Around the League (in 867 words or less)

Bobby Sansone, Senior Writer

October 28, 2004

Are the Merry Men Panicking?

Despite an AFC best 357 points scored, Merry Men Owner Steve Dugas is not sitting comfortably. Desperate to improve one of the league's worst receiving corps, Dugas turned to the washed up Jerry Rice and then traded away a coveted first round pick for Nate Burleson. Dugas is proving to the Merry Men faithful that he is committed to winning this year. Burleson has tremendous "upside" but is not a red zone target of Culpepper's. Rice, who is for some unknown reason still highly sought after in the YFFL, could be on the list of most disappointing players in the league with Travis Henry and Santana Moss. At first I questioned Mike Kinsman's decision to cut Rice entering this season but now that decision could garner him Owner of the Year.

Thugs In Familiar Territory

Everyone counted out the World Champion Market Thugs heading into 2004. Huskers Owner Kev Sansone accused his brother of being the "Wayne Hyzenga" of the league for breaking up the Champions. Ironically, the only things that were breaking were David Boston's and Anquan Boldin's knees. Merry Men owner Steve Dugas, in a preseason press conference, boldly stated that the "AFC West was going to be tough with three great teams and then the Thugs" an obvious bash at the then down and out Thugs. But Bobby Sansone and the Thugs are right in familiar territory at 4-3 and currently 4th in the league in points scored. With Boldin returning this week and James and Green currently ranked 2nd in RB-duo scoring, the Thugs appear poised to challenge the Buddies for the Wild Card.

Davidson Questioning McNair's Future with Poop

The Sports Guy claims that the NFL season doesn't officially begin until Steve McNair has a career-threatening injury. Well, the YFFL season doesn't officially begin until the Bear Poop's QB Carousel ride begins. With McNair banged up as ever and Tom Brady struggling to throw more than one TD pass a game, look for Davidson to turn to former league MVP Jeff Garcia in due time.

Huskers Still Live and Die with Priest Holmes

Other than maybe Daunte Culpepper, is there any single player more valuable to his team than Priest Holmes? I say "no" because if Culpepper goes down at least the Merry Men can turn to Gus Frerotte to throw those 5 TDs a game. If Holmes goes down for the season with an injury, the Huskers would struggle to win another game. Speaking of the Huskers, you could make a case that Quentin Griffin is the league's most disappointing player. After an incredible preseason and a 4-TD performance in Week 1, I was contemplating trading Clinton Portis for him. Just seven weeks later, I wouldn't even trade Itula Mili for him. Now, with Griffin Kev Sansone is stuck in the dreaded "What do I do with him?" phase. "Do I hang on to him and hope he reemerges in like 2 or 3 years or do I cut him to save a roster spot?"

Are the Chickens in the Infancy Stage of a Dynasty?

We knew this team was going to be great eventually. Year after year of disappointment resulted in high draft pick after high draft pick. There's been a little luck along the way with David Carr and Phillip Rivers falling just far enough for Mike to draft them. Of course the Terrell Owens for Ricky Williams deal didn't hurt either. Now Mike has a core of McNabb, Tomlinson, Lewis, Barlow, Owens, Gates and Horn who should be great for years to come. Rivers and Carr give Kinsman some trade bait as the QB market seems to get stronger and stronger every week.

The Best and Worst Waiver Wire Moves of the Year

Here's what my All Waiver-Wire Team and Bizarro All Waiver-Wire Team looks like for 2004:

QB - Jay Fiedler, White Guys Definitely on this team by default
RB - Reuben Droughns, Boys Likely the Waiver Wire Move of the Year
RB - Michael Pittman, Mallards Domestic violence isn't his only talent!
WR - David Givens, Poop Hard to believe these Pats WRs went undrafted
WR - Ronald Curry, Thugs Hard to believe Kev cut him after one game
TE - Eric Johnson, White Guys Classic Aceto finding a TE Diamond in the rough
K - Phil Dawson, Huskers Gave Olindo Mare the boot
UT - David Patten, Dragons See David Givens Comment

And the All-Team Waiver Wire Backfire Team

QB None No one fell for the Jonathan Quinn trap
RB - Leonard Henry, Beans Note to Self: Stay away from Miami Dolphins players
RB - Ki-Jana Carter, 'Tangs His 9th go-around in the YFFL will end just like previous 8...Cut
WR - Jerry Rice, Men It will be a moral victory if he scores more than one TD the rest of the season
WR - T.J. Houshmandzadeh, Men 4th String Bengals WRs might be good enough to start for Merry Men
TE - Itula Mili, Thugs Downside to trading for Bulger: I had to use my only two waiver moves on Mili and Rackers
K Olindo Mare, 'Tangs Until last week, Dolphins offense was averaging 8.4 ppg
UT Jeb Putzier, Huskers Who is this guy?