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AFL Quickplay Week 11

Andrew Nordmeier
Wednesday May 29, 2013


This past week, we saw defenses rule. San Antonio, Jacksonville, Orlando, Cleveland, Iowa and New Orleans were each held to less than 50 points. San Jose and Utah went head-to-head and the Sabercats pulled out a 35-34 win.

This is the Arena Football League, right? The one with all the offense and the points and the video-game numbers being put up on nightly basis? The sign on the door says it is but the scores being put up on the field speak otherwise. While the games are still exciting, it can be a total buzzkill from a fantasy football perspective.

Hopefully this week, the offenses return to form around the league and the fantasy point totals go higher and higher.

Last week, the Nebraska Predators, arenabowlbound and Sugarmill Giants ended up in a three-way tie for the week's top honors with 263 points. All of them used the recommended lineup except they put in JOSE MARTINEZ of Chicago over MARC DEMOS of San Antonio at kicker. The Short Bus Kids drove their way to a fourth-place finish this week with 258 points while the Unemployed Punters and Danny White's Demons tied for fifth with 257 points. Uncle Si and Skillet were each one point behind at 256 for the week while The Commish (253) and Sara's Sabercats (249) rounded out the top ten.

Overall, skillet sits on top of the standings with 2216 points just three points ahead of arenabowlbound. The South Phoenix Bombers are in a close third with 2209 points. Right behind them are the Unemployed Punters (2186) and Chillin' N Winnin' (2182) in a tight battle for fourth. Rounding out the top ten are the Dundalk Golden Owls (2158), Washington Commandos (2155), Nebraska Predators (2152), Short Bus Kids (2141) and Roch Rush (2117).

All the teams are in action so let's take a look at this week's schedule. Arizona (9-1) at Philadelphia (5-4), Chicago (5-5) at Orlando (2-7), Pittsburgh (3-6) at Jacksonville (7-3), Cleveland (2-7) at New Orleans (1-8), Tampa Bay (6-4) at Iowa (4-6), Utah (4-5) at San Antonio (4-5) and San Jose (7-3) at Spokane (7-2).

We'll go through the lineup for the Unemployed Punters as a guide to helping you set your roster for this week.

QUARTERBACKS

The old saying goes, "If it isn't broke, don't fix it." That mantra should apply to this week's quarterbacks. This week, the Punters will take ADRIAN MCPHERSON, NICK DAVILA and ERIK MEYER as the signal callers.

McPherson has been a slice of fried gold in fantasy this season with his arm and with his legs. The Storm takes on an Iowa Barnstormer team that was left reeling following their recent trip to Arizona. Iowa wound up getting destroyed by Arizona 70-26. The Rattlers were up 42-13 at the half and 63-13 through three quarters. We point this out since Iowa had the toughest defense to score on and the Rattlers went through them like a hot knife through butter. The other part of it is the Iowa offense didn't click at all. You can put some blame on the matchup but at the end of the day, 26 points won't cut it in this league.

Add to that the Storm are second in the league with a +18 turnover margin and this becomes the perfect storm for McPherson to put up the points for your team.

Davila and the Rattlers travel to Philly to take on the Soul in a rematch of a week one battle that Arizona won. Davila threw for eight touchdowns last week and his first interception in his last six games. He averages 264.2 yards per game and has thrown 66 touchdowns against four interceptions in 10 games this season. These are two of the top three teams in the league for scoring offense so this could be the second week in a row Philly is involved in a high-scoring slugfest.

Meyer threw for seven touchdowns and ran for two more as Spokane knocked off San Antonio last week. This week, the Shock takes on a tough San Jose defense that limited Utah to 34 points last week. You still can't look past 292.6 yards and seven touchdowns per game passing. He's also the only passer in the league with a completion percentage above the 70 percent mark (70.1%).

