AFL Quickplay Week 19—The End is Near
Last week marked the end of the byes and the start of the official home stretch to the 2014 Quickplay season. Everyone’s in play for the final two weeks and it’s a free-for-all since plenty is left to be determined.
Let’s take a look at the top five for last week and the overall standings.
Last week, I’m NOT Buying had the top spot with 235 points. Arenabowlbound and the Huntsville Vipers tied for second with 228. The HornDawgs (225) edged out the Soup Nazis (224) for fourth. The Unemployed Punters would have finished sixth with 223. More on this below.
Overall, it’s still the Short Bus Kids on top of the pile with 3666 points. RochRush stands second with 3607. The Soup Nazis are third at 3588 while the Phantom Furballs are fourth at 3357. Legnbaz rounds out the top five at 3504 points.
Our team, the Unemployed Punters, got hosed last week. Our lineup (Davila-Windsor-Meyer-Armstrong-Austin-Pettrey-Carr-Hughley) was apparently eaten by the computer even though we put it in on Friday morning. So instead of getting the 223 points we should have had, we wound up with a stinky 120 since it somehow reverted back to the previous week’s lineup. The lineup (3QB, 3WR, 1FB, 1K) was legal so we’ll never know for sure. The 103 points we got hosed put of dropped us out of the top 10 and to 13th overall. Had everything worked right, we would have 3509 for the season and been in fifth place for the year.
At the end of the day, it’s just for fun. Since I write this column, it revokes my eligibility for any of the prizes. The lesson to remember: check your lineup, make sure your changes take and get it on the deadline so this doesn’t kill your chances of performing well.
Hopefully your team is still in the running as we peruse the Week 19 schedule. Byes are done so everyone is eligible this week.
Jacksonville at Cleveland 7:00 p.m. Eastern Saturday
Orlando at New Orleans 8:00 p.m.
Pittsburgh at Iowa 8:05 p.m.
San Antonio at Los Angeles 10:00 p.m.
San Jose at Philadelphia 4:00 p.m. Sunday
Portland at Arizona 6:00 p.m.
Tampa Bay at Spokane 8:30 p.m. Monday
The roster deadline is 6:00 p.m. Eastern/3:00 p.m. Pacific on Saturday so make sure you get it in on time.
Pacific Division (Arizona, Los Angeles, San Antonio)
We have to take QB NICK DAVILA again this week and WR ROD WINDSOR of the Rattlers. Davila has been stellar all season and Windsor leads the league in touchdown receptions.
Los Angeles takes on San Antonio this week in an almost meaningless game. If the KISS loses, they give Portland the final playoff spot in the National Conference. Portland would play Arizona in the first round in two weeks. How much would Arizona show if they have the Thunder again in the post-season? They still have the talent to light up the scoreboard. Portland likely won’t be able to keep pace as they score about 20 fewer points a game than Arizona does.
Windsor and Maurice Purify were both solid last week in the Arizona loss at Spokane. Their stat lines were nearly equal so they look like Option 1A and 1B for the Rattlers. Consider them equal from a fantasy standpoint but Purify could be limited as the Rattlers want to keep him fresh for the playoffs. Remember that Purify missed a good chunk of time with a knee injury mid-season and there might be no reason to run him out there, especially if the playoff matchup is set.
There is risk involved with the Arizona game this week but it sure beats taking your chances this late in the season on the other two teams in the division.
Pacific Division (Spokane, Portland, San Jose)
The first pick is QB ERIK MEYER. The Shock hosts Tampa Bay this week (travel factor), the Storm allows the most yards per game in the league with 310 (opportunity factor) and Adron Tennell has been reactivated from injured reserve (surprise factor) so Meyer has more weapons to work with. Having Tennell on the field completely changes how teams will cover the Shock wide receivers and Meyer should take advantage of it.
The second pick is WR DOMINIQUE CURRY of San Jose. Our first thought was K NICH PERTUIT of San Jose to fill the requirement but then something inside said to me to take Curry. He had five total touchdowns last week (three receiving, two rushing) and should have another chance for success against the Soul defense, which has looked horrible at times this season. Curry seems to have seized the top receiver spot in San Jose and has a positive matchup.
Others to consider are WR Mike Washington of Spokane (boost with Tennell back), Pertuit, Portland’s Doug McNeill III (favorable matchup with Arizona and no Eric Douglas) and Thunder QB Kyle Rowley.
East Division (Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Iowa, Cleveland)
We have to take Power QB TOMMY GRADY this week. He’s been on fire all season with 4271 passing yards and 102 passing touchdowns, a hot Prechae Rodriguez, and a tough defense behind him to bail him out. Factor in a matchup against Iowa and this just smells of fantasy gold.
Pittsburgh crushed Iowa 57-27 a few weeks back and that was Iowa’s best defensive performance in its last five games. They’ve allowed at least 62 points in each of the other games and were reamed for more than 80 points by Philadelphia AND Cleveland. All of that in the last five weeks.
The other spot goes to FB DERRICK ROSS of the Soul. We need a fullback and he should be a battering ram against the tough San Jose defense. San Jose has won 10 of its last 11 and allowed more than 43 points once (51-42 loss to Arizona). His success might be limited because of the matchup but he’s our best option here. Also, a Philadelphia win combined with a Tampa loss moves the Soul into the final wildcard spot with a week to go. There’s plenty on the line and Ross should get plenty of touches.
Others to consider: Shane Austin of Cleveland has thrown 17 touchdown passes in the three weeks since his 11-touchdown nuking of the Soul. He seems to be slowing down a little and Jacksonville will provide a tough matchup. The Sharks have allowed fewer than 40 points in four of their last six games so it could be a tougher than expected game for Cleveland. Add to that the Sharks might be a little ticked off after losing to New Orleans at home by a point and they could look to take out the frustration on Cleveland. You can try him but his results might be a limited. Either Iowa receiver (Marco Thomas/Darius Reynolds) could make a good play against Pittsburgh but at this time of year you need great to succeed.
South Division (Orlando, Tampa Bay, New Orleans, Jacksonville)
We need a kicker and a wide receiver to round out the roster for this week. We’ll take WR GREG CARR of the Predators this week. Orlando should be motivated to win since it locks up the #2 seed if they get a win over the VooDoo. We saw them play spoiler last week against Jacksonville but we think Carr will continue to perform. He went for 176 yards and four touchdowns last time out against New Orleans and could hit that mark again.
At the kicker spot we’re taking MARK LEWIS of Orlando. This comes down to simple logic. Jacksonville doesn’t score enough, New Orleans is inconsistent at best and Tampa Bay has a difficult game with long travel and all the pressure of the playoffs potentially riding on that game in Deaf Valley. Lewis is the safer bet and our pick this week.
Unemployed Punters Week 19 Lineup
QB Nick Davila ARI
WR Rod Windsor ARI
QB Erik Meyer SPO
WR Dominique Curry SJ
QB Tommy Grady PIT
FB Derrick Ross PHI
WR Greg Carr ORL
K Mark Lewis ORL
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.