AAF Fantasy Football Player Rankings: Week 8

by John Ferguson | @FantasyFerguson | Featured Writer
Mar 28, 2019

Josh Woodrum is primed to be one of this week’s most productive QBs

If you’re playing in season-long leagues, this could be a do-or-die week for you to make the first ever AAF fantasy playoffs! The standard setting at Alt Fantasy Sports was for fantasy playoffs to be hosted in Weeks 9-10.

This week’s rankings dive deep covering every fantasy relevant player from every team in the league with added insight for those of you participating in Fanball’s DFS offerings. For this article, stats, and fantasy points are sourced thanks to No Extra Points and The Football Database. For more insight on DFS this week, you can catch me on Matt Gajewski’s Twitch stream Saturday morning leading up to kickoff and I always help my man Rod out with value picks on the Alliance Football Podcast. Now, let’s break down this week’s rankings!

 

Quarterback

This week we get treated to a rematch of one of the most exciting games the AAF has given us all season when the San Diego Fleet travel to Salt Lake to take on the Stallions. The Fleet came away with the win last time thanks to a last minute field goal, but Josh Woodrum managed to finish out as the overall QB1 in fantasy that week despite getting picked off by Kameron Kelly three times. Woodrum finished that game with 380 passing yards and a touchdown and now he gets home-field advantage for the rematch. Woodrum’s volume and aggressiveness has been on the rise ever since that game, making him my favorite DFS play this week and a contender for the top spot of the QB rankings.

On the other side of the SD/SLC matchup, Mike Bercovici has done what no other quarterback has been able to do. He has thrown for over 300 yards in three straight games and it’s not crazy to think that this week, he’ll make it four.

Berco was renamed the starting QB for the Fleet the last time these two teams met since Philip Nelson was placed on IR. He finished that week with 304 yards, one TD, and one INT while airing it out 43 times. Heavy volume keeps Bercovici’s floor high and the fact that SLC is tied for most passing TDs allowed this season (10) gives the potential for a high ceiling. Even with WR Dontez Ford now placed on IR, Bercovici didn’t miss a beat last week.

We all know that Garrett Gilbert has been the top fantasy producer in the AAF this season, but that has actually been thanks to his consistency at an otherwise volatile position. Gilbert hasn’t actually finished as the overall QB1 in a single week since back in Week 3, and last week he even fell as far as QB5. Orlando bounced back big last week after being handed their first loss back in Week 6, but Gilbert really wasn’t needed much in a game against a Legends team that has only been able to manufacture six points in each of their last two games. With Orlando walking into the playoffs already at the pace they have been on, I think we could see another game this week where the team lets its running backs do most of the heavy lifting against Memphis. This puts Gilbert right below the top spot for me this week.

John Wolford is coming off his best fantasy performance of the season last week where he finished as the overall QB1 with 26.9 points. He boosted his stats thanks to 44 yards rushing and a rushing TD to go along with 212 passing yards, two pass TDs, and one INT. Wolford has been very up-and-down this season, which makes me want to push him a bit lower despite his positive performance last week. He has thrown for less than 200 yards in four-0f-seven games this season and maxed out at 275 yards all the way back in Week 1.

His rushing stats have also been inconsistent, as he only managed 14 scoreless yards on the ground in both Weeks 4 and 6. That drop in rushing output brings his average points per game down into the 14-16 point range. Pair all of this with an extremely banged up Rashad Ross and you have enough for me to warrant fading Wolford in DFS and keeping him closer to the back end of the top five.

Logan Woodside had his second-worst fantasy performance of the season last week as he attempted a season-low 19 passes. This was partially due to him leaving the game with an injury as he took a season-high six sacks in the game. Woodside has been playing good ball over the last few weeks though and he didn’t even pop up on the team’s first injury report of the week on Wednesday afternoon.

If he is all systems go for a potentially high-scoring game in the friendly confines of the Alamodome against Arizona, Woodside could easily find himself inside the top five. He had his best fantasy performance of the season against this same Arizona team on the road back in Week 5 when he threw for a season-high 290 yards with two TDs and one INT. He was the QB4 that week with 22.9 fantasy points.

