AFL Quickplay Week 14-It All Looks the Same
Last week in the AFL we only had five games as Jacksonville and New Orleans were on the bye. After taking a look back through the box scores, a thought hit me. I wanted to compare the stat lines of every person who caught a pass last week. Having the data from ten teams would certainly be enough to work with and it validated what I was thinking. More on that in a minute.
Let’s step back into last week and see how fantasy teams fared.
Last week, the team called Let The Thunder Roll was one of two teams to tie for the top spot with 231 points. One of their biggest keys to success was having Portland wide receiver Jared Perry in their lineup and he went off for 44 fantasy points last week. That was more points than Philadelphia quarterback Dan Raudabaugh (40) and nearly topped Shane Austin’s 48 points and the 49-spot from Jason Boltus. If you can find the wide receiver who is giving quarterback-like production, it’s winning recipe.
All told, eight players broke the 200-point mark this past week and our team, the Unemployed Punters limped home with 158 points for a middle-of-the-pack finish.
For the season, the Phantom Furballs are taking residence in the top spot with 2528 points. Legnbaz sits 37 points back at 2491 while the South Phoenix Bombers have third for now with 2478 points. Rattler1 (2471), the Soup Nazis (2450) and The Commish (2445) are within striking range while our team is seventh with 2409 points. It’s not a bad showing for our team but we need to find more points for later in the season.
(player movement here)
Let’s check out this week’s games and see how things stack up. All time Eastern
Tampa Bay at Philadelphia 7:30 p.m. ***ROSTER DEADLINE 6:30 P.M.***
San Jose at Spokane 10:00 p.m.
New Orleans at Orlando 7:00 p.m.
Cleveland at Jacksonville 7:00 p.m.
Arizona at Los Angeles 10:00 p.m.
Portland at Las Vegas 5:00 p.m.
Instead of breaking this down by division like we always do, we’re going to try something a little different and break things down by position. Let’s start with the easier positions.
Since he’s back from bye, most teams will start Derrick Ross of Jacksonville at fullback. Ross is still the boss at the position with the most attempts (106), yards (416) and touchdowns (23). There isn’t really anyone who comes close to that kind of production so he should be your play this week.
If you want to go with something different, try Odie Armstrong of San Jose. He had three scores last week to give him 15 scores on the season. The downside of using him is that he has only 46 carries this season in 13 games. It might not be a wise idea to pin your hopes to a hot fullback who gets the ball three orr four times a night on average. Mykel Benson of Arizona is the only other true fullback in the league with double-digit rushing touchdowns (13) this season. Keep him in mind if something were to happen to Ross or when San Jose goes on bye later this season if you want something different. The rest of the top rushers in the league are dual-threat quarterbacks.
We’ll stick with Ross based on the usage.
This position is really a dime a dozen and none of them truly stand out over the others. Nich Pertuit (106), Tommy Frevert (98), Mark Lewis (95) and Adrian Trevino (90) are the four best in the league. They play in the same conference and the second-best kicker west of the Mississippi is Taylor Rowan of Spokane with 75 points. Given that, it would be wise to look east for a kicker most weeks.
We’ll make our recommendation at the end of the column.
This should be a relatively straight forward position as we’re going to go with the best of it. That makes Dan Raudabaugh a starter this week for us. Nick Davila and Erik Meyer will also get the nod. Meyer takes on a bottom-two defense this week against Spokane. Raudabaugh is having a career season and should be played in all formats. Davila continues to roll along since returning from injury and has a potentially easy matchup with Los Angeles.
Shane Austin is a player we’re staying away from. Collin Taylor has been put on recallable reassignment and Dominick Goodman has been put on inactive reserve. Austin is going to have a hard time adjusting to new receivers and it could drop his production.
Ah yes, the main event in this week’s column. We broke down the numbers from last week when 10 of the 12 teams played in the league and found something rather unusual in the stats.
We counted 41 total players with at least one reception last week yet only four of those players scored three or more touchdowns. Those were Marco Thomas of the Soul, Donovan Morgan of Los Angeles, Jared Perry of Portland and Nick Truesdell of Spokane.
The other 37 players scored two or fewer touchdowns, which is worth mentioning. From a fantasy standpoint, it makes everyone else seem mediocre by comparison. That includes players like Reggie Gray, Rod Windsor, TT Tolliver, Julius Gregory and Collin Taylor to name a few. When we’re getting six points for a touchdown and a point for each 20 yards of receiving, it makes picking wide receivers tough from a fantasy perspective.
The best thing to do is try to find the players who are performing well week in and week out. That’s how we’re going to build the lineup this week at this position, which seems to be the make-or-break one of the squad.
The first wide receiver is Morgan of the KISS. He could be the best wide receiver in the league given how he continues to produce so well with the constant changes at quarterback this season in Los Angeles. He should have a few chances to do some damage against Arizona this week. Jeffrey Solomon was put on inactive reserve and leaves Morgan as the true spark plug on offense.
We’re also going to take a ride on the Jared Perry Express and hope he stays hot for one more week. Portland plays Las Vegas on Sunday and this could be a really bad game from a fantasy perspective. Of course, we said the same thing about Spokane-Portland last week and look how that turned out. Perry is white-hot in his last two games. He turned in 9-150-4 against Arizona before exploding to the tune of 12-170-5 last week against the Shock. Those kind of numbers make him Portland’s number one receiver and we’ll go with him despite the Thunder’s offense getting stuck on 42 points most weeks.
If you’re counting along, we still need a wide receiver and a kicker with the East and South Divisions open. We’re going to use Thomas of the Soul this week as that third wide receiver. Shaun Kauleinamoku was placed on inactive reserve last week and hasn’t been taken back off of it. The Soul is one of four teams with a turnover ratio of +10 or better which creates extra offensive chances.
The kicker for the week is Julian Rauch of Jacksonville. There’s no real logic as to why but Jacksonville leads the league with 15 field goal attempts this season.
Next week, everyone has a bye. The league is basically shutting down since the Fourth of July is on a Saturday. That means everyone has a couple weeks to heal up and figure out what they need to do to make the playoffs. It also means it will be a couple weeks before our next column.
Unemployed Punters Lineup—Week 14
WR Marco Thomas PHI
QB Dan Raudabaugh PHI
FB Derrick Ross JAX
K Julian Rauch JAX
WR Jared Perry PDX
QB Erik Meyer SJ
QB Nick Davila AZ
WR Donovan Morgan LA