AAF Week 06 Waiver Wire - Nick Truesdell Breakout
The weekly Waiver Wire series covers the top waiver wire or free agent additions for your season-long AAF fantasy teams. You can also use this list to find situations to monitor for cheap DFS value plays throughout the week.
Week 5 in the AAF will forever be known as Week of the Tight End. The position as a whole caught 32 passes for 436 yards and five touchdowns. Nick Truesdell, Scott Orndorff, Wes Saxton, Ben Johnson and Stehly Reden each caught a touchdown pass.
But it was Salt Lake’s Truesdell who stole the show and finished as the TE1 with 19.1 fantasy points. His emergence signals the perfect time to make a change if you haven’t been getting solid tight end fantasy production. Truesdell offers a dose of upside and is the top add for gamers looking to bulk up at the position.
Elsewhere in the league, a pair of former Washington Huskies teammates took the field in their first AAF action. Iron quarterback Keith Price took over for touchdown-less wonder Luis Perez, and running back Bishop Sankey made an uninspiring debut with San Diego.
Prioritize if still available: Mike Berovici, Zach Mettenberger
QB Keith Price, Birmingham
Luis Perez got the rug yanked out from underneath him and – with Blake Sims on injured reserve – the Iron turned to Price. The former Washington Huskies signal-caller was an undrafted free agent who never saw NFL game action, but played a short stint in the CFL. It took Price just over a quarter of play to throw his first TD strike. He found Brandon Ross on a short right dump off, and Ross took it 30 yards to the house. Price finished 18 of 29 for 234 yards, one TD, one 2-point conversion and no interceptions. He showed some pop on his passes, but his mechanics went out the window on deep ball attempts.
As opportunity is king, Price made the most of his and figures to keep the starting gig. He’ll be a low-end QB1 going forward, but one with more upside than Perez.
Situations to Monitor
Josh Woodrum had a great day for fantasy purposes but a lousy day at the office. The Stallions QB threw for a season-high 380 yards and one TD, and rushed for a 2-point conversion. But he also tossed three picks as Salt Lake fell to San Diego. Woodrum briefly left with an injury and was spelled by Austin Allen, but he returned to finish the game. He finished as the QB1 with 27.3 fantasy points. While Woodrum figures to retain the starter job, Allen makes for a speculative add.
Mike Bercovici bounced back in a big way after the hit heard round the world and a pair of picks knocked him out of Week 1. Back in the saddle as the starter, he completed 22 of 43 attempts for 304 yards, one TD and one INT. His play backed up coach Mike Martz’s comments in the days leading up to the game, as Martz had high praise for his QB. The Fleet look primed to throw the ball a ton going forward after their three RBs combined for 28 yards on 19 carries (1.5 YPC).
Prioritize if still available: Taurean Folston, Brandon Ross, Brandon Radcliffe
Bishop Sankey, San Diego
Sankey’s season debut stunk as the Fleet backfield combined for an ugly 28 yards on 19 carries (1.5 YPC) against a stout Stallions defense. He rushed five times for 11 yards, and added two receptions on three targets for nine yards. While the performance sucked, the good news is that Sankey saw the same amount of touches (seven) as primary backup Terrell Watson. Lead back Ja’Quan Gardner received 12 touches and was also terrible, averaging 0.3 YPC.
This backfield is a volatile one, but keep a close eye on Sankey. He’s a former second-round pick who ran a 4.49 40-yard dash and spent the 2014 and 2015 seasons with the Titans. He profiles as a workhorse back, having recorded two seasons of 1,400-plus rushing yards while averaging 5.4 YPC at Washington. He’ll eat into Watson’s usage and, if he pops, Gardner’s too.
Terrence Magee, Memphis
He’s strung together two straight solid performances and should see a spike in playing time with Sherman Badie injured. In the past two games, Magee caught all four of his targets for 31 yards and a TD, and rushed eight times for 18 yards and a 2-point conversion. Badie suffered a knee injury in the first half and did not return. His status should be monitored, but coach Mike Singletary told reporters: “it doesn’t look good”.
If Badie heads to injured reserve, Magee slots in as the second option behind Zac Stacy. Magee was signed as an undrafted free agent by the Ravens after the 2015 draft, and bounced around on NFL practice squads until landing in Memphis.
