The Read Option

Written by Josh Farnzy

20 Players to Watch in Season 20

As the sun begins to rise on Season 20 of the SFL, many storylines are starting to come to light. There are many faces – new and old – that have “impact” written all over them.

These are not necessarily the “top 20” players, but ones that many should keep an extra set of eyes on as Season 20 rounds into form:

Geno McFly/LB/Charleston
The best place to start with player #1 is to go with pick #1.

The rookie linebacker finished with 72 total tackles, and seven TFLs and imposed his will with Annapolis of the SFLm. The Predators see McFly as a key building block back to prominence. If he can find his footing early in Charleston’s system (which has been historically successful on defense), we could see the beginning of the next great LB legacy here in the SFL.

Izrell Adams/WR/Portland
The talent is there.

Adams showed several flashes in his previous campaign. His playmaking ability will be paramount to helping the Fleet achieve balance on offense and find a way to help get Portland to their first postseason in franchise history.

Jordan Sipe/QB/Mexico City
How do you follow not just any QB legend, but the QB legend? You don’t, really. You just put on the jersey and do your best.

For a team with playoff aspirations, much of their success will depend on how well the second-year quarterback acclimates to the Aztec offense – and vice versa. Welcome to the spotlight, Jordan.

Cam Frosby/DT/London
Some of the players on this list may not be whom you expect. Not Cam. Nope. Expect him.

The Season 19 Defensive Player of the Year will be the first thing many offensive gameplans consider when scheming up a way to take down London. With more attention, can Frosby repeat his dominant season? At the very least, London fans should hope his attention means opening it up for other Knight defenders to make plays in the backfield to give their high octane offense good field position.

Dedrick Law/FS/Houston
The Headhunters begin the season with two contract safeties on the roster. The “other one” has tallied 23 INTs in the last two seasons and earned a Defensive Player of the Year nod in Season 18.

Law is currently sporting a 62.00 contract. His ability to hold down his portion of the secondary to both make plays and give Josh Rowe the ability to roam and make plays like he has, could make the Houston backend one of the most formidable in the league.

Baylee O’Shaughnessy/RB/Denver

It’s quite the number. O’Shaughnessy’s league-leading contract value does produce elevated expectations for the back. And with a new quarterback under center, O’Shaughnessy may get the workhorse treatment until balance can be achieved. Gitty up, Baylee.

Guy Clawson/WR/Motor City
The V8s featured a very flexible three-tight end approach in Season 19. While the system appears to be similar, they are transitioning Clawson over to wide receiver in one of the more interesting decisions of the offseason.

Clawson had a banner year in Detroit. If he can develop as a WR, and fast, Motor CIty is looking at great versatility for the coaching staff to play with.

John Blades/TE/Las Vegas
As one featured tight end switches to receiver, a prime receiver has made the leap to tight end.

Blades could be a difference-maker as a receiver and blocker in the Fury offense. How fast he gets used to his new role could be pivotal in Las Vegas making a run at the West Division title and perhaps even further.

Optimus Cline/WR/Florida
He’s baaaaaaaaaaaaack.

Mr. Cline returns to his old Storm stomping grounds to reunite with some familiar faces. His return comes a season after the Florida passing game under veteran Ron Cockren struggled at times. Cline could help turn the passing game around – and help free up Season 18 MVP Charlie Biletsky to do what he does best.

Jason Williams/RB/Sioux Falls
South Dakota: Enter Thrilliams.

Williams enters an offense that featured the most catches by a tailback the past two seasons. With his skill set, Williams figures to be amongst the most dangerous targets when you get him in space. If his receiving skills on swing passes are up to par, Sioux Falls may have found their X-factor for another deep playoff run.

Tazzy Blackwell/MLB/Los Angeles
The Lycans were second to last in takeaways and turnover margin in Season 19 – one reason they fell out of playoff contention. More pressure from the D should yield more TOs.

An emerging star in the middle of that defense, Blackwell has shown flashes of doing it all on the defensive end.

Olivia and Alder Bleeker/OL/Jacksonville
The Kings invested bigtime in quarterback OJ Bruin this offseason to help jumpstart the offense. And with a rookie (Shawn Sanders) in tow at running back, the efficiency of the offensive line is will be even more crucial.

The Bleekers have talent and if they are able to anchor both phases of the offense – to give Bruin and Sanders enough time and space, the Kings would be primed for a big turnaround. It all starts up front.

Tom Creeg/CB/San Diego
There was much coming and going in southern California this offseason. One of the holdovers from last year is BlitzCreeg, who also has the highest defensive contract on the squad.

With the Mavericks sporting plenty of talent on offense lead by Scar Patterson, it will be up to the defense to create some separation. San Diego yielded the most passing TDs last season (33) – a number that needs to change. Creeg is disciplined, but has the ball skills to make big plays in big moments.

Juniper Belson/K/Indianapolis and Christian Ronald-Sueyy/K/Seattle
The Ramblers and Nemesis were in close games in their inaugural campaign. That’s something to build on for Season 2. Kicking consistency can mean the difference between winning those few extra games and waiting until next year.

Belson and Ronald-Sueyy will be tasked with making big kicks this year as a result of growing talent and better field position on a gelling defense.

Chris Comisac/FB/Minnesota
Colin Hart will steal most of the headlines on offense. If he is successful, part of that reason will be the newest Legend blasting gaps for him to run through.

Comisac was the only real move Minnesota made in free agency. Their offense has some things to prove, and Chris’ skill set may be the key to grinding out wins up north.

Ralgar Lawe/CB/Alamo City
This was perhaps the strongest under-the-radar comeback story of the offseason.

The Season 16 Defensive Rookie of the Year was not on a roster come Season 19. However, his return gives Alamo CIty some serious artillery (ba-dum-ching) against passing games league wide. And he slots in immediately as their #1 CB against a division ripe with WR1 talent. Welcome back, Ralgar.

JZ Bacon/RB/Fort Worth
With Thrilliams gone, look who is sizzling at RB1 now.

A nice bounceback year for the Toros in Season 19 means expectations are higher. Bacon must prove he can be a trusty #1 option in the backfield to keep their momentum leaning forward. HIs acumen in the passing game – both as a receiver and blocker – will be critical to the offense’s success.

Myles Gibson/MLB/Tulsa
He always seems to be in frame. Always.

Mr. Gibson has become a perennial all-star candidate here in Season 20 and sitting in the middle of the Desperado defense, must anchor a defense that finished dead last against the pass in terms of yards in Season 19. Myles seems to be a steadying force that could help them improve their execution.