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AAF Week 2 Recap - Fantasy Risers, Fallers (Sunday Games)


The initial buzz of Week 1 excitement is gone, but Week 2 of the AAF season produced noticeably better football. The Orlando-San Antonio game was a barn burner that qualifies as the first candidate for AAF Game of the Year. We also saw our first 300-yard passer (Garrett Gilbert), 100-yard rusher (Zac Stacy) and 150-yard receiver (Charles Johnson).

The Westgate Las Vegas Superbook has been reporting betting handle that is similar to an average college basketball game, which I think is an encouraging sign for the future of the league. The first couple of weeks will be slower because of the obscurity of the AAF to casual bettors, but as they become more accustomed to the teams and players, we should see the activity level ramp up.

Other sports publications such as ESPN and Yahoo have been reluctant to get behind the brand for fantasy purposes but here at RotoBaller we are dedicated to all fantasy sports that you care about. Here is our fantasy breakdown from the Sunday slate of AAF Week 2. If you want to read Saturday's review, click here.

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Orlando Apollos 37, San Antonio Commanders 29

Will this end up being the game of the year? I'm not sure. But it did feel like the AAF's version of the spectacular Monday night contest that we witnessed between the Kansas City Chiefs and Los Angeles Rams last season in the NFL. Maybe that is selling the game too much, but we had impressive offensive performances mixed in with stellar defensive plays. Apollos quarterback Garrett Gilbert led the way with 393 yards and two touchdowns on 19 completions, making him the first 300-yard passer in league history. And Charles Johnson, who became the all-time leader in receiving yards in a game, recorded seven catches for 192 yards and a score.

Orlando's offense is deadly under head coach Steve Spurrier, and Gilbert is in the argument with John Wolford for top fantasy QB in the league. As for Charles Johnson, he appears to have cemented himself as the top wideout to own this season. The Apollos should be considered the favorites to take home the inaugural championship this year and will be a nearly impossible offense to stop when they are firing on all cylinders.

 

Notable Performances For Orlando

Orlando's RB Trio of Akeem Hunt, D'Ernest Johnson and De'Veon Smith

The Apollos' trio of RBs will be a headache for the rest of the AAF, but they are also shaping up to a problem for fantasy owners. Akeem Hunt was virtually non-existent on the day, taking two carries for negative-four yards, but this comes on the heels of Hunt leading the backfield in Week 1 with 10 carries for 73 yards.

D'Ernest Johnson has looked the most explosive of the three, averaging seven yards a rush in his first two games, but despite getting eight carries for 57 yards on Sunday, he has only managed to garner a total of 13 carries on the year to go along with one reception. And then we have De'Veon Smith, who had just four carries for four yards on Sunday but vultured his second touchdown and two-point conversion away from Hunt and Johnson.

All three are extremely difficult to rank for the rest of the season, but Hunt is probably best suited as an RB2, as where Johnson and Smith will be best employed as high-end RB3s.

Jalin Marshall (WR)

Showing that Week 1 wasn't a fluke, Jalin Marshall brought in three receptions for 84 yards and a touchdown. Marshall has clearly separated himself from Rannell Hall and Chris Thompson as the second WR for Orlando and is a quality WR2 going forward in fantasy leagues. He has only amassed eight targets on the year, but the 23-year-old provides enough big-play ability to justify being considered a top-12 wideout. However, you should expect some volatility because of his low-volume share in the offense.

 

Notable Performances For San Antonio

Logan Woodside (QB)

Aside from the unusual coaching decision from head coach Mike Riley choosing to play QB Marquise Williams on a handful of series throughout the game, Logan Woodside looked like the fourth best QB to own in fantasy leagues. Woodside threw for 223 yards, one touchdown and one two-point conversion, adding an extra 18 yards on the ground. It is alarming that Riley thought it was a good judgment call in the first place, but even if Williams does randomly steal a few plays here and there, I think Woodside has separated himself from all QBs not named John Wolford, Garrett Gilbert or Luis Perez.

