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QuickPlay Week 9

Andrew Nordmeier
Friday May 17, 2013

Week 8 was one of the most bizarre weeks we've seen in a while in the AFL. Aaron Garcia threw for 11 touchdowns for Orlando in an 83-82 win over Spokane and TT Tolliver had an eye-popping game. San Antonio and Jacksonville combined for 64 total a whole game. Cleveland upset Chicago, Pittsburgh upset Philadelphia and Iowa limited New
Orleans to all of 16 points.

Fantasy points were harder to come by as only three players racked up more than 200 points last week. It didn't have much of an impact on the top five as we see the usual suspects up there. The top five overall:

1. Chillin' N Winnin' 1750
2. skillet 1741
3. So. Phoenix Bombers 1724
4. arenabowlbound 1717

Last week's top five point-scorers

1. Horn Doggs 225
2. Swamp Dawgs 208
3. Sara's Sabercats 206
4. Gulfport Grifters 193
5. Unemployed Punters 191

Then again, the only thing that's been predictable has been unpredictability. That said, we'll try to make heads or tails on this week's games and offer roster suggestions and some sleeper picks as well. We'll use my team, the Unemployed Punters, as the guide for this week so here we go.

This Week's Schedule: New Orleans at Spokane, San Antonio at Cleveland, Tampa Bay at Pittsburgh, San Jose at Jacksonville, Orlando at Philadelphia, Iowa at Utah and Arizona at Chicago are the games this week. Everyone plays so all options are available.

I'm looking for ADRIAN MCPHERSON to have a bounce-back week as the Storm rolls into Pittsburgh. McPherson put up just 24 points last week as the Sabercats took down the Storm. The dual threat QB should be able to wreak havoc on a Pittsburgh team that can't move the ball well and should give Tampa plenty of time on offense.

The second quarterback for this week will be ERIK MEYER of Spokane. It shouldn't come as much of a Shock that taking a quarterback whose team put up more than 80 points last week will be picked. The only drawback of picking him is that the Shock could roll all over the VooDoo and Meyer's time on the field might be limited.

The third quarterback for week nine will be AARON GARCIA of Orlando. Yes, there's the draw of a guy who tossed 11 touchdown passes last week but there's another reason to take him. Orlando has the worst defense in the league, allowing 61.7 points per game. Since the Predators can't stop seemingly anyone, Garcia should get the ball often against
Philadelphia. Don't expect eleven touchdowns again but he will be under center in a game that has all the makings of a shootout.

SLEEPERS: Over in San Jose RUSS MICHNA has led the Sabercats to three straight wins and put up 182 yards and five touchdowns against Tampa Bay last week. Don't let the small stats fool you since San Jose also got two rushing touchdowns and two defensive ones as well. TOMMY GRADY of the Blaze has a tough matchup against a stingy Iowa defense yet he's still hitting for 288 yards per game. He has been victimized by interceptions as he's been picked off 17 times this season.

The wide receiver position is going to also have familiar faces but they have a common thread. This week, I'm going with ADRON TENNELL, TIGER JONES and REGGIE GRAY.

Tennell has been lighting it up all season long for the Shock and is a consistent player in fantasy terms. Gray has had his ups and downs and faces a tough Arizona team this week. The additional draw on Gray besides his receiving game is his kick-return ability. Keep in mind, Gray leads the league with 942 receiving yards and has added another 458 in kick returns. Jones is second in the league with 128.4 yards per game receiving and helps to fill the divisional requirement.

The common thread between them is that they are the top three in receiving yards so far this season. Gray has 942, Jones sits at 899 and Tennell has rolled up 870. TT TOLLIVER was amazing last week with 18 receptions, 251 yards and six
touchdowns. Don't expect him to repeat it this week as he's going to be facing a tougher defense in Philadelphia. The Soul should be focusing on Tolliver but it could open up opportunities for PRECHAE RODRIQUEZ to have a good game.

SLEEPERS: Out in Utah, MARCO URRUTIA has been rolling up solid numbers (58-778 19TDs) but gets overshadowed because of the division he's in. The same can be said about Arizona's ROD WINDSOR (50-657 17TDs). MIKE
WASHINGTON of the Power has had a quiet, but good season so far (66-675 11TDs) and GREG ELLINGSON (52-768 11TDs) could take over the top spot in Tampa Bay with JOE HILLS having left for the NFL's Buccaneers.

When it comes to fullbacks, DERRICK ROSS gets the call again this week. It's the talent, the stats (58-212 16TDs) and the divisional requirement. After him, there's a little drop off.

SLEEPER: ODIE ARMSTRONG of the Rattlers has put together a couple strong games in a row and has 14 total touchdowns this season (12 rush, 2 receive). While his yardage is lower than Ross, Armstrong can find the end zone and put up points.

At kicker, the pick is JOSE MARTINEZ of Chicago. Again, it fills out the requirement and Martinez has the fourth-highest number of PAT kicks this season (52). He's got a shot to put up some points for the Rush.

The Week 9 lineup for the Unemployed Punters:

Eastern Division
1 Tiger Jones WR PHI
2 Derrick Ross FB PHI

Central Division
1 Reggie Gray WR CHI
2 Jose Martinez K CHI

Southern Division
1 Aaron Garcia QB ORL
2 Adrian McPherson QB TAM

Western Divisions
1 Erik Meyer QB SPO
2 Adron Tennell WR SPO

Andrew Nordmeier is a freelance sportswriter originally from Chicago. Andrew is a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association and has won more than three dozen fantasy championships. He has written for local newspapers in the Phoenix area covering high school sports for the last seven years. Andrew also has done play-by-play in the USHL and on the Arizona Rattlers internet broadcast in 2011. He lives in Phoenix with his wife and two sons. You can find Andrew on Twitter @AndrewNordmeier.
The opinions expressed in the article above are only those of the writer, and do not necessarily reflect the thoughts, opinions, or official stance of ArenaFan Online or its staff, or the Arena Football League, or any AFL or af2 teams.
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