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AFL Quickplay Week 3

Andrew Nordmeier
Friday March 28, 2014

The third week of the AFL season is upon us and itís going to be a rough one in fantasy. The second set of byes comes up and we have some top talent sitting on the couch this week.

This week, Philadelphia, Spokane, Portland, Iowa, Los Angeles and Arizona are all off. It leaves us just four games to work with to set our lineup and pile up the points this week. Before we dive into this week, letís see who did well last week.

The Washington Commandos won the week with 211 points. He took Jason Boltus of Orlando, and it paid solid dividends. I finished second for the week with 209 points. Making the right call on Reggie Gray over Adron Tennell was a great decision. Picking Maurice Purify as the Rattler receiver for the week was also a solid choice. The rest of the top five for the week were Iím NOT buying with 208 points, evanhasafantasyteam with 199 points and a three-way tie between follow the buzzards, Phantom Furballs and Short Bus Kids with 198 each. The rest of the top 10 was the SF Valleys with 194 points, Stormjr with 190 points and the Swamp Dawgs with 189 points, respectively.

The overall leader through two weeks isÖ.me!

I have 449 points and a 12-point cushion over the Short Bus Kids and their 437 points. Power Up (431), Swamp Dawgs (423) and a tie between Iím NOT buying and the Phantom Furballs at 420 points make up the top five. RochRush (403), endzonekamikaze (399), Legnbaz (395) and SF Valleys (393) round out the top 10.

This week looks to be tough with the byes so letís check out the schedule and see what we can make of it.

San Jose at Pittsburgh
Orlando at Tampa Bay
San Antonio at Jacksonville
Cleveland at New Orleans

The first game is Saturday at 5:00 p.m. ET which makes your roster deadline Saturday at 4:00 p.m. ET. All of the games are on Saturday this week. This also means weíre going to have a very interesting week. The Western Division is down to just San Antonio. The Pacific Division is reduced to San Jose only. Philadelphia is off so we canít ride the Derrick Ross freight train and we need a new fullback. Yikes. Letís get this going and see what the lineup looks like for Week 3.

Eastern Division

QB-Chris Dieker-CLE
QB Tommy Grady-PIT

So why these two? Dieker has started out the season with a solid performance in terms of both passing and rushing. He has 29 yards and four rushing touchdowns from his first game of the season. Itís worked for Cleveland and it works for us here given the limited teams to choose from. That, and I regretted not taking him on Week 1.

Grady might be a surprise pick, but this makes sense. Pittsburgh canned its former coach and brought in Ron James this week. James coached Utah for four seasons and his quarterback wasÖ Grady. Couple that with wide receivers Aaron LeSue and Shaun Kauleinamoku, and this looks like a Blaze reunion with the potential for a big night on the scoreboard. The SaberCats have a tough defense allowing less than 35 points in each of their first two games. My gut says Grady can break through and we can have a game like some of the old Utah-San Jose contests of previous seasons.

Southern Division

QB Jason Boltus-ORL
WR-Justin Hilton-TB

Boltus has been impressive with his arms and his feet to open the season. His ratio of 10 touchdowns to 2 interceptions is one of the better ones in the game. Iím not expecting a ton of passing yards from him, as he hasnít even averaged 230 yards per game. Boltus also gets the job done with his feet. Heís second in the league in rushing yards (52), attempts (17), and touchdowns (5) trailing only Ross of the Soul in all of those categories.

Weíll check into the Hilton this week and roll with him. Heís still leading the league with 242 yards in two games so Randy Hippeard is looking his way often. Hiltonís second in touchdowns with six so it looks like a solid play here.

And we all know the War on I-4 is always a shootout of a game. This one looks to be no exception.

Jacksonville got some consideration for its first home game of the season but San Antonio has been a little firm defensively so it makes me a little hesitant given my other options. The lack of available teams and positions also hurts this week.

Pacific Division

WR- Reggie Gray-SJ
WR-Rod Harper-SJ

We were painted into a corner with San Jose being the only team in the division playing this week. Gray leads the league in touchdown catches with seven. Harper has four of his own and each player is averaging 90 yards a game receiving. We already used up all three quarterback spots so we had to look at wide receivers, kickers and fullbacks.

These picks make sense from the standpoint that the San Jose defense has been causing turnovers, which produces tons of offensive opportunities. If San Jose-Pittsburgh goes gangbusters, look for both of these guys to see a ton of work. Even if Pittsburgh shifts the coverage to Gray, look for Harper to get open and take advantage.

Western Division

K-Garrett Lindholm-SA
FB-Mykel Benson-SA

No KISS, no Rattlers, no other positions to fill could be the mantra for these two picks. We have to keep that lineup legal to get points. Otherwise, it reverts to last week and that would be a disaster.

Lindholm has scored 17 points in the Talonsí first two games and has a pair of field goals to his credit. If he gets the opportunity to kick in a reasonable range, he should be able to score for your team this week. The Talons average 41.5 points per game so the kicker becomes a key when your offense isnít hanging 50 and 60-point games on the scoreboard yet.

Benson fills the need for the position. Heís also the only non-quarterback available this week who has double-digit carries this season. Bensonís 10 carries tell me that San Antonio trusts him with the ball in close. He has 27 rushing yards and one touchdown this season. It looks like our best shot to get a short-range touchdown is going to be here.

Unemployed Punters Week 3 Lineup

QB-Chris Dieker-CLE
QB Tommy Grady-PIT
QB Jason Boltus-ORL
WR-Justin Hilton-TB
WR- Reggie Gray-SJ
WR-Rod Harper-SJ
K-Garrett Lindholm-SA
FB-Mykel Benson-SA

Good luck to everyone this week!

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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