Singing the Memphis Blues
CHICAGO, IL – The Bret Saberhagen of the YFFL, the Brothers seem to be perennially up one season and down the next. If we follow that trend, it looks like rough waters ahead for this team. 2005 will forever be remembered as the year Carson Palmer and Steve Smith became a major forces in fantasy football, and the Brothers reaped the benefits with a 10-3 record and a surprise divisional title. However, both players enter the season hurting. A hamstring has been hampering Smith, who has experienced injury problems in the past, and Palmer is in the middle of a miraculous rehab from a playoff injury that could have cost him his career. Like last season, 2006 will hinge on these two players for the Brothers.
Critical Question Facing Owner Brian Davidson
Can the running back position produce points? The Brothers have youth on their side, but do they have time to wait? Cadillac Williams looked like the easy choice for Rookie of the Year three weeks into the season, but his production tailed off significantly before getting hurt and many wondered if he could shoulder the grinding burdens of an entire NFL season, Cedric Benson is being pushed as the starter on the Bears, but can't stay healthy enough to secure the job, and finally, this might be William Green's last shot to prove he's an NFL caliber player. With the departure of Stephen Davis, Davidson and the Brothers will need someone to step up and produce.
Player to Watch
Charlie Frye, QB - Frye will enter the season as a backup to Carson Palmer, but with impressive performances during the preseason and three quarterbacks on the roster, Davidson may find some leverage later in the season to acquire more depth at running back. If Palmer shows that he's healthy and Jon Kitna gets off to a good start in Detroit, the Brothers may look to swap Frye to bolster their roster.
Projected Starting Lineup
Palmer, Williams, Smith, Bennett, Curtis, Draft Pick, Draft Pick, McCardell
The success of the Brothers will depend on the health of Palmer, Williams and Smith. Much like the Chickens, the Brothers have stars at key positions, and little depth beyond. The Brothers will lean to a Run N Shoot system early in the season and the management of the wide receiver position will be very important. With 5 receivers of relatively equal talent and scoring opportunity, it will be up to Davidson to choose the three complements to Smith that will give him the best chance to succeed.
With questions circulating over the health of their two stars, the Brothers are a boom or bust team. History has shown to repeat itself (especially with this team) and another down year might be in the cards for the Brothers, who will find themselves hoping Stephen Davis hung around for one more season.
5-8; 481 points; 3rd NFC West