Will Michael Gordon's switch from Penrith to Cronulla finally get him a permanent fullback spot?
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NRL DREAM TEAM: A change of clubs should finally give Gordon his chance at fullback, but will he become a Dream Team star as well?
Position: Winger/fullback, centre
Last year's average: 40.29
Last year's high score: 103
Positives: Gordon is one of the NRL's most talented ball-runners, and one of the biggest signings of the year for the ever-improving Cronulla Sharks. Frustrated at being kept out of the fullback spot at Penrith, Gordon will expect to play in the No.1 at the Sharks – and that's where he's at his best in Dream Team.
Injury restricted him to just seven games last season but Gordon was on fire in 2011, when he was a 58-points-a-game player (admittedly over just nine matches). His ability to break tackles, make line breaks and eat up plenty of run metres should put him among the top fullbacks in Dream Team if the Sharks' strong form continues in 2013.
He's also available in the centres, a position with few genuine high-scoring options in NRL Dream Team.
Add in the fact that he could become the Sharks new goalkicker and is cheaper than a dozen other winger/fullbacks, and Gordon starts to look like a very good signing.
Negatives: Gordon has played just 16 games in the past two years and remains an injury risk. As the likes of Terry Campese and Kurt Gidley showed last season, an injury-prone player in your Dream Team can just be a wasted trade in the long run.
Another frustrating factor for Gordon's Dream Team scoring has been his status as a utility player. Fullback is his preferred position but he is also capable of playing on the wing or in the centres, and with Nathan Gardner also competing for the No.1 jersey at the Sharks there's always a chance Gordon could be pushed wide to make room for Gardner. Wingers and centres don't get the same ball-running opportunities as fullbacks so generally don't score as well in Dream Team.
Risk rating: If he stays fit as Cronulla's starting fullback all season, Gordon is a great Dream Team buy – particularly if he kicks goals. But there's no guarantee his poor run with injury will end in 2013. We say if he's picked at fullback in round 1 then he's certainly worth a gamble, but if you're after a safe bet then there are other options out there. Two Matt Orfords*.
*BigPond Sport's patented risk scale ranks players out of five Matt Orfords, with five Orfords representing maximum risk and one Orford being a low-risk player.
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