In a league that is still wide open, so is the race for YFFL Most Valuable Player. Steve Dugas takes a look at the top candidates, what's working against them and what they need to do in order to bring home the award.
Carson Palmer, Memphis Brothers
Carson Palmer is the highest scoring quarterback in the YFFL with 118 points and plays for the best team in the league. With Palmer's coming out party in 2005 the Brothers have already clinched their division with 3 weeks to play. While he only leads the other QBs by a touchdown or two he should finish with a season that ranks in the top 25 ever for a QB.
Why He Won't Win: Others at YFFL.com would have you believe that Palmer is not even the best player on his team; this will cost him votes and without a doubt the award.
What He Needs to Do to Help His Case: Lead the Brothers to the best record in the conference and earn the first round bye while finishing with at least 160 points.
Remaining Games: IND, BAL, @PIT
LaDainian Tomlinson, Chunky Chickens
Tomlinson is in the midst of an all-time great season; not only is he running for touchdowns, but he catching amd throwing them as well. By the end of Week 11 Tomlinson could have over 150 points which would be the second most ever by a running back in YFFL history. He is mired in a dogfight with Shaun Alexander to be the leading scorer in the league.
Why He Won't Win: The Chickens have had awful luck this season and are in danger of not making the playoffs. Tomlinson also put up a zero one week, a game that the Chickens lost to the Mallards.
What He Needs to Do to Help His Case: If the Chickens fail to make the playoffs Tomlinson will have to lead the league in scoring and most likely need to break Priest Holmes' mark of 190 points in a season. He has a good shot at the record with the way he has played this season.
Remaining Games: BUF, @WAS, OAK
Shaun Alexander, Ludke's Merry Men
Alexander, like Tomlinson is having a monster season. Alexander is the sole reason the Merry Men have managed to stay afloat despite losing half their starting lineup to injuries this year. Alexander is tied for the league lead with 136 points despite twice putting up only 2 points. Whenever the Merry Men need him most he seems to come up with a 20+ point game and he has led the Merry Men to a two game lead in the wild card and just a game out of the division lead.
Why He Won't Win: Much like the Yankees (minus all the championships) the Merry Men are probably the most hated team in the league and that could cost Alexander some first place votes.
What He Needs to Do to Help His Case: Alexander probably needs to lead the Merry Men over the Buddies this weekend, along with delivering a division title and lead the YFFL in scoring.
Remaining Games: @SF, NYG, @PHI
Steve Smith, Memphis Brothers
Once you get outside the top ten receivers in the YFFL this year, Smith has at least twice as many points as any player. He is one of three receivers in the top 25, and the only in the top ten of all players. The Brothers have leaned on Smith heavily this season for scoring outside the quarterback position, which has been explosive but inconsistent. He could go for 200 yards and two touchdowns any given week.
Why He Won't Win: Smith has put up three goose eggs this season. Most owners recognize the WR position as the third most important in the league.
What He Needs to Do to Help His Case: Smith needs to stay in the top ten in the YFFL in scoring, and with another 40 points he would finish with the best season ever by a receiver, both things that are within reach.
Remaining Games: @CHI, @BUF, ATL
Others who could end up in the mix with a strong finish:
- Tom Brady - Bear Poop
- Jake Plummer - Orangutangs
- Lamont Jordan - Humping Beans
- Edgerrin James - Market Thugs
- Brett Favre - Snapdragons