Luis Perez had a bit of a disappointing game in real life last week as the Iron lost a nail biter against the Memphis Express in OT. After not throwing a touchdown in the first five weeks of action, Perez has suddenly caught back up to the pack with five TDs in the last two weeks. What’s more important is that he didn’t throw an INT last week for the first time since Week 2. Despite this sudden resurgence, a tough matchup against Atlanta’s stingy pass defense that has given up the fewest passing yards per game on average, but also has allowed the most rushing yards and TDs to RBs this season screams a dominant Trent Richardson game.

Brandon Silvers did a valiant job of fighting off Johnny Manziel as the best QB option the Memphis Express has to offer right now. Silvers led the team to a thrilling upset in overtime against the Iron. He finished the game with 266 yards and two TDs despite Manziel rotating in on occasion. Though the performance was applaud-worthy, this is still a bottom of the barrel offense going up against the best team in the league, and they allow the least fantasy points to QBs this season.

Aaron Murray and the Legends struggled mightily for the second week in a row, and Murray even got bloodied up a bit in the process last week. Matt Simms took over for Murray in the game and though he didn’t exactly light it up, the team may consider switching back to him to start this week. Murray has thrown five INTs over the last two weeks after looking like a legitimate talent in his first two games as a starter this season. The Atlanta QB situation is one to avoid completely this week in a potentially low-scoring affair against a similarly struggling Iron team.

Running Back

The stars are aligning for another week of Trent Richardson dominating the line of scrimmage near the goal line. T-Rich gets a prime matchup this week against Atlanta, who has given up twice as many rushing TDs than any other team in the league this season along with the most rushing yards. Richardson scored three times on the ground against this team back in Week 3 and could very well do the same again this week. You can never really say anyone is a lock in this league, but this is about as close as it gets.

I’m doubling down on my thought that Orlando RBs will dominate this week by selecting both D’Ernest Johnson and De’Veon Smith inside the top three. Smith crushed as my favorite value play last week scoring three TDs and has carved out a solid role as the “between-the-tackles” runner. Johnson didn’t find the end zone last week, but had his most efficient rushing performance of the season, averaging 7.7 YPA on seven carries while also chipping in his usual pair of receptions. Johnson is due for a TD, he hasn’t been in the end zone since back in Week 3 and I think this is the perfect opportunity for him to do it against a Memphis team that has allowed the second-most fantasy points to RBs this season.

Zac Stacy’s efficiency has been pitiful recently with his most recent performance being his worst all season. Stacy carried the ball 13 times for only 14 yards last week. He has only crossed the 3.0 YPA barrier once in the last five weeks, and even that was only a 3.2 YPA performance back in Week 5. Stacy’s volume remains ripe, however, as the big back has seen double-digit touches in every game this season.

Though the game script likely won’t favor him this week against Orlando, their run defense has been much more susceptible than their pass defense this season. They gave up two total TDs to Arizona RBs as recently as Week 6. Stacy is guaranteed work and that is worth a top-five spot in this league.

Jhurell Pressley didn’t really light it up last week on the heels of his two-TD outburst back in Week 6. He did manage to see 15 carries in the game last week, however, which is his highest mark since back in Week 1 and he has also managed to average over 4.0 YPA in each of his last two performances. Matching volume with efficiency has been extremely rare in this league all season, making Pressley a solid bet inside the top five against a middle of the pack San Antonio run defense.

Tarean Folston was one of the only playmakers for Atlanta, who wasn’t able to get anything done last week as he led the team in rushing. Folston has averaged 4.5 YPA this season while carving out a solid role in the passing game as well. With the QB situation suddenly in shambles again in Atlanta, those dumpoffs to the RB may become a popular trend if neither Aaron Murray or Matt Simms can manage to get anything going downfield. Folston’s versatility on this offense gives him a higher floor, but the offense’s recent struggles and a tougher Iron run defense keep him right outside the top five for me.

