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2013 Contenders & Pretenders, Part 2

Nick Wood

By: Nick Wood, Backyard Sports Icon

Posted: Aug 09, 2013

Nick is back with the second half of his two part series, The Contenders and Pretenders of 2013. This time, he's focusing on the teams that will look to challenge his defending champion Chickens:

PART 2: The Contenders

Chris Davidson Chris may be getting married, but the YFFL is never far from his mind

Boys

Congrats to Chris Davidson and his bride for getting married in Newport, RI this weekend. I hope the nuptials go off without a hitch and everyone has a great time at your reception! Speaking on behalf of the entire YFFL community, we wish you and your bride a happy and healthy marriage!

What They Should Do: As many of us married YFFL participants have said in the past, once you've got the old ball-and-chain, your social life diminishes and your focus turns more towards fantasies that don't involve the tight ends of "smokeshows and slampieces", but rather to the tight ends of the football variety. In the draft, I'd consider adding some depth to the receivers by taking the best WR available at #10, which will most likely be Justin Hunter, Keenan Allen, or Marcus Wheaton

Mallards

Picture a beautiful Friday afternoon in August. Steve and family are all packed and ready to go "upta camp" for a summer weekend. Steve's loaded his iPad with Matthew Berry podcasts, his recently purchased Rotoworld draft kit, and he's even finished his daily review of the Mallards' roster and likes the talent and depth that he sees. Becky calls saying that she's taken the liberty of loading the car, so all he has to do is run upstairs and put on his brand new youth XL Matt Stafford jersey that arrived in the mail just in time. In Steve's eyes, life's pretty good. So good, in fact, he's even built up the courage to have a chat with Becky on the ride to camp about potential names for the baby.

"Stafford, Ridley, or Blair are pretty gender neutral, right? Becky will love one of those names!" Confidence is high, I repeat, confidence is high UNTIL... Steve stops and thinks to himself, "wait, this can't be happening, things are too good right now, is this just a dream or is this actually the beginning of a nightmare, where something with the Mallards is about to go terribly wrong?!?! Crabtree's done until at least Thanksgiving or later, that I know, but things are still going too well..."

"Becky, where's my inhaler?!?!" he anxiously screams.

"Steve, you don't need an inhaler, what's the matter?"

"Things are too good, hun, I'm afraid something awful is going to happen to the Mallards."

Becky, shaking her head and rolling her eyes at the same time, says exactly what Steve needs to hear. "Right now, your family is healthy and happy, the weather's great, we're heading 'upta camp', and the only thing your Mallards have to worry about this season is the NFC title game against the Chickens...and that's months away."

Steve catches his breath, stands in front of the mirror, puts on his Stafford jersey, while mumbling, "Stafford Dugas, sounds good. You're right Becky, that game IS a long ways off."

What They Should Do: All this team has to do is stay healthy and they're rolling towards the playoffs. Given the NFC East is stronger than the West, it will be difficult to secure the bye over the Chickens. As for the draft, stowing away Kirk Cousins will allow him to finally trade away Big Ben for a player of need down the road.

Steve Buscemi Steve Buscemi also played a wacky character in the 2002 comedy Mr. Deeds, but has no relevance to White Guys owner Anthony Aceto

White Guys

Much like John Turturro's character in Mr. Deeds is "very, very, sneaky, sir", Aceto's whereabouts and behavior with regards to the YFFL is the same. Sometimes he's quick to respond to questions, trade offers, and comments made towards his teams, and then sometimes he just never responds, leaving you wondering what the hell he's up to. A prime example: we still don't know exactly what went on during that fateful draft night where he was not "fully available" to participate, but I guess we'll never really know. A relatively unknown draft class helps him remain sneaky: it's anyone's guess as to who he'll take with the first overall pick. What we do know is that this player "should" help bolster his lineup. Combine that with the all-worldly AP in the backfield, Larry Fitzgerald with a now decent QB to throw him the ball, an ageless wonder at TE, and Roddy White, this team will be a contender as long as Sam Bradford delivers 12+ points per week.

