The Washington Valor (3-2) head to New York this weekend for a matchup with the league-leading Albany Empire (5-0) on Saturday, June 1 at 3:30 p.m. at the Times Union Center. Washington enters the game on a three-game winning streak after starting the season 0-2 while Albany stands as the league’s only remaining unbeaten team. In the teams’ only prior matchup this season, the Empire topped the Valor, 36-27, in Week 2.
VALOR PLAYER TO WATCH:
QB Arvell Nelson
– Nelson enters Week 6 leading the league in both passing yards (1,335) and rushing yards (115) and ranking second in total touchdowns (27), trailing only Albany quarterback Tommy Grady. Nelson has thrown for 200+ yards in all but one game this season, including a 250-yard performance in Week 2 against Albany. Nelson’s three rushing touchdowns in the teams’ prior matchup are tied for the highest single-game total in the league this season.
EMPIRE PLAYER TO WATCH:
WR Malachi Jones
– Jones leads the league in all three major receiving categories – receptions (45), receiving yards (635) and receiving touchdowns (11). In Week 2 against the Valor, Jones amassed 119 yards and two receiving touchdowns, game highs in both categories.
MATCHUP TO WATCH:
Valor WR Dezmon Epps vs. Empire LB Terence Moore
– Epps currently ranks second in the AFL in receiving yards (495) and yards per reception (16.5). Epps is one of just five receivers with 30+ receptions this season. Despite being held without a touchdown in his last three games, Epps speed and deep-threat ability open up options for the rest of the Valor offense. His last score came in Week 2 against Albany, a 30-yard pass from Nelson just over two minutes into the game. Albany will rely on versatile linebacker Terence Moore to slow down the Valor passing attack. Moore leads the league with two fumble recoveries, is tied for second with two interceptions and ranks second on the team with 23.5 total tackles.
Saturday afternoon’s game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington and ESPN3.