We have a new addition to our AAF previews this week. We are introducing the addition of one of our newest contributors, John “Derek” Dennis’s: Degenerative Analytics AAF Picks of the Week for any of our viewers that are interested in the gambling aspect of football, enjoy and make sure to give him a follow @menace524 and keep tabs on all his work going forward with Blitzalytics.
Orlando Apollos (6-1) at Memphis Express (2-5)
Where to Watch: TNT (2:00 EST)
The Memphis Express made a statement last week when they treated their hometown crowd to a huge win over the heavily favored Birmingham Iron in dramatic fashion. The Express will host AAF juggernaut, the Orlando Apolos, as they cling to their playoff hopes. The Orlando Apollos went into Atlanta last weekend and made a statement by absolutely incinerating the Legends after taking their first loss the week prior. While the Apollos are locked into the postseason, the Express will need to treat every game like its a playoff game from here on out just to have hope. Can the Express use that desperation to give their home fans an upset, or will they crumble under the pressure?
Degenerative Analytics Pick
Line: Orlando at Memphis (+10) Over/Under 42
With nothing to really play for this week, it is quite possible that Steve Spurrier didn’t even bother to look at the film and just played golf for six days straight. This game reeks of let down for Orlando, who has already clinched a playoff berth. Memphis, on the other hand, needs this win badly. It would be interesting to see if Memphis actually wins the game outright. If not, they should definitely cover.
Computer Pick: This one is our Booger McFarland “On the Nose” Pick of the Week! Memphis +10. Also, the computer likes the over, although, I think that it will go under because Orlando is due for a dud. Like one of those 20-11 games.
Players to watch
While the Liberty Bowl erupted in “we want Johnny” chants, it was Express QB Brandon Silvers who stole the stow. He will need to be equally as sharp and poised as he takes on a Apollos defense that has playmakers on all three levels. He will be looking for his favorite target Express WR Reece Horn who will have his hands full with Apollos CB Keith Reaser. Reaser boast highest coverage grade according to PFF. Orlando has taken a shift to a more balanced offense in recent weeks relying heavily on their RB duo of De’Veon Smith and D’Ernest Johnson. It will be up to the Memphis Defense to contain those two while not allowing Apollo’s QB Garrett Gilbert hit his favorite target, Charles Johnson for any big plays.
Key to the game
Double cover Reece Horn
Get Pressure on the QB
Do not allow big plays
Get out to an early lead
Do not miss tackles
Get a turnover on defense
Top 5 Fantasy Players
Garrett Gilbert, QB (ORL)
Reece Horn, WR (MEM)
D’Ernest Johnson, RB (ORL)
Brandon Silvers, QB (MEM)
Zac Stacy, RB (MEM)
Orlando Apollo’s are the first team to lock up their playoff spot, therefore are going to open this game lethargic. Memphis Express is on their last leg to make the playoffs this season, but do not look ready to roll over quite yet. Mike Singletary finds a way to get his men emotionally invested in this game and they pull off the upset.
Final Score: Express 25, Apollos 18
Written by: David Connors
San Diego Fleet (3-4) at Salt Lake Stallions (2-5)
Where to Watch: NFL Network (8:00 EST)
A week 5 rematch and game of the year candidate. The San Diego Fleet ruined a tremendous comeback effort by the Stallions and QB Josh Woodrum. Down 24-11 with just over 9:26 left on the clock after throwing a pick-6, Salt Lake’s quarterback would proceed to lead his team on two scoring drives that would give them a 1-point lead with 51 seconds remaining. One 45-yard completion and 5 plays later, kicker Donnie Hageman would play the spoiler with a walk-off 43-yarder to seal the victory for San Diego. The Stallions committed 5 total turnovers and simply couldn’t get out of their own way. After several heartbreaking and narrow losses, it’s hard to imagine this week being any different for the Stallions but it’s worth noting they’ve played far better at home compared to on the road. The Fleet are sitting at 3-4 and desperate for a win to keep their playoff hopes alive.
Degenerative Analytics Pick
Line: San Diego at Salt Lake (-3) Over/Under 40.5
This is a tough one just because the Degenerate Computer is almost right on the -3 number for Salt Lake. So, if we look at the history: San Diego is 2-4 against the spread while Salt Lake is 5-1. Since they are playing at home, it would make more sense to go with SLC. With the Fleet in the playoff push, look for a lower scoring game.
Computer Pick: Salt Lake City -3 and under 40.5
Players to watch
It will be interesting to see how Josh Woodrum plays in hopes of redeeming himself and avenging his team’s loss to the Fleet from a few weeks ago. Running back Joel Bouagnon had his worst outing of the season last week after fumbles on multiple occasions… without even being touched! The Stallions defensive line combo of Karter Schult, Tenny Palepoi, and Mike Purcell has proven to be the best in the league. The Salt Lake will desperately need them to apply pressure on SD QB Mike Bercovici if they hope to get the job done. If Dontez Ford and Nelson Spruce can once again exploit the Stallions weak secondary, it’ll be a long day in Salt Lake.
Keys to the game
San Diego Fleet
Give Bercovici a clean pocket
Feed Garner the ball
Force Woodrum into tough throws & create turnovers
Salt Lake Stallions
Establish the run
Get Woodrum in a rhythm early
Pressure Bercovici their front four
Top 5 Fantasy Players
De'Mornay Pierson-El, WR (SL)
Mike Bercovici, QB (SD)
Nick Truesdell, TE (SL)
Josh Woodrum, QB (SL)
San Diego Fleet, D/ST
Salt Lake continues to beat themselves week after week, and it’s hard to imagine Saturday will be any different. If the Stallions can finally cut down on the in-game errors, then they’ve certainly got a chance at redemption, but it’ll take a four-quarter effort on both sides of the ball. The Fleet have yet to win a road game and are coming off of two straight losses. This is a huge game for the team to remain in playoff contention; will they fold under pressure or rise to the occasion? The Blitzalytics’ oddsmakers have the Stallions as a 3-point favorite at home; And even with all the reasons why they should lose this game have been listed above, revenge is oh so sweet. I believe this is the week we see Salt lake’s true potential both offensively and defensively. This game will come down to who makes the fewer mistakes, which hasn’t been either team’s MO this season. It’s a coin flip… “HEADS” the Salt Lake Stallions win in repeat nail biter fashion.
Final Score: Stallions 23, Fleet 19
Written by: Jack Bourgeois