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2019 AAF Fantasy Football Draft Recap


Here at RotoBaller, we are always searching for ways to give our readers the best fantasy sports content possible. With that goal in mind, we are very proud to announce our first-ever draft for the Alliance of American Football league (AAF). You can also read our AAF fantasy football rankings.

For those of you that may be perplexed to what I am talking about, the AAF is a brand-new football association that was founded by Charlie Ebersol and Bill Polian. Eight teams will make up the inaugural franchises, and the purpose of the league is to complement the NFL during the offseason and showcase local and forgotten talents. Former players such as Hines Ward, Jared Allen and Troy Polamalu have attached their names to the AAF's leadership board, and the league did not mess around when it came to hiring coaches. Steve Spurrier, Mike Singletary, Mike Martz and Rick Neuheisel are a few names that will be in charge.

Depth charts have not been released yet, so there is an inevitable guessing game to deal with when it comes to who the must-start players are this year, but with the early reports that have come out of camps, we will do our best to provide the best insight we can for the season. Before we get started into the fantasy draft, there are a few differences between the NFL and AAF that we need to discuss.

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Alliance of American Football - Rules and Differences

There are a handful of additional rules and differences that have been put into place, but most are minor compared to the below mentions:

  1. The AAF's 10-week, 40-game regular season will begin February 9th and conclude with its championship game on April 27th.
  2. There are no kickoffs and teams will start at their 25-yard line
  3. The AAF's version of an onside kick is getting one chance to convert a fourth-and-12 from their own 28-yard line. However, the only time a team can attempt to retain possession is if it is behind by 17 points or more, or if it is trailing inside the final five minutes.
  4. There will be no television timeouts.
  5. There are no bye weeks.
  6. Games that are tied after four quarters will have one 10-minute overtime session. Teams get the ball with a 1st-and-goal at the 10-yard line and try to score. Overtime can end in a tie.
  7. The play clock is 35 seconds instead of 40.
  8. There will be a standard seven-person officiating crew on the field, but an extra referee will serve as an eye-in-the-sky of sorts, appropriately referred to as the sky judge, who will be in the press box and can instantly correct "obvious and egregious" officiating errors.
  9. With only eight teams in the AAF, I'd suggest no more than six members for your fantasy group.

 

AAF Draft - Round 1 Recap

Without further ado, let's get into RotoBaller's first fantasy football draft featuring Justin Carter, Pierre Camus, Brendan Kennealy, Matthew McGough, Brandon Murchison and myself, Spencer Aguiar.

 

Round 1
Pick Writer Player Position
1.01 Spencer Aguiar Denard Robinson RB
1.02 Brandon Murchison Zac Stacy RB
1.03 Justin Carter D’Ernest Johnson RB
1.04 Brendan Kennealy Trent Richardson RB
1.05 Pierre Camus Trevor Knight QB
1.06 Matthew McGough Matt Asiata RB

My Selection: Denard Robinson

While I usually wouldn't be thrilled to have the number one selection in an NFL fantasy draft, I was glad to have received the spot in our AAF league. Without rankings or depth charts in place, it felt like a nice advantage to be able to pick at either corner. The ability to make back-to-back selections was a big perk, even if a lot of those selections came down to gut or feel.

With no true No. 1 in place, I decided to roll with Denard Robinson. I believe an argument could be made for a handful of RBs in this position but chose to go with the player that seemed to have the most upside. Robinson has a nice combination of rushing and pass-catching skills, not to mention that the Atlanta Legends should contend for one of the better offenses in the league. It will be exciting to see how the Legends use their speedster, and I was happy to acquire the top guy on my board.

*** With all the dysfunction in Atlanta, I don't think this selection is nearly as good as I once thought. Tarean Folston has been named the starter for the Legends, and I am not sure how Robinson will fit in with the team. The 28-year-old will possess big-play ability when he can get on the field, but in retrospect, this was way too early for Shoelace Robinson.

Riskiest Selection: Trevor Knight

Full disclosure, we are playing with six-point passing touchdowns, and Trevor Knight could end up being the MVP of the league. However, Arizona Hotshots backup John Wolford has turned this into much more of a quarterback battle than anyone could have anticipated. Knight's athleticism and scrambling ability should ultimately win out, but he could be on a short leash during the year. Pierre wisely hedged his bet later by selecting Wolford in round 12.

 

AAF Draft - Round 2 Recap

Pick Writer Player Position
2.01 Matthew McGough Larry Rose RB
2.02 Pierre Camus Akeem Hunt RB
2.03 Brendan Kennealy Sam Mobley WR
2.04 Justin Carter Dres Anderson WR
2.05 Brandon Murchison Josh Stewart WR
2.06 Spencer Aguiar Mekale McKay WR

My Selection: Mekale McKay

The San Antonio Commanders are shaping up to be the best offense in football, and I was ecstatic to grab my top WR on the board at 2.06. McKay was a standout in training camp for the team and appears to have locked down the top position on the unit. The former Cincinnati Bearcat has possessed some outstanding jumping ability, which has been evident by his highlight-reel grabs in camp. The one downside to him is he can be a little sloppy with his catch percentage when pressured by defenders, but if he can hold down the top spot in the passing attack like I think he will, the sky is the limit this season.

