NRL Supercoach 2023: Who to buy – analysis of the fullback position

There is plenty of talent to go around in the fullback position this season but not all of the most popular picks represent the best value. A number of guns are on the comeback trail after having injury-plagued campaigns, but should they be in your team?  

Below, The Sporting News runs the rule over the fullback position for NRL Supercoach in 2023.

Best 5 fullback options for Supercoach to start the season in 2023

Player Price Breakeven
Latrell Mitchell $889,100 84
James Tedesco $836,300 79
Scott Drinkwater $746,600 71
Clint Gutherson $717,300 68
Tom Trbojevic $577,700 55

James Tedesco and Tom Trbojevic are the most popular fullback pairing in Classic for a reason 

Fullback is a premium position in Supercoach and one of the main avenues for big points totals which explains why plenty are pinning their hopes on the two guns producing the goods once again. 

MORE: NRL Supercoach 2023 – Comprehensive guide on how to play, how to score points and strategies

James Tedesco just keeps on keeping on. The Roosters skipper posted four three-figure scores as well as reaching 99 points in two matches on his way to a 79.5-point average last season. 

Since 2019, when he started at $689k and ended up being worth $843,300, Tedesco has remained consistent with both his points and his value. 

The possibility to make a little money is there, but everyone picking Teddy – over 40% of people have – is doing so for his reliable scoring. 

He has an unrivalled history after cranking out season averages of 73.6, 84.1, 95.2, 86.7 and 79.5 to be the long-reigning king of Supercoach.

In fact, you have to go all the way back to 2017 to find a campaign where Tedesco finished with an average below 70PPG. 

Meanwhile, Tom Trbojevic is available at $577,770 – say no more.

Last year, he started at $1.25 million off the back of his record-breaking 2021 season but has had this price slashed following an injury-plagued 2022. 

In his seven games last year, Turbo failed to crack a century after doing so 11 times during his Dally M Medal-winning season. 

If the Manly talisman can remain fit and on the field in 2023 though, it’s hard to envision a world where he doesn’t post the type of scores that will make anyone who doesn’t jump on to start the season feeling ill. 

Is Latrell Mitchell worth the big price tag? 

After returning from America where he worked with renowned reconditioning specialist Bill Knowles, Mitchell was incredible. 

His first game back since going off injured in round 5 saw him produce a 99-point showing which was just a hint of what was to come. 

From round 17 onwards, he notched totals of 93, 136, 99, 52, 152, 115, 105, 76 and 45. This explains his hefty price tag to start 2023. 

Mitchell averaged 84.5PPG across his 14 matches, while pumping out an 82.2PPG average across 17 rounds in 2021. 

However, the Bunnies do have the toughest opening fixtures of any side in the competition. They face the Sharks, Panthers, Roosters, Sea Eagles and Storm in the first five weeks.

Yet Mitchell has shown in the past that he can post big scores regardless of the opposition he is facing. 

Mitchell could also boost his weekly totals with more accurate goal-kicking after landing at just 73% last season.

Is there money to be made with Kalyn Ponga?

Kalyn Ponga became a significant factor in Supercoach after being given dual position status at fullback and five-eighth which makes him a particularly handy option in Draft. 

The Newcastle captain represents plenty of risk due to his injury troubles but at $530,600 he also potentially offers great value. 

In 2021, he finished with a 68.4PPG average while in 2020 it was an impressive 79.9PPG.

In 2018 and 2019, his season average finished in the 60-point range. He could well be priced at comfortably $100k below his value to start the season. 

Could there be value in picking a reliable fullback in a volatile position?

If you’re looking for a reliable choice at fullback, given the constant injury concerns around the likes of Ryan Papenhuyzen – who isn’t an option given his likely return date – and Trbojevic, you’d struggle to find anyone better than Clint Gutherson.

The Parramatta captain has missed just a single game in his past four seasons while averaging 57.3PPG, 69.7, 74.7 and 68.2 across those campaigns. 

He doesn’t have the same high ceiling as some of the elite No.1’s, but his durability and consistency is also boosted with Parramatta’s draw. They are the only team that cover all of the three major bye rounds making Gutho an option to keep throughout the season. 

Another fullback who doesn’t miss many games when he’s fit is Scott Drinkwater, who finished with a 71-point average last season.

Also in his favour, the Cowboys have one of the softest draws in the comp, he covers two of the major byes and has well and truly established himself as a focal point in North Queensland’s attack.

Although after making the No.1 jersey his own during round five in 2022, Drinkwater was the definition of rocks and diamonds in Supercoach, registering seven scores in the 90s or above while falling under the 50-point mark in six games.  

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