SLEEPERS: AARON GARCIA of Orlando could be a good play for your team. The Predators take on the Rush and Chicago has allowed 301 yards per game this season and a league-worst 74 touchdowns. That game has the setup for the Predators to potentially pile up the points and try for their third win on the season. RUSS MICHNA of the Sabercats could also be a good sleeper pick this week. Spokane gives up a ton of points and the Sabercats should be able to light up the scoreboard. Michna's thrown 24 touchdowns and four interceptions in five games as the Sabercats play a big game this week. DAN RAUDABAUGH of the Soul also has appeal as a third quarterback. Arizona allows just under 300 yards per game passing and the Soul have the best offense in the league at 311.4 yards per game.

FULLBACK

DERRICK ROSS of the Soul gets the call again. He meets divisional requirements and has 21 rushing touchdowns and 250 yards on a league-best 79 carries.

SLEEPER: ODIE ARMSTRONG has put up solid numbers with 14 touchdowns in 10 games. He doesn't have the rushing yardage like other backs do with 105 yards for the season.

WIDE RECEIVERS

This week looks like a good week for REGGIE GRAY, JOE HILLS AND TIGER JONES to be the three wideouts on the team.

Gray is coming off of an average game last week from a fantasy perspective. He had one receiving touchdown and ran a kick back for a touchdown in Chicago's 84-48 win over New Orleans. Then again, it was a strange game in the fact that Chicago had four different players combine for a total of six rushing touchdowns in the game. Because of that, I would look at this as a one-off performance for Gray. You can't look past 29 total touchdowns this season and 1188 receiving yards this season. Jones meets the divisional requirement and has been solid all season with 22 touchdowns and the second-best 126 yards per game receiving. Hills should be on the receiving end of plenty of passes from McPherson when the Storm takes on Iowa.

SLEEPERS: ROD WINDSOR of Arizona has been the lead receiver for the Rattlers and has posted solid numbers yet again (933 yards, 22 touchdowns). MARCO URRUTIA of the Blaze is having a terrific rookie season (1016 yards, 22 touchdowns) while DONOVAN MORGAN of New Orleans has been heating up as of late with 466 yards and 8 touchdowns in the
last three weeks including a five-touchdown game against Spokane. Since his 251-yard, six-score game against Spokane, we haven't heard a whole lot out of TT TOLLIVER. He has 18 catches for 232 yards and two touchdowns since the breakout game. Those numbers are consistent with what he's done before but that's only about 12-14 points per game.

KICKER

JOSE MARTINEZ of the Rush gets the call here. He's hit 68-of-71 extra points this season and is 2-of-7 on field goals this season. As for the rest of the group, GARRETT LINDHOLM of Arizona is the first kicker to hit triple digits in points this season with 103. He leads the league with 88 PATs and five made field goals. NICK PERTUIT of San Jose could have a busy night as do most kickers against Spokane. PHIL MARFUGGI of Iowa is second with four field goals but with the Iowa
offense sputtering, it's best to leave him on the bench.

This week's games are going to have playoff implications which might influence your decisions on you fantasy team for the rest of the season. Utah is facing a game this week that's almost a must-win. If they drop the game to San Antonio, they will fall to 4-6. With the loser of the San Jose-Spokane game still having seven wins, Utah would be three games out of a playoff spot with eight weeks to go. It would be a tough hill to climb to say the least.

Watch the way the Central Division plays out with Chicago, San Antonio and Iowa all within a game of each other right now. All three of these teams could be battling for a division title and a second seed in the playoffs. Despite lackluster records, those teams will have something to play for all the way to the end of the season.

The American Conference is really split into two distinct segments. Jacksonville, Tampa Bay and Philadelphia are in the driver's seat for three of the four playoff spots. Each of them has at least a two-game lead over the fourth-place team in the conference.

That fourth-place team, Pittsburgh, is standing at 3-6. Orlando and Cleveland are just a game back at 2-7 while New Orleans is only two games out at 1-8. One of those teams will make the playoffs. Each of those teams should have more to play for so don't look past them just because their win-loss records are in the bottom of the league.

This Week's 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 Joe Hills WR TB
2 Adrian McPherson QB TB

Western Division
1 Nick Davila QB ARI
2 Erik Meyer QB 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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