Riskiest Selection: Josh Stewart

Another WR in the San Antonio system, Josh Stewart might be the odd man out for the group. The all-time leader in receiving yards at UTSA, Stewart occupies good leaping ability and size but seems to be buried on the depth chart behind MeKale McKay, Demarcus Ayers and Greg Ward Jr.  I don't mind him from a skills perspective, but he probably shouldn't be selected as one of the first 20 wide receivers off the board, let alone the third overall wideout.

AAF Draft - Round 3 Recap

Round 3
Pick Writer Player Position
3.01 Spencer Aguiar Dontez Ford WR
3.02 Brandon Murchison Ladarius Perkins RB
3.03 Justin Carter Kenneth Farrow II RB
3.04 Brendan Kennealy Kyle Lewis WR
3.05 Pierre Camus Stephen Hill WR
3.06 Matthew McGough Aaron Murray QB

My Selection: Dontez Ford

The San Diego Fleet are veering towards being one of the worst teams in the AAF, but that isn't a negative for their offensive players. Quarterback Mike Bercovici doesn't have much arm strength to challenge defenders downfield, but he is a good rhythm passer when given time. During a preseason game against the Orlando Apollos, Ford showed some potential of what this season could become for him, catching all 10 targets for 100 yards and one touchdown. The Fleet should be down often, and Ford has the potential to become a PPR success for a struggling organization.

Riskiest Selection: Kyle Lewis, Stephen Hill and Aaron Murray

Neither Lewis or Hill made their given team's final depth chart, and both appear to be free agents at the time of writing this article. Aaron Murray is not currently listed to be the starter on Saturday for the Atlanta Legends.

 

AAF Draft - Round 4 Recap

Pick Writer Player Position
4.01 Matthew McGough Josh Huff WR
4.02 Pierre Camus David Cobb RB
4.03 Brendan Kennealy John Crockett RB
4.04 Justin Carter Josh Woodrum QB
4.05 Brandon Murchison Jaelen Strong WR
4.06 Spencer Aguiar Terrell Watson RB

My Selection: Terrell Watson

Two straight rounds of selecting San Diego Fleet members wasn't my preferred route before the draft, but the RB position had become very thin at this point in the proceedings, and I still needed to find someone that should be the starter for their team this year. Enter Terrell Watson. During his college career, Watson scored 79 touchdowns and rushed for nearly 6,000 yards for Azusa Pacific, including 2,212 yards and 29 touchdowns throughout his senior year in 2014.

Bishop Sankey was the projected starting running back for the team entering the year but had to be placed on injured reserve. Watson is a hard-nosed runner who can catch a little out of the backfield and will have experience under San Diego's head coach Mike Martz. During the 2015 NFLPA Collegiate Bowl, Martz coached Watson as the 25-year-old captured the MVP award for his performance during the game. Backup running back Ja'quan Gardner does concern me, and I believe this could turn into a timeshare, but Gardner is only 5'7," and the team most likely won't ask him to shoulder the full load.

Riskiest Selection: John Crockett and Jaelen Strong

Neither player is on their given team's final depth chart, and both appear to be free agents at the time of writing this article.

 

AAF Draft - Round 5 Recap

Round 5
Pick Writer Player Position
5.01 Spencer Aguiar Charles Johnson WR
5.02 Brandon Murchison Mike Bercovici QB
5.03 Justin Carter Fabian Guerra WR
5.04 Brendan Kennealy Frankie Hammond WR
5.05 Pierre Camus Damore’ea Stringfellow WR
5.06 Matthew McGough Kenny Bell WR

My Selection: Charles Johnson

Outside of Frankie Hammond, round five featured a handful of top-notch wide receivers come off the board. Even though I got the first crack of the group, an argument could have been made for practically anyone in the collection.

However, I felt fortunate to grab someone with the pedigree of Charles Johnson this late in the draft. A six-year veteran in the NFL, Johnson has accumulated 60 catches for 834 yards and two touchdowns in his career. Those numbers may not seem like much, but an argument could be made that Johnson is the most accomplished wide receiver in the AAF this season. The 29-year-old possesses the speed to become the Apollos go-to target, and I expect quarterback Garrett Gilbert to find his veteran receiver often.

Riskiest Selection: Frankie Hammond

Frankie Hammond did not make the Orlando Apollos final depth chart.

