Origin hero, Fantasy gun?
At a starting price of 665K, AJ starts as the 6th most expensive WFB. What makes him attractive compared to the others around his price?
AJ finished the 2022 season with an average of 44.9, this consisted of 7 starts at Fullback where he had an average of 39.9 and 15 at Five-Eighth for an average of 47.2. As these show his average rose substantially when playing in the halves. With the introduction of Kieran Foran whose main role will be to organise the team, this could lay the perfect platform for AJ to utilise his running game and take his game to the next level.
Things to consider that will make AJ a gun this year, will he take any goal kicks? Will he take a 50/50 or more split of the general play kicking? Are the Titans going to be a bottom 4 team or a top 8 team? These questions are the risk with AJ, but what he can offer you is consistent 15 plus tackles and plenty of involvement around the ball compared to most other WFB’s.
It’s important to note that while AJ averaged 47.2 last season he did this with an average kick metres of only 99.5 and with the likely pairing of an aged veteran in Foran who is coming off a season where has averaged 84.5 kick metres, the potential for extra kick metres is there and it has been something made mention of that over the past few season AJ has been working on his kicking game, so it would only make sense that he steps up.
The negatives are simply his starting price is high and the fact that for an extra 80k you could upgrade to a proven gun in Ryan Papenhuyzen. The risk that he could get shuffled into Fullback or out of the team with Campbell at the back and Toby Sexton seemingly out of favour. QUICK NOTE FROM MARK: ORIGIN HERO BRIMSON ISNT LOSING HIS JOB! The Titans also have a below average bye draw with their first bye in round 5.
In a season where the best option is going to be most likely look for value, AJ might not have enough value based on his starting price to be considered a lock in. While I am still considering AJ Brimson myself, I can understand why if money gets tight, he doesn’t make the final team cut.
I want to take this a little further.
Building on what James said, lets have a look at what we are dealing with here.
2022 HLF Average: 47.2 in 15 performances.
100 kick metres per game, and a new halves partner who doesn’t kick as much
For me, this is also a really interesting stat –
Games prior to round 10: 37 average (6 games)
Games from round 10 on: 54 average (9 games)
The interesting part here is that Brimson actually averaged LESS kick metres from round 10 onward (only 64 kick metres), while adding 17 points to his average. He did have 7 tries in 9 games, but Brimson is also a running, attacking player.
Also interestingly, Brimson averaged 50.9 in games he played with Jayden Campbell, with only 70 kick metres per game. Brimsons base is very strong in this sample, running for 110 metres per game with 4 busts, 18 tackles (3 miss) and a slew of attacking stats including an average of one try assist per game.
Lets look at a “conservative” and “optimistic” projection for Brimson
To be honest, I would 100% start with Brimson over Trbojevic or Papenhuyzen, and I do not think it is particularly close. Brimson has everything in his tool kit to be the #1 WFB, particularly if he can get the kicking even more on point than it is. The goal kicking would catapult him to the moon, but even without it I really like him for a DPP keeper WFB.