AFL Quickplay Week 8: To Tweet a Predator
Last week was supposed to be a very good week in fantasy. We had solid recommendations including Orlando quarterback Randy Hippeard who looked to be in a very favorable matchup.
Then the Orlando Predators tweeted out that Hippeard was inactive and Bernard Morris was going to start last week. Naturally, the first thing I did was log in to my team and get ready to make the switch. Except there was one problem; the Predators tweeted the change out on their official account a half-hour before kickoff. Our lineups were due an hour before kickoff.
If you took my recommendation of Hippeard, you wound up with a big, fat, stinky zero. It’s part of the risk involved in this game and all you can do is roll your eyes and move on to the next week.
The Predators took the guesswork out of this week by putting Hippeard on injured reserve yesterday so it will be another week of Morris under center.
With Hippeard hurting, it really put a dent in some teams and shook up our leaderboard a little bit. Our team, the Unemployed Punters is still in first place this week. However, we are tied with the Cincinnati Rockers as each squad has 1356 points this season. Legnbaz and the South Phoenix Bombers are tied for third place with 1325 points.
For the week, our lineup finished in 13th place with 180 points including the goose egg delivered fresh from Orlando. Only three teams (QC Steamwheelers 2000, Cincinnati Rockers and the soup Nazis) finished with more than 200 points this past week so the trend of blah play continues in the fantasy world.
Let’s look at what we’ve got going on for this week. Remember the roster deadline is one hour prior to the kickoff of the first game of the week. All 12 teams are in play so nobody is on a bye.
Friday (all times Eastern) ROSTER DEADLINE 6 P.M. TODAY.
New Orleans at Cleveland 7 p.m.
Philadelphia at Jacksonville, San Jose at Spokane and Tampa Bay at Orlando 7 p.m. ET
Las Vegas at Arizona 9 p.m.
Los Angeles at Portland 10 p.m.
Let’s see where we can find the points this week. Hopefully we can find a lot of them.
This division (Cleveland, Philadelphia and New Orleans) is getting easier with each week. You have to start Dan Raudabaugh of Cleveland each week at this point. If you can give a real completing argument over why you don’t want the league leader in yardage (2,043 so far) and touchdowns (48), I would be interested to hear it. Since I can’t come up with one myself, I have to roll with him. Jacksonville will give him some difficulty but he’s off to too hot of a start to pass up.
The second player out of this division is Cleveland quarterback Shane Austin. We know the undefeated Soul (7-0) can put up the points and the Gladiators will need to keep pace in the division race. They have the fourth-best offense in the league and their game with New Orleans should feature plenty of points. The Sharks beat Cleveland last week so the Gladiators will be fired up and looking to stay within shouting distance of Philadelphia.
The New Orleans VooDoo is showing some fantasy promise. Brian Reader calling the shots in place of an injured Adam Kennedy, I don’t have much faith in the team to continue its recent high-scoring ways.
This is where things are going to get very difficult very quickly as we need another quarterback, a fullback, a kicker and our full complement of wide receivers.
Derrick Ross lives here and he practically always gets the start. He leads the league in carries (63), yards (270) and rushing touchdowns (13) so it’s extremely difficult to bench him. We thought about Tommy Taggart in Philadelphia but couldn’t pass on playing two quarterbacks in that strong division. Odie Armstrong of San Jose merits sleeper consideration but is getting only half of the work that Ross does. You can’t go wrong following the carries here.
The wide receiver we’re taking from this division Is TT Tolliver of Tampa Bay. He’s on fire right now with four touchdowns in each of his last two games. He opened the season with consecutive three touchdown games but was held to one score by San Jose and New Orleans. Orlando has been giving up piles of points lately with at least 56 points allowed in each of their last three games. It’s also going to be a different Orlando team with Morris under center and Tampa Bay should have a solid fantasy game in the first installment of the 2015 War On I-4.
This is where the third quarterback resides this week. The only question is what his name is. In San Jose, it could be another week of Nathan Stanley fresh off a career-high seven-touchdown game. Erik Meyer could also be in the mix as well for the Sabercats since he was activated off inactive reserve yesterday. Logic dictates Meyer gets the nod against Spokane, his former team.
The other options in that division at quarterback are both compelling as sleeper options. Spokane sent Warren Smith out at quarterback last week and he performed well with 313 passing yards and seven total touchdowns (six passing) in the win over Los Angeles. The San Jose defense is the toughest in the league, allowing a scant 35 points per game. While the promise isn’t there that way, consider this. With San Jose having the best offense in the league at nearly 60 points per game, it is going to open up plenty of opportunities for Smith to make things happen. The question is can he convert on them or will the Sabercats defense step up and silence the raucous crowd in Deaf Valley?
Kyle Rowley of Portland is an interesting deeper sleeper this week. He’s been around the league a few years and has put up solid numbers in the past. Rowley takes on a Los Angeles KISS squad that is a quarterback’s dream to face. They’ve allowed at least 42 points in every game this season and more than 61 in four of the last five games. With Los Angeles being winless, you have to wonder how committed players might be at this point in the season. It’s not so much that the KISS is losing but they are losing badly. They get beat by an average of 21.5 points per game and have the worst turnover ratio in the league at -6. The absence of Jamar Howard due to injury also limits how much I want to play Rowley this week. The logic is there and so is the matchup but I can’t pull the trigger on it.
The other pick out of the division will be San Jose kicker Nich Pertuit. Kickers might be a dime a dozen but Pertuit leads the league in extra points made and is tied for the most field goals made. He’s a safe play and safe is good for this position.
The first pick is Rod Windsor of Arizona. The Rattlers now have Windsor as a true #1 receiver since Maurice Purify left the team. According to the Arizona Republic, Purify was given a clean bill of health and passed a physical. Purify is a free agent but hasn’t signed with anyone as of press time. Kerry Reed is also banged up with a hamstring issue and it leaves Windsor to the shoulder the load. The other thought here is that Arizona is on a bye next week and our pool of options shrinks even more.
We’re going to go back to Donovan Morgan of the KISS for the second wide receiver of the division. We like him for one reason. He continues to produce despite being on an awful team and working with four different quarterbacks. Morgan has at least two touchdowns in every game this year, except the stinker against Las Vegas, and has more than 110 receiving yards in five the team’s first seven games this season.
Right now it’s hard to make heads or tails on the Las Vegas Outlaws. They’ve played San Jose twice, Los Angeles twice and this week will be the second time against Arizona. The only game outside of the Southwest as at Jacksonville and they were crushed by more than 30 points. I’m not sure I entirely buy into the Outlaws success based on who they played. You can point to the Week 2 win over Arizona but that involved three defensive touchdowns to pull the upset.
Week 8 Unemployed Punters Lineup
QB Dan Raudabaugh PHI
QB Shane Austin CLE
FB Derrick Ross JAX
WR TT Tolliver TB
QB Erik Meyer SJ
K Nich Pertuit SJ
WR Rod Windsor ARI
WR Donovan Morgan LA