 

AAF Draft - Round 6 Recap

Picktab Writer Player Position
6.01 Matthew McGough Bishop Sankey RB
6.02 Pierre Camus Branden Oliver RB
6.03 Brendan Kennealy Ja’Quan Gardner RB
6.04 Justin Carter Tarean Folston RB
6.05 Brandon Murchison Chris Givens WR
6.06 Spencer Aguiar Rajion Neal RB

My Selection: Rajion Neal

I ultimately decided to go with Rajion Neal, but the selection didn't leave me overly enthusiastic. The Memphis Express are slotted to be a run-first team under head coach Mike Singletary, and starting running back Zac Stacy should be the primary recipient in the backfield. However, there are a few things that I like about having Neal as a bench option for my team. Stacy has never been a player that can stay healthy in his career, and while Neal will most likely need an injury to supplant the 27-year-old on the depth chart, he could find himself fitting into a nice complementary role on the team, allowing him to utilize his pass-catching skills in the backfield.

Riskiest Selection: Bishop Sankey and Chris Givens

Bishop Sankey was placed on injured reserve for the San Diego Fleet, and Chris Givens did not make the Memphis Express.

 

AAF Draft - Round 7 Recap

Round 7
Pick Writer Player Position
7.01 Spencer Aguiar Luis Perez QB
7.02 Brandon Murchison Stehly Reden TE
7.03 Justin Carter Francis Owusu WR
7.04 Brendan Kennealy Christian Hackenberg QB
7.05 Pierre Camus Speedy Noil WR
7.06 Matthew McGough Seantavius Jones WR

My Selection: Luis Perez

I may have jumped the gun with my selection of Luis Perez in the seventh round. Brendan and I were the last two teams not to have a quarterback on our roster, and in theory, I had no rush to make this pick. But despite all the reasons I should have waited, I was pleased to lock in my second-rated QB.

Perez is a bit of an enigma when it comes to what his ceiling is this season. The 24-year-old didn't start playing football until he arrived at Southwestern Junior College in 2013 and had no experience of the game. He walked onto the team in his hometown of Chula Vista, California and became the team's ninth-string quarterback. Through injury and transfers, Perez worked his way into being the starter for half the season before injuring his leg.

Fast forward to 2017, and Perez had become a superstar. Now a quarterback at the Divison II school Texas A&M-Commerce, Perez threw for 5,001 yards on a 70.6 percent completion percentage to go along with 46 touchdowns and 11 interceptions. His team won the Division II National Championship, and he won the Harlon Hill Trophy, awarded to the best player in Division II football.

Perez became Birmingham's first selection during the AAF quarterback draft and has demonstrated poise and leadership throughout his short duration with the team. He is an under-the-radar contender to be the MVP of the league, but there is risk around what his upside will be. I am fine with taking that gamble but feel more comfortable grabbing a backup to go along with him.

Riskiest Selection: Speedy Noil

Speedy Noil did not make the final roster for the San Antonio Commanders.

 

AAF Draft - Round 8 Recap

Pick Writer Player Position
8.01 Matthew McGough Akrum Wadley RB
8.02 Pierre Camus Gavin Escobar TE
8.03 Brendan Kennealy Zach Mettenberger QB
8.04 Justin Carter Joel Bouagnon RB
8.05 Brandon Murchison Mark Herndon RB
8.06 Spencer Aguiar Jhurell Pressley RB

My Selection: Jhurell Pressley

Jhurell Pressley is currently slotted to be the first running back on the field for Arizona's opening game, but I think that has a lot more to do with the 26-year-old being one of the leaders in the locker room. Tim Cook will most likely remain the Hotshots' bruising back, and Justin Stockton should fill in as the scat back on third down. I am not sure where that leaves Pressley when all is said and done, but perhaps his leadership will lead to a more significant role. I am not overly confident with that being what transpires, but there is a slight opening for him to seize more playing time, and his upside is tantalizing if he does.

Riskiest Selection: Mark Herndon

Mark Herndon did not make the final roster for the Orlando Apollos.

 

AAF Draft - Round 9 Recap

Round 9
Pick Writer Player Position
9.01 Spencer Aguiar Dustin Vaughan QB
9.02 Brandon Murchison Tim Cook RB
9.03 Justin Carter Alton “Pig” Howard WR
9.04 Brendan Kennealy Greg Ward Jr. WR
9.05 Pierre Camus Trey Williams RB
9.06 Matthew McGough James Quick WR

My Selection: Dustin Vaughan

I ended up grabbing the two wide receivers that I wanted in rounds 10 and 11, but in retrospect, this was still not the right decision to select Dustin Vaughan here. In reality, I lucked out, and I shouldn't be results oriented. I believe Vaughan has MVP upside in San Antonio's potentially potent offense, but there was no reason to rush and grab a quarterback when nobody else was in the market.