Kenneth Farrow‘s volume and efficiency have both taken a complete dive as of late since the running back has been dealing with nagging injuries. He only managed four yards on eight carries last week and was only able to salvage his Week 6 performance with a short rushing TD. Trey Williams continues to mix in at about a 60/40 split at the moment with Williams showing considerably more burst and agility, yet he hasn’t been able to run away with the starting job either. Farrow did tag this Arizona defense for a score back in Week 5 which keeps him inside the top eight for me this week with Williams remaining on the outside looking in.

Joel “Butterfingers” Bouagnon got lucky as hell he didn’t have a much worse game last week. He simply couldn’t hold onto the ball on simple occasions, but luckily recovered both of his fumbles.

You could see the coaches visibly upset with Bouagnon on the sideline and the result was Terron Ward mixing in almost evenly in the backfield. Neither back was able to get anything going as they combined for only 50 rushing yards in the game. When Bouagnon did hold onto the ball, he ran pretty angrily, trucking defenders at times. He should keep at least a 50% share of backfield touches here and will probably keep goal-line duties, but Ward will be a player to watch this week also as he sneaks into my top 10.

Tim Cook saw double-digit carries for the third straight game last week, but he continues to serve a very one-dimensional role as a change of pace to Jhurell Pressley. Cook has only managed two receptions all season and hasn’t even seen a target in the passing game in the last two weeks. He is a violent runner with the ball in his hands and has averaged well over 4.0 YPA in each of the last two games. Still, you’re hoping for a TD with him and his limited passing game usage caps his ceiling.

Brandon Radcliff saw nearly the same amount of touches as Tarean Folston last week, but with the Legends’ offense beating themselves with costly turnovers lately, there just hasn’t been enough scoring to go around to support two running backs. Until the offensive woes get straightened out, Radcliff is a TD-dependent flex play in season-long leagues and is not worth the coin in DFS.

With Ja’Quan Gardner placed on IR this week, Terrell Watson and Bishop Sankey each have a little bit of a clearer path to touches. Unfortunately for them, that newfound opportunity comes against Salt Lake’s top-ranked rushing defense. It’s a pretty clear split workload at the moment with Watson probably getting the slight edge for touches. I actually wouldn’t expect both backs to rank this highly together, but one of the two could land inside the top 12 with a rushing score.

Outside of the top 12 at RB, you aren’t seeing much upside at all. Terrell Newby did manage to catch a TD last week, but he didn’t receive a single carry on the ground as Terron Ward has taken over RB2 duties completely. Akeem Hunt surprised us with 11 touches last week also, but that was in a game that got completely out of hand and even Garrett Gilbert sat out part of the game, so I wouldn’t read too much into Hunt’s upped usage. There is vulture potential with him I suppose, but that is too random to fully expect.

Wide Receiver

Charles Johnson caught a TD for the third straight game last week and he remains in an elite tier next to Rashad Ross in the rankings. Ross is pretty banged up right now, so I do have him a bit lower, but even at less than 100%, as long as Ross plays he is a good bet to stay inside the top five.

MeKale McKay is another wideout who has found the end zone in each of his last three games. Though the prolific target totals haven’t been there for McKay, he does lead the league with 12 red zone targets this season, giving him a high value per target. McKay had his best fantasy performance of the season against Arizona back in Week 5, putting up five catches for 91 yards and one TD. This week, he gets to try and do the same again at home.

Nelson Spruce was your overall WR1 in fantasy last week, going off for 12 catches and 146 yards without Dontez Ford in the mix. Ford has now been placed on IR, which puts Spruce in a great spot to be considered the WR1 for San Diego going forward. Spruce could shine again in a potential shoot out against Salt Lake’s porous pass defense.

De’Mornay Pierson-El absolutely torched San Diego for eight catches and 130 yards the last time these two teams met back in Week 5. It was Pierson-El’s best game of the season and this time, he gets to do it at home. He has been working primarily out of the slot for SLC, which has led to steady target and reception totals each week. With San Diego giving up the most fantasy points to wideouts this season, Woodrum/Pierson-El stacks could be a big money winner again this week.

