AFL Quickplay Week 10—The Return of Aaron Garcia
Saturday May 17, 2014
A big trade has reshaped the league at the quarterback position, and it will impact your fantasy roster. The trade sent Aaron Garcia’s rights from Jacksonville to Los Angeles in exchange for JJ Raterink. Raterink was subsequently shipped to Iowa for a defensive lineman.
We all know what Garcia is capable of but this will be different. He’s going to a 2-6 team that is a playoff contender (someone has to take the 4th spot in the National Conference) and has broken the 45-point barrier once in eight games.
Donovan Morgan is going to be his only real threat. He’s had a good season so far with 60 receptions for 741 yards and 14 touchdowns. No one else on the team has more than five touchdowns. Markee White, the team’s second best receiver (53-523-5), was shipped to Philadelphia in another trade and the KISS look to be one-dimensional in the passing game.
If a team can slow down Morgan, it could render Garcia ineffective from a fantasy standpoint. The thing to keep in mind with him is this: Despite all of his previous success, he’s going to have a rough go of it in Los Angeles. We don’t recommend him yet until the KISS is able to develop a legitimate second receiving threat.
Raterink’s resurfacing in Iowa is going to pose potential question marks for the Barnstormers at quarterback. Do they go with Raterink or Carson Coffman? The situation in Iowa is the same as the one in Los Angeles. Both teams have quarterbacks that have been effective before and have one primary target in the passing game. It’s not a good situation to be in from a fantasy standpoint.
That said, let’s take a look back at last week and see who did well in fantasy and how the standings look as we close in on the halfway point.
This week’s winning team of the week is the Polster38 squad. They got a strong performance from Eric Rogers at wide receiver (31 points) to lead them to a total of 243 points and the top spot. Right on their heels were the Short Bus Kids with 242 points. That makes it a tough week for any of the other teams to try and gain ground on the game leader when they put up a number like that.
The Commish (233), Legnbaz (229) and PowerUp (223) points round out this week’s top five. Our lineup for the Unemployed Punters turned in 218 points that was 11th in the game this past week so it’s another good week for us.
Overall, the Short Bus Kids hold the lead with 1,946 points. It’s a 73-point gap back to the second-place squad I’m NOT Buying. Legnbaz and FAT NUTZ are tied for third with 1,855 points and PowerUp sits fifth with 1845 points. Sixth through tenth place are separated by eight points and the Punters are in there at seventh with 1827 points for the season.
Let’s look at this week’s action and see where the points might be hiding. Everyone’s playing this week.
Saturday, May 17 (all times Eastern)
Los Angeles at Pittsburgh 6:00 p.m.
Tampa Bay at Philadelphia 6:00 p.m.
Orlando at Jacksonville 7:00 p.m.
New Orleans at San Antonio 8:00 p.m.
Cleveland at Iowa 8:05 p.m.
Portland at San Jose 10:00 p.m.
Sunday, May 18
Spokane at Arizona 6:00 p.m.
This makes your roster deadline Saturday afternoon at 5:00 p.m. Eastern and 2:00 pm Pacific. It’s going to be a bumpy ride this week with all of the late-breaking developments surrounding quarterbacks. Let’s jump in and try to make sense of it all.
Western Division (Arizona, Los Angeles, San Antonio)
The first rule of this division is to pick Arizona QB NICK DAVILA unless he’s on a bye or a gurney. Davila has 65 passing touchdowns and four interceptions this season. If you’re not starting him, why? With a TD:INT ratio of better than 16:1 he is a must start each week.
Our second pick out of the division is Arizona WR ROD WINDSOR. Maurice Purify has been carrying the load for the Rattlers but was limited last week against Portland. Purify had one catch for 10 yards and a touchdown. Windsor had four touchdowns and has put up similar numbers to Purify over the last three weeks.
Morgan of the KISS makes a decent sleeper pick if you want to roll the dice. He could click early with Garcia but the Rattlers provide better options than the KISS at this point.
San Antonio has only one win this season but has been competitive in each of its last four games. The Talons take on the VooDoo and someone will get their second win of the year. When you put two bad teams together you could get a 28-21 final or a 77-76 final. There won’t be much option in between but I’m not endorsing the Talons as a viable fantasy option this week.
Pacific Division (San Jose, Portland, Spokane)
We saw how the first of at least six games for the Spokane Shock
without the services of the star quarterback Erik Meyer (broken collarbone). It wasn’t pretty. The Shock lost by 11 to Pittsburgh for a rare loss in Deaf Valley.
