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AFL Quickplay Week 19

Andrew Nordmeier
Friday July 26, 2013

Last week, we saw seven of the eight playoff teams in the Arena Football team be revealed. One spot remains up for grabs on the final week while playoff seedings are still up in the air.

It made for an interesting week in Quickplay and we’ll take a look at those results now.

The Washington Commandos won the week with their score of 211 points. They used Philadelphia quarterback Dan Raudabaugh as one of their three signal callers and rode him to success. Uncle Si came in second with 205 points and they were the only teams to break the 200-point barrier this week.

The third-place team was the tasty 2 Chili Dogs and Cheese Fry with 198 points. The team with no name, but a user ID of 4355 rolled up 195 points for a fourth-place finish in Week 18.

The Commish, arenabowlbound and the Phantom Furballs finished up tied for fifth with 194 points. The Unemployed Punters, polster and Danny White’s Demons all claimed eighth place. Those teams all finished tied with 191 points for the week.

Here’s the overall leaderboard with just one week to go.

The team arenabowlbound leads the way with 3,850 points and looks to be a virtual lock for a top-three finish. The South Phoenix Bombers are firmly entrenched in second place with 3,767 points.

Third place is still up for grabs. The Unemployed Punters hold the spot for now with 3,696 points for the season. The next seven teams are separated by just 43 points so almost any of those teams can rally at the end of the season and claim the third-place prize.

The Short Bus Kids are rolling in fourth place two points behind the Punters at 3,694. The Nebraska Predators round out the top five with 3,684 points. Sixth through tenth place are the Phantom Furballs (3,676), skillet (3,670), The Voice Says…(3,662), The Commish (3,652) and Uncle Si (3,651) respectively.

That was the easy part of this article. Here’s where this is going to get complicated, quickly. You might want to grab a beverage of your choice because this will take a while to get through.

The final week of the regular season is a minefield for fantasy players to try and tiptoe through. Most teams in the league have nothing left to play for. That can wreak massive havoc on your lineups this week.

Let’s look at the schedule and pay attention to when certain teams play. All times are Eastern. Games are Saturday unless noted otherwise.

Pittsburgh at Spokane Friday 10pm, New Orleans at Orlando 7pm, Tampa Bay at Jacksonville 7pm, Arizona at Iowa 8pm, Philadelphia at San Antonio 9pm, Cleveland at Utah 9pm and Chicago at San Jose 1030pm.

The first thing to be aware of is the roster deadline is 9pm Eastern (6pm Pacific) on Friday because of the Power-Shock game. This is important because if teams make last-minute personnel changes for Saturday games, you won’t be able to modify your roster. This alone can make setting your lineup a dicey proposition this week.

Let’s add in the playoff situation as well and watch this go from difficult to nearly impossible.

The National Conference is set with #1 Arizona hosting #4 San Jose and #3 Spokane hosting #2 Chicago due to arena conflicts. Yes, it is still mathematically possible for the Talons to win the Central Division. They would have to beat Philadelphia by about 100 points. And Chicago would have to lose to San Jose also by about 100 points for it to happen. This has a snowball’s chance in sweltering San Antonio of happening but it is still worth a quick mention.

In the American Conference, Philadelphia has the inside track on the #1 seed. They clinch it with a win OR a Jacksonville loss. The Sharks need to win AND the Soul needs to lose to have the Sharks take the top spot.

Tampa takes the #3 spot with a win over Jacksonville. The winner of the New Orleans-Orlando contest is in the playoffs. If Orlando wins and Tampa loses, the Predators capture the #3 seed while the Storm slip to fourth.

From a fantasy standpoint, you have to ask yourself who will have the most to play for this week. The other thing to think about is how long the bigger-name players will play in these mainly meaningless games. How long will Erik Meyer of the Shock stay in before potentially getting pulled for Arvell Nelson? Would you rather have, say, a half game from Meyer or roll the dice on a full game from Tommy Grady of Utah?

Keeping that mind, let’s try not to have our heads explode as we set what will be the toughest lineup of the season. And there’s plenty for us as fantasy players to compete for so this will be a very interesting week to watch unfold.

We’ll start in the Southern Division as all four teams have something to play for in this final week. Our first choice should be fairly easy with Orlando QB Aaron Garcia. Garcia had a solid week last week against Cleveland and should be able to pick apart the VooDoo defense. With the Predators first score of the game, New Orleans will have allowed at least 1,000 points for the season. That seems like the kind of safe play you want to have on this week.

The temptation is there to take an Orlando wide receiver to pair with Garcia but which one do you take? TT Tolliver posted a 10-182-5 TD stat line in Cleveland while Prechae Rodriguez contributed 3-43-1. Tolliver’s been hotter over the last three weeks with nine touchdowns to Prechae’s four. For the season, Prechae has been better at getting into the end zone with 38 touchdowns to Tolliver’s 28 but Tolliver wasn’t with the team until Week Five. Both have been solid this season, but we’re going with Tolliver. Right now is the time to ride the hot hand and they don’t get much hotter than Tolliver.

