YFFL Mailbag - September 2006

Bobby Sansone, Senior Writer

September 14, 2006

We get lots of e-mail here at and while we can't answer everyone, senior writer Bobby Sansone took some time out to answer a few of the league's biggest fans...

Mike Bell
Is Mike Bell another example of the Mallards' reaching too far to gain a dominant backfield?

Q: Bobby, I am life-long Mallards fan. I am growing concerned that Steve Dugas is not putting enough effort into the franchise. We only have 11 wins in our 3+ year history! Is help on the way?!?!

- Becky L., Yarmouth, ME

BS: Becky, the Mallards are one of the more perplexing teams in the league. Now in their 4th year, the Mallards (and the Llamas) aren't really expansion teams anymore. That .282 Winning PCT is killing Dugas' reputation as an elite fantasy owner. I have to believe he wants this team to win. A closer look at Dugas' franchises reveals some alarming trends. While the Merry Men tend to draft proven college players destined to make a long-lasting impact in the NFL, the Mallards take chances on RBs. The Mallards have spent all four of their first round picks on RBs. The Merry Men focused on the QB position first trading for Drew Bledsoe and drafting Daunte Culpepper. After that, the pieces fell into place. Since drafting Shawn Alexander in the first round of the 2000 draft, the Merry Men have only spent two first-round picks on RBs. No, not Willie Parker. No, not Rudi Johnson. Not even Deuce McAllister. Try LaBrandon Toefield and James Jackson. The Mallards need to adopt the Merry Men's draft strategy of drafting a complete team rather than focusing solely on RBs.

Q: Bobby, the Week 2 schedule is horrific with five owners playing themselves!?!? Is there a need for a YFFL Competition Committee?

- Frank, Louisville, KY

BS: Frank, Mike Kinsman was the first to notice this but surprisingly no one else picked up on it. It's a real shame if you ask me. Three of the five owners (myself, Mike and Brian) have playoff aspirations with both teams, so this really hurts our chances. Other owners (Dugas, Kevin and Chris) make out like bandits because their teams don't play each other all season. This will be one of the bigger items on the Winter Meeting Agenda. I actually pressured Commissioner Kinsman to change the match-ups this week but to no avail. Regardless, get ready for a very lame weekend of YFFL football. Refugees! White Guys! Grossman! Brooks! next on FOX!

Q: Bobby, how the hell did the Huskers rebuild that fast!?!? That's not a team I want to play come December.

- Annie S., Shelton, CT

BS: Annie, and to think he completely wasted a first round pick on some guy named Hank Baskett! What if he drafted Sinorice Moss, Santonio Holmes or Chad Jackson instead? Regardless, the backfield of Brandon Jacobs, Jerious Norwood and Derrick Blaylock could be one of the better surprises in the league this year. The WR crops is pretty good and oh yeah, they have this guy named Peyton. Based on the off-season alone, Chris Davidson and Kevin Sansone are the early front-runners for Owner of the Year.

Laurence Maroney
Owners had to be impressed with the debut performance of Laurence Maroney

Q: Did Chris jump on the Reggie Bush bandwagon too quickly? Should he have at least considered Laurence Maroney?

- Droid D., Yarmouth, ME

BS: Droid, Several owners around the league have been whispering about the same question. Let's just say many of us would have been very tempted to take Maroney, who is a big powerful back that reminds us alot of Larry Johnson. Bush will undoubtedly be great, but how will his fantasy numbers stack up? I guess only time will tell. Personally, I like Maroney to find the endzone more often than Bush does.

P.S. Have you ever gone through past drafts and looked at all the mistakes people make on RBs in the first round? It's really quite scary. Here are some of the worst:

2005: #4 JJ Arrington THUGS instead of #10 Frank Gore DRAGONS

2004: #1 Kevin Jones REFUGEES instead of #2 Stephen Jackson MALLARDS

2003: #1 Willis McGahee MALLARDS instead of #5 Larry Johnson BUDDIES

2002: #1 William Green BROTHERS instead of #2 Clinton Portis BEANS

2001: #1 Michael Bennett BOYS instead of #5 LaDainian Tomlinson CHICKENS

2000: #3 Ron Dayne POOP instead of #5 Shaun Alexander MERRY MEN

1998: #4 Curtis Enis POOP instead of #6 Fred Taylor BEANS

Q: Bobby, what were your thoughts on Week 1?

- Ron J., Bristol, CT

BS: Outside of McNabb and Warner, QBs were HUGE disappointments. Palmer, Culpepper, Bulger, Delhomme, and Favre to name a few, all put up goose eggs. The Jets' fantasy players were the best surprise. If you had Pennington, Coles, Baker, Barlow or Cotchery in your lineup, chances are you weren't sad. I was impressed with the Brothers for coming away with a tie without Steve Smith and with zero from Palmer. The Merry Men have to be worried don't they? Burleson is now #3 in Seattle and Jerry Porter is done in Oakland. Culpepper clearly isn't the same Culpepper and Alexander is the cover boy for Madden '07. Yikes! My biggest disappointments of the week were the Llamas and the Beans. Both teams have serious playoff aspirations but neither cracked 30 points.

Q: When we look back on the YFFL 2006 season, what will be the lasting memories?

- Ben S. Yarmouth, ME

BS: I think sweeping changes are on the way. Realignment is almost certain at this point. The AFC East has been bad for too long and the AFC West has been good for too long. At some point owners are going to have to ask themselves, "is this really cyclical or are some franchises just better than others?" Expect the Thugs to request a Seattle Seahawk-like division change by season's end. Also, I think owners are going to start pushing for two more teams to make the playoffs and do away with the first-round bye. Last year several Super Bowl caliber teams didn't make the playoffs (i.e. the Chickens and the Beans) which ultimately diminishes the product we put on the field. I also expect the Mallards' downward spiral to be closely monitored.