Think your team doesn't have questions heading into 2009? Think again. Steve Dugas attempts to answer the one burning question each team faces as we prepare for another season.The 10th best RB in history (and one crazy dresser) could be yours for the taking as the Beans rebuild
1. Will the Humping Beans be taking a step back this season?
The Beans seem poised for a letdown in 2009. Jay Cutler has left Denver, Clinton Portis seems to only have about a quarter of a tank left, and Plaxico Burress is likely to be left off an NFL roster all season. The Beans pick at #5 and #11 in the first round and Sansone will need to hit a homerun on both picks if he as any aspirations of winning the division. The way things stand right now, the Beans could be headed from 8-5 to 5-8.
2. Are the Big Boys going to remain locked in the basement for a third straight season?
The Big Boys have one of the thinnest rosters in the league. They have only one QB (who is throwing to a cast of rookies), no proven running backs outside an aging Thomas Jones, and other than Reggie Wayne, none of the WRs can be counted on every week. All this adds up to yet another long 4 win season.
3. Will the Memphis Brothers go from worst to first in the NFC West?
I think the Brothers are poised for a massive turnaround. I don't know what the YFFL record for most wins gained in a single season is, but the Brothers could own it by the time 2009 is done. Carson Palmer is looking healthy, they have a stable of RBs that will contribute every week, two star receivers, and the #2 pick in the upcoming draft. I like the Brothers to bounce back and win 8 or 9 games in 2009.
4. Can Mike Kinsman find the time to both manage the Buddies and harass Steve without compromising the success of the Buddies' season?
Whether its comments about Michelle Gredler or Ashley Hochman, Mike has always been able to get under my skin. Some seasons he is up to the task to handle both the running of a contending YFFL team and keeping me far away from the forum; 2005 is a perfect example. Something funny happened in 2008 though. The Buddies floundered in the standings and it was no doubt a result of the lack of time Mike was putting into roster management. Instead, he was devoting it to the forum and his next Early Doucet or Willie Parker comment. Look for the Buddies to bring in a new GM to focus on player development while Mike handles all things forum-related.
5. It's the same question year in and year out...will the Chickens be YFFL Champions?
At first glance, the Chickens' roster still looks like a powerhouse, but upon closer inspection they have a good team but probably not a great team. It seems like more than half the players have some sort of issue to deal with, whether its age and mileage, injury risk or suspensions. The Chickens will be in the mix to the end but will probably miss the playoffs for a second straight year.Corrolary: Can Aaron Rodgers' face hold off the rest of this frightening facial hair?
6. Can the Dragons hold off the rest of the NFC East for a 5th division title this decade?
After a 4 year absence from the top of the NFC East, the Dragons reclaimed their throne in 2008 en route to the YFFL Championship. It's going to be a tough task to hold off the Mallards and White Guys (if they land a QB), but the Dragons have a roster that should be up for the task. Aaron Rodgers will likely improve on his monster first year as a starter and add in a cast of solid week in and week out contributors and the Dragons have to be considered one of the top 3 contenders for the 2009 Championship.
7. Will any of the current Eaters' running backs make 12 YFFL starts this season?
Reggie Bush and Brian Westbrook are both huge question marks heading into the season after they both went under the knife this past offseason. If both are healthy and combined with Tony Romo, then the Eaters are a threat to win each week. It's unlikely either makes more than 10 starts in 2009 and Eaters will have trouble being a .500 team.
8. Were the Huskers really considering dealing Peyton Manning this offseason in favor of Joe Flacco?
For about a week back in June the Huskers were kicking around the idea of going with Joe Flacco and dealing Peyton Manning to the Merry Men for an assortment of draft picks. With the reports coming out of Maryland about Joe Flacco, Kevin has to be happy the Manning trade never materialized because it looks like Flacco could use a little more seasoning.
9. Can Drew Brees have another monster season to keep the Llamas ahead of the rest of the teams in an improving division?
Brees appears locked and loaded and ready to have another 175+ point campaign. The Llamas have some question marks at RB but Brees, along with a solid core of WRs should get the Llamas 8 wins. However, the return of Brady to the Bear will prove too tough an opponent.
10. Will season #7 be the lucky one and find the Mallards making the playoffs for the first time?
People thought the Mallards were crazy to pass over the available running backs to select Matt Ryan in 2008 but that move looks like it was definitely the right one. The Mallards were the 5th highest scoring team in the league last season and with Ryan helming the ship, they should be able to improve on that and finally make the YFFL playoffs.
11. Can the Merry Men be competitive on a week to week basis?
The Merry Men have the worst roster in the league. It has only two players with the potential to finish in the top 25 in the YFFL in scoring and one of those players is a kicker. The Merry Men have to strike gold with the #1 overall pick in the draft and they need that player to make an impact right out of the gate. The Merry Men probably won't be competitive every week, but they should be able to steal 4 or 5 games in 2009.Does Tom Brady's return mean Bear Poop will no longer lead the league in players featured on TMZ?
12. Do the Orangutangs have their franchise quarterback on the roster?
Despite having three quarterbacks on the roster, Jon Kinsman could surprise everyone at the draft and nab Mark Sanchez to be the face of the franchise. David Garrard has proved maddening, Trent Edwards takes a lot of hits, and Chad Henne can't beat out Chad Pennington. I'm not sure the Orangutangs would call any of these players a difference maker and when pick #6 comes up, they may go with Sanchez. Another possibility would be trading the #6 pick and Trent Edwards for Phillip Rivers, which would give Jon the player he needs to compete in a division that has Tom Brady and Drew Brees.
13. Does Tom Brady's return = playoffs for the Bear Poop?
The Bear are in the mix when it comes to the 2009 playoff picture, but while all the other teams are improving during the first round of the draft, Bri will be watching and eating popcorn with Jake Delhomme. The Bear are waiting anxiously for Week 1 to see if Brady still has it. If he picks up where he left off with Welker and Moss in 2007, then the rest of the AFC East is in for a world of hurt because Bri has a more complete roster around Brady this time plus a potentially great trading chip in Matt Cassel.
14. Will the Refugees deal a running back to improve their QB or WR depth?
It's highly doubtful Aceto deals Johnson, Slaton or Jones-Drew, but if Laurence Maroney could make a comeback and be productive again he would be wise to trade him to improve their wide receiver situation. At the moment, Reggie Brown is the only one they have that will see any significant snaps.
15. Will the Market Thugs be able to pick 5 guys to cut or will Bobby be fined for having too many players on his roster?
The Thugs have what we call a good problem. Bobby has been lamenting over who to cut for weeks now but his decision might be getting easier with Ryan Torrain getting injured and then cut by the Broncos. Another player on the bubble is long time Thug kicker David Akers, who has had three 100 point seasons while employed by the Thugs. The Thugs have some tough decisions in the next two weeks. Get ready for them to start posting players available for trade in the YFFL forum.
16. What do the White Guys do if Mark Sanchez is unavailable when they pick in the first round or Derek Anderson doesn't win the Browns starting QB job?
Aceto should expect Bobby to begin filling his inbox with emails about Kurt Warner as he tries to cash in on Warner's great 2008 season. Would Aceto be willing to trade Roddy White or Larry Fitzgerald to get the signal caller he needs? The White Guys' QB situation and how it's addressed will be one of the more interesting things to watch in the YFFL over the next 3 weeks.