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Arena Football Week 12 Quickplay

Andrew Nordmeier
Friday June 7, 2013


What do you call a week when Derrick Ross puts up one fantasy point? What do you call a week when Adron Tennell doesn't catch a single touchdown?

You call it Week 11 of the season, the week where we all seem to have suffered the same fate. As you'll see below, teams were very closely bunched this past week.

The Week 11 results gave us a group of tightly bunched up teams. Attack, Better Than Norv and 2 Chilli Dogs N Cheese Fry tied for the top honors with 240 points each. The Cosmo Cougars and Dunalk Golden Owls tied for fourth with 235. The team with no name but has a user name of "4355" burst out of anonymity to finish sixth with 233, one point ahead of the South Phoenix Bombers.

The Nebraska Predators, polster, Unemployed Punters, skillet, arenabowlbound, Short Bus Kids and RochRush all knotted together with 229 points to make a pile-up for eighth this week.

Because of the clumping of teams this week, no one made a move in the overall standings. Skillet, arenabowlbound and the South Phoenix Bombers are still the top three teams with four points separating them. The Unemployed Punters sit fourth with Chillin' N Winnin' five points behind in fifth. After that the Dundalk Golden Owls, Nebraska Predators, Washington Commandos, Short Bus Kids and RochRush round out the top 10 in the overall standings.

This week's games are Iowa at Cleveland, New Orleans at Philadelphia, Orlando at Tampa Bay, Utah vs Chicago at Rockford, Arizona at San Antonio, Jacksonville at Spokane and Pittsburgh at San Jose. The first game is on Friday, so your roster needs to be submitted by 630pm ET.

There are a couple of storylines which can impact fantasy this week. We've started to see a rash of games that are low-scoring for the AFL and they seem to involve the Utah Blaze. The Blaze lost 42-41 last week to the Talons and dropped a 35-34 game at San Jose the week before. They knocked off Iowa 43-34 and haven't broken the 50-point barrier
since week seven. Will Utah break out of the funk?

It's War On I-4 Week and those are two teams heading in opposite directions. Tampa is contending for the divisional lead while 2-8 Orlando is still in the hunt for the fourth playoff spot.

The other storyline is how will the Rush respond to playing in Rockford? This was a scheduled game in Rockford due to conflicts with the Allstate Arena. It's been a rough road for the Rush since the ownership situation came to light and it might have an impact on the mental aspect of the game. It may not be much of one but it is worth mentioning.

As always, we'll use the Unemployed Punters as the model for this week's lineup. It seems like quite a few of you also use the lineup and have been racking up big points. The area to try and separate yourself from the herd is the third wide receiver spot where options are abound.

QUARTERBACKS

This week, we like ADRIAN MCPHERSON, NICK DAVILA and ERIK MEYER. McPherson takes on an Orlando squad that allows 60 points per game and the Storm have the fourth-best offense in the league. Orlando has also given up the second-most rushing touchdowns with 23 in 10 games and Tampa leads the league with 33 rushing touchdowns. Only New Orleans
(26) has allowed more scores on the ground than Orlando. With a high-octane offense and a vulnerable defense opposing him, McPherson should be a safe pick this week.

Davila ran into some problems with interceptions in Philadelphia as he threw three of them against the Soul. He still managed five touchdowns and ran for one more to keep his point total good for the week. Davila and Arizona take on San Antonio this week and the Talons could be in trouble. They have the worst passing offense in the league at 222.7 yards per game and a league-low 39 passing touchdowns. Add into that Arizona's +24 turnover margin and the Rattlers should have the ball quite a bit.

Meyer is at the helm of a Spokane offense that scored fewer than 60 points only once this year. Jacksonville comes all the way across the country to Deaf Valley and brings the league's stingiest defense with them, allowing 44.9 points per game. It's hard to pass up on the quarterback of a team that has thrown a league-best 76 scores against a measly five interceptions.

The quarterbacks of these teams also have on other thing in common. They lead the teams with the three best turnover margins in the league. Tampa Bay is second at a +17 with Spokane nipping on their heels at a +16.


FULLBACK

Despite just one point last week, we'll still roll with DERRICK ROSS here again. Ross should be able to bounce back after Arizona bottled him up and limited him to 10 yards on four carries. New Orleans has been run on the most (121 times) and allowed all those touchdowns on the ground. Ross should be able get back in the saddle and be the player we've all come to expect.

WIDE RECEIVERS

This week, TIGER JONES and REGGIE GRAY get the call but the third wide receiver spot is up for grabs. As usual Jones and Gray fill divisional requirements and each of them have more than 1300 receiving yards and 40 touchdowns this season.

The third spot is where fantasy teams can roll the dice and try to gain separation. Players like JOE HILLS, PRECHAE RODRIGUEZ, ADRON TENNELL, ROD WINDSOR and a recently-resurgent DONOVAN MORGAN can all be legitimate third receivers for a fantasy team. This week, I'm going with Hills again with a great matchup in the War On I-4.

KICKER

Iowa kicker FABRIZIO SCACCIA gets the nod this week. The Barnstormers take on a Cleveland team that doesn't put up many points and allows the most in the league at 60.3 points against. Scaccia was pretty solid on PATs for Arizona in 2010 and 2011 hitting 170 of 187 in those two seasons.

SLEEPERS

At quarterback, JJ RATERINK of Iowa is coming off of a strong game against Tampa Bay (25-of-34, 264 yards and 7 touchdowns) while AARON GARCIA (averaging 300 yards per game passing) will be called on to keep up the Predators' hopes for a win against Tampa Bay. DAN RAUDABAUGH has also been a solid play all year but the divisional requirements work against him quite often.

At fullback, ODIE ARMSTRONG of Arizona has 19 total touchdowns (17 rushing) this season and has been a solid choice in the ground game.

At wide receiver, MARCUS HARRIS of Iowa has put up 100 yards per game but just 17 touchdowns in nine games.

If you look ahead a couple weeks, you'll see something rear its ugly head again: bye weeks. Week 15 is going to be the roughest week with Arizona, Spokane, Tampa Bay and Chicago all on byes. It's still three weeks away but it's worth keeping that in the back of your mind. Jacksonville and Iowa sit out week 16.

And now the Unemployed Punters' Week 12 Lineup:

EASTERN DIVISION
1 Tiger Jones WR PHI
2 Derrick Ross FB PHI

CENTRAL DIVISION
1 Reggie Gray WR CHI
2 Fabrizio Scaccia K IOW

SOUTHERN DIVISION
1 Joe Hills WR TB
2 Adrian McPherson QB TB

WESTERN DIVISION
1 Erik Meyer QB SPO
2 Nick Davila QB ARI


 
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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