Notoriously the toughest position to find good Fantasy scorers, centres can nevertheless make a big difference to your squad's value (or force you to make more trades than you'd like).
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Lomax is a young player with a big future (and a big new contract to match) who has been handed the Dragons fullback role at the start of 2020 after spending time in the centres, on the wing and on the bench last year. That positional switch – plus the goalkicking duties – gives him a simple path towards scores in the high 30s, making him good value considering he's priced as a 27-point player. Dual-position flexibility (CTR + WFB) is the icing on the cake.
The Knights young gun is set for a starting spot in the centres this year, although a broken foot will keep him on the sidelines until about round four. When he does get on the park he has the potential to earn some fast money considering his $325k price tag gives him a break even of 22.
A 21-year-old rising star at Brisbane who came off the bench in the early rounds of 2019 before locking down a spot, Staggs is set to join Darius Boyd in the Broncos centres in round one with Jack Bird the likely starter at fullback. Staggs had four scores above 60 in the final eight rounds of the regular season, frequently finding his way to the tryline, and could prove to be a cut-price keeper if he can hit 40 points a game.
The safe bets
Many have doubts about his ability to transition to fullback but there's no doubting the talent of Mitchell, the only 2020 centre who scored more than 45 Fantasy points per game last season. The fullback switch should lead to more attacking involvement and more point-scoring opportunities but that's offset by the fact he'll lose his old goalkicking role at the Roosters to Souths sharpshooter (and captain) Adam Reynolds.
While Mitchell may be a walking highlight reel, Hopoate is one of the truly rare workaholic centres who gets through a ton of run metres every week. Capable of a big score on his day, Hopoate should be a "set and forget" 40-point player, who also covers the winger/fullback position and could save you some trades and heartache if you lock him in for round one rather than chopping and changing between a handful of cheapies.
Momirovski isn't cheap but he still could be undervalued, considering he scored 50 points a game at centre in 2019 and is priced at 41. A goal-kicking tackle-buster who can rack up big totals with or without tries (he scored 57 without a try against Newcastle and 96 with a hat-trick against the Dragons late last year), Momirovski doesn't yet have the pedigree of Mitchell or Hopoate (and is battling to be fit for round one) but has the potential to outscore them both with a lower price tag.
A one-time NSW Origin rep who despite a chequered injury history still has plenty of footy ahead of him at the age of 24, Bird is set to make the move from centre to fullback this season at the Broncos despite the presence of sharpshooter Jamayne Issako. That could translate to big Fantasy scores considering Bird's playmaking nous and tackle-busting running game. He's almost certain to surpass his 39 break even and be a keeper in the centres – as long as he stays healthy.
Tautau Moga/Gehamat Shibasaki
A new-look backline at the Knights and the departure of Jesse Ramien means at least one centre spot is up for grabs, and these two may be battling for that position in the early rounds. Moga is the cheaper of the two at under $300k (break even of 20) so would suit Fantasy coaches better, although his Fantasy and injury track record isn't great. Still, either one could be among the best value starting centres when the round one team lists are announced.
Is this finally the year that the Michell Aubusson Rule™ ("Never buy Mitchell Aubusson") can be put to rest? The Roosters' utility man is an invaluable player for the premiers but too frequently a frustrating one for Fantasy coaches – a player capable of playing 80 minutes in the second row who is also the man the coach turns to to plug a hole in the backline when injury strikes. The good news is fellow edge forward Angus Crichton was bumped to the centres in the World Club Challenge with Aubusson starting in the forwards instead, and if that continues he'll be value at $501k – effectively a 40-point keeper at a 34-point price tag. But if he finds himself back on the bench or in the centres once more he's a no-go zone. A risky buy, but in 2020 the risk could finally pay off.