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AAF Week 4 Fantasy Football Recap (Sunday)


We continue on to the Sunday games, which featured two of the favorites to win the title go down at home. Both Birmingham and Arizona were unable to get anything going on offense and faltered late during their surprising upsets.

Before the weekend, the home team had won nine of 12 games throughout the season, and no underdog had pulled off a win on the road. However, in Week 4, three of the four contests were won by the road team, including the two road underdogs winning the game outright on Sunday. To put that last statistic into perspective, no organization had won on the road entering the week as the betting underdog and both the San Antonio Commanders and Atlanta Legends made history with upset victories.

While every team still has flaws that they need to handle, the Orlando Apollos are looking like an unstoppable force. San Antonio and Birmingham have proven to be two of the better defensive teams, so they could be teams to watch when the playoff race begins. Our Sunday recap can be found below, so without further ado, let's dive into what transpired during the final two contests. When you're done, catch up on Saturday's action right here.

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San Antonio Commanders 12, Birmingham Iron 11

The Birmingham Iron fell from the ranks of the unbeaten with a 12-11 loss to the San Antonio Commanders. Birmingham's defense continued to look impenetrable, which was highlighted by them stopping the Commanders six times late in the game from the one-yard line. Unfortunately, their offense remained stuck in quicksand. Luis Perez made terrible decisions all day, resulting in two costly interceptions, and Trent Richardson continued to look incapable of gaining more than two yards at a time.

While the Commanders defense deserves the majority of the credit for the victory, Kenneth Farrow II stole the show. Farrow rushed an AAF high 30 times for 142 yards, adding one reception for three yards. The performance puts Farrow at 280 yards on the season, just seven yards behind Ja'quan Gardner for the regular season lead. The once muddled backfield has turned into a clear case of Farrow being the lead back with Trey Williams serving as the change of pace option. Farrow has been one of the best RBs this season and is a strong RB1 moving forward. In an interesting side note, the Commanders became the first team to win a road game outright as an underdog and just the third betting underdog to win overall.

 

Notable Performances From San Antonio

Logan Woodside (QB)

Logan Woodside's performance on Sunday was his first truly awful showing from a fantasy perspective, but negative signs have been lurking for a few weeks. Woodside completed just 11 of 25 passes for 106 yards, rushing for negative-six yards to go along with no touchdowns, interceptions or two-point conversions.

After averaging 37.5 attempts in the first two weeks, the 24-year-old has only averaged 24 passes in the previous two games. San Antonio has slowly been transforming into a run-first team, which has been evident by running QB Marquise Williams logging a handful of snaps in Weeks 2 and 3. Luckily for Woodside, Williams didn't see the field against the Iron on Sunday, but the Toledo product is slowly losing his grip on the starting job. I have Woodside as my QB6 in fantasy leagues, making him the last startable option in a six-team league. Mekale McKay, Greg Ward Jr. and De'Marcus Ayers form perhaps the best WR trio in the league, but Woodside will need to be more accurate with his passes to get the offense churning again.

 Mekale McKay (WR)

The massive early season volume for Mekale McKay has faded the previous two weeks. After earning 21 targets in the first two games, McKay has dropped to 10 over the last two contests. A lot of that has to do with San Antonio taking a more conservative approach on offense, but the former Cincinnati Bearcat was only able to draw four looks against Birmingham, bringing in two catches for 19 yards.

While all this is slightly alarming, McKay is still second in the AAF with 31 targets, trailing Charles Johnson for the league lead by one pass attempt. McKay is also third in the league with 427 air yards and holds a share of third with 226 receiving yards. The 25-year-old faced a tough matchup on Sunday against Jamar Summers, who is rated as the second highest-graded CB in the AAF, according to PFF. The Arizona Hotshots have two quality corners in Sterling Moore and Robert Nelson, but the matchup should be much easier next week for McKay.

 

Notable Performances From Birmingham

Luis Perez (QB)

Luis Perez has been the player that I was most wrong about this season. I had him as my QB2 entering the year, but after zero touchdowns and three interceptions in the first four weeks, Perez is performing as an unstartable fantasy option.

Perez has been way too conservative this season, dumping the majority of his passes off to his RBs. His WRs haven't helped him out with all the drops, but the slow and methodical decision-making is not working. In fairness, if you take away a few of Trent Richardson's seven touchdowns and give some to the former DII 'Player of the Year,' Perez would be viewed differently. But as things stand, Birmingham seems content to punch everything in with their run game when they get close. I am not giving up on Perez, but he is a tough player to recommend starting right now.

Trent Richardson (RB)

Maybe Trent Richardson was being used incorrectly in the NFL all these seasons. He clearly shouldn't have been a three-down back in any system. Richardson is a short-yardage specialist that is the best player in the world at gaining one to two yards. On Sunday, Richardson rushed eight times for 15 yards, scoring a one-yard rushing touchdown with 1:44 left in the fourth quarter. The former Alabama product added five receptions on eight targets for 37 yards, helping him to produce another monster fantasy game.

All jokes aside, here is what we know. Richardson has taken 67 carries this season for a total of 160 yards (2.3 average). However, his seven rushing touchdowns are four more than the next RB (Ja'Quan Gardner and Joel Bouagnon), and Richardson leads all backs in receptions with 15, three more than his teammate Ladarius Perkins. As crazy as it seems, the 28-year-old is the premier RB in the league because of volume, even if he hasn't rushed for over 2.7 yards in any game.

L'Damian Washington (WR)

L'Damian Washington pulled in three of seven targets against the San Antonio Commanders for 35 yards. Washington, who has started three games this season, has caught precisely three passes in every contest and ended each game with between 27-35 yards.

