Rankings: SuperCoach top 10 must-have guns

2019 champion Declan Creek analyses and ranks the stars you can't ignore for Round 1.

Expert Analysis Pre-season Uncategorized

Before releasing my complete starting team for the 2020 NRL season, I wanted to take some time to rank the 10 best SuperCoach players in the game currently.

Every team should aim for at least 6-7 of these players to start with in round 1.

This will give you a solid base to work around when picking your PODs which I’ll dive into over the next few weeks.

*Scroll down to the bottom of the page for a key on all SuperCoach relevant abbreviations.

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1. Payne Haas – If he keeps his minutes (64MPG) and work rate you can’t go wrong captaining Haas every week (should average 75+ for the whole season).

2. Jason Taumalolo – Similar to Haas, you can never really go wrong captaining JT. The only reason he isn’t number 1 is that his minutes were slightly inconsistent at times last year.

3. Damien Cook – He has shown an ability to pile on consecutive 100+ scores over the last two years. You may as well set and forget him at hooker and look elsewhere for PODs because no hooker will outscore him over the course of the season.

4. James Tedesco – Realistically this man could have easily taken out number 1 on this list. His reliance on attacking stats is the only thing that slides him down a little lower. Though it’s Tedesco, the attacking stats will come.

5. Nathan Cleary – Cleary is capable of pumping out massive scores which owners had a taste of late in 2019 when he notched 186 points against Newcastle in Round 25 and 139 against Cronulla in Round 21.

Cleary should see plenty more attacking opportunities with the departure of James Maloney. Expect his best season to date.

6. John Bateman – Even without dual CTW status you ask? Yes. Bateman gets enough attacking ball, has tackle-busting and offload ability with 40 tackles a game to boot. Warrants a starting 2RF spot.

UPDATE: Obviously his recent minor shoulder surgery hurts his Round 1 buy prospects. Monitor his progress and the word out of the club throughout the pre-season, but for now it looks as though we will have to patiently wait for the star Englishman’s return.

7. David Fifita – Fifita made non-owners pay big time late last season due to his exceptional tackle-busting ability that gives him an enormous ceiling. I’d be surprised if he doesn’t start where he left off, meaning big SuperCoach points are on offer.

8. Ryan Papenhuyzen – This man is a pure fullback: super fast and super aggressive running and is constantly peppering the ruck. Plenty of linebreaks are on offer when you’re making 25 runs a game like Papy does.

9. Tom Trbojevic – Turbo has his fair share of unappetising games but makes up for them in the long run with some monster scores which makes him a certified gun.

10. Addin Fonua Blake – AFB proved to us what he’s capable of last season producing some big scores over the bye period and beyond. Des Hassler has shown a willingness to trust AFB with big minutes when he needs to. I can’t see him slowing down this season.

UPDATE: AFB is expected to miss the start of the season, so look for him as a serious option once he returns with full minutes.

Special mentions:

Cameron Smith – Whilst I owned him all last season and he top scored in total SuperCoach points for the entire competition, he doesn’t make the top 10 in 2020.

Despite still being a fantastic attacking player, there may have been a few cracks appearing in his defensive game last season, with several players (Okunbor three times in one game) running over him at times in a sign the star rake may finally be showing signs of ageing.

With Munster and Papenhuyzen looking to really make their mark at Melbourne this season it wouldn’t surprise me to see Smith take a step back and let them take the reins.

Roger Tuivasa-Sheck and Kalyn Ponga

I’ll put these two guys in the same boat because they are quite similar players. Neither have the greatest base stats in the world, but both have tremendously high attacking potential and get the ball multiple times per set when their respective teams are attacking.

Both had great seasons, but can they keep it up? I have my suspicions that few coaches may have spent countless hours working out how to defend these two guys over the off-season.

There’s safer options in the fullback position this season with just as high ceilings for mine (Tedesco/Papenhuyzen).


MPG = Minutes per game

PPG = Points per game

PPM = Points per minute

BPG = Base per game (point accrued in tackles + runs + missed tackles)

POD = Point of difference

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