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AFL Quickplay Week 8

Andrew Nordmeier
Saturday May 3, 2014


It’s hard to believe we’re already into May and we’re a third of the way through the season. Arizona and Cleveland have emerged as the teams to beat. That has turned into fantasy success for the players who have been able to harness the teams doing well early. 

 
Let’s take a look and see who did well on Week 7.
 
The Sugarmill Giants won the week with 243 points. They rolled with Erik Meyer of Spokane, Greg Carr of Orlando and Brandon Thompkins of Spokane to fuel their team to victory for the week. The teams of I’m NOT buying and the FAT NUTZ tied for second with 240 points each. Sara’s Sabercats took fourth with 239 points while the Huntsville Vipers and the team with no name tied for fifth at 234 points.
 
The rest of the top 10 for Week 7 features Polster38 in seventh (232), Attack and the Washington Commandos tied for eighth with 228 points and Power Up’s 226 points finishing 10th. Our lineup last week scored 196 points, which was a middle-of-the-pack 30th. 
 
Overall, we saw the standings tighten up. The Short Bus Kids were slowed by the flat tire known as a 183-point week. That allowed the teams in pursuit to tighten up in the battle for the top spot. The Kids are on top for now with 1496 points. In second, arenabowlbound has 1448 points for the season, which trims the Kids’ lead to 48 points; it was nearly 100 points last week. I’m NOT buying (1447) is sitting in third while FAT NUTZ and Legnbaz are tied for fourth at 1433 points each. 
 
The rest of the top 10 has five teams separated by a total of 20 points. SF Valleys (1428) has a slim lead on the Sugarmill Giants (1424) and the Swamp Dawgs (1420). RochRush (1412) and Power Up (1408) round out the top 10. For the record, the Unemployed Punters (our example team) sit 14th with 1395 points. 
 
That’s where we are but let’s see where the plays are this week to go ahead and pile up the points again. First, let’s get a look at this week’s schedule with all times Eastern. 
 
Arizona at Jacksonville 7:00 p.m. Saturday on CBS Sports Network
Philadelphia at Pittsburgh 7:00 p.m. 
Portland at Tampa Bay 7:30 p.m.
Iowa at San Antonio 8:00 p.m.
Orlando at San Jose 10:30 p.m.
Spokane at Los Angeles 7:00 p.m. Sunday on ESPN2
 
This makes your roster deadline 6:00 p.m. Eastern on Saturday (3:00 p.m. Pacific), so make sure you have your team ready to go for the week by then. 
 
If you kept count, there are only six games on the schedule this week. That puts two teams on bye this week. One is the New Orleans VooDoo and the other is the 6-0 Cleveland Gladiators. Each division is restricted to three teams this week with the byes. 
 
Next week also has byes in play as well with four teams (San Jose, San Antonio, Orlando and Tampa Bay) chilling on the couch in Week 9. That may factor into how you fill out your lineup this week. Let’s get going and see who to play.
 
Western Division (Arizona, Los Angeles, San Antonio)
 
The Rattlers take on Jacksonville this week, and they are prime candidates to represent this division. The Sharks have been made into chum the last couple of weeks by allowing 54 points to Philadelphia and then a stunning 69 points to Portland last week. The Jacksonville defense is ripe for the picking and they had Aaron Garcia walk away from the team last week. That could get inside their heads and have a mental impact on the game. 
 
Taking that into consideration, we’ll take the duo of QB NICK DAVILA and WR MAURICE PURIFY of Arizona again this week. Davila has been Captain Consistency so far this season with at least seven passing touchdowns in each of Arizona’s first six games of the season. He’s thrown for 18 touchdowns, 631 yards and one interception in his last two games combined. Purify continues to post solid numbers each week and leads Arizona with a stat line of 48-680-18 so far this season. That’s tough to top and it makes Purify a surefire pick. 
 
Arizona beat Jacksonville 63-38 in Week 4 and there’s little to suggest Davila and company won’t have a repeat performance this week. 
 
San Antonio has put together three straight solid games on offense which inspires confidence from a fantasy standpoint. They’ve scored at least 59 points in each of their last three games but only have one win to show for it. DJ Stephens makes a nice sleeper play as his solid season (53-781-16) continues. Iowa and San Antonio played a 63-62 game a few weeks back. Could they have another barnburner with the Barnstormers?
 
The Los Angeles KISS still don’t have much to offer in terms of fantasy given they are the lowest-scoring team in the league. 
 
Pacific Division (Spokane, San Jose, Portland)
 
The Spokane Shock proved to be a little too tricky for me last week as I picked the wrong receiver to roll with. I was also wrong about Erik Meyer as he turned in a solid performance with 244 passing yards and six touchdowns. Meyer chipped in two rushing scores for eight in total to earn the Player of the Week Honors. Brandon Thompkins continued his hot play with 9-127-3 in the win at Tampa Bay. 
 