Reece Horn has been a stud the last two weeks with back-to-back games over 100 yards. The changes at QB have not phased him at all, but this week may be a little tougher sledding for Memphis. Orlando has been one of the toughest matchups for QBs and a bottom-three matchup for WRs. The pass-heavy game flow should play in Horn’s favor at least and he seems like a lock near the top five going forward.

Richard Mullaney came back into the mix as a screaming deal back in Week 6 in DFS at the minimum $3k price point. He got bumped up to a big-boy price last week and subsequently busted with only two catches for 12 yards in a sure-fire smash spot against San Diego’s league-worst pass defense. That’s just how it goes in fantasy sometimes. I would expect Mullaney to bounce back this week with another good matchup against San Antonio on his side, though I wouldn’t be so bullish to expect top-five numbers.

Despite Atlanta sucking something awful the last two weeks, Malachi Jones managed to salvage a decent fantasy day last week, finishing as the WR3 with 19.1 points. Jones has been a steady, yet unspectacular contributor all season, though he did look like the best wideout on the team last week. Seantavius Jones has been mixing in heavily as well in a WR1A and WR1B scenario, making it a complete roll of the dice each week who has the better game. Malachi could continue to get the slight edge thanks to his recent TD production.

Rannell Hall led the Orlando Apollos in receiving last week thanks to a big play, but it was actually Jalin Marshall who led the team with six targets. The top-three receivers have co-existed fairly well this season for Orlando, but Marshall’s higher target totals and potential for “Orlando Special” trickery keeps him ranked slightly higher than Hall for me.

Daniel Williams has made a quick impact for the Express since joining the team two weeks ago. He has seen 20 targets over the last two games and sealed the win in overtime last week with a touchdown reception. Williams and Horn have combined to be quite the formidable duo, albeit a little too late for Memphis’ playoff hopes. We should continue to see Williams targeted heavily going forward and he is a good bet as a fringe top-10 play with this consistent volume.

Outside of the top 10 gets a lot more risky for wideouts. Quinton Patton continues to see heavy volume, but his sub-50% reception rate is killing him along with the lack of red zone presence. Birmingham has also had success targeting their tight ends recently near the end zone, crushing the value of any of their wideouts further.

You might be able to strike oil with Brian Brown or Marquis Bundy types of players who have solid matchups and could see extended roles due to injuries on their respective rosters. The risk is too great though to really back it up outside of anything but chance.

Tight End

Nick Truesdell continues to be the clear-cut TE1 to roster in season-long leagues. It’s even not too risky to start considering him as a flex in DFS as much as I hate to say it. Truesdell has managed over 65 receiving yards in each of his last three games and caught a TD in two of his last three as well. He was also the intended target of a Josh Woodrum interception last week that could’ve gone for a 30+ yard TD if the pass was a little nicer.

Wes Saxton Jr. rebounded after a poor Week 6 performance by catching a TD last week. His target and yardage totals remained low, leaving room for a pretty low floor, but that is generally the case with every tight end in this league. Saxton continues to look good when targeted, but the return of Braedon Bowman will be worth monitoring going forward. Bowman also caught a TD last week on his only target and fits the mold as an athletic full back/tight end hybrid similar to Ben Johnson.

Evan Rodriguez was left wide open on basically all three of his receptions last week, racking up 71 yards. He has now cleared 10 fantasy points in back-to-back games, which is good enough to warrant top-three consideration.

Marcus Baugh didn’t see an increased role last week with Dontez Ford out, but Baugh continued to operate as a downfield threat, catching his only pass for a 38-yard TD. While the volume isn’t guaranteed, the value per target seems to be relatively high for Baugh, leaving him a decent shot at finishing as a top-five tight end each week.

Gerald Christian tied his season-high with four targets last week after not seeing more than two in a game since Week 2. He gets a solid matchup against San Antonio, who has given up the second-most fantasy points to TEs.

Scott Orndoff could be a streamable tight end play this week as Orlando goes up against a Memphis team who has given up the absolute most fantasy points to the position. Memphis has allowed five TDs to tight ends this season, with an average of 15.3 fantasy points per game allowed.

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John Ferguson is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from John, check out his archive and follow him @FantasyFerguson.

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