A new contender for keeper WFB?
On the back of what can be best described as a solid year despite disruptions due to injury, shuffling of the spine and a few games off the bench, Jayden Campbell still posted a respectable 2022 average of 42 but will have to wait for his chance to start, with Justin Holbrook indicating Campbell will start the year in a super sub role off the bench.
Priced this season at $602’000, if Campbell was to start he’ll immediately represents some value after averaging 44.2 in his fullback starts last season and 45.3 when looking at just his 60+ minute appearances. Given the price tag though, 3 points is not enough in this situation to be worthy of buy consideration, but is there a pathway for Campbell to push closer to a 50 average and enter the conversation as the 3rd best fantasy fullback?
Campbell was not someone the Amateurs were particularly high on last year after scoring 5 tries in 6 games in 2021 for an average of only 39.8 in a year where attacking stats were highly inflated. In 2022 however, Campbell saw significant improvement scoring only 2 tries in his 12 fullback starts (an additional 2 tries off the bench not included) while still managing to increase his average by 5.5 points. Where did these extra points come from?
|Fullback appearances (60+ mins)||2021 (6 games)||2022 (11 games)|
The main impacts in Campbell’s scoring came through a 3.5 point increase in his base while reducing his negative stats. This correlates almost exactly to an increased amount of tackles while missing less tackles. In short, Campbell became a better defender. More encouraging signs are despite his try scoring rate dropping by 65% compared to the year prior, his attacking stats didn’t see a significant drop off. Add to this his kick metres increased following the departure of Jamal Fogarty and it seems plausible we’d see him maintain his current level or perhaps another small uptick in his kicking with Tanah Boyd at halfback.
Assuming Campbell is starting the season off the bench, he’s a no go. The ideal scenario is Campbell drops money for the first four rounds in limited minutes before getting a start after the Titans first bye in round 5. On a team that is likely a bottom 8 side this is certainly a plausible scenario and at a lower price it would make Campbell much less of a risky play. If Campbell was to eventually start and maintains a similar level of base and negatives stats to last season, potentially picks up an extra 10 to 30 kick metres per game while seeing positive regression in his try scoring rate to the standard rate of a fullback on a 9th to 12th placed team (Ramsey 50%, Garrick 40%, Ponga 30%), then we could see a very plausible scenario where Cambell is averaging very high 40s and into the low 50s. In a year where outside of Tedesco and Latrell there doesn’t appear to be a clear cut 3rd best WFB, Campbell could very well step up and be a surprise candidate for the 3rd best WFB if eventually given the opportunity.