AAF DFS Picks
If you’re getting that offseason itch to jump back into some fantasy football action, there is no better way to participate than taking advantage of Fanball.com‘s weekly DFS tournaments for the new Alliance of American Football League (AAF). Fanball uses the traditional salary cap format for its tournaments where you have to build a roster of six players consisting of one QB, one WR, one RB, and three Flex spots (WR/RB/TE). Fanball is even offering a free roll this week with a $20 top prize if you want to ease your way into it without dropping any actual cash.
If you’re not sure which players you should be looking at this week, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Gridiron Expert’s own John Ferguson (@FantasyFerguson) teamed up this week with NoExtraPoints.com writer Jackson Conner (@AAFAnalysis) to bring you 10 of their favorite plays in DFS this week. Let’s get to their picks!
Zach Mettenberger, Memphis Express
$5,500 vs. San Diego Fleet
Two and a half weeks of play was more than long enough for the Memphis Express to realize that Christian Hackenberg just wasn’t the man for the job under center. Zach Mettenberger entered the game last week after half time and nearly rallied the Express to a huge upset over the Orlando Apollos who have been a top contender for the number one spot in most AAF power rankings. The Express outscored the Apollos in the second half 17-12, yet fell short of a win with a final score of 17-21.
Mettenberger looked lightyears ahead of Hackenberg from the get-go as he completed deep TD passes of 30- and 40-yards in the game against what was a fairly respectable defense. He finished Week 3 with nine completions on 12 attempts for 120 yards, two TDs, no interceptions, and one 2pt conversion. That was good enough for 14.8 fantasy points and an overall QB4 finish in what amounted to only two-quarters of action.
We all know that Garrett Gilbert has looked like a lock for overall QB1 ranking every week, but if you want to go against the grain, or maybe the thought of Gilbert potentially playing in snow scares you, Mettenberger isn’t a bad play. I’ve got him as the QB2 this week on my Week 4 rankings at Fantasy Pros. The matchup this week doesn’t look great on paper, but that is partially due to the fact that the SD Fleet have only faced Matt Simms and Logan Woodside so far this season, both QBs who have been turnover machines. Mettenberger has a good shot at leading the Express to their first win of the season in front of a home crowd. – John Ferguson
Luis Perez, Birmingham Iron
$5,400 vs San Antonio Commanders
A lot of AAF QBs have suffered from brutal drops by their WRs, but none more than Perez. I believe Perez’s lackluster fantasy output is not at all representative of his true skill. TDs are the main reason he is undervalued and those have to start coming at some point. It is not like he can’t convert at the goal line as he leads QBs in 2pt conversions. The volume for Perez is not the problem as well, he leads the league in pass attempts and completions. With only one interception on the season, he will not kill you that way either. The upside for a big game is there, he is fourth in TDs and air yards, he just needs to find the endzone.
The next appealing part of Luis Perez is the matchup. After giving up only six points in their first game of the season, the Commanders have given up 37 and 31 points in the last two weeks. They also looked like a much worse team on the road last week and they will be on the road at Birmingham this week. Over the last two weeks, Garrett Gilbert and Philip Nelson have posted (19/28/393/2/0) and (17/25/193/2/1) lines respectively against San Antonio. Over the full season, they have yielded an ungodly 9.3 YPA to opposing QBs and a 64% completion percentage. Also, while the Commanders offense did not look great last week, they are capable of putting up points. That could keep Perez throwing the whole game, something he has not done frequently.
Overall, Perez is in a great matchup and provides you the same stability and upside most of the other top QBs do at a lower price.- Jackson Conner
Jhurell Pressley, Arizona Hotshots
$5,000 vs. Atlanta Legends
I think this is the lowest we will ever get Pressley and I am frankly surprised that he even got this low. Pressley is attached to an elite offense and plays over 50% of the snaps, what am I missing here? He’s played 23 third downs, has run 28 routes and has seen 40 carries, all of which are at the top amongst RBs. Other than Richardson, Pressley might have the most secure role of all RBs in the AAF and is one of the safest plays on the board in any matchup.
