By Toph Kopchak Director of AFL Coverage
I've been a little busy this week, but still wanted to post something, so using a few databases and a system i've worked on for years, here are my “metic sims” Arena Football style.
BAL -9 80.7% to win
PHI -2 53.5% to win
WAS -6 70.7% to win
Using just Vegas Power Rankings alone, Baltimore is an eight point favorite, but no team has changed more than Columbus, plus they have the top metric defense. Washington gets in extra point in my mind because of their banner for last seasons title going up, plus they are playing solid ball. Vegas likes the 0-2 Valor and so do my sims.
By Toph Kopchak Director of AFL Coverage
Well, now we have some stats to use! No major surprises in Week 1 as far as how the games went, but we do have new names to study up on.
PHI (-1.5) @ BAL 7 ET ESPN 3, NBC Sports Washington, NBC Sports Philly Plus
The Brigade had an extra day of rest and home field along with a strong performance from their team going into this week. Defensive Back Joe Powell made things look easy, and when you see defense controlling the arena game look out! I get that Joe Hills ($8,800) was probable last week, but there are 5 guys more expensive than him going into this week! Steal! With the style BAL plays you gotta figure FB Rory Nixon ($4,600) can always repeat last week's 14.5 FP's, but in AFL teams almost never run. Shane Boyd ($9,600) still does not wow me so I'm not stacking with Hills yet. I will say the money was right last week with Dan Raudabaugh ($9,000) having only 151 yards in the air and 2 touchdowns. Things got worse with Darius Reynolds being placed on IR. Darius Prince ($7,600) should have real solid numbers and Aaron Wascha, ($3,000), who appears to be a go this week, definitely seems to have great value. Adrian Ferns ($8,200) has been added on DK for the Soul, and with “Money” on IR it's tempting to roll with the running game.
COL @ AC (-4.5) 3:30 ET ESPN 3, NBC Sports Philly Plus, CW Columbus
This match-up of expansion teams is hard to pick. We now know Columbus has switched to local product Grant Russell ($7,400). He looked great, like really great on his first throw, but looked really hesitant and had trouble getting the snap. No “Kaptin” Morgan ($2,600) at the last second really hurt the team and he's pretty iffy for this week. WR Anthony Amos ($5,200) has good value even though he should lose some touches, even if Morgan is out, with a new signing at WR and better health at the position.
Randy Hippeard ($9,200) leads a new, but talented Blackjacks team to AC for their first home game in team history. The league has done a solid job building this team up, so it should be a fun environment in one of the most old school sports buildings there is. LaMark Brown ($8,000) and Quentin Sims ($5,400) are the men to watch here. Both had at least 50 yards and a TD with at least 5 catches as well. This is a semi must-win for Columbus given how rough their first game went and the pressure for the youngins to step up, so look for lots of passing to someone.
WAS @ ALB (-9.5) 7:30 ET ESPN 3, My 4 Albany, NBC Sports Washington
Arvell Nelson ($10,200) saw his price jump after an outstanding game, but in the air, not the ground. The guy not known for his arm threw for 391 yards and 8 touchdowns, mostly to Dezmon Epps ($9,800), literally in his first AFL action. Epps is not worth his price, but WR Josh Reese ($6,200) being so much lower suggests Vegas does not like him, and they were right about Raudabaugh last week. With this game featuring the 4th (Valor) and 5th (Empire) metric defenses (Massey Ratings), expect quick scores all around giving everyone extra time to pad their stats.
Tommy Grady's ($8,600) price just shows that the system is overreacting to the game flow of Week 1. The Empire has two guys that could handle their own in the NFL in Grady and Malachi Jones ($6,600). The best all-around offense facing a defense slow out of the gate makes for a great stack play. Mykel Benson ($4,600) has decent value as well.
Extra Advice: Kickers have no value in this format and consider using a “Dead Spot” on your roster playing a guy that probably won't play, so he's cheap and you can use the money elsewhere. And if he does play, its extra points!