X marks the spot?

We saw glimpses of what Xavier could do in 2022 but not his full extent. He forced incumbent fullback CNK out of his position and out of the Raiders. With the permanent departure of CNK all the news is the fullback spot Xavier’s to lose, can he make it his own? And more importantly can he be fantasy relevant?

Priced at $452k, Xavier is hovering on a bit of a dangerous price line. While he seems to have the fullback position locked down, the lingering question for me is how good will the Raiders be in 2023?

Honestly, I see them sliding down the ladder, with no impressive signings and no massive changes to the team. We need to see a decent attacking increase from Xavier for him to be a decent buy. Who knows with another season running around with Jack Wighton, maybe we see the increase. But let’s have a look at his stats. 

Games playedAverage MinsAverage PointsAverage NegativesAverage BaseAverage attackingPPM
1675.8835.3– 5.5 21.319.10.46

Above are Xavier’s career starting fullback stats. We have removed his interchange and wing stats to try get a better projection of his potential. Xavier is priced at a 32 average which is pretty close to his career average. I think the big looming question is does Xavier and the Raiders have the attacking stats that he needs to make him relevant. Below is a Xavier’s attacking stats for 2022.

TriesTry savesTry AssistsLine BreaksLine break assistTackle breaksOffload to handOffload to groundEscape from in goalTurn overs

I would confidently bet on a few of these stats increasing in 2023, mainly tries and try assist. Being a fresh young fullback in 2022, we saw glimpses of what Xavier was capable of, but we also saw moments of youthful mistake. A prime example of this is going himself instead of looking for a support player. With Ricky Stuart to answer to I imagine these mistakes will decrease in 2023.

The next positive for Xavier is a very solid and senior halves pairing in Jack Wighton and Jamal Fogarty. In 2022, we saw Fogarty unfortunately go down injured preseason and didn’t see him till mid-season. This meant that they never had a lot of time working together and forming combinations. For me this is a huge positive for 2023. With more time working together I can see Xavier’s tackle breaks, try assists and tries increasing in 2023. Let’s take our first massive take for 2023 and try project his exact attacking stats for 2023.

TriesTry savesTry AssistsLine BreaksLine break assistTackle breaksOffload to handOffload to groundEscape from in goalTurn overs

With a career high of 68 and a low of 18, Xavier has a big fluctuation in floor and ceiling, and it comes back to whether you are willing to take the punt for the price. Personally, I have him projected at around 38 average, and while I think Xavier will be of value in 2023, I think there are better options out there.

Final Verdict: For his price he will be a gamble, CAUTION (bordering on TRAP).


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