After a fun season of the USFL, we are finally at the playoffs. We have the Philadelphia Stars taking on the New Jersey Generals after the Generals narrowly paced the Stars last weekend. I think we see some fireworks in that game while the Stallions and Breakers put out a defensive struggle. We have 4 good teams going at it and they aren’t separated by much, so it will be a fun weekend of football!
Power Rankings after Week 10:
- New Jersey Generals
- Birmingham Stallions
- Philadelphia Stars
- New Orleans Breakers
Saturday 6/25/22 @ 3:00 pm ET
Philadelphia Stars vs. New Jersey Generals (NJ -4.5 Total 47.5)
This last weekend we saw a preview of what we’ll see on Saturday when the Stars took on the Generals in the regular season finale. This game was by far the best game of the weekend and it was only our appetizer. Case Cookus brought the Stars back from being down 14-0 to start the game. They couldn’t complete the comeback as they failed on the 3PT conversion on their late 4th quarter TD and Cookus threw a pick to end the game with 1 minute left. Cookus played well in this one, even as he was getting hit all around due to the subpar play by the Offensive Line. This has become a real issue for the Stars over the last 2 weeks as they almost fell to the Maulers and then they did fall to the Generals, who were holding their punches. Cookus ended 19/33 for 244 yards and 2 TDs, as well as the INT to seal the game for the Generals. He added 33 yards on the ground on 4 carries. If they can’t correct their OL issues, this will be another long day for Cookus. He will get his plays in, but it will lead to a volatile and high scoring game.
In the air, Bug Howard turned in another dominant performance. He was left wide open on a few plays downfield, including his 40 yard reception before half. He finished snagging 5 of his 6 targets for 101 yards and projects to be a great play this Saturday. Howard was second to only Suell as Suell saw 8 targets, pulling in 5 of them for 31 yards and a score. Alexander saw more targets downfield than Suell and he ended up with 4/57 on 5 targets. I like all 3 of these guys for DFS consideration this week, but I do expect this game to be very popular, as it has a higher game total than the second on this slate.
On the ground, we can narrow this backfield down to Matt Colburn. I wouldn’t be shocked if he saw 100% of the snaps in this pivotal game. He carried the ball only 10 times for 39 yards and a score in Week 10, but he saw 5 targets. They were high value targets as well, as they barely missed on a wheel route down the sideline when Colburn was matched up against a LB twice. They clearly felt it was a play they could capitalize on and I expect them to go back to that in this one. If they connect, it could lead to a long TD. Colburn should be a staple for all DFS lineups this week.
The Generals continue to split the play caller position between Luiz Perez and DeAndre Johnson. Johnson offers elite versatility and Perez offers a calm, cool dispersing arm to offset Johnson’s subpar passing abilities. They couldn’t be more different in styles, which is why they work so perfectly. Johnson got the start and went 8/10 passing for 112 yards without a score, but added 33 rushing yards on the ground on 4 carries. Perez gobbled up all the TDs as he threw for 3 of them on 14/18 passing for 138 yards. If I had a vote for coach of the year, it would go to Mike Riley. They consistently draw up high percentage plays to get their speedy playmakers in space to make things happen. This is a well-oiled machine that you have to create 2 gameplans for against Perez and Johnson. They will continue to put up a lot of points.
Turpin took a backseat again in this one to Darrius Shepherd and Alonzo Moore. I do believe this is by design and Turpin is due to pop off on Saturday. Turpin ended up catching all 5 of his targets for 68 yards, so even in a down game, he produced. Shepherd led the team with 9 targets, bringing in 6 of them for 79 yards while Moore saw 8, catching 7 of them for 84 yards. It is a narrow tree down to these 3 pass catchers and all 3 are fantasy viable. Turpin likely comes in as the highest owned, but it will be well deserved.
Trey Williams led this game off with a bang, taking the 3rd overall play to the house on a 61 yard TD run. This inflated his boxscore, but he still finished with 114 yards on 11 carries. Victor saw 7 carries for 34 yards. Neither of these backs played a role in the passing game and both saw 1 target. I do think Williams is the guy we want in this one as they have shown their commitment to him early in the game recently and throughout the season have used him in the passing game. Both will see plenty of holes against this poor Stars defense.
Over 47.5 is my favorite play of the weekend. I think the Generals win, but 4.5 is a lot to lay in this one. I’ll be focusing on the over as my main play.
Saturday 6/25/22 @ 8:00 pm ET
New Orleans Breakers vs. Birmingham Stallions (BHAM -5 Total 45.5)
The Breakers are at the weakest point they have been from an offensive standpoint. Their defense didn’t give up a single TD this week and only gave up 1 last week late in their victory over the Bandits. The issue with this team is the QB position. Kyle Sloter has been playing awful, so he was replaced by Zach Smith. Well, guess what? He threw a pick six on their first drive in this game and then proceeded to throw another pick while being outplayed by Shea Patterson. Smith finished 5/8 for 28 yards and those 2 costly picks while rushing for 12 yards on 3 carries and consistently refusing to slide and taking hit after hit. Patterson went 9/15 for 36 yards, but he protected the ball. I think the Breakers go back to Sloter this week at QB, but I wouldn’t be shocked to see either Smith or Patterson get the start.
With the QB position being under so much uncertainty and with poor performance, all of the Breakers’ skilled position players are at a disadvantage this weekend. None of their WRs topped 4 targets this week and neither running back topped 35 rushing yards. Using these players will be contrarian this weekend as they are the biggest underdog, along with the lowest game total. I likely will steer clear here. If you demand to play a Breaker at a skill position, I would go with Canella or Dixon.
The Stallions ended the season with a narrow win over the Bandits after being up 14-0 at halftime. Alex McGough took the majority of the snaps in this one over J’Mar Smith. He finished 14/25 for 183 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT. McGough adds the element of rushing more so than Smith does and he finished with 30 yards and a score on 11 rushes. He actually led the Stallions in rushing attempts, so that basically gives the Breakers nothing recent to work with from a gamefilm perspective. Marlon Williams led the Stallions with 7 targets, but only caught 3 of them for 30 yards and a TD. I think it is fair to completely throw this game out when projecting the Stallions for this Saturday in regards to DFS projections.
As I mentioned, McGough led the team in rushing attempts, but after that it was a near split down the middle with Marable gaining 47 yards and a score on 8 rushes and Scarbrough gaining 38 yards on 9 carries, but remained scoreless. I think the Stallions bring it full force in this one and utilize their playmakers. This means Scarbrough is the main lead back with Marable offering a spell off in the passing game. If Marable gets hot, he could most certainly out touch Scarbrough. Marable saw the valuable targets and earned 5. He pulled in 4 of them for 39 yards, where his running mate only saw 3 targets, catching 1 for 10 yards. Marable is going to be a contrarian play for DFS and could be an option with his upside in the passing game.
I like the under here. Birmingham -5 is also in play as a secondary play.
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