AFL Quickplay Week 7
Last week saw the AFL look like the AFL we’ve come to know and love. Scoreboards were sagging with points being piled on them. There were plenty of players scoring huge points and it filled up the point totals for many fantasy teams.
Jason Boltus, Tommy Grady, Nick Davila and Randy Hippeard each turned in amazing performances at the quarterback position. There were also some total clunkers from a fantasy standpoint. Iowa beat Los Angeles 31-12. San Jose had a rough time with Portland and escaped with a 38-32 win.
This past week saw one of the highest scores in recent memory with The Commish posting an eye-popping 271 points to win the week. The hilariously-named Unsubmitted Commitment Forms rolled up 268 points for second place. KissMyThunderRattle scored 265 points while PowerUp and the Washington Commandos tied for fourth with 264 points each.
The team with no name (262), the Sugarmill Giants (257), Unemployed Punters (254), Legnbaz (254) and Nebraska Predators (251) round out to the top ten for the week. Any team with 251 points is also part of that tie.
For the season, the Short Bus Kids are rolling away with the lead. They have 1313 points in the first six weeks and are enjoying a 91-point lead in the early going. The rest of the teams in pursuit hope that short bus gets a couple of flat tires to make the battle for the top more competitive.
The arenabowlbound squad is second with 1222 points. The Swamp Dawgs are right on their heels with 1216 points for the third slot. Legnbaz and the Soup Nazis are tied for fourth with 1208 points each.
The rest of the top 10 features I’m NOT Buying (1207), SF Valleys (1203), Unemployed Punters (1199), Fat Nutz (1193) and RochRush (1187) in the sixth through tenth spots, respectively.
This week looks to be another roller-coaster ride in the fantasy game. Let’s take a look at the schedule for Week 7. There are no byes this week so it’s full speed ahead. All times Eastern.
Portland at Jacksonville Saturday 7:00 pm
Pittsburgh at Cleveland 7:00 pm
Spokane at Tampa Bay 7:30 pm
New Orleans at Orlando 7:30 pm
San Antonio at Arizona 9:00 pm
San Jose at Los Angeles 10:00 pm
Iowa at Philadelphia Sunday 4:00 pm
That makes this week’s roster deadline 6:00 pm Eastern and 3:00 pm Pacific. Let’s get started.
This division can be summed up in one sentence: Arizona scores a league high 64.6 points per game; San Antonio is a distant second with 42 points per game and Los Angeles is even worse. The Talons are showing some signs of life from a fantasy standpoint but they have a tough matchup with Arizona. Pittsburgh tore up Arizona for 69 points last week. Will the Arizona defense stiffen up against San Antonio? If it doesn’t, players like QB SHANE BOYD and WR DJ STEPHENS could make for some sleeper plays if you’re into taking chances.
We’re not, so we’ll go with the tried-and-true options of Arizona QB NICK DAVILA and WR MAURICE PURIFY. In his last three games, Davila has thrown for 808 yards and 23 touchdowns against only two interceptions. Last week, he threw for 325 yards and nine scores. Davila has thrown at least seven touchdowns in each game this season and that’s the consistency that screams “Start Me!”
Purify has scored at least three touchdowns in each of his last four games and has at least 90 receiving yards in four of his five games this season. His success comes with Davila performing as well as he has this season and it looks like this will continue against the Talons.
After the 12-point egg laid by the KISS, it’s going to take some serious offense to get on board with them in fantasy in anything other than a bye-week situation.
Reggie Gray of San Jose and Mike Washington of Spokane each put up goose eggs on the scoreboard last week and they kept some fantasy teams from hitting the 300-point mark last week. This is going to be a tough division to work through this week. Portland continues to struggle with a league-worst 32.6 points per game, which makes the Thunder difficult to put your faith in with results that poor.
That leaves us San Jose and Spokane to choose from this week. San Jose heads down the coast to visit the KISS while Spokane takes on Tampa Bay in Florida. Tampa allows 57 points per game and Los Angeles allows 42; advantage Spokane. San Jose had a tough time in Portland in a low-scoring affair and could have issues as many other teams have against Los Angeles.