Chris Dixon of the VooDoo merits some sleeper consideration at the quarterback spot but we know how Garcia is able to perform well in big games. Tampa Bay had a sloppy game against Pittsburgh last week and it would be tough to roll with the Storm in this hectic final week.

The rest of the divisions get harder from here. We’ll tackle the Eastern Division next.

This division comes down to choosing which two members of the Soul you want for your team. The choices are Raudabaugh, WR Tiger Jones and FB Derrick Ross. Pittsburgh has been woeful on offense this season. Cleveland players are more of sleeper options at this point when they’re a 4-13 team on the road at a 6-11 Utah squad.

The risk that you take by putting Soul players in your lineup is how long they will play. When they take the field at 9pm, the Jacksonville-Tampa Bay game will be nearly over. If Tampa wins, the Soul wraps up the #1 seed. If Philadelphia finds that out in the first quarter of its game, how long do those three players stay in? For this, we’ll assume Jacksonville beats Tampa and the Soul has to get a win to nail down the top spot.

We’ll take Raudabaugh and Jones this week and leave Ross behind. Raudabaugh has thrown for at least four touchdowns in every game this season. He’s on a roll with three consecutive five-touchdown games through the air. He also hasn’t thrown an interception in seven games so he looks like a quarterback to play with confidence. Jones looks like a solid pick as he’s the lone receiver in the league with more than 2,000 yards this season.

As for Ross, he’s still the best fullback in the league in every statistical category. This week calls for some unusual picks in unusual times. Benching Ross is certainly one of them.

With the American Conference down, let’s take a look at the jungle known as the National Conference. We’ve already picked two quarterbacks and two wide receivers so we need a fullback, kicker, wide receiver and a quarterback out of the National Conference.

Let’s go into the Western Division first and find two of those players.

Our first pick is Arizona WR Rod Windsor. Windsor has been the consistent, injury-free receiver for the Rattlers this season. He’s scored three receiving touchdowns in each of his last five games and that’s the kind of consistency you want for a week like this. In Week 10, Windsor put up a 7-90-2 line in the big win over Iowa. Look for him to do something similar this week.

The second player is going to be Arizona FB Odie Armstrong. Armstrong has quietly been the second-best true rusher in the league. His 24 touchdowns are second to Ross and he’s scored in every game since Week 2. The last time Arizona took on Iowa it was a total whitewash as Arizona led 63-13 after three quarters. Armstrong should be able to pick up some extra carries this week and could cash in for another multiple-touchdown game.

Our sleeper pick out of the Western Division is Spokane WR Adron Tennell. When you combine a matchup against a bottom-feeder with a need for a breakout game, all signs point to Tennell going off against the Power. His performances of late haven’t inspired confidence. He scored three times in the Shock’s last game against the Talons. Tennell had three combined touchdowns in the three games before that. He looks to be due for a big game like 11-122-4 to get him ready for the playoffs against Chicago. The question is which Tennell will show up. Will it be the early-season world-beater or the late-season player with mediocre fantasy value?

That leaves the Central Division where we’ll find our third quarterback and a kicker.

Our third quarterback is going to be JJ Raterink of the Barnstormers. He’s thrown for just under 4,000 yards with a solid total of 78 touchdowns. He’s been a consistent quarterback with about 240 yards and four touchdowns per week. Look for about 30 points from Raterink this week. He has four games with seven touchdown passes and a nine-touchdown game against San Jose so the possibility is there for him to have a huge game on the season’s final week.

Rohan Davey will likely have a tough time with the Soul while Chicago has been inconsistent week-to-week. They were able to score 63 and upset Arizona but were limited to 26 by Philadelphia earlier in the month.

Finally, our kicker will be Jose Martinez of the Rush. He’s consistent and the Rush should be able to score a good number of points against a San Jose team that might be looking ahead to its first-round game against the Rattlers.

There you have it. It’s going to be an unusual lineup compared to what you’ve seen here before. Players such as Nick Davila, Erik Meyer, Derrick Ross and Reggie Gray are all on the bench for the Unemployed Punters.

The only thing predictable about this week is its unpredictability. Buckle up and hang on because it’s going to be a bumpy ride to the finish. Good luck everyone.

Week 19 Lineup for the Unemployed Punters

Eastern Division

1 Daniel Raudabaugh QB PHI

2 Tiger Jones WR PHI

Central Division

1 JJ Raterink QB IOW

2 Jose Martinez K CHI

Southern Division

1 Aaron Garcia QB ORL

2 TT Tolliver WR ORL

Western Division

1 Rod Windsor WR ARI

2 Odie Armstrong FB 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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