Week 1 Highlights

San Jose

Mark Grieb returned for the Sabercats and was amazingly efficient, going 21 for 25 for 222 yards and 6 TDs.  He should be considered a good QB1 and only the potent Sabercat running game stops him from being an elite QB.  Grieb will end up in the Top 10 but not in the Top 3 for fantasy scorers.

That same running game allowed Chad Cook to chalk up 21 yards and 3 TDs.   Don’t expect that weekly from Cook but the Sabercats are historically one of the stronger running teams.

The receivers are always good in San Jose, and Rodney Wright was the go-to guy (12 for 123, TD) with Nichirin Flowers getting the end zone looks (6 for 46, 4 TDs).  Both of these guys are great prospects, as is Samora Goodson, who will have good games in this offense.

Spokane

Perennial champs got romped by San Jose, but Kyle Rowley still threw for 364 yards and 5 TDs, adding one on the ground.  He should be among the top QBs selected.

The Spokane WRs all had nice days.  Raul Vijil (13 for 161, 1TD) should be the first Shock WR picked, followed by Greg Orton (7 for 103, 2 TDs) and Markee White (9 for 92, 2 TDs).

Philadelphia

It’s no surprise that I hate the Soul, especially since they are consistently shoved down the throats of the fans as THE TEAM in the league.   Who wants to lay money on how many times the Soul will be the featured game of the week on NFL Network?  With 20 weeks, the over/under is 14.   I usually let my personal bias color my fantasy picks but with Mike Hohensee coaching this team it’s hard to not want players on the roster.

Justin Allgood threw for 300 yards and 5 TDs but focused a little too much on Donovan Morgan (14 for 189, 5 TDs, 1 rushing TD) for my liking.    Morgan should be among the top WRs selected as he’s always excelled in the league.  It’s hard to get a read on Larry Brackins (5 for 49) and Syvelle Newton (6 for 62) after week 1, but I’d go for Newton over Brackins given the latter’s history of consistently underachieving.

Antonio Malone and DeJuan Alfonzo are both worth defensive roster spots in your league.

Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh put up a good show in their first Arena game ever, but Bernard Morris (264 yards, 5 TDs, 3 INTs) has to cut down on mistakes and spread the ball around if they’re going to contend.    Morris should be on a roster as a backup QB until he proves he can produce without mistakes.

The Power receivers had decent days, and I recommend Michael Washington (9 for 111, TD) and Jason Willis (6 for 79, 2 TDs) both be in starting rosters.  Lonnell DeWalt (6 for 41, 2 TDs) is also worth a roster spot in deeper leagues.

Josh Rue (8 yards, 2 TDs) will make a good RB for your team.  Grab him and sit back while he gets his stats.

New Orleans

The VooDoo are back and there is no team I love more (besides maybe San Jose).   However, Danny Wimprine did really light up the scoreboard (230 yards, 3 TDs, INT) and will have to do better to be considered a fantasy starter.   Sure, two rushing TDs (Schule had 32 rushing yards and a TD) cut into his stats but that’s life in the AFL.

PJ Berry showed that he should get drafted fairly high with a good all around effort (7 for 73, 2 TDs, rushing TD and 154 return yards).  Hutch Gonzalez had more receptions (9 for 108, TD) but I’d go with Berry first out of those two.   Chris Peters also pitched in with a few catches (3 for 39) but not enough to be considered for a roster spot.

Still, it’s good to see Bones back stalking the sidelines.  THIS is the team that should be on TV every week (along with a live cam streaming Bourbon St).

Tampa Bay

Boring logo, boring uniform, boring Week 1 victory.  How can I get excited when a QB in the Arena League only throws for 165 yards on 35 attempts.  For those keeping score at home, that’s only 165 more than I threw for while tiling my bathroom.  Both Mike Potts and I ended up with the same number of passing TDs too.  Stay away until he proves he can connect in the end zone.

