Fullback rotation policy: Strategy for the big three

Teddy v Turbo v Ponga, who to pick? The SC Spy has a long-term strategy that allows you to lock them all into your team.



I’m sitting here reeling after watching James Tedesco absolutely obliterate the poor old Dogs.

He belted out 199 points and the score was only 42-6. It was simply mesmerising and my decision to go Tommy Turbo over him this week has left me (and many others) in a huge hole.

I did however back my gut and generally that is the right call – just not this week. You can’t win them all!

As background, fullbacks have been the death of me in 2020 ever since I nailed the first two weeks when Tommy and Teddy started slow.

I started the year with Kalyn Ponga and Ryan Papenhuyzen. The latter has been extremely unlucky and unfortunately was well contained by Newcastle on the weekend.

Part of me looks at Newcastle and realises how good they are defensively this year, especially in terms of presenting a united line, and with good first contact I think tackle busts and linebreaks will be limited against them this year.

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A possible new SC bogie team perhaps? Even Cam Munster struggled to get into the action.

But week after week I wait for Papi (Papenhuyzen) to explode and at $250-350K cheaper than the big three fullbacks it made perfect sense to own him.

I am however wavering due to the fact that each of the big three have all scored 150+ and in Teddy’s case 199.

That is a lot of points I’m losing while Papi doesn’t light up. Additionally, Ponga I traded when he was suspended to make quick cash and get to Tommy. So I missed his 159 against Canberra (did not see that coming, he was insane) and was a week late on Tommy v the Dogs. OUCH!

This brings me to my fast-tracked plan. We have discussed it on the podcast before, but I am considering going early on it.

That is – The Fullback Rotation Policy!

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Essentially, it’s pretty clear the fullbacks are the guys who will bring the monster scores this year and if you can nail those games and also skipper them when they explode it will be enormous for the overall and head-to-head races. I can’t emphasise enough how important it will be.

If you used the rotation policy to drop Ponga for Turbo (against an easy team) and were to get 165×2 on Turbo it would = 330. Compared to keeping Ponga and captaining him to an 80×2 = 160. That’s your 170 extra in 1 week. Assuming the other fullback is Teddy. 

That’s huge numbers and huge rank jumps.

Under the new rules these superstar fullbacks are simply going to rule, so therefore I’m willing to forego a couple of extra guns in the short term such as Smith/Cook, and maybe a gun centre to go for the big boys in the number 1 jersey.

The risk is that I’m losing around 300K in upgrading Papi and this could hurt me elsewhere as my team looks bloody exceptional with Papi as 1 of my fullbacks, but I just think it may be time to cut my losses and make a move especially given Melbourne’s lack of easy opponents.

The easiest way to show you how it would work is to map out a potential 6-7 week plan based on my particular circumstances that you can use for yourself if interested.

Each SuperCoach side is different and your ability to do this will depend on your current line up and how much money you have available, plus cash cows you can downgrade.

In my case I have $102K spare heading into next week. If I downgrade Kotoni Staggs to a nuffie, that will go to around $450K in the bank next week with one trade in hand.

The below table shows the draws of the big three fullbacks plus Papi. Bold denotes the easy games.

I’m going to include Brisbane in here because they are giving up a lot of points and also play at Suncorp which is a great place for fast men to score. In fact, Papi scored 119 there last year in 31 minutes during magic weekend!

This also makes this weekend’s trades important. Italics denotes the much harder games on paper, though we know that doesn’t always mean a low score, especially for these guys. Penrith I’m unclear on, but they certainly aren’t an easy team to score on.

  Tedesco Trbojevic Ponga Papenhuyzen
Round 6 v Parramatta v Canberra v Brisbane v Penrith
Round 7 v St George v Sharks v NQ Cowboys v NZ Warriors
Round 8 v Melbourne v Newcastle v Manly v Syd Roosters
Round 9 v NQ Cowboys v St George v Parramatta v Canberra
Round 10 v Canberra v Parramatta v Souths v Titans
Round 11 v NZ Warriors v NQ Cowboys v Bulldogs v Brisbane
Round 12 v Gold Coast v Penrith v Melbourne v Knights

This takes me to what I will target if I choose the FB Rotation option. Prices are based on estimates and projection and can obviously always change.

My tactics also revolve around the Nuffen Up approach written about by our man Dez Creek last week.

Round 6

I am choosing Ponga over Tedesco as I prefer his match up v Brisbane then Teddy v Parramatta.

Staggs to Nuffie (worth $170k) = $450k in the bank (ITB)

Papenhuyzen to Ponga = $180K ITB

Fullbacks = Tommy Turbo v Canberra and Ponga v Brisbane. Skipper on Ponga or Haas.