Similar to Luis Perez, Vaughan dominated at a Divison II school in Texas, throwing for 4,712 yards and 45 touchdowns his senior year, but this was in 2012, and the 28-year-old QB hasn't been anything more than a practice squad player for years. We will see if he can dust off his throwing shoulder, but I love the prospects of the Commanders offense and expect to have either Perez or Vaughan turn into a top-tiered QB in this league.

Riskiest Selection: None

With everyone making a selection that made the final roster, there are no bad picks in round nine. Brandon could have gotten the steal of the draft in Tim Cook.

 

AAF Draft - Round 10 Recap

Pick Writer Player Position
10.01 Matthew McGough Deandre Goolsby TE
10.02 Pierre Camus Bug Howard WR
10.03 Brendan Kennealy Larry Donnell TE
10.04 Justin Carter Thomas Duarte TE
10.05 Brandon Murchison Freddie Martino WR
10.06 Spencer Aguiar Malachi Jones WR

My Selection: Malachi Jones

How Malachi Jones fell into the 10th round is criminal. Jones is coming off of a season in the Arena Football League where he won both the AFL Rookie of the Year and Wide Receiver of the Year Awards, becoming the only rookie in league history to win both titles in the same season. The 24-year-old contributed a tremendous 94 catches, 1,439 yards and 36 touchdowns to go along with five rushing scores. All reports have Jones as Atlanta's number one WR entering the season, and he has drawn rave reviews from the coaching staff. The former Appalachian State product could easily be the leagues top WR this year.

Riskiest Selection: Deandre Goolsby and Larry Donnell

Neither TE made the roster for their respective teams.

 

AAF Draft - Round 11 Recap

Round 11
Pick Writer Player Position
11.01 Spencer Aguiar Reece Horn WR
11.02 Brandon Murchison Terrell Newby RB
11.03 Justin Carter Aaron Green RB
11.04 Brendan Kennealy Quinton Patton WR
11.05 Pierre Camus Devin Lucien WR
11.06 Matthew McGough Daryl Richardson RB

My Selection: Reece Horn

Reece Horn reminds me of a poor man's Adam Thielen. Horn has good size and is a sure-handed wide receiver but lacks elite speed. In 2015, the Harlon Hill award candidate for Best Division II player provided 108 catches for 1,396 yards, both good for second best in the country. Fabian Guerra should be Memphis' top receiver this year, but Horn will carve out a significant role and could potentially lead the organization in receptions.

Riskiest Selection: Daryl Richardson

Daryl Richardson didn't make the San Antonio Commanders.

 

AAF Draft - Round 12 Recap

Pick Writer Player Position
12.01 Matthew McGough Garrett Gilbert QB
12.02 Pierre Camus John Wolford QB
12.03 Brendan Kennealy Terron Ward RB
12.04 Justin Carter De'Mornay Pierson-El WR
12.05 Brandon Murchison Joseph Fauria TE
12.06 Spencer Aguiar Justin Stockton RB

My Selection: Justin Stockton

My selection of Justin Stockton was a partial hedge for Jhurell Pressley. Arizona's running back situation is turning into a potential nightmare, but I believe Stockton has the most guaranteed role. The Texas Tech product will be used as a receiver out of the backfield and showed his potential by taking his only reception for 71 yards in the teams preseason game against Birmingham. In a PPR league, Stockton is a solid selection to be had in the 12th round.

Riskiest Selection: Terron Ward and Joseph Fauria

Neither player is currently on an active roster.

 

AAF Draft - Round 13 Recap

Round 13
Pick Writer Player Position
13.01 Spencer Aguiar Cole Hunt TE
13.02 Brandon Murchison Quan Bray WR
13.03 Justin Carter Adrien Robinson TE
13.04 Brendan Kennealy Nelson Spruce WR
13.05 Pierre Camus Brandon Barnes TE
13.06 Matthew McGough Brandon Shed WR

My Selection: Cole Hunt

Tight Ends are a disaster from a fantasy perspective in the NFL. I can't imagine it will be any better in the AAF. Cole Hunt is a swing for the fence selection that stands 6'6'' and plays for one of the best offenses in the San Antonio Commanders. I'd expect him to be named the starter when all is said and done, but I don't have a ton of confidence in any TE. I assume this position will be an issue all year long.

Riskiest Selection: Brandon Shed

Mr. Irrelevant, Brandon Shed, didn't make the San Antonio Commanders.

 

AAF Team Twitter Beats

Team Name Twitter
Arizona Jose Romero @RomeroJoseM
Atlanta Jaylon Thompson @JaylonThompson
Birmingham Marq Burnett @Marq_Burnett
Memphis Dylan Rubino @DylanJRubino
Orlando Tom Alexander @TheTomAlexander
Salt Lake Chantel Buchi @chantelbuchi
San Antonio Cole Thompson @MrColeThompson
San Diego Jeff Goldberg @SDFleetBeat

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