Situations to Monitor
The Tim Cook roller-coaster ride continues. He now has two games in which he recorded one or fewer fantasy points and two games with 11 or more fantasy points. He led the Hotshots in carries (12) and scored one rushing TD, but managed just 2.8 YPC. Usual lead back Jhurell Pressley garnered eight carries and turned them into 20 yards (2.5 YPC). Justin Stockton added five carries for 29 yards (5.8 YPC).
Akeem Hunt missed Week 5 due to injury and may become an afterthought in Orlando following outstanding performances by backfield mates D’Ernest Johnson and De’Veon Smith. Johnson totalled 122 yards from scrimmage while Smith rushed 14 times for 119 yards (8.5 YPC). Ryan Green mixed in as the third option and received three carries.
Prioritize if still available: Dontez Ford
Tobias Palmer, Birmingham
After finishing the first four games recording two or fewer catches, Palmer elevated his play by catching all five of his targets for 36 yards. The targets tied for the team lead with Trent Richardson and L’Damian Washington. It’s worth noting that four of Palmer’s receptions came after the QB change. His stock rises with Keith Price under center.
Situations to Monitor
Quinton Patton saw a whopping 11 targets, catching four of them for 26 yards and a 2-point conversion. His previous high in targets was nine in Week 1. Keith Price taking over the starting gig brightens Patton’s outlook and he should be owned everywhere in season-long leagues.
Kenny Bell, widely drafted as a first-round selection in AAF Fantasy, is quietly starting to emerge and settle into his role as the top option for the Stallions. Since missing the first two games due to injury, Bell has 10 catches for 86 yards and a two-point conversion. He’s averaging 6.9 fantasy points per game and has two red zone targets.
With Richard Mullaney out, conventional wisdom told us that Marquis Bundy would benefit most. And while he caught 3 of 6 passes for 49 yards, Freddie Martino led the team with seven targets and turned them into four catches and 34 yards. Mullaney likely is dealing with a sprained MCL and could return in the next two weeks. Martino is a low-priority add unless Mullaney goes on IR.
Demarcus Ayers has four consecutive games with at least five targets. His nine Week 5 fantasy points were his most since Week 2’s 13-point outburst.
Prioritize if still available: Wes Saxton, Marcus Baugh
Nick Truesdell, Salt Lake
He almost doubled his catch total from the previous four weeks, hauling in all six of his targets for 71 yards and a score. Truesdell’s TD was his second on the season and first since Week 1, and his three red zone targets led the Stallions. In all, quarterback Josh Woodrum targeted his tight ends four times in the red zone (Anthon Denham saw one target). If Woodrum’s 48 pass attempts are a harbinger of the future, Truesdell’s uptick in volume should stick. That’s good news for a player averaging a TD every 6.5 receptions.
Scott Orndorff, Orlando
The tight end on the most powerful offense in the league finally showed some signs of life. Against Birmingham, Orndorff recorded his first catch since Week 3 and finished 3 of 3 for 61 yards and his first TD of the season. It marked his most catches and yards to date. While his stock benefits just from being an Apollo, Orndorff has laid three goose eggs so far and has one lonely red zone target. Approach his upside with caution.
Situations to Monitor
Wes Saxton, Jr. has been solid if not spectacular, averaging the second-most tight end fantasy points per game entering Week 5. He recorded three catches in each of his past three games and gets a slight bump with Keith Price under center.
While Gerald Christian led the Hotshots at tight end through four weeks, it was Thomas Duarte who had his best fantasy game of the season against the Commanders. He caught 2 of 3 targets for 18 yards and a TD, but remains a dart throw option. Through Week 4, Duarte had four receptions for 62 yards and a 2-point conversion. He has two games with zero catches.
Marcus Baugh followed up Week 4’s solid performance (4-54-1) with two catches for 65 yards. He saw one red zone target.
Keith Towbridge caught all four of his targets for 56 yards. He has three red zone targets on the season but has yet to score.
San Antonio’s Stehly Reden grabbed his first two catches of the season, and one was a TD. He’s a player to monitor with Cole Hunt battling injury on a team that likes to throw to its tight ends. Evan Rodriquez caught one pass for eight yards. Of his four total catches, two have generated points (one TD, one 2-point conversion). He has three red zone targets.
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