AAF Trendspotting - Three 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.

Good at Going For It

One of the main differences in the AAF is that teams do not have the option of whether or not to kick the extra point or go for two, because as we all know, there are #NoExtraPoints. The decision has simply been taken out of these coaches’ hands in an attempt to keep all plays of the game interesting.

Recently, we have seen an uptick in 2 point conversion attempts in the NFL, but there are still coaches who are entrenched in their risk-averse ways of thinking. Like the NFL, the AAF coaches still have a hand in deciding what play they call when going for it.

Let’s take a look at what coaches have done with their attempts and how successful they have been.

Orlando Apollos

  • Total attempts: 9
  • Pass attempts: 6 (67%)
  • Pass success: 2
  • Run attempts: 3 (33%)
  • Run success: 2

Arizona Hotshots

  • Total attempts: 8
  • Pass attempts: 4 (50%)
  • Pass success: 2
  • Run attempts: 4 (50%)
  • Run success: 3

Salt Lake City Stallions

  • Total attempts: 7
  • Pass attempts: 4 (57%)
  • Pass success: 1
  • Run attempts: 3 (43%)
  • Run success: 2

Birmingham Iron

  • Total attempts: 7
  • Pass attempts: 5 (71%)
  • Pass success: 3
  • Run attempts: 2 (28%)
  • Run success: 0

San Diego Fleet

  • Total attempts: 6
  • Pass attempts: 3 (50%)
  • Pass success: 0
  • Run attempts: 3 (50%)
  • Run success: 2

San Antonio Commanders

  • Total attempts: 5
  • Pass attempts: 2 (40%)
  • Pass success: 2
  • Run attempts: 3 (60%)
  • Run success: 0

Memphis Express

  • Total attempts: 4
  • Pass attempts: 2 (50%)
  • Pass success: 1
  • Run attempts: 2 (50%)
  • Run success: 0

Atlanta Legends

  • Total attempts: 2
  • Pass attempts: 2 (100%)
  • Pass success: 0
  • Run attempts: 0 (0%)
  • Run success: 0

Albeit a small sample size, one of the initial takeaways I have from this data is that the Orlando Apollos currently lead the league in 2 point attempts (9) with Salt Lake (8), Arizona (7) and Birmingham (7) close behind. It would make sense to target these offenses since in order to rack up these attempts, you have to hit pay dirt first.

Let’s take it a step further: of the offenses mentioned above, the run to pass ratio of their combined attempts is 19:10.

So how can we translate this into useful information? By looking at teams play calling trend on two point attempts, we might be able to see which players the coaches want involved on the try.

For example, the Apollos have clearly veered toward the pass on their attempts. When deciding whether or not to play Gilbert, you may feel better about rostering him because of the Apollos’ two point play calling habits. Just as a rushing quarterback can add extra value with his legs, a QB like Gilbert could add extra value with his two point passing role.

The same could be said about running backs who have found themselves on teams where coaches have skewed toward the run on their two point attempts. So far the list of teams who have 3 or more two point rushing attempts includes Salt Lake, Arizona, San Antonio, San Diego and Orlando. Targeting goal-line backs from these teams might be a sneaky way to gain additional upside.


Almost every AAF team lacks the established running back or bell cow we are accustomed to seeing in the NFL. So far only Trent Richardson has truly shouldered the load for his team. Richardson has rushed the ball 59 times total, which is 14 more than second place man Zac Stacy. He has also carved out a steady receiving role in Birmingham’s passing attack.

With the current committee approach that seems to have taken hold in the AAF, it could be wise to “stack” multiple running backs from the same team in an attempt to capture all of their fantasy points.

One backfield in particular that looks like it can be stacked is Salt Lake City.

Both Branden Oliver and Joel Bouagnon have been doing the heavy lifting for the Stallions and have both been effective. It has been a near even split in terms of carries thus far. Each back has also gotten their cracks in the red zone, as well, with both of them punching in a touchdown in week 3. There is a slight lean in the passing game to Branden Oliver, but Bouagnon chipped in receiving work as well.

It’s hard to count on anybody for consistent fantasy points in this league, so rostering locking in guaranteed touches and red zone work together is intriguing.

Other potential “stack”fields to consider are San Diego (Gardner/Watson), Orlando (Johnson/Smith), and San Antonio (Farrow/Williams).

Right Direction

In the spirit of trying to predict future success, let’s take a look at whose target counts rose by 3 or more from Week 2 to Week 3.

A handful of players who were inactive week two came back to some heavy volume in week three (Kaelin Clay, James Quick, Marquis Bundy). The fantasy points haven’t been there so the prices aren’t adjusted. Take advantage while you can!

Player Week 4 Price Week 2 Targets Week 2 FPTs Week 3 Targets Week 3 FPTs
J. Huff $5,700 4 10.4 8 7.3
M. Bundy $4,500 0 0 8 7
K. Bell $4,400 0 0 4 7.9
D. Lucien $4,300 0 0 3 14.1
K. Clay $4,100 0 0 7 7.7
F. Martino $3,700 0 0 3 5.1
J. Quick $3,600 0 0 8 6.9
B. Howard $3,100 0 0 4 4.5

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