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2015 QuickPlay Weeks 2,3 and 4

Andrew Nordmeier
Friday April 3, 2015

This Weekís column will actually serve for the next three weeks of the game. The author of this column will be over in Ireland for about 10 days and wonít have any guarantee of internet access or time between pints of Guinness to write a couple of these columns.

That said, letís look at back the first week and see who was successful.

The Cincinnati Rockers won the week with 235 points with Shane Austin, Kyle Rowley and Erik Meyer as their three quarterbacks for the opening week.

The C-Gulls came in second with 207 points and edged out Firebird DWís Washington Commandoes and their 205 points for third. RochRush (197 points) and the Wildcats (194 points) round out the top five.

Our lineup finished with 181 points, which was good enough for a tie for eighth place in the week that is a good start. Weíre on the right track here and hope to continue it.

Letís look at the schedules for the next three weeks. All times Eastern

Week 2

Friday April 3: Orlando at Jacksonville 8 p.m. (Roster deadline 7 p.m.) and Tampa Bay at Portland (10 p.m.)
Saturday April 4: Cleveland at New Orleans 8 p.m., Philadelphia at Spokane and Arizona at Las Vegas 10 p.m., Los Angeles at San Jose 1030 p.m.

Week 3

Thursday April 9: Spokane at Portland 10:00 p.m. (roster deadline 9:00 p.m.)
Friday April 10: San Jose at Tampa Bay 7:30 p.m.
Saturday April 11: Arizona at Cleveland 7:00 p.m.; Orlando at New Orleans 8:00 p.m., Las Vegas at Los Angeles 10:00 p.m.
Sunday April 12: Jacksonville at Philadelphia 4:00 p.m.

Week 4

Friday April 17: New Orleans at Tampa Bay 7:30 p.m. (roster deadline 6:30 p.m.); San Jose at Jacksonville 8:00 p.m.
Saturday April 18: Los Angeles at Orlando 7:00 p.m.; Cleveland at Philadelphia 7:00 p.m.; Portland at Arizona 9:00 p.m.
BYE: Las Vegas and Spokane

Letís think this through here for a minute before we dive into setting one line up for three weeks. Of course, if youíre not tied up with international travel or life itself, feel free to set your lineup week-to-week as you see fit. The following is what the Unemployed Punters will roll out over the next three weeks. We see the first emergence of bye weeks in the not-too-distant future as well.

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Weíre going to follow a key rule when we select our players. When it comes to quarterbacks, look for the ones that spread the ball around. When looking for a receiver, find one that gets the attention from his quarterback. Itís a great mantra to follow in this game since youíll usually wind up rolling out three of each most weeks.

Weíre going to leave Las Vegas sitting on the bench for the next three weeks. I saw how they looked in the first half against San Jose on ESPN and they didnít do anything to sell me on why they should be considered in fantasy. Receivers were dropping passes and JJ Raterink didnít look that great in the opener.

Letís first consider the fixtures in our lineup for each of these weeks. Fantasy football, whether itís AFL, NFL or any other fantasy game you might play comes down to constants and variables. The more constants you have, the fewer variables you have to contend with each week.

The Constants

Weíre going to take fullback Derrick Ross for each week. Mykel Benson of Arizona had a solid first week with three touchdowns but Ross had more yards and one fewer touchdown. Offenses get built around Ross and Jacksonville is using that for success in a fantasy standpoint.

Arizona quarterback Nick Davila gets the nod each week as well. Games with Las Vegas, Cleveland and Portland all hold promise for the Rattlers to put up the points and start the season at least 3-1.

The Quarterback Quandry

Erik Meyer of San Jose got off to a nice start and has good matchups with Los Angeles, Jacksonville and Tampa Bay. Dan Raudabagh of the Soul led everyone on the first week with 422 yards and eight touchdowns against Orlando. Randy Hippeyard of Orlando threw eight scores himself in that game. Shane Austin of Cleveland had seven passing touchdowns on the opening week. Jason Boltus of Tampa had six and Tommy Grady of Jacksonville tossed five scores.

So who are we taking? We like Raudabaugh since his first game saw three different receivers go over 100 yards each. The Soul could be tough to stop since you donít have any one receiver you can key in on. Marco Thomas (14-154-3), Ryan McDaniel (10-150-3) and Shaun Kauleinamoku (6-118-2) made a for a nice 1-2-3 punch. Assuming they stay healthy, this could be a very strong fantasy season for Raudabaugh.

The other one we want to go with is Meyer. He has his favorite target from his Spokane days in Adron Tennell on the field with him. Reggie Gray is still involved in San Jose and the Sabercats can get help from their other receivers on the roster too. If San Jose can keep the penalties in check (118 yards in the opener) they too can be a dangerous team.

The other reason we used these first four players is that it allows us to have one from each of the four divisions. It leaves the door open for three wide receivers (and a kicker) to come from anywhere in the league.

Joe Hills of Jacksonville looks tempting after catching five touchdown passes in Week One but you canít forget they have Anthony ďTigerĒ Jones on the roster. You know heís going to get worked in at some point and when he does the numbers for Hills will drop. The only question is how far will they go down.

Iíd love to have a Soul receiver to pair with Raudabaugh but the ball is distributed so well itís a week-to-week crapshoot let alone over the course of three weeks. Despite this, I want to roll with Thomas. We saw what we could do last season in Iowa with a mediocre quarterback. Now you add a strong quarterback and Iíll guess he gets the job done. He should be a consistently solid player each week but wonít necessarily blow the doors off for the Soul.

My gut is telling me to take TT Tolliver of Tampa Bay. He started off hot with 12-161-3 in the opening week and he should have good chemistry with quarterback Jason Boltus from their time in Orlando. Iíve learned over the years that going against my gut has been a disaster, so I will not ignore my tummy here.

That leaves the West division and the Pacific Division for a wide receiver and a kicker. Arizonaís wide receiver situation is a tough choice between which big guy you want to have. If you donít take a Rattler, then you go to Los Angeles where itís seemingly Donovan Morgan or bust each week in the passing game. Morganís in the right situation from a fantasy standpoint but Iíd like to see the KISS put more points up more consistently before I feel more comfortable with him. Last season, they had tough struggles with offense and a sub-50-point effort in the opener doesnít alleviate that issue. Thryon Lewis could be a fly in the LA ointment as the former Cleveland player rolled up a 9-103-1 stat line on the opening weekend for the KISS.

The Pacific features guys like Tennell, Gray, Mike Washington of Spokane (10-152-3 in week one), Jamar Howard of Portland (8-114-3 in week one) and in general more tough choices.

Decisions, decisions. Who to pick.

Iím going to pour myself a glass of Captain Morgan here and go with Donovan Morgan. Lewis had the better opening game by Morgan has been so much more reliable in terms of getting to the end zone over his career.

That leaves me a kicker that I need and Iíll take Nich Pertuit of San Jose. He doesnít miss extra points often and has the leg to hit field goals when called upon. I prefer the veteran kicker as opposed to rookie Jeremy Shelley of Arizona to fill out this spot.

Hopefully, this gives me a winning combination to roll with for three weeks. Itís a big risk that Iím taking by doing this but I have to prepare for the fact I may not be able to set my lineups for a while.

Unemployed Punters Lineup For Weeks 2,3, and 4
QB Nick Davila
WR Donovan Morgan
QB Erik Meyer
K Nich Pertuit
QB Dan Raudabaugh
WR Marco Thomas
FB Derrick Ross
WR TT Tolliver

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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