Kenneth Farrow II (RB)

San Antonio has a similar three-headed monster at RB as Orlando does, but their roles are much more defined. Kenneth Farrow II will be the lead back for the Commanders, and he has proven to the man in charge during the first two weeks. On Sunday, Farrow II provided 13 rushes for 74 yards and a touchdown, adding two receptions for 25 yards. San Antonio is going to be one of the top-tier offenses in the league, and the 25-year-old is going to have an ample amount of opportunities to get into the end zone. He is a back-end RB1 this year but has the upside to climb into the same realm as Zac Stacy and Trent Richardson.

Mekale McKay (WR)

While many will see Mekale McKay's two catches for 36 yards and panic, I will view the cup as being half full. McKay was able to bring in nine targets on the day, which included six red zone looks and a 14-yard touchdown that was called back due to a penalty. Yes, I know his 33 percent catch rate in the first two games is startling, but the 21 throws in his direction is a mouth-watering total. The emergence of De'Marcus Ayers should open up the field for McKay going forward, and I see no reason why he should be viewed as anything other than a top-five WR at this point.

De'Marcus Ayers (WR)

De'Marcus Ayers missed Week 1 with an injury but quickly made his presence felt during the second week. Ayers is a former NFL WR that displays leadership and composure, playing with a quickness that allows him to get open on his breaks. His five-catch outing on Sunday for 80 yards was highlighted by a ridiculous one-handed catch in the first half, and the 24-year-old is one of the top players to grab on the waiver wire.

 

San Diego Fleet 24, Atlanta Legends 12

Some individual performances were impressive, but it was the biggest dud of the week for the most part. Both QBs looked shaky, and there wasn't a whole ton of production from any of the WRs. Atlanta's Malachi Jones managed to bounce back with three catches for 37 yards and a touchdown, this after a zero-catch performance in Week 1, but it still wasn't the breakout showing I was hoping to see from one of my top-eight wideouts this season. On the other side, Dontez Ford and Francis Owusu were complete duds, combining for one catch and 17 yards (courtesy of Ford).

Malachi Jones (ATL), Seantavius Jones (ATL), Dontez Ford (SD) and Francis Owusu (SD) were all players I had ranked inside my top-20 yearly rankings, but a serious case could be made against any of them not producing as I would have hoped. Ford is the best WR on the Fleet, but head coach Mike Martz seems oblivious to that fact, and while both Jones' haven't been complete busts for the Legends, they need the team to make the switch to Aaron Murray before this year becomes a total waste.

 

Notable Performances For Atlanta

Akrum Wadley (RB)

Getting more playing time because of Denard Robinson being out due to injury, Akrum Wadley made the most of his chance. Wadley brought in all eight targets through the air for 70 yards, while adding four carries for 12 yards on the ground. It is difficult to say if any of this changes once Denard Robinson is healthy enough to get back on the field, but Tarean Folston bombed as the lead-back, and we could see a three-man timeshare begin to form in Atlanta. Wadley is best suited as a scat back because of his pass catching skills, and it seems reasonable that Robinson may slide into a more traditional role of playing on first and second downs. It is tough to gauge any of this until we see Robinson re-enter the mix, but Wadley has without a doubt earned a more significant role.

 

Notable Performances For San Diego

Ja'quan Gardner (RB)

Ja'Quan Gardner stole the show on Sunday, rushing 15 times for 104 yards and two touchdowns. Gardner entered the night as a top-five RB in my ROS rankings, and this performance did nothing but further justify that position. The 5'7" bruiser will be the Fleets' best player this year, and it appears apparent that the offense will run through him.

Terrell Watson (RB)

Lost in the shuffle of Ja'Quan Gardner's explosion, Terrell Watson quietly posted 14 carries for 49 yards. Watson saw more snaps than Gardner and also was on the field during more third-down plays. The 25-year-old was unable to turn that into any receptions on the night, but it was an excellent recovery after his 10-yard dud on three carries in Week 1. It must be noted that the game flow was ideal for Watson to find success, and he still was only able to muster 4.9 total fantasy points. He is a name that is worth keeping an eye on but isn't someone that is a must-own option at this point. Paul James will most likely be the third-down back when the Fleet finds themselves trailing, and Watson still has a long ways to go to be fantasy relevant.

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