Penrith happily let two established fullbacks leave the club in recent seasons because they knew they had a gem on their hands in Matt Moylan.
Manly utility back Peta Hiku began 2014 not even in Manly's best 17 and finished it a Test incumbent, a Four Nations champion, and a long-term Sea Eagle.
Last year may not have been the happiest for the Green Machine but prolific point-scoring centre Jarrod Croker went from strength to strength.
The simple answer? A hell of a lot better than we thought he was this time 12 months ago.
He's still new to rugby league but already a try-scoring machine on the wing for Parramatta, so just how good can Semi Radradra get?
It was a season to forget for the Newcastle Knights, but their barnstorming centre fired for club and country as he racked up 100 NRL games at the age of 22.
He arrived at the Warriors under plenty of pressure, but the England fullback is already proving his worth as a force in the NRL.
The tackle-busting Bulldogs centre became one of the NRL's key players in 2014, and a strike weapon for Samoa, and looms as a key to Canterbury's 2015 chances.
He's still the first-choice fullback for the Kangaroos, but is Billy Slater on the wane?
Michael Morgan was a revelation in 2014 as the surprise replacement for injured fullback Lachlan Coote.