Pressley’s upside comes from the fact that the Hotshots have the highest implied team total in the early lines and they are also the highest favorites this week. The 26 implied points and 10.5 point spread are not the only things working in Pressley’s favor. His opponent, the Legends, have been the worst defense against RBs fantasy wise, giving up 32.0 points per game. All these factors combined set up for a Pressley smash spot and he is only the 8th highest priced RB at $5,000.- Jackson Conner
Terrell Watson, San Diego Fleet
$4,900 at Memphis Express
Watson is still a huge discount at $4,900 as he is playing MORE than Ja’Quan Gardner. While it is plausible that Gardner might catch up due to incredible performance, Watson will not simply disappear. I thought that maybe he would take a step back if the Fleet were in a negative game script, but he still played 57% of snaps last week while Gardner only played 43%. Watson even posted one more carry than Gardner on the ground last week and while he did not boast the ypc Gardner did, he did not have an 82-yard run to completely boost it.
Watson’s opponent, the Express, have allowed the most yards on the ground and 1.3 rushing TDs per game. The Fleet has been pretty willing to run the ball over the last few weeks and this game script against the Express sets up pretty well for them to do just that. I know Gardner has scored all the TDs, but Watson has received 16 red zone snaps to Gardner’s four and seven goal-line snaps to Gardner’s zero. Watson also converted two 2pt conversions on the ground last week, showing that he can perform at the goal line. I believe Watson has to start scoring TDs sometime and this seems like the perfect week to do it. If you want a piece of this backfield, take Watson over Gardner and save yourself $2k.- Jackson Conner
Trey Williams, San Antonio Commanders
$4,100 at Birmingham Iron
Trey Williams is probably my favorite player in the AAF. I loved this guy’s film before the AAF and he did not disappoint in his debut. Williams averaged 10.7 ypc and played 36% of snaps with most of those coming in the second half. Williams ran 11 routes and received 2 targets on his few snaps. Williams did not handle a huge workload in college and I do not expect him to be a bell-cow, but 10-15 touches with his explosiveness are good enough.
His opponent, the Iron have allowed the fewest yards on the ground to RBs but volume has been the main key. Zac Stacy (12/58/4.8), Joel Bouagnon (11/70/6.4), and Branden Oliver (14/59/4.2) all have had success but have not blown up. We do not need Williams to amass yards upon yards on the ground to pay back value, we just need him to get on the field and catch a few passes. Cole Thompson, the Commander’s beat reporter, referred to Williams as “the James White of the AAF.” Birmingham has allowed the most receptions to RB and they are 5.5 point favorites, which could lead to a lot of negative game script for the Commanders. When the Commanders were trailing last week in the second half last week, Williams played 17 out of 25 snaps. If we could get anywhere near that usage, Williams could explode this week at only $4,100.- Jackson Conner
Tim Cook, Arizona Hotshots
$3,100 vs. Atlanta Legends
This is a perfect week to load up on Hotshots RBs as they get a cherry matchup against an Atlanta Legends team that has given up an average of two rushing TDs per game according to NoExtraPoints.com‘s new production allowed stats. Cook was the back to own in Week 2 as he led the team with 13 carries for 73 yards while adding a receiving TD. He took a backseat last week, however, as Jhurell Pressley re-assumed more of a lead back role.
No matter who is under center for Atlanta this week, they will likely not be able to keep up with the high-scoring Hotshots, making this an ideal game script for Cook who is more of a between the tackles grinder. I could see a scenario playing out where they don’t really need Pressley in there milking the clock with a big lead and letting Cook just run it down Atlanta’s throat. There is also the possibility of a more run-heavy gameplan this week after John Wolford took an absolute beating last week against SLC. Cook is a bit of a dice roll, but he has led this team in rushing recently and near the bare minimum at only $3,100, he leaves you plenty of cap space to spend money on a higher priced talent elsewhere without sacrificing upside at the RB position.
– John Ferguson
Jalin Marshall, Orlando Apollos
$5,600 at Salt Lake Stallions
I know I was not big on Jalin Marshall last week, but that was because he was priced above Mekale McKay and others that were just statistically better plays not even considering the price. He could not keep his streak of 20 fantasy points going on four targets per game. However, after his recent discount as the 10th highest priced WR, I believe this is a prime #faderecencybias opportunity to jump back on Marshall. People may ask, why would I not just play Rannell Hall for $600 cheaper? When the price difference was more like $2k, I would have agreed. But, I would just eat the $600 and get you the guy that is on the field more. Watching the film, and I do not have the exact numbers, Marshall was out there on literally almost every play. Hall played probably about a little over half.
