebreaks of any CTW on his way to scoring the most tries in the competition. Possessing a fearsome fend, Sivo also broke almost as many tackles (69) as he made (74). Investing in a player who is so dependent on scoring tries early comes with big risk so for mine Sivo a watch early and one you could buy later in the season.
Will Hopoate CTW ($531,700)
Bulldog centre Will Hopoate is an expensive CTW I actually could talk myself into as a round one selection thanks to his prodigious workrate offering such a good base. Hoppa had the BPPM of any true CTW (where I exclude players who were available at CTW but played in the forwards) in 2019 averaging close to 40PPG in base stats alone. Around those base stats Hopoate adds excellent numbers in assists (fourth in try assists and top-10 in linebreak assists at CTW) along with solid numbers in offloads and tackle busts. Hopoate regularly flirts with finishing in the top-five at his position (averaging 59PPG, 59PPG and 57PPG over the past three seasons) but lacks the regular big games to reach that level. He may be the safest player we have profiled so far and if he has a run of substandard games then I for one will jump on because history indicates a strong run is as close to guaranteed as you get at the position.
Brian To'o CTW ($527,300)
The Panthers may have struggled to score tries in 2019 (they finished 13th for the stat last year) but that's no fault of Brian To'o. The young gun debuted in round 10 and in 15 games To'o scored nine tries. A willing worker bring the ball back from kicks, To'o averaged better than 16 runs per game and busted tackles on over a quarter of those runs. Despite all those positives, it's hard to recommend a buy at this price to start the season, as per many players above - and plenty below - I would have a watch and wait in place here.
Jayden Okunbor CTW ($526,000)
Bullocking Bulldogs winger Jayden Okunbor runs hard, runs straight and runs often. In his (injury interrupted) debut season, Okunbor played 10 games, busted 25 tackles, broke the line 11 times and averaged a stellar 16.2 hit-ups a game (10.6 per game of which were over eight metres). Impressive numbers but I think we'll agree that a picture is worth a thousand words so here's a video of Okunbor running straight through Storm captain, and one of the best defenders in the game, Cam Smith:
Okunbor has the size, talent and workrate to be an absolute elite SuperCoach player. However, in a cruel twist of fate Okunbor plays for the worst attacking team in the comp in the Bulldogs. If he stays healthy, and if the Bulldogs can pull themselves up from the bottom of the attacking table then Okunbor has the ability to finish as a top-five CTW. A lot of ifs for the price tag unfortunately and another to risk early but add to your watchlist.
Bronson Xerri CTW ($523,500)
Another 2019 debutant, Bronson Xerri had to wait until round four of the season to play his first game of the season but once on the field he quickly established himself as one of the key weapons for the Sharks. In 21 games, Xerri scored 12 tries and made the fifth most linebreaks (17) and equal seventh most tackle breaks (74) of any CTW eligible player. Xerri knocked back a huge $2.5M five-year offer from the Sharks heading into this year preferring to test the waters at the end of 2020 so he certainly has plenty of motivation to maintain or even increase his output this season.
Daniel Tupou CTW ($520,400)
After a down year in 2018, Daniel Tupou was back to his best last year, with a solid average of 65 playing on the outside of Latrell Mitchell. Not only did he score 15 tries throughout the season, but he also ranks among the best CTW's in terms of base stats and tackle breaks making him one of the most consistent options. However with Latrell Mitchell gone a lot of his upside goes with him, as he wont be getting as good ball. Sure he'll still be a target in the air for Luke Keary, but I think we can expect Tupou to have another off year.
Brian Kelly CTW ($508,700)
One of the most evasive CTW's in the NRL, Kelly averaged 55 points a game in 2019, with 88 tackle breaks throughout the season, as well as solid base stats to prop him up. Unfortunately he is playing for the Titans, whose attack really struggled in 2019, and as a result lacks the upside that other options around this price range have. In games without tries or a stack of tackle breaks, Kelly often struggles to crack even 40 points.
Blake Ferguson CTW ($505,700)
At the Roosters in 2018 Blake Fergusson proved himself to be the best winger in the competition and the most expensive in SuperCoach, with 17 tries and one of the best work rates at the position. But after injury and switching clubs his involvement really dropped off and the tries also came much less frequently, losing a tonne of cash before missing six games towards the end of the year. As a result he starts 2020 at a heavily discounted price, making him one of the best mid-range options if he can improve and get back to his best.
Jack Bird CTW ($499,800)
While many SuperCoaches will be put off by Bird, he is actually an interesting player to look at, averaging 54 in his 9 games of 2019 before suffering a season-ending ACL injury, making it his best SuperCoach year since he averaged 58 in 2015. The big question over Bird is uncertainty over where he plays in 2020, with centre and fullback both likely options. Either way I think he is a player to approach with a lot of caution, and probably someone I'd recommend avoiding for now.
Jarrod Croker CTW ($494,900)
Arguably one the best CTW players in SuperCoach history, Croker continued his gradual decline with his average dropping to 53 from it's peak of 72 in 2016. That being said he is still a great option, kicking goals and scoring 13 tries last year, but it's just he is now somewhat dependant on tries for a huge score. I think SuperCoaches just need to be aware that he is playing outside Jack Wighton, one of the best ball runners in the NRL, and Croker may not see as much ball as we'd like.
Brett Morris CTW ($491,800)
After missing most of 2019 through injury, he came back towards the end of the year and absolutely killed it for SuperCoach, including a 109 point game against the Titans. Unfortunately he starts off 2020 pretty overpriced as a result, but he is playing on the wing for one of the best attacking teams in the league. A risky POD with some upside, but also a pretty low floor if he doesn't score a try.
