This can be a make-or-break position in Fantasy – the very best fullbacks can rival the best scorers in Fantasy and rookies can quickly become breakout stars on the wing, but get stuck with a dud here and it can be tough to trade your way out of trouble.
Here are nine players to consider when locking in your winger/fullbacks for round one.
Most popular options
I covered Lomax earlier in the week in my centres preview but the short story is he's a first-choice fullback with goal-kicking duties and dual-position flexibility with a break even of 27. Until recently he was an auto-pick for many Fantasy coaches but his performances in the trials were mixed – two try assists, a couple of tackle busts and four goals against the Knights (for 39 points) was followed by a quiet game in the Charity Shield (12 points) which is turning off some coaches.
After some explosive performances from the bench last year Papenhuyzen demanded the No.1 jersey at the Storm and produced a series of big, try-scoring performances – averaging a stupendous 68 points a game as an 80-minute fullback. That makes his break even of 41 look very achievable, and he could easily be a bargain 50-point player. Don't expect the tries to continue at the same rate but unless opposition defences learn how to lock him down Papenhuyzen should be a fairly reliable Fantasy option.
A gamble by the punters here with To'a unlikely to earn a spot on the Knights wing any time soon. One to watch if either Edrick Lee or Hymel Hunt go down injured, or if Hunt is moved into the centres. Otherwise, steer clear.
The safe bets
Last year's best WFB by a street, Tedesco averaged close to 60 points a game all season – stunning numbers for a fullback – and he'll almost certainly be the top-ranked No.1 again in 2020. But can you afford his $870k asking price? Backline players tend to be inconsistent Fantasy scorers so the smart move with money tight at this time of the year could be to wait for Tedesco's price to dip before swooping on him later in the season.
Almost $200k cheaper than Tedesco, Trbojevic is a little under-priced this year with a few injuries in 2019 meaning he's priced as a 47-point player despite scoring better than 52 points a game when playing the full 80 minutes. His first four games of last season included scores of 85 and 100, and while he had some quiet performances as well he's among the smart choices for gun WFB in round one.
Ponga's Fantasy scoring dropped slightly from 52 points a game to 49 last season, but at one point he looked like the game's premier WFB with a stunning run of scores ahead of Origin (61, 51, 71, 53, 61, 58, 87 and 59). He slumped at the end of the year along with the rest of the team as coach Nathan Brown was shown the door, but if he can find some consistency this year he could easily outscore his starting price and start to rival Tedesco's scores once more.
Holmes is priced at 41 which is pretty much his average score at fullback, so the hope if you get him is that he reproduces the 47 points a game he scored at the back in his final season at Cronulla in 2018. Between then and now he's been trying his hand at NFL, so he could take some time adapting back to rugby league, and the fact he's the same price as Papenhuyzen means it's hard to avoid comparing the two. He has the ability to push towards 50 points, but my best guess is he won't hit the heights of the elite scorers and therefore won't make significant price rises either.
Holmes stronger from stint in the NFL
The best player at this year's NRL Nines may beat Jake Clifford to the five-eighth role at the Cowboys, and has plenty of attacking potential. While his running game is good – he averaged three tackle breaks and 123 run metres at fullback last year – his base stats are more questionable with just limited kicking (28 metres per game in 2019) and not a lot of evidence of his defence in the front line at NRL level. A break even of 28 is tempting but he may prove to be an inconsistent scorer averaging around 35.
Brimson's running game and the fact he's set for an extended run at fullback are his biggest Fantasy strengths – his break even is 32 but he averages 45 when playing 80 minutes at fullback, with around 160 metres and 4.5 tackle breaks a game. Less encouraging is the Titans' very rough draw to start the season, but if he can go close to matching his career numbers at the back he should at least be a fairly high-scoring cash cow.