Having an early look at the centre options for 2020 it has become clear to me that it is a very interesting position this year and dare I say possibly the least important given the cattle on offer.
There really aren’t any standouts initially, just a selection of decent guys who will do a job for your team.
Due to the options available, the selection strategy becomes vital.
One option is to aim for a guy with upside (if available) but otherwise a couple of safe centres will do the job if you can fit them in around a side stacked with points in other positions.
There should be plenty available and the gap between the top guys and the 15th guy may not be large.
Let’s take a look at my top ranked players based on a mixture of value as well as overall ability.
*Scroll down to the bottom of the page for a key on all SuperCoach relevant abbreviations.
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1. LATRELL MITCHELL
Firstly, don’t take him too high. He clearly has the most upside and scoring potential but he could very easily end up not even being in the top three for the position, so don’t reach for Latrell unless you are confident he will kill it at fullback.
The main problem is that if he loses the goal-kicking, which is likely, his points total simply may not be worth spending a high Draft pick on.
The obvious upside is that if Adam Reynolds does want to rest the body and give up the kicking duties, combined with more touches at fullback, we could have a monster on our hands! Unlike in Classic SC though you can’t wait and see. More updates to come here closer to season kick-off.
2. MAIKA SIVO
I’d suggest we have a guy here who could score the most points at centre with the added bonus of being able to pick him up later in the Draft then Latrell in most cases. It is a small risk.
Will he hit the second year syndrome wall or will he continue to flourish? Given his rawness last year and continued understanding of the game, plus added confidence of a season under his belt, I am backing him to be even better.
Sivo averaged 59PPG last year in his rookie season, but with a final two rounds of 97 & 152 it’s obvious the talent is there.
3. BRONSON XERRI
A boom Cronulla youngster with some serious speed and agility. He does have a knack for dropping the ball with the line wide open, but I think we will see less of that this year.
Xerri is averaging just shy of 59PPG (taking out his injury affected game), the boy can go huge! He is right in the discussion with Sivo and Maumalo.
Who you pick is up to you but I have him third in my list due to pure upside including two tons and a 99 in his rookie year.
4. KEN MAUMALO
In a similar boat to Sivo, a big, strong, try-scoring winger but with better base stats and slightly less upside in finding the line for mine. I really like Kenny as a buy this year.
He carries the ball a lot and hopefully the Warriors can improve on last year’s attack where Ken averaged 60PPG.
There’s no issue with having him as the centre to target once you have added a few big guns to your squad in other positions.
Be wary however that in previous years big Ken averaged no more than 41PPG. I do think however he has turned the corner.
After averaging 65PPG in 2018, Fergo surprisingly dropped back to 54PPG last year with Sivo stealing a lot of the action. I sense a small bounce back on the cards and maybe an average of high 50s is something to bank on.
Again, his work rate is good which avoids too many ordinary scores. I’d be very happy with him in my side.
8. DANIEL TUPOU
A Roosters winger with a solid base, you can’t be too unhappy about that. Tupou averaged 56, 46 (injury affected) and 57PPG in the last three years.
Will the departure of Latrell hurt him? Possibly a little, but then again he may see more ball at times as a strike option, while playing outside of Luke Keary is always something you want in a winger.
9. JARROD CROKER
Our man Mr Croker. Goal-kicking for the Canberra Raiders he has averaged 54PPG over the last three years with little variation. That is down from averages of 72 and 61PPG in 2015 and 2016.
For me another season of rock solid mid 50s would be expected with the chance at more pending the Canberra boys style of attack as the year goes on.
10. DAVID NOFOALUMA
The only reason he isn’t higher is due to selection risk. He would be right up the top otherwise. Nofo has averaged over 60PPG in three of the last four years including 65PPG last year.
The simple problem is that he can’t be assured of selection. Nofo is someone to absolutely try and grab once the guns have come off the board with the hope that he locks down a spot long-term.
It could be a difference maker for better or worse. Keep a close eye on any pre-season West Tigers news.
Esan Marsters, Jayden Okunbor (pending selection), Brian Kelly, Braidon Burns, Jack Bird, Brett Morris, Josh Addo-Carr, BJ Leilua, Joey Manu, Jamayne Isaako, Corey Oates, Zac Lomax, Jesse Ramien and Adam Doueihi. The list goes on!
Essentially with the lack of genuine stars on offer and an absolute plethora of centre options in the league I’d suggest stacking the rest of your side first and then locking in your centres a bit later in the Draft.
Make a list of who you would like as a minimum and lock at least one of them in as the others come off the board. It might be a case of loading your side with star power and then selecting two solid centres consecutively later in the Draft when you feel the time is right!
Depending on your league settings, think perhaps a side with high upside guys elsewhere and then a centre pairing of someone like Tupou and another guy outside the above top 10 who will average late 40s-early 50s. Not bad!
If you do miss out on strike power elsewhere it’s then that you may need to take a punt on Latrell, or someone like Sivo, Xerri or Maumalo to bolster the squad and add some fear factor.
SUPERCOACH TERMINOLOGY KEY
MPG = Minutes per game
PPG = Points per game
PPM = Points per minute
BPG = Base per game (point accrued in tackles + runs + missed