WR REGGIE GRAY would be a solid option but he spent last week on the inactive list but the team divulged no further details. WR MIKE WASHINGTON didn’t perform for Spokane. QB ERIK MEYER was only okay last week and wound up getting benched in favor of other quarterbacks. That turned out to be a good decision then and I’d still stick by it now this week. Meyer is a good quarterback but there are other better options in the league at that position.
This is a tough division to navigate. We’ll move it to the bottom of the list and see what we still need after tackling the other divisions.
We’ve found another solid quarterback in JASON BOLTUS of Orlando and we’ll take him again this week. Last week he threw for 365 yards and nine touchdowns before chipping in one more score on the ground. Boltus has been hot lately with four straight games with at least 335 passing yards and six touchdowns in each. Boltus has tossed at least eight touchdowns in his last three games so there would be no reason to keep him out of the lineup.
Our other choice from this division is going to be QB RANDY HIPPEARD of Tampa Bay. In last week’s column we mentioned how Boltus and Hippeard have been 1-2 in most statistical categories this season. Both of them lit up the scoreboard in the most recent installment of the War On I-4. This week, Hippeard and the Storm host the Spokane in the longest possible road trip in the league. Hippeard is second in the league with 291 yards per game and Boltus is first with 329.8 yards per game.
Hippeard is the second quarterback to hit 40 touchdown passes this season to go with his 10 interceptions and averages more than 13 yards per completion. Fantasy football is all about statistics and Hippeard is an undeniable top-tier quarterback.
Yep. It’s another dose of FB DERRICK ROSS of the Soul. Philadelphia leads the league in rushing yards with 188 and rushing touchdowns with 13. Ross has 160 of those yards and no other player in the league has more than 95 yards. Additionally, no other true fullback comes close. The majority of the top rushers on the list are also quarterbacks.
The second player from this division is going to be a tough decision. Cleveland and Pittsburgh go head-to-head this week. Both teams are in that stingy defense group as each team allows less than 43 points per game. This has the chance to be a lower-scoring game, which can really bring a fantasy team down.
In other divisional game, Philadelphia takes on Iowa. Iowa is the fourth-best defense in the league and it gives the Eastern Division three of the top four defenses in the league. The Soul have found a way to average less than 60 points per game allowed so there’s where the opportunity lies.
In a bit of a sleeper pick, we’ll take WR MARCO THOMAS of Iowa for one of the wide receiver spots this week. Thomas is in the top three in receptions per game (8.6, 3rd) and yards per game (108.4, 2nd).He’s tied for fourth in receiving touchdowns with 13. Thomas has the kind of performance kind of performance you want in a fantasy wide receiver.
Pacific Division—Part 2
That forces us to double back to the Pacific Division to pick up a kicker and a non-quarterback flex player. It makes the task much easier in that division when you know exactly what you need to get. Let’s take the easier of the two tasks here and select K TAYLOR ROWAN of Spokane. The decision came down to him or NICH PERTUIT of San Jose and Rowan has the better matchup.
So that leaves us a flex spot. One precious flex spot. Who to choose. Who to choose. Hmmm.
Okay. We’re going to go WR MIKE WASHINGTON of Spokane. Brandon Thompkins took advantage of the absence of Washington last week and rolled up 128 yards and four touchdowns on 12 catches. The Spokane Spokesman-Review is reporting that Washington appears to be ready go to against Tampa Bay. He missed the last two weeks with a hamstring injury—and still leads the Shock in yards and touchdowns. Perhaps this is the week Erik Meyer breaks out of his mini-slump and looks like the Meyer of old. If he does, Washington will certainly be a big part of that happening.
Unemployed Punters Week 7 Lineup
FB Derrick Ross PHI
WR Marco Thomas IOW
QB Jason Boltus ORL
QB Randy Hippeard TAM
K Taylor Rowan SPO
WR Mike Washington SPO
QB Nick Davila ARI
WR Maurice Purify 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.