The productivity has been consistent if nothing else, but Washington's 114 air yards and seven targets on the day caught my eye. Last weekend, head coach Tim Lewis called the 27-year-old his best wideout, and Luis Perez tried to get the lanky speedster involved often in Week 4. Unfortunately, the offense sputtered, and it didn't amount to much, but Washington is a WR3 that has massive upside if Birmingham can figure out their offensive woes.

Wes Saxton Jr. (TE)

Wes Saxton Jr. was dropped by the Birmingham Iron earlier in the year but resigned once the team dealt with countless injuries to the tight end position. Saxton made his debut last week with a three catch display for 25 yards and continued the trend with a three catch effort for 54 yards against the Commanders.

Saxton was injured during the onside conversion attempt in the fourth quarter, so keep an eye on the severity of the injury, but if nothing ends up being wrong, the 25-year-old is the top waiver wire add at TE and immediately becomes a top-tiered player at the position.

 

Atlanta Legends 14, Arizona Hotshots 11

The Atlanta Legends' victory over the Arizona Hotshots may have been the most surprising result of the season. Arizona entered the game as 14-point favorites but failed even to score that many points during their shocking defeat.

Atlanta's Quarterback Matt Simms completed his first pass of the game but was forced out of the contest after injuring his hand. Aaron Murray, who was the presumed starter to open the year before losing out on the starting gig to Simms, put together a marvelous outing, completing 20 of 33 pass attempts for 254 yards while adding 54 yards on the ground. I had been calling for the Legends to make this change since Week 1, but an injury is never how you want to see someone gain their playing time. With that being said, it looked as if Simms could have re-entered the game if needed, and head coach Kevin Coyle decided to roll with the hot hand.

 

Notable Performances From Atlanta

Aaron Murray (QB)

The Memphis Express and Atlanta Legends should be ashamed of themselves for starting Christian Hackenberg and Matt Simms to begin the season. Both Zach Mettenberger and Aaron Murray finally received a full-game worth of playing time, and both units found their first win. It's not rocket science, yet the coaching staffs continually kept making the wrong decision. I know Murray didn't technically start the game, but just one pass attempt from Simms is equivalent to a start as far as I am concerned.

Aaron Murray is the career passing leader in the SEC with 13,166 yards and finally got an opportunity to show off his arm strength on Sunday. As mentioned above, Murray threw for 254 yards, adding 54 rushing yards on the day. The former Georgia Bulldog is a reasonably accurate passer that shows an impressive touch and is an above-average athlete that provides some scrambling ability. If Murray is available on your waiver wire, he is a must-add that can be a game-changer at the QB position for you.

Brandon Radcliff (RB)

After getting signed to the team just one week ago, Brandon Radcliff took 12 carries for 48 yards on the night against the Arizona Hotshots. RB Akrum Wadley was out with a knee injury, but don't let that take away from the fact that Radcliff led the team in carries after just learning the playbook a few days ago.

Wadley is going to be used as the team's scatback whenever he returns, so there is playing time to be had for anyone that can steal the more conventional two-down back role for the Legends. Denard Robinson looked impressive with nine carries for 43 yards and a touchdown, and it seems reasonable to think that he and Radcliff will compete against one another for the bulk of the rushing work. Radcliff is worth a waiver add to see how this situation plays out and could eventually provide RB2 production. But for now, he is nothing more than a player to stash.

Tarean Folston (RB)

Tarean Folston took over the Akrum Wadley role against the Arizona Hotshots, catching five of seven targets for 66 yards. We haven't found out the severity of Wadley's knee injury quite yet but assuming the 23-year-old will be back in action shortly, Folston makes for an intriguing sell-high candidate.

He appears to be out of the race for the lead back role, and I believe he was only active today to fill in for Wadley. There is a possibility that Wadley's knee injury is more severe than the team is saying, but assuming his return is imminent, there is a big possibility that Folston starts earning a healthy scratch. I don't believe his value will ever be higher than it is now, and I would try and see what I could get for him on the trade market.

 

Notable Performances From Arizona

John Wolford (QB)

As someone who owns and plays Luis Perez weekly, I would encourage John Wolford owners to count their blessings. I know the 23-year-old didn't look like his usual self, and perhaps he was still dealing with complications from his back injury he sustained during last week, but Wolford's bad games are better than most AAF QBs good games, and he showed that again on Sunday.

Wolford threw for 185 yards, one touchdown, one two-point conversion and no interceptions on 17-for-31 pass attempts, adding 14 yards on the ground. The former Wake product is the clear-cut number two option in fantasy at quarterback and should be locked in as a weekly starter for your team. There is no need to overthink this situation.

Jhurell Pressley(RB)

Jhurell Pressley dominated on Sunday night against a porous Atlanta Legends front four, gaining 110 yards on 14 carries while adding four receptions for 14 yards. Justin Stockton and Tim Cook combined for six total carries for 21 yards, so it looks like Pressley is back to having a stranglehold over the backfield.

Pressley is third in the league with 266 yards rushing and seventh compared to all RBs with six receptions, although his 11 targets place him third overall for the position. The 26-year-old is an elite RB1 and will become an even better play whenever he can find his first rushing touchdown.

Rashad Ross (WR)

By any statistical definition, Rashad Ross has been elite this season. He ranks second with 19 receptions, fourth with 26 targets, second with 295 yards and first with five touchdowns. The 29-year-old came into the week as the second-rated WR, according to Pro Football Focus, and he looks to be one of the few wideouts with the potential to make it back to the NFL.

On Sunday, Ross hauled in four of six targets for 74 yards, adding a 20-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter. Ross is the only player in the league that has caught at least four balls in every game and is at the very least one of the top three wideouts in the league. I have him as my WR2 behind Charles Johnson, but there is no arguing that he has been the steadiest player at the position week in and week out.

 

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