If you had asked at the start of the season if Adron Tennell, Mike Washington or anyone else on the roster would have been the best wide out for the Shock, there would have been no chance of saying anyone else. While Thompkins has been lighting it up, we know Washington and Tennell could also turn it on at any time, That’s why it’s tough to pick a Shock wide receiver with confidence. So instead, we take the quarterback. 
 
Spokane has Los Angeles this week so I’m a hair hesitant on using the Shock against a team with a solid defense. Portland doesn’t sound much better even after dropping 69 on the Sharks. I’d still urge caution with the Thunder because the 69 makes their points per game average a bland 38.7 with the big week.
 
San Jose is a little bit of a weaker option without Reggie Gray. He didn’t play last week against the KISS and hasn’t played since Week 5. Rod Harper (9-67-4) looks like he’s picking up the slack in Gray’s absence. San Jose has the best matchup this week as they take on Orlando, allowing a league—worst 58 points per game. 
 
I don’t want to be left out again on Meyer so we’re going to take him this week. The other pick from this division needs to be a kicker and we’ll take TAYLOR ROWAN of Spokane to pair up with Meyer. Rowan should also be able to put a few points on the board this week against the KISS.
 
Southern Division (Orlando, Tampa Bay, Jacksonville)
 
This is one of the easiest division to play in each week thanks to the Predators stepping up. Here we’re going with QB JASON BOLTUS and WR GREG CARR as our two picks from the division. This is like shooting fish in a barrel. Boltus averages 313.7 yards of offense per game and has a favorable matchup with San Jose this week. 
 
Carr is looking more and more like a go-to-guy each week with the way he has performed. Carr stands 6’6” and 230 pounds which makes him a huge target in the indoor game. He started slowly this season with 25 yards on four catches in his first two weeks. He came up bigger in Week 3 with 77 yards and two touchdowns against Tampa. 
 
Since then, Carr has been in top gear. He has recorded at least seven receptions in each of his last four games. He has at least 140 receiving yards in three of those four games. Carr has found the end zone four times in each of those four games. That screams fantasy starter. 
 
Tampa has slid back to a middle-of-the-road offense and games against Portland tend to be low-scoring affairs so that puts the Storm on our bench this week. Jacksonville has Arizona and the Rattlers had a tougher-than-expected time with San Antonio last week. RJ Archer of the Sharks makes a good sleeper play coming off the loss to Portland. He threw for 332 yards and six scores and ran for two more. Jeron Harvey (8-151-2) and Jomo Wilson (5-134-2) both had solid but not spectacular games last week. 
 
New Orleans is off, and it doesn’t really make a difference. The VooDoo should only merit consideration in case of bye weeks in the division. 
 
East Division (Iowa, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia)
 
This week we get to choose from a trio of 3-3 teams. Cleveland’s off, so that makes this division harder to pick. Philadelphia and Pittsburgh play each other this week. 
 
Derrick Ross of the Soul usually occupies the fullback position. He’s had at least 10 carries in four of the six games for Philadelphia. He has scored 11 of his 12 touchdowns in three games. That leaves three games this season with a combined one touchdown from the rumbling fullback. 
 
Which Ross will you get this week against Pittsburgh? It’s hard to predict against the top defense in the league allowing 231.8 yards per game. Pittsburgh is also the best against the run allowing 10.5 yards per game and seven touchdowns on the ground in the Power’s first six games. The numbers point to a potential clunker for Ross. 
 
After five scores in his last two games, he’s had a weak outing against Iowa. Could this be the bounce back game? We’ll take Ross this week but won’t be surprised if he posts fewer than five fantasy points. We’ll go with him over a player like Odie Armstrong of San Jose for the divisional need. Armstrong posted 27 yards and a touchdown last week for the SaberCats and looks like he could be the same person we saw in Arizona for the past three seasons. If he is, his value will rise as we go through the season. 
 
Our other pick from the division is a player we used last week and got good results with. That was WR MARCO THOMAS of Iowa. The last time Iowa played San Antonio, Thomas posted an 8-142-4 line, which racked up fantasy points. He was dinged up during the game against Philadelphia but came back and continued to produce, finishing with 158 yards and two touchdowns on eight catches. 
 
That makes our lineup complete for the week and hopefully, we do better than last week. Good luck to everyone playing this week.
 
Unemployed Punters Lineup Week 8
FB Derrick Ross PHI
WR Marco Thomas IOW
QB Jason Boltus ORL
WR Greg Carr ORL
K Taylor Rowan SPO
QB Erik Meyer 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.
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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