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AFL Quickplay Week 17

Andrew Nordmeier
Friday July 17, 2015


Everyone came off of a bye last week and we saw some very unusual results. Portland hit a franchise-high 72 points in its win over Jacksonville while Spokane and Los Angeles scored 62 points, combined. Philadelphia put up 72 points and the War on I-4 was a 69-62 battle. Arizona quarterback Nick Davila looked more like the Davila we’ve come to know over the last three seasons with an eight-touchdown pass game. TT Tolliver came back from the fantasy dead with a four-touchdown game while Rod Windsor of Arizona and Harvey Binford of Philadelphia had one too.

The league took over operations in Las Vegas and New Orleans, which makes the rest of the season for those two teams a big question mark.

In terms of fantasy here’s what it did to last week’s standings.

The top four of the Phantom Furballs, Legnbaz, South Phoenix Bombers, and the Commish are the four teams that each have more than 2900 points this season. Rattler1 (2885), the Soup Nazis (2882), Thunder Dragons (2853), Unemployed Punters (2832), Sara’s Sabercats (2830) and Washington Commandoes (2817) round out the top 10 of the standings.

Let’s look at this week’s schedule and see how the matchups look. All times Eastern. Everyone is available this week.

Tonight: Arizona at Spokane 10:00 p.m.

Saturday

Orlando at Cleveland 6:00 p.m.

Philadelphia at Jacksonville 7:00 p.m.

Tampa Bay at New Orleans 8:00 p.m.

Las Vegas at Los Angeles 10:00 p.m.

Portland at San Jose 10:30 p.m.

Eastern Division

We’ll take Dan Raudabaugh and Marco Thomas again. Binford’s big game looks more like a one-off than the start of a trend. Thomas should come back around this week against a Jacksonville team that was dismantled in Portland. The Soul clinched the top spot in the American Conference but is still in the running for the top spot in the league. We expect them to continue putting up big numbers week after week. They also have the bye next week so we know they want to go into that break on a winning note. Last week Raudabaugh threw for seven touchdowns in their win and it won’t be surprising to see the same this week.

Western Division

It’s time to get back on the Nick Davila train. Davila had gone about a month without throwing more than five scores in a game and then be blew up against Las Vegas for eight touchdowns. Davila is heading back to Spokane and he could very well put up big numbers again. Spokane’s offense was non-existent last week and its defense has been non-existent most of the season. The Shock was being shutout at halftime, trailing 28-0 at the break. Arizona needs the win to keep pace with San Jose in the race for the National Conference’s top seed.

Rod Windsor finally got back to form as well with 8-113-4 and we’re going to take him this week. It seems as Davila goes so does Windsor so stacking them makes sense here.

Los Angeles won last week with only 34 points and we need to see a better effort to recommend them in fantasy. Additionally, no player scored more than one touchdown rushing or receiving so everyone’s value is about the same.

The third quarterback this week is going to be a tough one between Randy Hippeard of the Predators and Jason Boltus of the Storm. Both looked sharp last week in the War on I-4. There’s also Erik Meyer of San Jose who accounted for eight touchdown passes (one rushing) last week as the Sabercats downed New Orleans.

In terms of matchups, Tampa Bay gets league-owned and playoff eliminated New Orleans. San Jose hosts a Portland team that looked good last week in what could be a trap game. Orlando visits Cleveland.

We thought of the idea going to go with Boltus and Tolliver this week and the reasoning will probably draw some ire from the fans so we’ll build a quick bunker to explain why.

Cleveland and Orlando each have plenty to play for. If Orlando wins, they make the playoffs and have an inside track on the division title. Cleveland at 7-8 needs a win to stay in the race. This has all the makings of a scrappy dogfight of a game that could end 42-35. It doesn’t seem fantasy friendly.

San Jose could have a tough time with Portland this week. They can’t look past the Thunder and see they have a bye week and then host Arizona in Week 19. The Sabercats also fell victim in the ultimate trap game earlier this year when winless Los Angeles hung a loss on the Sabercats perfect season. Portland needs to get the win since they are right in the middle of the playoff chase for the final two spots in the conference so they should be highly motivated. It could also be a potential playoff preview.

Remember that Las Vegas (5-9) has a small edge over Portland (4-10) and Spokane (4-10) for a wildcard spot while Los Angeles (3-11) is lurking, waiting for someone to stumble. None of those teams will be better than .500 and two of them will make it to the postseason to battle San Jose and Arizona.

We can also see if the Sabercats build a big lead that the stars of the team like Meyer and Reggie Gray could be rested for the balance of the game. Because of last week’s outburst with Portland, this isn’t as much of a slam dunk as it looked to be on paper.

We’re considering taking the duo from Tampa Bay for these reasons:

Boltus has thrown 11 touchdowns against one interception in two wins over New Orleans this season. Tampa Bay has the worst rushing offense in the league so it’s all on the arm of Boltus to get the job done. Tolliver had a break out game with 10-174-4 against Orlando. The last time he had a four-score game, it started his best three-game run of the season with 27-356-12 in those games.

Add to it that New Orleans is 2-12 and eliminated from the playoff hunt. The team is in disarray. They’re on a seven-game losing streak and have failed to score more than 43 points in any game during the streak and it’s their final home game. The game could be a funeral for the VooDoo given the state of affairs on the bayou.

We still need a fullback, however, and Derrick Ross plays in Jacksonville. We’ll take him from this division and Tampa Bay kicker Craig Peterson to get a piece of the action and fill out positional requirements.

Yes, the positional needs supersede the matchups in this game.

Pacific Division

We’ll take Meyer and Gray here. If Portland scored 72 points last week, think about how many times Jacksonville had the ball (and failed) in order for that to happen. San Jose doesn’t make those kind of mistakes. Gray had a four-touchdown game last week with Maurice Purify inactive. It doesn’t make sense to bring Purify back for one game before a bye week so we expect Gray to get the majority of targets in the passing game.

Unemployed Punters Week 17 Lineup

QB Dan Raudabuagh PHI

WR Marco Thomas PHI

FB Derrick Ross JAX

K Craig Peterson TB

QB Erik Meyer SJ

WR Reggie Gray SJ

QB Nick Davila AZ

WR Rod Windsor AZ


 
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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