What They Should Do: Aceto knows David Wilson could emerge as a stud, but he could also remain in coach Coughlin's dog house with his lack of blocking ability and tendency to cough up the ball, so adding another RB to the stable in the draft should be the play.

Buddies

The YFFL's bully and his team are at it again.

"Kinsman Rules!" is the first thing Mike's inner monologue says to himself as he wakes up in his gorgeous San Francisco apartment. Before getting ready for work, he impolitely asks the "smoke show" who stayed over last night, "Nothing against you, but I don't like to shower with slam pieces in my bed."

"My name's Samantha."

"Whatever, 'Sam/Slam', you still gotta go."

On his walk to the office, he gets a call that he's needed in Honolulu to assist a client and will be flying out, first class, that afternoon.

"Boom. Hawaii. Pity me. I need to update my Facebook status to rub this one in like Dugas rubs one out to Rotoworld."

Mike then picks up his smart phone, and simply types the word "Hawaii" in his Facebook status.

His inner monologue: "Kinsman Rules!"

Much like Mike believes he "rules" the YFFL roost, the Buddies' QB Peyton Manning is in line to single handedly rule the YFFL stat sheets this season. Manning has a WR corps that's second to none and paired up with the most handsome second year RB in Tampa Bay, it will require marginal efforts from his supporting cast to secure a playoff spot in 2013.

What They Should Do: Look to somehow acquire WR help and perhaps a second RB as you never know how the Saints will utilize Sproles. This will most likely need to be done through a trade once the season starts. Perhaps picking up EJ Manual in the draft, if he's still on the board at 13, will get those with QB troubles calling for either him or Freeman before midseason.

Dragons

Just as each incoming senior class at the Yarmouth High School knows they're going to make some fundraising coin during the Clam Fest since they control the beverage booths, Jon knows his team is going to always contend with Aaron Rodgers in control of the Dragons. Add to the mix that Matt Forte is being set up to get the ball even more than before, Fred Davis returning from injury, Vernon Davis has few people in his way for passes in San Francisco, and Wes Welker continuing to be Wes Welker, and this team is a contender. The only trouble the Dragons will have from returning to former glory is getting out of their own division, which is shaping up to be a difficult one.

What They Should Do: Draft an "impact now" guy, which should be available at pick #5. It's just going to be tough to know who that guy is. The team needs both a future replacement for Frank Gore and an additional WR considering they're relatively thin at both positions. As for trades, perhaps taking advantage of Fred Davis' return might be a good chip to play as there are some teams in need of a go-to TE. I hear the starting TE on the Merry Men might not be playing for quite some time...

Justin Bieber Damn girl, check out how much was written about me on this fantasy football site for guys in their mid-thirties...

Thugs

A secret (to Kevin) recording done by Bobby of his most recent phone conversation with his brother:

KEVIN: "Hey Bobby, what ya calling for? Our quarterly catch-up phone call is not for another month or so."

BOBBY: "Kev, I'm not even going to cover the routine initial phone call small-talk: 'how's work going, how's the family doing, yadda yadda,' what is this nonsense that I hear about you getting Justin Bieber t-shirts sent to Mary's dorm room this spring so you could hide the fact from your wife and daughter that you secretly are a member of his fan club? Justin Bieber, Kevin? You're into Justin Bieber?"

KEVIN: "First off, he is a very talented musician. Second, WAIT, who told you about this? Mom? Mary?!?! I told Mary I'd buy her and her friends a case of Busch Light, some Boone's, and a bottle of Jaeger if she kept her mouth shut."

BOBBY: "Kevin... Kevin... Kevin. You do know that getting Mary involved in anything she's supposed to keep a secret is as dumb a decision as NOT wearing cowboy boots, a cowboy hat, driving a pickup, and incorporating 'y'all' into your everyday vocabulary here in Austin?!?!?! Oh, and of course, Mom literally just told me all about it. Mary called her as soon as the package arrived."

