12 months ago he was 1 concussion away from a career over, but in 2018 he was one of the best defenders.

PLAYER PROFILE

Name: Angus Brayshaw
Age: 22
Club: Melbourne Demons
Position: Midfield

2018 Highest Score: 
166 Vs Adelaide (AFLFantasy)
130 Vs Adelaide (SuperCoach)

2018 Average: 

105.1 (AFLFantasy)
97 (SuperCoach)

SuperCoach Price: $526,900
AFLFantasy Price: 
$763,000
AFLDreamTeam Price: 
$751,800

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WHY IS HE RELEVANT?

It all finally came together for this much-beloved Demon in 2018. For 2 straight years of battling constant concussion issues, he found health and my goodness did he find plenty of the ball. After starting the season in the VFL for the first few rounds he finally won his way into the side, however, was used sparingly in the middle and like the 5 games he played in 2017 Brayshaw was used off half-back and kept out of the contest as much as possible.

Then from Round 7, everything changed for Angus Brayshaw a move that would make him one of the most owned fantasy footy defenders for the rest of 2018. Gus was released into the midfield and his numbers skyrocketed. From that point on in the year in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam he posted 12 scores above the hundred, 4 of them over 130 and between round 7-23 (16 matches) he averaged 112. For SuperCoach while not as strong during the same stretch, he still managed to hit the triple figure mark on 10 occasions, 7 of these above 115 and averaged 101.

Some may suggest that the reason Brayshaw scored as well as he did was due to the absence for most of the season of captain Jack Viney from the Melbourne midfield. However, during the 7 games, he played with Jack in the side during the Home & Away season it seemed to have minimal fantasy impact given Angus Brayshaw averaged 100 in SuperCoach and 113 in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam.

Last year Gus got the balance right in his game averaging 27 possessions a game, but just 11 of those contested. Instead of always being the one winning the contest like in his debut season it appears he and the Dees are using him in a perfect way for his fantasy numbers to make him very relevant. That said, given his at times wayward disposal efficiency (66% last year) his fantasy footy scoring lends himself more to DreamTeam and AFLFantasy. And in 2019, while he could present value in SuperCoach I feel his relevancy is in the other formats for salary cap coaches.

With the loss of defensive status this year, his ownership numbers will plummet but like we saw last year with Jackson Macrae a loss of DPP shouldn’t mean we rule them out of the equation. If he can deliver what he did last year during that 4 month stretch for the whole season, then especially in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam he’s got potentially 10 points of growth in his game and become a top 10 midfielder.

MY TAKE

Can hold his scoring, let alone go another gear? That’s a valid question not just for Gus but for most players that broke out and went well over and above what anyone could forecast. He isn’t ‘overpriced’, as I’ve seen some in the fantasy community suggest as he’s priced at what he delivered last year. However, at his price point especially in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam, he needs to go on and become a top 10 midfielder by seasonal average.

Can you confidently see him matching it in averages for the full season with the likes of Josh Kelly, Nat Fyfe, Zac Merrett, Matt Crouch, Tom Mitchell, Jack Macrae, Andrew Gaff, Stephen Coniglio, Patrick Cripps and even teammate Clayton Oliver who depending on which fantasy footy site you read seem to all be locks for 110+ averages. Do you have confidence Gus can do that in AFLFantasy? If you don’t, while yes being unique, at his price to start him you need to be otherwise he’s just one to consider as an upgrade in season.

While for those playing SuperCoach you’re choosing him over a player I wrote about a few days ago in Rory Sloane who’s less than $3,000 cheaper and more proven in terms of both ceiling and seasonal averages. Personally, I know which way I’d prefer to go. At his price, he’s not a stepping stone but a cheap, and potentially unique M8. He needs to be able to bump that average up to a minimum of 105 for the year, while that’s not getting him into the top 10, it would rank him likely in the top 15-20.

While it certainly seems well past him we do have to consider his history of head injuries and concussions. While any player is one twist, turn, knock or bump away from serious injury, based on his history fantasy coaches that do select him to need to know the possible risks that come with it. Fingers crossed it doesn’t happen but a concussion for Brayshaw may seem him miss more than just the standard week, but multiple and may even cost you a trade. Again, I hope and pray he gets through the year unscathed as I love watching him play, but more than other players his history suggests the impact of another head injury would take him longer to overcome.

It’s a hard pass for me in starting squads for SuperCoach as I have more confidence in a Rory Sloane type player, while in AFLFantasy/DreamTeam he’s not in my starting squad but right in calculations as an upgrade target. Especially after the sides round 13 bye with matches against Fremantle, Brisbane, Carlton and the Western Bulldogs the first 4 games after the break. That’s a delicious 4 games considering last year against those sides he scored 113 (Dockers), 101 (Blues) and 133 (Bulldogs).

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DRAFT DECISIONS

Depending on the format you play will determine what round and what midfield position you select him in. For AFLFantasy/DreamTeam he’s currently ranked as a top 15 midfielder so he’ll likely go inside the first 2-3 rounds and likely be someone’s M2.

For SuperCoach drafters he’ll go much later and likely go in an M3-M4 position but still be gone somehwere inside the opening 7-9 rounds.

In a keeper league given what he delivered last year and the fact he’s still inside his early 20’s, I can’t see the existing owner giving him up, for a start-up league he’ll likely go inside the first 30 selections.

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