Marshall also has that big play upside that not many other receivers at his price point have. He received five deep targets in the first two weeks according to @Matt_Gajewski on twitter and him just being on the field so much for that “Sun ‘n Gun” offense will generate plenty of big-play opportunities. The matchup is amazing as well. The Stallions have allowed the second most points to WRs and not to mention that this game has the highest over-under on the week at 44.5. This is setting up for a perfect Jalin Marshall bounce back week. – Jackson Conner
Reece Horn, Memphis Express
$4,800 vs. San Diego Fleet
Just as I am high on Zach Mettenberger this week, I am high on the man who will likely fill the role as the Express’ WR1 this week. Reece Horn has been the only Express wideout worth knowing this season before last week as he has averaged five targets per game this season and even managed an overall WR6 finish in Week 2 despite Hackenberg’s shoddy play.
It was a bit shocking that Horn wasn’t a recipient of at least one of Mettenberger’s big TDs last week, but if Mettenberger wants to keep his role as the starter, he would be wise to lock onto Horn early and often. Horn is a player I have been high on for a few weeks now as he just needs a bump in QB play to reach that next level of performance.
Player to watch going forward for @aafexpress:
Reece Horn, a big-bodied receiver at 6’3″ and 215 lbs holds school records for receptions (272) and rec. yds (3,562) at UIndy. Also impressed at the Pro Day in 2016.
— John Ferguson (@FantasyFerguson) February 19, 2019
Horn is a solid play below $5,000 who gives you WR1 upside at a budget-friendly price point.
– John Ferguson
Kenny Bell, Salt Lake Stallions
$4,400 vs. Orlando Apollos
Bell showed up in the stat sheet for the first time this season last week catching all four of his targets for 39 yards. Josh Woodrum gave the Stallions a big boost in production last week after missing Week 2 with a strained hamstring. Woodrum seemed to look Bell’s way early and even had a decent deep shot to Bell that drew a defensive holding flag.
Bell was a player who had a decent amount of hype heading into the season. A product out of Nebraska, Bell played alongside fellow SLC wideout De’Mornay Pierson-El in college on an offense fueled by a then-elite Ameer Abdullah. Bell was also college teammates with Jets wideout Quincy Enunwa and Patriots RB Rex Burkhead all according to College Sports Reference. Bell was selected in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft by the Buccaneers after displaying a 4.42 second 40-yard dash time at the 2015 NFL combine. Bell’s career was derailed by injuries as he was sent to IR and waived by the Buccaneers, Ravens, and most recently the Broncos.
The SLC wide receiver depth chart is still very much a work in progress. Pierson-El led the team in receiving each of the last two weeks, but there is still plenty of room for Bell to carve out a role. This will be a great week to do it going up against an Apollos team that had no answer for Zach Mettenberger in the second half last week and gave up those two big TDs to wideouts.
– John Ferguson
DeVozea Felton, Birmingham Iron
$4,000 vs. San Antonio Commanders
Sometimes, I just don’t know when to quit! I have been high on DeVozea Felton all season despite his low yardage output over the last two weeks. I have dropped Felton slightly in my Week 4 rankings at Fantasy Pros but as far as DFS is concerned, I would be obliged to roll the dice on him at least one more time. The matchup here has a lot to do with it this week as San Antonio has been completely gutted by wide receivers so far this season. The Commanders have given up an average of 212 receiving yards and one TD per game to opposing wideouts. They lead the league in not only total reception yards allowed (637) but total TDs allowed to wideouts as well (4).
Felton offers game-breaking speed as a former track and field athlete looking like a poor man’s Brandin Cooks on the field. He showed big-play potential briefly in Week 1 where he got behind the defense for a nice 32-yard gain. It does only seem like a matter of time before Luis Perez finally gets that first passing TD in this league. Felton offers boom/bust appeal and should carry virtually no ownership. If he goes off for a big TD, he will absolutely make your lineup and could be the affordable third-wheel filler in a Perez/Richardson/Felton trifecta.
The tight end position is a hard fade in all DFS tournaments and luckily, you’re not required to start one. For example, the leading receiver at tight end in Week 2 was Weslye Saunders who put up only three catches for 21 yards. Don’t get cute here.
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