Teams shining with balance in new era
As SFL rosters continue to grow and the league builds towards nearly 1,000 players hitting the field each week, it becomes harder and harder to get every player involved in the game plan each week. Coaches care about winning, but ownership should care about making sure everyone is getting involved in a league that is much more about people than talent.
Winning is ultimately secondary in the SFL to building community and a place where players feel valued on and off the field - the best organizations know how to do both. With that being said, here's a breakdown of some of the best teams at giving their players value.
Gold medal: Jacksonville Kings
In Jacksonville's hot start, nine different players have caught a pass - that leads the league. Four of those players have caught touchdowns. The dynamic duo of Shawn Sanders and Sheppard Vakarian have 42 and 41 carries, respectively. The two have rushed a combined 83 times and OJ Bruin has thrown 83 times. I'm sure Kenny Slider would love to get in on a package or two moving forward, but otherwise the Kings are the definition of what a great offense looks like in the SFL.
Silver medal: Arizona Scorpions
DJ Moses may be outpacing fullback Justin Williams by 25 carries, but Williams has found the end zone seven times to Moses' two and Ashley Jackson even has a rushing touchdown to her credit. Six different players have caught touchdowns from Jackson and four receivers are over 170 yards on the season, including the teams third wide receiver on the depth chart. It clearly shows that Gauge and company care about getting everyone involved as much as possible.
Bronze Medal: Teams spreading the ball around
Running backs are interchangeable, but receivers have particular skills and can garner different mismatches. The sophistication of a dynamic passing game is much more challenging then splitting carries. Alamo City has thrown touchdowns to six different receivers in three games. In Minnesota, their WR3 is already over 125 yards and five different players have caught TDs. In Seattle, six different players have caught a touchdown (4 wide receivers, 2 tight ends); three of them have at least two scores and five of them are over 120 yards on the season.
Honorable Mention: Teams with dual-threat run games actually using depth to their advantage
The D.C. Dragons have gotten Seay 56 carries and Stellar 49. Baltimore's gotten Gaines 73 carries and Murray 62. Houston's got three mouths to feed - Josh Slapp has 54 carries and the Wells brothers have 52. Some teams have two or three guys in the backfield but have stuffed touches down the throat of the star. Not these teams.
Gold medal: Minnesota Legend
Minnesota's defense has been ruthless through four weeks and are highly ranked in almost every category of balance despite not being on the field as much as some other teams. 10 different players have pass deflections in this defense and 10 different have tackles for loss, six different players have interceptions and five different players have sacks.
Silver medal: San Diego Mavericks
While the offense has not had the start San Diego would have liked, their defensive unit continues to show its strength in numbers. Not only does Nate Haul lead the SFL in tackles (12 per game) but San Diego has had 13 different players record a tackle for loss, 6 different players have an interception and a league high 6 different players have sacks including the defensive line, linebackers and in its secondary.
Bronze medal: Alamo City Artillery
Despite playing one less game to rack up stats, the Artillery have delivered on their promise this off-season that they would build the largest roster in the league and get everyone involved - that was the priority and it's resulted in an unbeaten record. Alamo City also has 10 different players with a tackle for loss and eight different players already with at least 10 solo tackles through three games.
Honorable Mention: Louisiana Revolution and Denver Nightwings
The Revolution have 13 players with a tackle for loss this season. They only have 14 players rostered defensively - that's pretty impressive. Denver, the smallest roster in the league, has recorded nine different players with pass deflections and tackles for loss through their first four games.