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AFL Quickplay Week 2

Andrew Nordmeier
Friday March 21, 2014

The first week of the season is in the books and we had some stellar performances to open the season. Chris Dieker of Cleveland accounted for nine total touchdowns in the Gladiators’ win over Pittsburgh. Tysson Poots of Arizona went off with 10 catches for 191 yards and four touchdowns. Derrick Ross ran over the Rattlers for 46 yards and six touchdowns.

It’s good to see the scoreboards are in mid-season form with points piling up all over the league. However, did the points pile up for your fantasy team in the first week? The top two spots may have gone to people from Pittsburgh. The winner of the first week was PowerUp with 249 points. I Got the Power got second place with 244 points.

Yours truly came home third with 240 points. The Short Bus Kids (239) and Swamp Dawgs (234) round out the top five places. Sixth through tenth are The Spoon O (225 points), Legnbaz (224 points) and a tie for eighth between The Commish, Phantom Furballs and the end zone kamikaze with 222 points each.

Let’s look ahead to Week 2. It has bye weeks. Yes, seriously. Bye weeks. Cleveland, Pittsburgh, New Orleans, and Jacksonville are all sitting on the couch this week. It leaves your South Division options to be Orlando and Tampa Bay. Your East options are limited to Philadelphia and Iowa. All six teams in the National Conference play this week.

In this game, bye weeks are a much bigger part of the picture than in an NFL fantasy football game. Your options are reduced greatly when teams are off and it can really paint everyone into a corner. At least we’re all in the same corner together. Be ready to go through this again next week when more byes hit.

Here’s the schedule. All times are Eastern. The roster deadline is one hour prior to kickoff of the first game of the week.

March 21--Friday Los Angeles at Orlando 7:30 p.m. Tampa Bay at San Antonio 8:30 p.m.

March 23--Sunday Spokane at Arizona 6:30 p.m. Philadelphia at San Jose 8:00 p.m.

March 24--Monday Iowa at Portland 10:00 p.m.

That makes your Week 2 roster deadline Friday at 6:30 p.m. Eastern (3:30 p.m. Pacific). So, who do you take? Let’s walk through this and see how it all shakes out.

Western Division

It’s safe to say that this is going to be another double Arizona week. Los Angeles won in its first game and needed a last-second field goal to knock off San Antonio 41-38. Neither team seems overly inspiring from a fantasy standpoint thus far. You’re not going to find much out from a fantasy standpoint in a 41-38 score. It’s also hard to go against the defending champs after knocking off Philadelphia, again.

Nick Davila gets the first selection here. He threw for 338 yards and seven touchdowns last week in the Arizona win and added a touchdown run as well. Davila has been impressive each of the last three seasons and there’s little reason to not pick him this week, or every week for that matter.

The second player is a tough call. Poots went off, but Maurice Purify posted a solid game with 11 receptions for 111 yards and a touchdown. Rod Windsor caught three passes but two of them were for touchdowns. It’s difficult to pick just one of them since you can’t tell which one is going to have the great game.

That’s why this week I’m going with Purify. My reasoning is that Poots will draw coverage based on last week’s outburst. Purify clearly got more targets than Windsor and performed much better in nearly every area, statistically speaking. Windsor (24 yards and two touchdowns) was good but didn’t “Wow” in Week 1.

Pacific Division

Last week, Reggie Gray of San Jose had a solid game in his SaberCats debut with 102 yards and four touchdowns on six catches. In the box score, he didn’t return a single kick so that reduces his value just a little bit. San Jose thumped Portland by 30 points in the opener and the Thunder don’t quite have that feel of a team to be confident in, yet.

So that leaves the two usual suspects in San Jose and Spokane. Erik Meyer finished with seven total touchdowns last week and is off to a solid start. So we’ll give him the call here, even against Arizona. Spokane-Arizona games tend to be a bit crazy and this one should be no exception.

But the second spot is going to be a tough one. Do you take Reggie Gray or Adron Tennell of the Shock? Both are very talented, but Gray has the better matchup, so we’ll take him for a second week in a row. Tennell is taking on an Arizona defense that limited Philadelphia to two passing touchdowns last week. Meyer shouldn’t be limited to that dinky number, but you never can tell.

The SaberCats host the Soul this week and there’s a chance of Gray breaking loose and wreaking all sorts of havoc on the scoreboard. The Soul let Poots go off last week; could Gray do it this week? We think so.

Eastern Division

One spot is Derrick Ross at the fullback position. That’s pretty much a given. Until someone can even come close to approaching what he has done, this spot is reserved for Ross. The only two ways I’m not playing him are if the Soul is on a bye or Ross needs substantial medical attention.

Iowa and Portland were two low-scoring teams last week. When you put two of them together, you never know what you’ll get. You could get a 35-34 game or a 70-69 game. Both are equally possible. Without knowing much about them from their first games, we’ll stick with Tiger Jones of the Soul for a second straight week. I'd rather be a little less risky at the start of the season and have to roll the dice late for the win.

Southern Division

We need a kicker and a flex player. After hearing reports of a low ceiling at the CFE Arena where Orlando plays, we’ll take the Tampa Bay kicker Carlos Lopez. A higher ceiling sounds good to us.

The final player will be Randy Hippeard of the Storm. Jason Boltus of the Predators was another option, but here’s why we didn’t take him. Boltus barely completed half of his passes last week and had 176 passing yards. The four touchdowns (and two more on the ground) were nice, but he has to be able to complete a higher percentage of passes to increase his value. Hippeard was better completing 18-of-27 for six scores and he racked up 288 yards. He inspires more confidence. Hippeard would be a better fit than a wide receiver like Justin Hilton when it comes to a flex play.

Let’s review the lineup of the Unemployed Punters for Week 2:

QB Nick Davila--ARI WR Maurice Purify--ARI QB Erik Meyer--SPO WR Reggie Gray--SJ FB Derrick Ross--PHI WR Anthony Jones--PHI QB Randy Hippeard--TB K Carlos Lopez--TB

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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