Updated: Jan 7, 2022
Fullbacks/Wingers are a key position in NRL fantasy and one that can make or break your weekly score. Here the focus is on try-scoring, tackle busting and creation of opportunities for teammates. Therefore, the top fullbacks/Wingers tend to be on the top teams in the competition. Here are my Top 5 Fullbacks/Wingers for 2022.
Featured at no.3 on our top NRL Fantasy players list, 2021’s Dally M player of the year produced one of the most dominant runs of form during the regular season of the NRL. Coming back into a Manly team that had one of the worst starts in NRL history, his first game against the Titans saw 1 try, 2 try-assists, 2 line breaks, and 2 line break assists. He continued this form against the rest of the NRL, racking up 25 tries, 27 try assists, 30 line breaks, 35 line break assists and 105 tackle busts in only 15 rounds. This run of form eventually led to him becoming the most viable captaincy option in the post-origin period. The key concern with Tom Trbojevic is whether he can remain injury-free and whether he can produce this strong run of attacking form after a full preseason where teams have further analysed his game and developed strategies to limit his impact.
Featured at no.5 on our top NRL Fantasy players list, Papenhuyzen was arguably one of the best in the first 5 rounds (despite missing round 2). The addition of goal kicking to his repertoire and an elevation of his game saw him rise into the top tier of NRL fantasy. He scored 7 tries, kicked 20 goals, created 4 try assists, 6 line breaks, 3 line break assists, and made 21 tackle busts (all in four rounds). The real concern with Papenhuyzen is his battle with concussions throughout 2021. His struggle with the issue saw him only start 13 games throughout the regular season and he was only able to regather his initial form in the final games of the season. If Papenhuyzen can remain injury-free, he looks to compete with Tom Trbojevic for the top spot.
Tedesco has been a top-tier fullback over the last couple of years but has fallen away from the pack leaders above in the last 12 months. He got off to a blistering start to 2021 with 7 tries in 4 games yet only found the paint only one more time in 2021 due to the significant injury toll to the line-up limiting attacking opportunities. Season-ending injuries to Lindsay Collins, Brett Morris and Luke Keary amongst other issues saw the Roosters struggle to maintain the form they had in the early part of the season forcing them to bring in debutants to cover the void. While rookies such as Sam Walker were able to have strong performances, a larger responsibility was placed on him, and his role shifted to a facilitator. While he only managed 2 try assists in the first 7 rounds, his next 13 appearances saw 18 try assists as he adjusted to a new role. In other areas, Tedesco remained a dominant force, with over 3600 running metres, and 136 tackle breaks. A rejuvenated Roosters may see them become a more dominant outfit once again and this should see an uptick in Tedesco’s attacking scoring, closing the gap on two above.
Potentially a surprising addition to many coaches but regardless of the criticism, Gutherson is potentially a season-long lock-in for coaches as he doesn’t play origin and rarely misses game time due to injuries or suspension. His ability to also score in multiple scoring categories came to the forefront this season with 13 tries, 18 try assists, over 3800 running metres and 81 tackle breaks. The major concern for Gutherson is his inability to score as effectively against sides above them in the NRL. Therefore, there may be lean patches in rounds 9-11 (Opponents: Panthers, Roosters, Sea Eagles), and 20-22 (Opponents: Panthers, Sea Eagles, Rabbitohs).
One of the games most talented footballers had a very up and down 2021, and his scoring was very similar as he seemed to be very erratic. Yet despite this, on the whole, Latrell produced a prolific fantasy season, with 13 tries, 14 try assists, 18 line breaks and he averaged 5.5 tackle breaks in his 17 appearances. A key point to note is that Latrell misses the first two rounds of the NRL and only returns for the Roosters clash in round 3 due to his suspension.
Smokey: Jayden Campbell
Jayden Campbell looks set to take the game by storm with AJ Brimson set to switch to the no.6 jersey for the titans. In his limited number of games, he faced the top sides in the NRL and still was able to put up strong numbers. His scoring mainly came from his strong tackle busting ability (4.3 per game), high metres, and the occasional try. With another preseason under his belt, Campbell looks set to increase his output and he could be a key point of difference.
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