Written by Hunter Norwood, Jacob Clear, Chad Stinson, Ernest McCray Sr., and Auryn Wicker

Welcome back to another run of Premier Stats’ Power Rankings! This week, we discussed the most important piece of every football team – special teams! There has been plenty of shuffling, including a few large shifts in the overall rankings after recent results. Enjoy! EDITORS NOTE: Sorry for the delay, we once again fell a little behind and I accept full responsibility for that. We should be back on track next week.

  Rank    Team    Record    Average Rank    Last Week    Trending 

     1        6-0                   1.00                                 1                       Even               

The Baltimore Bullies may have a loose wheel in the special teams the Defense has backed up bad play by that unit. Giovanni Bolt has been solid so far his 541 PR/KR yds he can use a touchdown or 2. Shark Tarkinton has been flawless 13/13. Punter Sam Shepherd has been inconsistent at times this year let’s see how this one plays out.

      2             5-1                      2.20                               2                       Even

The Legion have been given a very good Chance Touwin this season with their kicker going 9 for 10 on the year so far and helping to pile on the points as Vancouver will do often. The Logo Chris Curtis is having an average season returning kicks but they way their defense is playing they are not having to rely on him too much here and instead opt to use him as a dangerous option on the offense.

     3        5-2                        4.20                            4                      Up

Kanye Rockafella the FS you know and love from the Dragons does more than just make big tackles and ints defensively. He also returns the ball for the Dragons and does a great job at that, though he doesn’t get many opportunities to return punts only having seven so far it’s the 25.4 kick return yard average and one TD that really lets him shine. Once in space with the ball in his hands, he’s able to get things started for the offense before they even step onto the field. Though the Dragons don’t kick many field goals due to their efficient offense scoring when they’re on the defense side of the field, Kicker Paw T Pawtai brings the party once he steps onto the field making all eight attempts he has tried and is believed to be thought of by many in the league as one of if not the best kickers already in his second season.

    4         4-2                         4.60                            3                       Down

Otis Boudreaux has taken every opportunity and has been GREAT 19 for 19 and has been constant from 40 Yards or longer one game went 7 for 7 long of 47 he’s just getting started if u asked me. The punting game has been solid with Walter Melinyshyn who has been clutch when the Revolution calls on his foot. Anthony Delano has 590 total All-purpose return yds 548 are from KO returns with a 21.9 yds per return. One of the reasons for the Revolution 4-2 is because of their SPECIAL TEAMS………

    5         4-2                        4.60                            6                        Up

Jay Taylor is a touch below average on his kick returns but as has been said before this is not an eye-popping stat line to look towards. As long as you are not fumbling the ball and getting 20+ yards a return then you are doing what is needed. Brad Brechett on the other hand has been a crucial part of this team since they tend to keep games very close whether they win or lose and has done everything he can to put the Preds in a position to win or kick them into a win as time expires.

    6          3-3                       8.80                            5                        Down

When discussing Florida’s special team’s stocks, it’s very hard to look past the immeasurable influence Marcus Agrippa has on the team. Florida has led a new wave of punters entering the league’s major competition, as his ability to pin a team back where the spiders live at any necessary moment is an underrated advantage for this side, and a huge reason for their success both this season and in seasons past.

    7          3-3                       9.20                             19                       Up

The Fury may not be calling on their kicker too often for 3 points but he has got some extra work from Doug Britton after he returned two punts and kick-off for a touchdown. Doug is in the top 5 for average kick return yards and leads in average punt return yards. Being top 5 in kick-off return yardage is one thing but having a comfortable leading on average punt return yards and being 2nd in punts returned really shows how consistent he has been and how much of a weapon he can be when you let him return a punt. P.S.G: From 19th to 7th is probably one of the biggest jumps I’ve seen since doing rankings of any kind outside of opening weeks. Will be interested to see if there is any movement after the recency bias wears off.

    8          4-2                       9.40                             12                       Up

Jacksonville has made use of two of their young receivers as kick and punt returners this year with Zachary Patton and Kingston Ellington both serving as returners throughout the opening stages of the season. Both currently average 25yds per kick return, with Ellington holding a single kick return touchdown to his name.

    9          3-3                        10.20                            13                       Up

Nick Lockett the rookie WR for the Aztecs has been able to catch twelve passes so far this season which is pretty impressive being the team’s third/fourth WR option. But Lockett has been able to contribute in the return game as well, being one of only three kick returners with over one thousand return yards on a league tying 43 attempts. It’s a good contribution while he gets to sit behind Mccall and Bartley learning how to be a pro. Then there is Kole Varner the nine-year seasoned veteran all with the Aztecs who does nothing but make his attempts when called upon from rookie until now making a total 221 out of 233 attempts in his career or an impressive 95%.

   10       3-3                       10.20                            14                       Up

Elzie Pryor is not having the best of times when he comes to average returns on punts but is sitting pretty much dead average on kick returns. Rob Emms is not being called upon for field goals as much as you would probably like to see out of your contracted kicker but to be a perfect 7 for 7 is what you pay for and that is always a good stat-line to see. The Lycans punter O’Lindy is also getting trotted out a touch over 4 times a game which seems to be a lot but honestly, with the stats that are easily accessible I have no idea if it is or not. O’Lindy is placing his punts inside the 20 on nearly a quarter of his kicks and for a player that you are taking on a cap hit that is always nice to see.

