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AAF Week 3 Fantasy Football Recap (Sunday Games)

Now that we are three weeks into the AAF season, some clear trends are starting to emerge. Orlando is the team to beat and clearly has the most fantasy assets on its roster. Atlanta is looking like an unmitigated disaster and Memphis isn't much better, although the QB  change to Zach Mettenberger could do wonders.

Only three running backs that have had over 15 rushing attempts are averaging over five yards a carry (Ja'quan GardnerJustin Stockton and D'Ernest Johnson) and just five players are averaging over 50 yards a game (Ja'Quan Gardner, Zac Stacy, D'Ernest Johnson, Jhurell Pressley and Joel Bouagnon). The RB spot is one of the most challenging positions to find steady production from this year. Gardner leads the way with an impressive 281 yards on 35 carries, equating to a little over an eight-yard average, and Trent Richardson leads the league with six touchdowns. Richardson's 2.5 yards per carry goes to show that volume is king in the AAF, and his 59 rushing attempts are 14 more than Zac Stacy and 19 more than Jhurell Pressley.

Receiving wise, we are dealing with a similar level of inconsistency. Three players are averaging at least four receptions per game (Rashad Ross, Charles Johnson and De'Mornay Pierson-El), but Ross is the only wideout that has actually caught at least four balls in every contest. It is going to take a few weeks for these offenses to find a better level of consistency, but we are starting to see most of these units churn out more prolific football, and that is an encouraging sign as we progress through the year. Let's see what Week 3 had to offer on the Sunday slate. If you want to read the recap from Saturday's games, click here.

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Birmingham Iron 28, Atlanta Legends

The Birmingham Iron increased their record to 3-0 on the season with a 28-12 victory over the Atlanta Legends. The Eastern Division is beginning to become a two-team race with Orlando and Birmingham undefeated on the year. Atlanta and Memphis are bringing up the rear at 0-3, and it's starting to look like the two unbeaten teams could clinch playoff spots before long.

Birmingham has kept a consistent gameplan weekly that focuses on defensive success and protection of the ball on offense. Unfortunately, these conservative schemes have caused Luis Perez to underachieve for fantasy purposes, even if he continues to look like one of the best game managers in the AAF. Perez completed 17 of 31 passes on the day for 160 yards and two two-point conversions, but he remains without a touchdown on the year. The 24-year-old did throw his first interception on a sloppy pass in the second half, and it is not helping that all scoring drives have ended with a Trent Richardson touchdown this season. Despite not scoring over 13.3 fantasy points in any game this season, Perez is still a top-four QB in fantasy leagues. He just needs some positive regression when it comes to throwing touchdowns.


Notable Performances From Birmingham

Trent Richardson (RB)

Running back Trent Richardson scored three rushing touchdowns in Birmingham's 28-12 victory Sunday over the Atlanta Legends, giving him six scores in the first three games this year. Richardson also added 46 yards on the ground, three receptions for four yards and one two-point conversion. While the former Alabama product has been far and away one of the two best running backs from a fantasy standpoint, he has yet to average over 2.7 yards in any game this season. On the year, Richardson has taken 59 carries for only 145 yards and has been a touchdown-dependent producer. These are usually signs of a player to sell-high on the trade market, but it is difficult to find a running back that is more trustworthy than Richardson. If you own him, enjoy the production you are receiving.

L'Damian Washington (WR)

L'Damian Washington only brought in three receptions for 28 yards, but it was his excellent route running and steady hands on Sunday that causes him to be one of the best waiver options this week. The camera cut to head coach Tim Lewis multiple times during the game as he was praising Washington, calling him "their best receiver." Quinton Patton's drops have become an issue, and Lewis may very well be correct in his assessment of Washington. The 6'4" WR has the speed to stretch the field and will continue to emerge up the depth chart if he can rein in some of his own pass-catching woes when it comes to drops.


Notable Performances From Atlanta

Matt Simms (QB)

Matt Simms' numbers have been better than Memphis' Christian Hackenberg, but Atlanta needs to take a page out of the Express' playbook and try to spark some life into their offense with a quarterback change. Simms had his best statistical outing on Sunday, throwing for 328 yards and a touchdown, but the majority of the yardage came on a few plays, and the 30-year-old was unsuccessful with three interceptions. Simms looks unsure about any read and is a step slow going through his progressions. Aaron Murray brings quality experience and could be the answer to Atlanta's miseries. Let's just hope head coach Kevin Coyle comes to the same conclusion before long.

Akrum Wadley (RB)

Akrum Wadley looked like the best back on the Legends before he was forced out of the game with a knee injury. After catching all eight targets last week, Wadley had hauled in all three looks on Sunday, gaining 29 yards through the air. At the time of writing this article, it is uncertain how severe the injury is for the 23-year-old, but if it turns out to be a minor setback, Wadley presents an extremely high floor because of his pass-catching ability. Keep an eye on his status for next week's game against the Arizona Hotshots. If he is available, consider him an RB2 for the contest.

