With a season high nine teams on bye this week and two showcase games Monday night, the opportunity is there for some players to make some big impressions this week. In each game, let's break down who has the chance to #makeanimpact:
Vancouver @ Carolina, Friday 8:00 pm ET: Vancouver HB Sudo Nakai
Did you know that Nakai is averaging 6.3 yards per carry this season - second in the SFL only to Canton's Logan Lee who ironically played for the Legion last season. Nakai, however, has only gotten 20 carries, 29 less than Robert Redford who is averaging half - 3.1 yards per carry - through three games. Nakai could be the sleeping giant to unleash on Carolina and family member Ike McBride, who herself is ninth in the league in rushing yards with 247.
ATLANTA @ QUEEN CITY, FRIDAY 8:15 PM ET: atlanta wr boo chisholm
The Hall-of-Fame great has two major milestones to complete and he's been sitting on it for a couple of weeks now. Chisholm is one touchdown away from 100 for his career, becoming the 4th player in league history to reach the mark. He is also just five receptions from becoming the 8th player to 1,000 receptions. He could do it against the team his brother, also Hall-of-Famer Aquantis Shyne, started his career with - Queen City. Chisholm is 14th this season in yards per catch - 18.5 - but has only six catches through the first four games, fifth on the team.
seattle @ alamo city, saturday 6:30 PM ET: alamo city de stephen fellows ii
Last season, the Artillery's leading sacker was Robert Thump, who led the team with six sacks. Through four games, Fellows is second in the league with 4.5, nearly topping the five he had all of last season. Alamo City is second in the league with 10 total sacks and Ty Ptak has been sacked nine times this season, the most of any quarterback this season. On top of that, ACA is 4th in TFLs with 33. The Artillery have lost back-to-back games by three points. The two regular season losses they suffered last season came by just a combined three points.
portland @ florida, SATURDAY 6:45 PM ET: portland qb cyris jive
No one player is going to make anyone believe Portland can make a playoff push until Cyris Jive can prove he can lead the Portland passing attack. His 51.8 completion percentage is 21st in the SFL and the team only has one pass catcher with over 10 receptions. Portland is a 20.5-point dog on the road to the unbeaten champs, Florida. There aren't many spreads in league history that have been larger. If Jive could lead Portland into Florida and stun the Storm, all bets are off on Portland's potential for a turnaround they so desperately need.
d.c. @ fort worth, SATURDAY 9:00 PM ET: fort worth ss delaney nash
Here's a shocker. The D.C. Dragon pass offense is number one in the SFL in yards per catch - 17.8. Mason Kirby is second in the league averaging 25 yards per reception. We think of D.C. as a grind-it-out offense and that's somewhat true - quarterback Shabazz Psynergy has only thrown 63 passes in three games but when he does throw, he's the most impactful player on the field - No. 1 in QBR this season at 103.7. So why isn't he our impact player? Because Delaney Nash is the reigning MVP and he leads the league in pass deflections this season with six. Nash needs to step up to knock the Dragons off their hot streak to put to rest the grumblings he didn't deserve the credit last season either.
minnesota @ tulsa, SATURDAY 9:15 PM ET: tulsa wr gabriel manning
Well, he's been the most impactful player through three games. Tops in the SFL in receptions (35), yards (610) and touchdowns (7), Gabriel Manning is a serious MVP candidate. All the rest of the players on his team combined: 28 receptions, 298 yards, 1 touchdown. It's one thing to do this over a small sample size and Seattle did do a pretty good job containing him for 95% of the game, but if he balls out again, the chatter of his most valuable player status is only going to exponentially grow.
arizona @ indianapolis, monday 8:15 PM ET: indianapolis ilb adam wiseman
Wiseman leads the league in tackles for loss with 14 and will be going up against a Scorpions backfield that has the seventh most carries and yards through four weeks (12th in yards per carry). With Quarterback Ashley Jackson somewhat shaky (50.0% completions, 23rd) Wiseman and the Ramblers - who as a team lead the league with 40 tackles for loss - can pull an upset if they can clamp down against the run. Wiseman is also the team's coach and the flip-side run game in Indy led by Christian Pierce is in desperate need of an on switch of its own.
jacksonville @ mexico city, MONDAY 10:15 PM ET: jacksonville cb hayvo ramsey
Rookies can ball too! The 19th overall pick in the draft has been huge for the Kings 2-1 start. How huge? He has almost more pass deflections (5) than he has tackles (6). Cornerbacks are not statsman and it's hard to quantify their impact on the game, but with the Aztecs likely re-shaping their passing attack after another roller coaster performance last Monday, Ramsey locking down wide receivers on the outside - who have accounted for 32 of the Aztecs 45 completions this season - could put his name in the ever-challenging conversation for Defensive Rookie of the Season.