The WR talent is there in Hank Edwards (6 for 68) and Huey Whittaker (10 for 80) .  But 5 rushing TDs from (two each from Michael Lindsey and rookie QB Grant Gregory and one from FB Erik Ortiz) aren’t all that exciting.  At least Lindsey put on a bit of a show (4 for 17, 2 rushing TDs, 118 return yards and a TD) and could be a versatile WR3 with potential.

Kansas City

If you’re looking for a QB who had a fantasy caliber day, look no further than JJ Raterink from the Brigade.  338 yards and 7 TDs will get you on the top of my draft list.  If you like young players with a lot of potential, grab Raterink.  At least when you’re watching him you could catch a glimpse of the famous Belly Bomb!  WELCOME BACK CAPTAIN BRIGADE!!!  IT’S BEEN TOO LONG!!!

Of course, with a day like that, Raterink’s WRs should have recorded good stats, and they did.  Bret Smith (11 for 133, 3 TDs), Steven Savoy (10 for 108, TD) and Aaron Hosack (8 for 79, 3 TDs) had days that should get them drafted.

No running game at all for the Brigade but on the defensive side Ken Fontenette has 11 tackles, an assist, a forced fumble and an INT.  Someone had better grab him and start him.  We could be looking at the next Rashad Floyd (aka, the greatest tackling machine of all time).

Dallas

The Dallas  logo is obviously a rip off of the VooDoo.  Perhaps that’s Jerry Jones posing for the Vigilante image?  Sure looks like him, even when he’s not sucking the skin from lemons…

Dan Raudabaugh threw for 250 yards and 2 TDs, numbers that place him squarely at the bottom of your fantasy wish list.  DeAndrew Rubin led receivers (6 for 100) but couldn’t score, as Raudabaugh’s two went to Anthony “Tiger” Jones (7 for 76, TD) and Matt Fields (8 for 74, TD, rushing TD).

But those numbers are expected when you have a FB who rushs 15 times for 66 yards and 4 TDs.  Grab Derrick Ross early and hope for more of the same weekly.

Arizona

If I was a gambling man, I’d stake my flag on Nick Davila (284 yards, 6 TDs, 1 rushing TD) and let the championship flow downward like bubbles downstream.   He can throw (102 TDs last year) and it doesn’t look like the Rattlers will have much of a running game.  Plus, I always opt for younger guys (Davila, Raterink, Wimprine) over veterans (Grieb, Garcia) because I like to take that chance on uncovering an unknown talent.  That’s what makes fantasy fun for me.

Davila threw to ex-Sabercat Jason Geathers (9 for 100, TD) who usually also tacks on a couple tackles per game.   But the real star was Trandon Harvey who 12 for 130yds and 4 TDs.  Not a surprise to any owner who remembers Harvey from a couple years ago.   Nate Forse (5 for 46, TD) should also see WR3 stats as long as Davila is healthy.

I know I’ve been ignoring defense up until now but Vince Hill (10 tackles, 3 assists) deserves mention.  Take ’em down, Vince!

Jacksonville

Aaron Garcia as a Shark?  The guy is one of the greats (and a class guy) and puts up stats season after season.  He started out 2011 by throwing for 259 yards and 5 TDs but also threw 2 INTs.  But any WR who has Garcia throwing to him is a candidate for a decent game.  Both Jeron Harvey (9 for 110, 2 TDs) and Jomo Wilson (7 for 86, 2 TDs, rushing TD) would have been worthy fantasy starters.  Sale Key (5 for 51, TD) is also worth a pick, especially since the veteran also sees time on defense.

Omar Jacobs took one in on the ground.  But with only 2 carries he doesn’t seem to be a consistent threat to score.

Staying with the defensive theme, LaRoche Jackson (8 tackles, 1 assist) and Micheaux Robinson (7 tackles, 1 assist) both deserve to be drafted.

MORE COMING THROUGHOUT THE DAY…

OFF THIS WEEK:

Milwaukee Mustangs
Utah Blaze
Iowa Barnstormers
Orlando Predators
Chicago Rush
Cleveland Gladiators

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