   11          3-3                       10.40                            15                       Up

Cliff Allen has been nearly perfect so far this season and can come through when it matters for Arizona. A potential game-sealing kick was blocked this week but that’s on the blocking upfront and barring that Cliff would have blasted it through the uprights. TJ Punk has been an average returner so far for the Scorpions but as far as returns go being average is just fine.

  12         3-3               10.60                           11                       Down

A.J. Levye, the 13-year SS (all with the Sparrows) amassing over 800 total tackles throughout his career is also the team’s primary returner this season. If that isn’t leadership and dedication I don’t know what is. With the league’s third-best kick return average at 26.6 yards and one return for a TD, it’s not just for show having him being out there on special teams. Rookie kicker Zashtl Black leads the league in attempts with 21 though converting 81% of them or 17. It’s an okay start to the career, you would like to see this get up over 90% by end of the season, but to have this many attempts is a good sign. Growth from here and he can set himself up for a HOF future.

   13         3-3                      11.00                            10                      Down

Denver’s Riley Quintero is the best kick returner in the SFL. Riley’s 28.3 yds per KR tops in the league and their Offense have benefited with good field position. His 1077 KR/YDS 2 TDs also tops the league and he only has 41 PR YDS that has to get better if he going to be the best overall returner in the game. Mat Fenech is a perfect 12 for 12 (FG) and has made some key kicks. A nice unit that has helped the Nightwings get to where they are NOW.

   14           3-3                    13.00                           8                       Down

Greg Soto, the team’s leading receiver doubles up as the team’s primary returner. Though Soto hasn’t scored any TDs returning kicks he has done alright and it’s always a good thing to see an offensive leader for the team be willing to contribute on special teams and help lead his team in every way that he possibly can. Then there is James Troll the mammoth 6’11 of a kicker for the Glory has only had seven attempts so far this season making six of them which is pretty expected with making 91% of his career kicks.

  15          3-3                     15.60                            7                       Down

It’s been a successful start to the campaign for veteran kicker Sammy Steele, as he remains perfect on the year with 13 goals from 13 attempts in his fourth season at The Hive.

   16          3-3                       15.60                           9                       Down

Optimus Cline has always been a staple in the special teams unit and this season is no different as he is posting top 10 and top 15 stat-lines in average punt and kick returns, respectively. The kicker, Finlay, though is having a rough go at things as he has missed 3 kicks so far this season which is tied for 2nd highest missed among SFL kickers. There is still a lot of season to be played and time to hit some big kicks for his team.

   17          2-4                     17.80                             22                      Up

In his second season with the ball club, the energetic youngster Sunny Jay is not only perfect on the season (12 from 12) but also serves as the team’s social media director, providing excellent content to the Houston social pages.

   18      3-3                       18.00                            21                      Up

Juda Dorgan is currently perfect on the season with the boot, kicking 15 from 15 as Tulsa currently sit 3 and 3 heading into a home game against Charleston.

   19          2-4                       18.20                            17                     Down

Juda Dorgan hit himself a game-winner vs the Scorpions this week in a game that seemed lost in the waning minutes to match the scoreline from their previous encounter. Congrats to Juda and the Corsairs on their victory this week as they move closer to .500 and Juda continues his perfect streak to 19 for 19.

   20        2-4                      18.20                            18              Down

Vin Calia is a bigger name as a wideout than he is a returner but has posted respectable numbers in his time on special teams this season. Nothing here that really jumps out at you but is respectable. Dulany on the other hand is perfect so far this season on 13 of 13 kicks and I am sure he is getting quite the workout on points after with how high octane the London offense is this season. I wish there were an easy reference towards XPs but we work with what we got over here.

   21           2-4                      19.60                           16                     Down

Shane Kaufman WR/KR has lit a fire for the Gladiators special teams this Rookie has made an impact in week 2 he had an electric kickoff return for TD against SXF. Shane has 888 return yards on 36 attempts 1 TD and a 24.7 avg. per return. On punts, Kaufman has 33 return yards. Bobby Ray Beauchamp has made 11/13 FG not too shabby. Ultrecht Rugen has been up and down in the first half of the season let’s see if he can stay consistent.

  22          2-4                      20.60                           20                     Down

Sam Avolis might not be the first name that comes to mind when you think of the Skyhawks receivers, but this guy is electric in the return game. Leads the league in attempted punt returns because every time he gets the ball in his hands he believes he can make a play and this is shown even more so in the kick return game where he is tied for the lead in the league as well with two kick returns this season already. Sam does great things for his team when it comes to setting the offense up in great field position. Whistle Jones the kicker for the Skyhawks hasn’t had a lot of attempts this season so far with only ten but has made all but one of them which is exactly what you want to see when you’re called upon to do so.

   23        1-5                       23.00                           23                      Even

If there is anything to pull from this season for the Toros then the special teams department is one of those things. Cade Stephans is near the top of the leaderboards on average return yards and closing in on 1000 yards this season(He probably hit this mark after today). And on the other side of the coin, Emilia Rose is a perfect 13 for 13 on field goals through Week 8 and will be looking to continue to give her team points when it matters and will hopefully get the chance to add to her teams’ win tally.

   24         0-6                     24.00                           24                      Even

Portland’s Leo Morris CB is doing everything he could in the return game.1175 All-purpose Return Yards tops in the league 157 punt return yds and 1 TD 11.2 yds PR, 1018 KR yds 23.7 yds KR not bad on his way to All-Pro. JT Waters is 9 for 9 but needs more opportunities their Offense has to generate more chances for JT he is a good kicker, let’s see how the rest of the season plays out.