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2013 Contenders & Pretenders, Part 1

Nick Wood

By: Nick Wood, Backyard Sports Icon

Posted: Aug 06, 2013

Since the Chickens are still THE Champs, I thought we'd take a look from the ivory tower to see who this year's contenders to the Chickens' throne may be and who has no chance at the limelight in 2013. First, we'll take a look at this year's pretenders, who should be considering an overhaul of some kind to improve their chances down the road.

PART 1: The Pretenders

Felix Jones Don't worry Felix, there will always be a place for you next to LaMont Jordan as co-host of "Beans Post-Game LIVE!"

Beans

Outside of Julio Jones and RGIII, there's not a single player on their current roster that "should" start in the YFFL. That being said, those are two solid cornerstones to build around. Bobby has to be hoping and praying that Mike Vick stays healthy and on the field to build potential trade value to help bolster his roster. #Stillhauntedbythefelixjonestrade @chunkychickens #atleastAustinisheavenonearth #YoudohaveRGIIIy'all

What They Should Do: Two picks in the first round typically bodes well, especially in a year where quantity of picks is better than quality of picks because of the uncertainty around this draft class. He should aim for a running back and perhaps a potential franchise TE in Tyler Eifert. As I said before, unless Vick becomes the man again, there's no one on this roster worth trading at the moment.

Eaters

Kurty's got some work to do to turn this franchise around. Trouble is, the kid's getting married in September and his focus for the time being will revolve around place settings, seating charts, and tux rentals. This will cloud his judgment and decision making. To add some light to the end of the tunnel, our social lives died shortly after most of us got married, so perhaps good things are in the Eaters' future.

What They Should Do: The Eaters have got to pair up Trent Richardson with another stud RB, so aiming for that at pick #3 should be a priority. Reggie Bush is not that #2 RB, but he may be able to generate some trade buzz as long as it is Dugas who he's chatting with now that Bush is a member of the Detroit Lions.

Llamas

This team could become receiver rich if the youth develops or lives up to the hype, but the club will remain running back poor unless they find a diamond in the rough at pick #7 AND Murray stays healthy all year. That is just too much to bank on.

What They Should Do: In addition to hopefully having a RB fall to them in the draft, this team should really think of unloading Gates while he still has value. That might not happen until later in the season when he shows he's back. Also, trade Kenny Britt the second he scores a TD before he falls apart again.

Kyle Orton Kyle Orton celebrated the only way he knows how after finding out he made the 'Tangs roster

Orangutangs

At first glance, I see 7 or even 8 guys that should be cut from this roster. What does that mean? Jon's got a lot of work to do and very little to work with outside of his stud WRs Decker, Bryant, and Torrey Smith. This team will have to do something to add a starting RB to their mix or another 0-5 start with little chance of rebounding is in their future.

What They Should Do: Outside of the big three WRs, there's very little worth trading and with a late round draft pick, the chance of landing a stud RB is slim. If Jon is dead set on acquiring a RB, he may have to part with either Decker or Torrey Smith in some sort of a package deal.

Huskers

At a recent family gathering in Maine, Kevin was often heard grumbling angry words towards someone with the first name "Percy". His younger sister, Mary, immediately thought it was about the new movie "Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters", as that is the only Percy she knows. However, she had no idea why he'd be upset about the movie. Perhaps it did not follow the book as closely as he wanted?

After Big Bob Sansone heard similar mumblings, he knew immediately it had to do with the recent injury and subsequent surgery to new Seahawks WR Percy Harvin. Big Bob knew of Kev's affinity towards his prized 2012 draft pick, Russell Wilson, so he tried his best to make his youngest son feel better about his presumed decline in production for 2013.

"Kev, at least you've got Arian Foster's routine top tier scoring and the emergence of Josh Gordon to help buoy your team's scoring..."

Aaron Hernandez Maclin's out for the year? Daaaaaaaaaaaaaaamn, son...

This did not lighten Kevin's mood one bit - in fact, it prompted a family silencing moment with his response.

"Dad, don't you read Rotoworld?!?! Foster's becoming softer than a Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream and Gordon is suspended for the first two games of the season!"

What They Should Do: Kev will hate to hear this again, but I actually agree with Dugas: now's the time to dish off Foster for as much as you can get. Your team's not there yet.

Merry Men

Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Shortly removed from its 2011 title, this team is a shell of its former self. Aaron Hernandez being Aaron Hernandez and Maclin tearing his ACL are just the obvious points. Rumors are swirling around Scott Dugas Trucking that he may be seriously contemplating giving up the general manager responsibilities: he just can't get a handle on "who" he would give over the controls to.

Tim Blount recently sent a Facebook message to Bobby asking him what on earth Steve Dugas was calling him for. Have things gotten that bad? Is Steve finally realizing that his Merry Men are falling from grace as quickly as the once mighty Market Thugs? Steve's claiming he just does not have enough time to focus, considering he's now forced to watch Dora the Explorer instead of listening to his recorded fantasy podcasts before venturing off to bed at 8:15pm.

What They Should Do: With NO first round draft picks, the Merry Men are going to have to find other ways to build something around Stafford and Rice. At this point, trading away Rice may be his best chance at improving his team sooner rather than later. With a deficiency in high scoring RBs out there, he may still be able to get quite a bounty and turn this train wreck around quickly. I'm doubtful that Steve could part ways with Rice though, so it should be interesting to see what he attempts to do to improve this team.

Carson Palmer "We're good in odd numbered years, right? Is that still a thing? I have no f***ing idea anymore."

Brothers

Bri's got the exact opposite dilemma that he has with Bear Poop: he's got no real stud QB and in a QB driven league, that does not bode well. With two RBs hyped as often as they are injured in Charles and McFadden, Bri's got a shot at doing something if he's able to acquire some youth at the WR position and keep his RBs healthy all season long. If not, it's back to the drawing board and another early draft pick in 2014.

What They Should Do: I'd go with DeAndre Hopkins if I was in Bri's shoes. The guy lands in an ideal situation on a great team where he's got less pressure to be the man early on and a stud WR on the other side of the field to take some of the heavy coverage off of him. Trading Reggie Wayne or Steve Smith may get him a decent haul before the season starts. He just better hope he chooses the one who's going to stay healthy in 2013, because we all know one of them will likely not.

Refugees

At first blush, this team looks like a contender...but then you realize that his stud TE is likely out for at least the first few games of the season, each of his running backs look as though their best years are well behind them, his only solid WR is injury prone, and he's got no first rounder because he traded it away for a YFFL career backup QB in Christian Ponder. On the bright side, Colin Kaepernick should be able to keep this team in many games on his own. For now, this team is on the outside looking in as far as the playoffs are concerned.

What They Should Do: Sell off Chris Ivory and BGE while they still have a ton of "potential" for 2013, and do it before people realize that: 1. Ivory plays for the Jets and 2. BGE is going to be replaced by Giovani Bernard. If you can survive the lack of Gronk at .500 or better, they're in position to make a possible run.