AAF Trendspotting - Four Weeks In

JR Reynolds (@JR_Reynolds17)

The weekly AAF Trendspotting series takes a look at AAF league-wide trends and the impact on fantasy sports. While much of the game is the same as the NFL, the scaled down league size, developmental roster pools, and coaching tactics can have a huge effect.

The Perez Puzzle

In a pristine matchup last week, Luis Perez failed to post his first touchdown of the season. That makes it four score-less weeks in a row for the Birmingham quarterback. I think it may be time for us to declare him #NotGood. Better late than never. Perez has posted 30 plus pass attempts in each of the Iron’s 4 games, but is devoid of any upside. With that said, what do we do with his receivers?

Perez’ supposed WR1 Quinton Patton leads the league in Air Yards with 476. Patton has looked like a solid floor play week in and week out, but has actually failed to top double digit fantasy points since week one. He has been unable to convert his league leading (0.38) Air Yards Share into consistent fantasy production. Perez has certainly played a part in Patton’s downswing.

It is worth noting that tentative WR2 L’Damian Washington has seen his target count increase each of the last three weeks. There was also some coach speak earlier last week that Washington could even end up surpassing Patton as Birmingham’s WR1. Even if that does happen, it is hard to trust any Iron receiver with Perez under center. With that said, Washington has consistently been priced well below Patton even though there production has been about the same over the past three weeks.

For the time being, I think Trent Richardson may actually be the closest thing Birmingham has to a fantasy producing ‘WR1”. Perez has utilized Richardson as a safety valve which has resulted in 22 targets over Birmingham’s 4 games, only 5 less than Patton. While Patton has the superior aDOT (17.6), Richardson’s miniscule mark (1.3) tells the story of why he has been able to make good on the targets being sent his way. While his carry count was cut into during week four, it looks like his receiving role is locked in.

Mett and Murray

For weeks it looked like Garrett Gilbert and John Wolford were the only quarterbacks capable of putting up consistent fantasy production. Now heading into week 5, we can officially add two more names to the list.

Since taking over for Christian Hackenberg, Zach Mettenberger has averaged 16.88 FPTS for the Memphis Express. He led the Express to a win in his first start and almost toppled the Apollos in relief of Hackenberg in week three. It is tough to determine who Mettenberger’s go to guy is thus far. He seems to have a built in rapport with Devin Lucien, but it was actually Reece Horn who did the heavy lifting in the receiving game in week four. However, Lucien still beat him in targets 5-4.

In the week four finale, the Hotshots were projected to cruise to a victory. That was until Atlanta Legends quarterback Aaron Murray found his way into the game. Murray finally got an opportunity to show what he had and took full advantage of it, leading the Legends to an upset victory. Although he was unable to post a touchdown, Murray was effective in the passing game completing 20 of his 33 attempts. Murray also added about a touchdown’s worth of points with his feet: rushing 7 times for 54 yards. Again, it is tough to decipher who may be Murray’s man going forward as he will once again get the start Sunday against a Memphis defense that is allowing 19.4 FPTS/G to opposing quarterbacks.

Not only is it encouraging to have these two quarterbacks active every week, but it also helps to open up other receiving options for our DFS lineups.

Right Direction

In the spirit of trying to predict future success, here are the receivers who saw there target counts increase from week 3 to week 4.

As you can see, Charles Johnson continued to assert himself as the go to guy in Orlando. The exterior pieces for the Apollos are also in play each week in the mid tier. Dontez Ford came out of nowhere to lead San Diego in receiving in week four, catching 3 of 6 targets for 71 yards and a touchdown. He saw an astronomical price hike this week and is now the 3rd most expensive receiver on the board.

Player Week 5 Price Week 3 Targets Week 3 FPTs Week 4 Targets Week 4 FPTs
C. Johnson $7,900 5 8.3 12 21.5
D. Ford $6,300 3 3.5 6 16.1
J. Marshall $5,400 3 2.5 6 6.7
A. Howard $4,600 2 2.1 5 6.9
B. Tyms $3,700 1 1.6 5 7.2

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