What can be said about the short-lived Alliance of American Football? It had hype going in, it had a sustainable buzz thereafter, and though the play was shoddy at times it was what many fans craved. Especially after having to bear witness to what football and Spongebob fans alike would attest to being a terrible finish to the NFL season. Unfortunately, the strong backing that the league was presumed to have was actually not strong at all and Tom Dundon shutdown the alliance so that he could focus on getting a bunch of jerks to go on a deep playoff run.
Though they didn’t reach their goal of being a functioning minor league for the NFL, plenty of former AAF players got calls from NFL teams. Though they won’t be making as big of an impact in fantasy football leagues this fall as they did in the AAF fantasy leagues. Yes, AAF fantasy was a thing, sort of, kind of like the actual league itself. Anyway, for those of you who miss that kind of fantasy or just miss the AAF itself and want to have some of their players on your team here is a list of some offensive skill-positions who were signed onto to NFL teams.
Kenneth Farrow RB Miami Dolphins
Garrett Gilbert QB Cleveland Browns
Reece Horn WR Miami Dolphins
Charles Johnson WR Philadelphia Eagles
Rashad Ross WR Carolina Panthers
Keith Towbridge TE Tennessee Titans
Greg Ward WR Philadelphia Eagles
John Wolford QB Los Angeles Rams
Logan Woodside QB Tennessee Titans
Unfortunately, for all you bowling fans and youtube DIYers, the media darling Luis Perez was released by the Philadelphia Eagles already. However, to be honest all of the former AAF quarterbacks still on NFL teams will make about as much of an impact fantasy-wise as Perez will. Despite probably being the MVP of the defunct league, Garrett Gilbert is not going to get the nod over the guy who is already being claimed as the Browns’ savior, Baker Mayfield. Jared Goff leading the Rams to the Super Bowl, even amid controversy, will guarantee that John Wolford won’t see the field unless he can beat out Blake Bortles and hope that the Rams clinch a first-round bye before Week 17. I honestly don’t know which one is more likely. So, if anyone of them is going to show up on the stat sheet, it will probably have to be Logan Woodside, who has the least competition, but still probably better competition nonetheless. However, Marcus Mariota and Ryan Tannehill have a history of injuries so as long as he doesn’t get kicked out after camp, Woodside is the QB with the best chance of seeing playing time.
Now an impact Woodside will probably not make as you will have to look at the receivers for that and I mean the wide receivers. Towbridge is not going to be a part of the tight end revolution and while I feel like Kenneth Farrow deserves to get some touches as Kenyan Drake’s backup, the Dolphins probably see him as a backup to the backup’s backup. Rashad Ross and Charles Johnson are probably the best bets of seeing playing time. Ross was a star for the AAF’s Arizona squad and Charles Johnson was a part of Orlando’s red-hot offense as well as being a decently-rated fantasy wide receiver a couple years ago for the Vikings. Now Johnson will still probably have limited targets behind Zach Ertz, Alshon Jeffery, Nelson Agholar, and Desean Jackson, but he will still probably get a few points here and there throughout the season. Ross will probably have the best chance out of the receivers being on the Panthers. Not to say they have a bad group, but they have a less established group with a Greg Olsen getting up in age and D.J. Moore and Curtis Samuel who haven’t established themselves yet with Rashad Ross probably being able to compete with the backups. However, I still wouldn’t suggest for Ross to take up a spot on people’s fantasy roster. I do think there is a former AAFer worth a fantasy spot on at least some people’s roster, but it isn’t someone I’ve mentioned up to this point.
See, the list I gave obviously excluded offensive linemen, who don’t contribute directly to fantasy points; defensive players, who contribute fantasy points as defensive units for most fantasy leagues; and one kicker. That kicker is the one who would deserve a spot on a roster and that kicker is Elliot Fry. Fry was one of three AAF kickers who had a perfect field goal percentage, all three making 14 out 14 field goals. Unlike the other two, Fry hasn’t been touched by the Chargers kicking curse since he hasn’t played in the NFL. Now the Bears may be cursed have been cursed by the infamous “double-doink”, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Let’s just say he is on a Bears team that is looking good and will probably have a good chance of getting attempts as long as he can win Chicago’s kicking battle. It has been interesting so far and has been close with Chris Blewitt and Eddy Pineiro putting up solid performances along with Fry and it looks like it will ultimately come down to the preseason games. So, we can only hope that Fry comes out on top and makes the ghost of the AAF proud.