The third week of AAF action has been and gone with huge talking points throughout the weekends’ games. We’ve decided to put together a weekly AAF team of the week series for both sides of the ball.
The team format is fairly consistent with other models you may have seen on various, inferior, sports outlets. We offer a flex position on both offence and defence which allows us to have freedom in our team selections.
On the offensive side of the ball the flex position will be either a WR, TE or RB – depending which players have the best weeks and do not feature in the positionalsalready assigned.
On the defensive side of the ball the flex position can be open to linebackers, safeties and cornerbacks.
This gives us the flexibility to reward the player that best deserves it across multiple positions, rather than shoehorning in somebody just to fit a slot receiver or cornerback role.
Typically to compile this list we have to ‘go-to’ criteria that needs filling. Firstly, we use the good old eye test, secondly, we need to assess their statistics (including things like playing time).
QB – Nelson has been at the heart of San Diego’s resurgence and the team now find themselves on the winning end of a 2-0 record. Nelson as a passer has been averaging 7.7 yards from 25 pass attempts and 17 completions in week 3 in a performance that also resulted in 11 first downs and two TDs.
RB – You can go backwards and forwards between Watson, Gardner and Richardson for this one, but I took Watson’s number over the other two simply because his per touch statistics were more impressive. Watson managed to pick up 10.7YPC with two runs going for at least 10 yards. He managed to find a way to dodge tackles all night long resulting in 57 yards after contact on the night.
WR – De’Mornay Pierson-El is the man with the greatest name in Football. DPE was arguably the sole reason Salt Lake managed to pinch a win over the high flying hotshots taking in all 9 of his targets. In total DPE racked up over 92 yards with 62 of those coming after breaking tackles.
WR – Quinton Patton is most probably the controversial one from this selection. Patton didn’t manage to find his way into the endzone in week three but it was his ability in the short yardage game which really turned my head. time and time again he consistent helped his team move the chains thanks to his brilliant relationship with Luis Perez.
Flex – Rannell Hall secured his place in our TOTW thank’s to an outstanding play he made in a 4th and long situation which ended with the ball in the endzone. Overall his ability to make plays this season has been exceptional and that didn’t change in week 3 as he took 4 receptions from 4 attempts and turned them into 68 yards plus a TD.
TE – Wes Sexton may have only seen the ball three times but he took them for first downs on two of those occasions. His inclusion this week though comes down to the work he did in the trenches. According to PFF, Saxton finished the game with the 2nd highest run blocking grade in week 3.
LT – Gennesy has taken home the LT position in our TOTW in every single one we’ve done. No doubt he will find himself in the NFL before long as he continues to dominate on both the running and passing downs. This weekend against a solid Birmingham defence saw him rack up his personal bests across the board for Atlanta.
LG – Andrew Tiller was the best guard against the pass in week 3 and that was enough to cement his place in our TOTW. There’s not a lot to say about him other than the amount of time he’s bought Gilbert this season is a big reason for the teams overall success.
C – McCray, alongside Tiller was a dominant force for the Apollos, allowed 1 QB pressure all evening long was impressive alone, when you factor in his run grading as the top run-blocking center in the league it only makes sense for McCray to fill a place on our offensive line.
RG – Once again we’ve got another Apollo joining the ranks. There’s not much more I can say about any of them without saying they’re the best in the league right now as a trio. Jackson gave up 1 QB pressure all evening in a monster performance.
RT – Nick Callender may have only seen out 28 total snaps but throughout everyone, he was a clear standout. He didn’t allow a single QB pressure throughout the entire game in week 3.
DE – Johnson played week 3 like a man possessed producing 6 QB pressures on 23 passing downs. He hit the quarterback twice and made 3 stops against the run as well.
DT – Warmsley struggled a little in the passing game as he failed to register a single QB pressure. His talents shined against the run however, the big man stopped the run in solo efforts on two occasions and racked up a total of 5 tackles.
DT – In contrast to Warmsley, Sayles produced incredibly well against the pass in week 3. Making the offences life hell in the process with 3 QB hits, 1 sack and 6 overall QB pressures.
DE – This one could have easily gone to his opposite pass rusher, Jamichael Winston but Newberry takes it home for me. Totalling 3 tackles, a run stop and a QB pressure in week three was enough to help him edge it.
LB – I’ll be honest, I wasn’t blown away with many linebackers this week until Tarpley picked off a ball and took it all the way to the house. His impact in coverage was icing on the cake as he held all the targets thrown his way for negative yardage.
LB – Much like Tarpley, Martini secured his place in our TOTW thanks to his interception. Throughout the entire game he only missed one tackle from 9 and he was also responsible for a staggering 5 run stops.
CB – I feel like every other player week 3 has been aan Apollo. Keith Reaser balled out all week but this time around it’s Riggs who gets the nod. In 4 targets, Riggs allowed 1 completion for 9 yards and produced a 39.6 passer rating when targeted. .
CB – Coleman bossed San Antonio all over the field in week 3, the offence was so scared of him that in 24 passing downs not a single one was thrown in Coleman’s direction. It was his incredibly tight coverage throughout that forced opposing QBs to look elsewhere and that alone is the reason Xavier makes it in.
FLEX – I couldn’t leave out who I believe has been the AAF’s biggest star, Jamar Summers. Week 3 was business as usual for Summers with an interception and only 2 completions for 36 yards when the ball was thrown his way (breaking up 3 passes in the process). Giving up 4 receptions from 15 targets all year long is incredible, what’s even harder to believe is that when a QB faces him, they’re greeted with a 0.00 passer rating.
S – Smith played his best game of the season thus far against the Fleet. At times he was all over the field in such a way you felt me must have had a body double playing at the same time. 5 tackles, nailing every single one and some top notch passing coverage were the reasons for his first inclusion of the year.
S – With 0 completions when targeted, Powell was an absolute monster in the passing game throughout. What set him apart for me though was his amazing instincts in the tackle. Throughout the entire year he’s not missed a single tackle and has only allowed 1 single completion.