Reuben Garrick CTW ($487,500)
An awkwardly priced winger, Garrick looms as a real POD pick to start 2020. Goalkicking outside backs are usually gold in SuperCoach and after slotting goals at a 77% success rate in 2019 it seems likely he will retain the job in 2020. There may be some regression in try-scoring rates (Garrick scored the fourth most tries of any CTW in 2019), but I expect that to be offset by increased physical maturity resulting in more work and extra points from kicking for the full season (Garrick did not kick for goals until round seven in 2019).
Esan Marsters CTW ($482,900)
After playing through injury for most of the 2019 season at the Tigers, Marsters had a big drop off from the year before and lost a lot of money for SuperCoaches, dropping over $200kby the end of the season. But Marsters is looking fresh and is ready to fire after moving clubs to the Cowboys, a club despite for strike power out wide. He comes at a nice discount and has a lot of upside playing alongside the likes of Valentine Holmes and Michael Morgan. If you do decide to go a bit expensive at CTW you can hardly do better than Marsters.
Braidon Burns CTW ($454,400)
On the cusp of a breakout 2019, we got to see glimpses of how good Burns could be, but injury unfortunately kept him to just nine games. If you take out these injury affected games his season average jumps from 49 to 60! With solid base and attacking upside he has a very safe floor and a high ceiling, so if he can keep this up over an entire season he would be very, very underpriced. There is an injury risk here but also some money to be made.
Kotoni Staggs CTW ($447,700)
Staggs starts the 2020 season off pretty underpriced after a breakout season, starting the year coming off the bench, before moving to a starting role and averaging 66 points a game in the last seven rounds, incredibly scoring nine tries in his last eight games. After spending a full pre-season at centre, Staggs is primed to keep it going in 2020, but is currently not getting the attention he deserves.
Jamayne Isaako CTW/FLB ($420,000)
After a breakout 2018, Isaako was a bit of a SuperCoach dud last year, averaging just 45 despite being the primary goal kicker. Isaako is currently the frontrunner to play fullback for the Broncos in 2020, and this move should be a win, as will kicking for goal full-time in 2019 (he lost the job for a couple of weeks to Kotoni Staggs but is unquestionably more accurate). But after some poor form at the NRL Nines, there is now some doubt on whether he even starts now. While he was tempting in the pre-season, he now looks a bit risky and SuperCoaches might need to re-evaluate.
Josh Mansour CTW ($416,700)
Penrith winger Josh Mansour comes in at a bargain price and for good reason - in 19 games last season the 29-year-old scored one try, yep, ONE! While that won't be difficult to top in 2020, he's not the SuperCoach-relevant player he once was (he averaged 63 in 2016) and there are cheaper, better options at CTW. A reliable player always willing to put his body on the line, he's well regarded at the foot of the mountains but one SuperCoaches can put a strike through.
Isaah Yeo CTW/2RF ($404,800)
With so many players losing their dual position status in 2020, Isaah Yeo is one of the few options remaining with the coveted CTW/2RF coverage. Most centres and wingers done rack up too many points in base stats, so having a 2RF/CTW can help improve this, which I think is important at the start of the year. Yeo started off last season pretty poorly in terms of SuperCoach output, before bouncing back after spending some time at 13. Hopefully he can get back to playing 80 minutes, since this would make him one of the most reliable players at CTW position, despite mostly playing as a forward in real life NRL.
BARGAIN BIN $400K-$300K
James Roberts ($392,700)
From averaging 60 in 2017, to just 42 last year, James Roberts has been a rollercoaster for SuperCoaches recently and many are now avoiding him for 2020. However he has reportedly overcome the Achilles injury that has slowed him down and reduced his involvement, as well as shedding more than 8kg's in the off-season. He has a lot of risk but he has been a gun CTW of the past and if he can get close to his best form he could once again be a KFC SuperCoach weapon.
Waqa B lake ($386,500)
Blake finished off 2018 with an absolute bang and looked to carry this momentum into 2019, but it just didn't work out under Ivan Cleary, with an average of just 35 at the Panthers. But after his move to Parramatta, Blake saw more involvement and his average jumped to 45, which still isn't great but shows a big improvement. At a price under $400k, look for this POD option to continue this improvement in 2020.
Adam Doueihi ($343,100)
Doueihi was pretty good playing fullback at Souths in 2019 but was nothing special, rarely used as a ball playing fullback and averaging just 37. But his move to the Tigers opens up a range of new possibilities for the youngster, as he will likely be a much more vital part of their attack, and even looks to pick up the goal kicking duties. A starting fullback who kicks goals who you can play in your CTW under $350k? Sign me up!
Zac Lomax CTW/FLB ($324,600)
Speaking of fullbacks who kick goals that you can play in your CTW for under $350k, Zac Lomax is another great option for SuperCoaches in 2020. He was one of the most hyped cheapies heading into 2019, but really failed to live up to the hype after starting the season in reserve grade and off the bench. When Lomax did start we got to see glimpses of what he could do, but he was still pretty inconsistent. But he remains very affordable and now looks a certain starter and so has a lot more upside.
PPG: Points Per Game
MPG: Minutes Per Game
PPM: Points Per Minute - a useful indication of workrate particularly relevant to forwards (as most backs play the full 80 minutes) as a player with a good PPM who is set to see an increase in MPG could see a big increase in PPG.
Base Points: Base points are those earned in hit-ups plus tackles (some statisticians subtract points lost for missed tackles when calculating this). They are valued by SuperCoaches as it is considered a reliable guide to future output unlike attacking stats which except for the truly exceptional are far less reliable.
BPPM: Base Points Per Minute
POD: Point Of Difference
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