Seantavius Jones (WR)

Seantavius Jones had his biggest game of the season, taking in four receptions on eight targets for 72 yards. It is a borderline misleading stat line because Jones converted the leagues first-ever onside kick conversion for 48 yards, but the 23 targets that he has received in the opening three weeks is what is most encouraging. A change to Aaron Murray would help not only him but also Malachi Jones, and it is hopefully a roster move we get before long.


San Diego Fleet 31, San Antonio Commanders 11

The first three weeks have shown us that is is difficult to beat a team twice in a season, as is evident by the Salt Lake Stallions and San Diego Fleet reversing the script from their losses in Week 1. After an explosive start from the San Antonio Commanders that saw them record an interception and touchdown in the first 19 seconds, the San Diego Fleet ripped off 28 unanswered points to record a 31-11 victory.

Quarterback Philip Nelson, who did not start in the opening week matchup, was incredibly efficient on the night, throwing for 193 yards and two touchdowns on 17-for-25 passing. The fact that the Fleet did not have a headline-making play on Sunday is probably a positive for them. Week 1 starter Mike Bercovici got hit into another dimension during their first game against the Commanders, and Nelson completed an absurd pass behind his head in Week 2 that sounds a lot better then it should have been. San Diego has steadily improved every week and is beginning to look like one of the better teams in the AAF. Will it continue? That remains to be seen.


Notable Performances From San Diego

Ja'Quan Gardner (RB)

Ja'Quan Gardner's stat line hid the fact that Terrell Watson was the lead back on Sunday night. Gardner rushed 12 times for 122 yards and a score, but the majority of his yards came during his 83-yard touchdown dash. The 5'7" RB is more of an all-around back than his stature would indicate, and he has currently rushed for 93 more yards than the second leading rusher in the AAF. With all that being said, Watson is a legitimate threat to his workload, and this is most likely going to turn into a 50/50 timeshare. Gardner is still an RB1, but I would temper some of my expectations around him slightly.

Terrell Watson (RB)

Terrell Watson was every bit the bruiser to compliment Ja'Quan Gardner's speed against the San Antonio Commanders. Watson rushed for 73 yards on 13 carries to go along with two two-point conversions and one catch for three yards. Gardner and Watson are a thunder-and-lightning tandem, but I like to refer to the pair as 'Cruiser and Destroyer.' Watson's hard-nosed running style isn't going anywhere, and the duo is going to form a deadly 1-2 combination in the AAF. Watson should be viewed as a back-end RB2/high-end RB3 on most weeks, but he is creeping towards top-10 status.

Nelson Spruce (WR)

For the first time this season, we may have finally gotten an indication on who San Diego's primary WR is going to be on the year. Nelson Spruce caught four of seven targets for 50 yards and two touchdowns, leading the team in receptions, targets and yards. With how enamored head coach Mike Martz is with Spruce's talent, I don't see why the 26-year-old won't continue to be the go-to target in San Diego. I am disappointed that Dontez Ford didn't seem to get a real shot at the job, but Spruce should be viewed as a high-end WR2, as where Ford and Brian Brown are more in the WR3-WR4 range. Francis Owusu can probably be dropped in most settings.


Notable Performances From San Antonio

Logan Woodside (QB)

Logan Woodside completed his first pass of the night for a 47-yard score, but everything appeared to go downhill from there. Woodside ended the game with 151 yards passing, one touchdown, two interceptions and potentially out of a starting job when the Commanders take the field against Birmingham next week. Backup Marquise Williams played a few series for the second straight week, rushing for 33 yards and completing all four passes for 21 yards, but head coach Mike Riley doesn't seem to have much of a leash when it comes to Woodside. I'd consider the Toledo product to be a slight favorite to be named the starter next week, but he is a bad throw away from heading to the bench. That, of course, is assuming he gets the nod in Week 4.

Trey Williams (RB)

Trey Williams has been referred to as the James White of the AAF, but it was his legs that stole the show. Williams took seven carries for 75 yards, adding two catches for 13 yards. The 26-year-old was making his first appearance of the year after being inactive for the previous two contests, and his arrival to the lineup moved Aaron Green to be a healthy scratch. Williams is worth a waiver add in all leagues and has the potential to be a high-flor RB3 immediately.

Mekale McKay (WR)

Mekale McKay hauled in four catches on six targets for 91 yards and a score against the San Diego Fleet. McKay, Charles Johnson and Rashad Ross have been the three biggest standouts at the WR position, and McKay leads the league with 27 targets. As good as the 25-year-old has been this season, he has been a few near touchdowns away from being the clear-cut overall WR1. McKay is a star and could be the favorite to end the year as the top wideout.

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