From a fantasy standpoint, this first game gave us an idea of what to expect until Meyer returns. Donovan Porterie had a lousy game for the Shock in his debut under center. Porterie went 17-of-37 for 185 yards and five touchdowns with three interceptions. Keep in mind that 79 of those yards came on two long completions, one to Mike Washington (42 yards) and Adron Tennell (37 yards). If you take those away, Porterie would be Raternik-awful for Spokane.
Four different players scored a touchdown for Spokane and Washington was the only player to hit the end zone twice. Add to that a game at Arizona and it looks like this is going to be another long week for the Shock. It’s going to be difficult to recommend any of the Shock players with the quarterbacking being questionable and the matchup being rough.
The other two teams in the division go head to head this week. Danny Southwick of the Thunder had a good stat line with 331 yards and five touchdowns against Arizona. The downside is that most of those points came late in the game in “garbage time.” Then again, the points all count the same. Eric Rogers took advantage with 13 catches for 152 yards and four touchdowns.
San Jose had a bye week last week and is coming off a 70-35 thumping of Orlando. Russ Michna played better under center with 149 passing yards and six total touchdowns. None of the San Jose receivers scored more than two touchdowns and Reggie Gray is still hurt. We’re going to have to come back around on this division. It looks like the Pacific is going to need be the division of “What’s Left” when it comes to filling out a roster this week.
Our first pick is K TAYLOR ROWAN of Spokane. Arizona’s defense should yield several chances for Rowan to put points up on the board. We’re going to roll with MIKE WASHINGTON of the Shock this week to fill out our lineup. He’s had several good games against Arizona and he’s due for a breakout. Rogers is a sleeper choice this week for the Thunder.
East Division (Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Iowa, Cleveland)
Let’s put one easy spot to bed with FB DERRICK ROSS of the Soul. He’s our guy at the spot and no one else is really even close to him.
The difficult decision to make here is which quarterback to choose this week. Tommy Grady of Pittsburgh, Dan Raudabaugh of the Soul and Shane Austin of Cleveland are the three options. Iowa has a pair of quarterbacks on the roster and it’s hard to say who will play this week. We’re going to go with QB DAN RAUDABAUGH this week. This is the first time this season we’ve taken him, so hopefully Raudabaugh posts solid returns. He posted 271 yards and five touchdowns in his last game against New Orleans.
The Soul takes on the Storm this week. With a new quarterback under center for Tampa Bay, the opportunities are there for more turnovers from the Storm and a veteran quarterback like Raudabaugh should be able to capitalize on them. Pittsburgh faces a tough Los Angeles defense and Cleveland could have a rocky game against Iowa.
Southern Division (Orlando, New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Jacksonville)
The first spot in the division is WR GREG CARR of Orlando. Carr has been solid all season and leads the league with 22 touchdown catches. The identity of his quarterback is up in the air. Jason Boltus was the starter during the first half of the season and it seemed to be his team. Boltus got hurt and Wilson Masoud filled in for him for the rest of the game. It gets trickier with the Predators having activated Bernard Morris this week. Morris is a dual-threat quarterback so it could eat into the fantasy value of the other Predators. Regardless of who the quarterback is, Carr should be getting targeted plenty and keep his fantasy value up.
Jacksonville offers us some refuge from the insanity of the quarterback carousel so we’ll go with RJ ARCHER of the Sharks again this week. Archer was solid last time out with 301 passing yards and eight touchdowns. The Sharks take on the Predators and Orlando allows almost 60 points a game so the matchup is there for Archer to capitalize on.
Tampa Bay also has a positive matchup as they take on the Soul this week. Philadelphia is down on the bottom of the league in terms of points allowed so they can take advantage. Joe Hills of the Storm makes a good sleeper play if you want to try and double him up with Carr. TT Tolliver and Amari Jackson could also be factors for the Storm this week but are deeper options.
The thing working against the Storm is that Randy Hippeard has been placed on injured reserve. They’ve brought in Brendan Crawford to help fill the void at the quarterback position. He could be another situation like the Spokane quarterback mayhem was last week. That’s why we’re not big on the Storm as anything more than sleeper picks/risk-reward picks despite a favorable matchup.
LJ CASTILLE of the Voodoo is about the only player worth rolling on with this week. Castille has a solid stat line (48-643-20) and gets little consideration because of being in New Orleans. Castille makes a good second option if you want to go WR-WR in this division.
It never gets easier. Good luck this week.
Unemployed Punters Week 10 Lineup
QB Nick Davila ARI
WR Rod Windsor ARI
K Taylor Rowan SPO
WR Mike Washington SPO
FB Derrick Ross PHI
QB Dan Raudabaugh PHI
WR Greg Carr ORL
QB RJ Archer JAX
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.