Round 7

In this round every fullback has an easy game, so I’m going to use this chance to grab Cam McInnes who I see as a must and downgrade Jarome Luai and hope to god Teddy doesn’t score 200 against St George, while Tommy steps right up and dominates the Sharks.

This is a risk, but one I will take to get McInnes and the match ups for my playing fullbacks is great also.

Luai to Nuffie = $340K ITB

Luciano to McInnes = $120K ITB

Fullbacks = Tommy Turbo v Sharks (afternoon match) and Ponga v Cowboys (afternoon match). Skipper Tommy or Ponga! Likely Tommy.

Round 8

The good news is this week all four teams have tough games so again I may look to amend the rest of my side while I have the chance.

This is a good result because I can downgrade someone to free up cash.

Additionally, the 200 score will be out of Teddy’s average so hopefully he drops a heap of cash because his breakeven at that price should be ludicrously high and he plays the Storm.

My fullbacks also get afternoon games which is typically better for scoring.

Moses to Cleary = $120K ITB

Taunua-Brown to Nuffie = $350K ITB

Fullbacks = Tommy Turbo v Newcastle and Ponga v Manly (afternoon match). Skipper Haas.

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Round 9

Ponga gets Parramatta and Teddy gets the Cowboys. Therefore this week I will take Teddy’s match up whilst Tommy gets St George which makes him a must play.

Teddy I project to be above $900K post the Melbourne match, but I’ve got the cash and I want his next 150-200 score as skipper!! Plus hopefully Ponga is around $800K anyway.

Ponga to Teddy = $200K ITB

Upgrade someone = $100K ITB

Fullbacks = Tedesco v Cowboys and Tommy T v St George!! BINGO, skipper either!

Round 10

Tedesco and Tommy T get Parramatta and Canberra. Pending their form, I may look to flip back to Ponga who has match up v Souths and this is where my man Papi earns his keep.

Melbourne v Titans. In you come kid!! Obviously this can change based on form and what not, but it looks good on paper. Papenhuzyen will be my skipper if he has found his rhythm again by then.

Tedesco to Ponga = $150k ITB

Tommy T to Papenhuyzen = $350K ITB

Fullbacks = Ponga v Souths and Papenhuyzen v Titans! Skipper Papi.

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Round 11

All four guys have easy games, but Ponga has the Dogs so he has to play and be skipper.

Luckily I already have him from the Souths game in Round 10. Then I need to decide between the others guys.

But at this stage I will flip Papi back to Teddy who has the Warriors and have another trade to utilise on the rest of my team. Likely a downgrade for cash.

Papi to Tedesco – Minimal $$$ ITB

Downgrade Averillo who I was lucky enough to start with to a nuffie = $130K ITB

Fullbacks = Ponga v Dogs and Tedesco v Warriors! Ponga skipper.

Round 12 – Brief notes

Tedesco plays the Gold Coast so is a must play and must skipper. Using this method I will already own him so no trade needed. I will assess the other FBs at the time.

Round 13 – Brief Notes

Papi plays the Dogs so I’ll use a trade to bring him back in and skipper him or Teddy who has St George.

Conclusion –

I’ll have another look at this in a month, but from here you just continue to use one or two trades a week (where possible) to pick the fullback v the weaker teams and generally skipper them.

The points could be enormous. There are sure to be multiple skipper option of 100+ if not 150-200+, and this policy means you are unlikely to miss these.

In the weeks where the FBs both have a tougher game you can lock in Haas or Taumololo. But every other week you will have a stud FB as your skipper. How bloody fun might I add!

I’m happy to discuss and I’m aware some weeks you may have to miss if you have unforeseen circumstances, but I can tell you I’d rather bring in Ponga v the Titans and take an auto-emergency rather then miss out on the possible 150+ as skipper.

Most of all this gives hope to those of us that missed out on Teddy in Round 5 and his 199. Let’s get ourselves back into contention for the top spot!

2 Responses to “Fullback rotation policy: Strategy for the big three”

  1. mgibson6284

    Awesome article and cheers for the table for their next few rounds match ups, I will be using that.

    Not sure if your maths is correct on the captain choices though. If I pick a captain that scores 165 over a solid 80 from Hass that’s only 85 points different not 170 (165×2 + 80 = 410 compared to 80×2 + 165 = 325). Still the difference between winning or losing a h2h.

    • Thanks mate. Yes your right! What i meant to wrote was if you used the rotation policy to drop Ponga for Turbo (against an easy team) and were to get 165×2 on Turbo = 330. Compared to keeping Ponga and captaining him to an 80×2 = 160 thats your 170 extra in 1 week. Assuming other FB is Teddy. Ill amend to explain more clearly! Cheers!

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