What if I told you that the fantasy season starts as soon as the Super Bowl concludes?
That could be the case if you’re looking to dive into some deep fantasy football leagues. No, we’re not playing fantasy on what the NFL players do during the offseason. We will instead refresh our memories of college players that had been on the cusp of making it to the NFL just to fall a little short. Some of these players even had stints in the NFL but couldn’t get enough traction to continue a successful career. Now they’ve committed to their respective AAF teams.
So, exactly what is Alliance American Football (AAF)?
It’s what we all have been wanting for too long. It’s a style of minor league football. To clarify, the AAF teams are not affiliated with NFL teams, so the players are not under contract by the NFL. Josh Jackson, for example, was the #1 draft pick in the AAF QB draft, then he signed with the Washington Redskins later that month.
The AAF is incorporating a few new rules that we all have been hoping for in the NFL. To name a couple that really stick out, the play clock is being reduced from 40 seconds to 30, and there will be no TV timeouts in hopes of reducing commercials by 60%, compared to what the NFL has. Both of these will make it so an average AAF game should be around two-and-a-half hours instead of the three-and-a-half it takes an NFL game to be completed. An AAF game can’t end in a tie, whereas NFL contests can. The AAF has also eliminated the extra point. Both teams are mandated to go for two points after every touchdown. Finally, the most impactful rule change is the exclusion of the kickoff. Every drive will start on the 25 yard line. In regards to an onside kick, the AAF has decided that instead of kicking it, the team that wants to try to get the ball back will get the ball on their own 35 with the down and yards-to-go set at 4th-and-10. If they complete the fourth down conversion, that team will hold on to the ball and continue the drive. If they fail, the opposing team will get the ball as if it were a regular turnover on downs.
Now that we’ve broken down some differences between AAF and the NFL, let’s see if we can get an idea of what the fantasy leagues will look like.
There are only eight teams in the AAF, so leagues shouldn’t consist of more than six teams and roster sizes should be smaller. There are only eight starting QBs, RBs, and TEs, along with 16 starting WRs. If you have two RBs, two WRs and a flex in your fantasy league with six teams, many teams will be starting backups in the RB position. However, because the plays will be coming faster and this league seems prone to having more plays per game, a backup running back may be just as important as a starter.
If you’re not trying to go full old school and do the draft and scoring by hand, then there is one site for you: Altfantasysports.com. Created by Brian Wentzloff, this is currently the only site available for season-long AAF fantasy leagues. He started it himself and seems to be the main problem-solver. He is extremely fast with any bugs you find, and he found ways to get a legitimate fantasy site up and running.
I asked Brian what motivated him to start this website and make it open to the public for free. He responded, “Since I heard about the AAF I’ve been anxiously awaiting the announcement of some of the season-long fantasy providers to add it. The rumors have been that the AAF app will only have daily, and I’m a diehard season-long fantasy fan. It got to be three weeks before the first game, and there were still no places to play season-long. I was seeing constant posts on Reddit asking for a site that had season-long AAF fantasy, and finally, I realized that nobody else was going to provide it, so if I wanted to play, I had to build it myself. And here we are.”
Nothing but kindness from Brian, just wanting to play a simple game but with no platform to do it on. As a problem-solver, he created one from thin air. He’s gone on to compile ADP’s and percentage drafted from the drafts that have already ended.
Brian has actually spent so much time getting this site up and running with no bugs that he has yet to set up a league himself. When asked about it, he said, “I actually haven’t yet had time to join a league myself. When the development task list is shorter next week, I’ll set one up.”
Brian went on to explain his vision of the future with AAF, XFL, and NFL fantasy once this site gets moving. Brian opened the site at 3 PM CST on January 25th. He already has 119 leagues registered on the site with over 350 teams. All of these people joined within a week. There was a need for this AAF fantasy site, and Brian gave it to us.
If you’re getting excited, I don’t blame you. Fantasy sports are relevant again in Spring. The AAF won’t be battling the NFL for viewers, so all the football fans who are forced to watch everyday rumblings now get something to talk about and to pay attention to. Make sure you do yourself a favor and go get registered for a league at Altfantasysports.com. Join their live discussions on Slack and pay attention to my next few articles, which will be breaking down the ADP and an actual draft. We will talk about the players that are on everyone’s radar and the players to look out for.
Mandatory Photo Credit: fbschedules.com