KEVIN: "It was all supposed to be such a smooth transaction. I told Mary I 'accidentally' had a package delivered to her dorm and when it arrives, for her to just pick it up and let me know it is there. I'd swing by on my next trip to Maine and be all set. How was I to know that the box would have 'Bieber Fever' written all over it and she'd immediately open it thinking it was a gift for her? Please don't say anything to Mike and Steve about this, I think even Jon would make some front page joke about it, despite the fact that he never highlights the Huskers on the front page after big victories."

BOBBY: "Innnnteresting idea Kev, I had not even thought of incorporating this knowledge to my benefit in the YFFL. But, now that we're talking about that, I could see Mike having a field day with this. You've not been the focus of his torment for quite some time, but this might just be the spark he needs to transition his torture from Steve to you. Actually, the more I think about it, you're right, even Steve and Jon would chime in and make fun of you about this!"

KEVIN: "Bobby, where are you going with this? I know you're about as good as Mary is at keeping secrets, so what do you want?"

BOBBY: "See, now that we're in 2013, I've got Andrew Luck a year wiser, Dwayne Bowe has a new coach and quarterback so his numbers have got to improve, everyone with the last name Dugas is in love with my backup TE, Cecil Shorts has an awesome name...I think the Thugs are just one player away from being a contender in the AFC, a true #1 RB..."

KEVIN: "Ohhh no, Bobby, you're not going there, I've just now convinced Annie to let us use the Arian Foster bed sheets in the guest room. No way am I doing this! I'll just tell everyone you ordered those shirts and orchestrated this whole thing to get me all riled up."

BOBBY: "Sorry Kev, did I mention that this entire phone call has been recorded?."

[ Extra long pause in the conversation ]

KEVIN: "Okay, what can you give me in return so we can make this look like I really wanted to trade him to you?"

BOBBY: "Now, THIS is why I called..."

Danny Woodhead "I have no idea why I was mentioned twice in this article either," responded Danny Woodhead, when asked for comment

[END RECORDING]

The Thugs could be the potential dark horse in the AFC this season, so long as Foster stays healthy and one of his group of on-their-way-out RBs manages to be productive. Bowe, Shorts, and the good Mike Williams is a solid group of WRs. Even positive news has been said about Michael Floyd's development in Arizona. Things are looking up for the Thugs.

What They Should Do: I'd dish off Jared Cook while the hype is still strong. As for the draft, with no first round picks, you'll have to see what veteran talent with opportunity to produce you can find early on in the second round, such as Danny Woodhead - we all know Mathews is not going to stay healthy in San Diego.

Poop

Brady or Newton? Newton or Brady? Wait, Brady is Newton, Newton is Brady! That's it! Do they both have a sponsorship deal with Under Armor, or is it just one person? They look similar, they play for similar franchises, right? Bri's figured it out!

Okay, ignore my lame Ace Ventura, Pet Detective reference there...I've just written an article that is longer than any paper I ever wrote in college. Fact of the matter is, Bri's got two stud QBs, so he can't go wrong with picking a starter (we know he's not going to part with either one of them) and the rest of his lineup is pretty solid. That combination makes this team a contender and IF Bri can somehow land this year's Alfred Morris in the second or third round, look out AFC.

What They Should Do: The team really has no one they're able to part with in a trade at this point, but finding another RB is key. They should aim for a current backup who could become the team's starter in the second round. I'm again thinking along the lines of Danny Woodhead, Bilal Powell, or DuJuan Harris - at least one of those names should remain available in the end of the second as everyone else ignores free agent veterans and tries to snag a rookie diamond in the rough.

Chickens

As soon as the horn sounded on the 2012 season and the Chickens were hoisting the title trophy, I immediately contacted "The Greek" via email to tell him that he's going to have to look elsewhere to have a team to run. I've lived up to my end of the bargain. Perhaps he can take over the White Guys, as promised in our sit-down before last season. Here is an excerpt from an email received in response to me letting him know the news: (keep in mind, "The Greek" does a tremendous amount of 'extracurricular' smoking of various things.)

Matt Pappas Don't forget "The Greek" is watching

Dear Nick,

Sorry it has taken me so long to get back to you, I don't check my email very often, since I'm only using my PC for World of Warcraft, midget porn, and figuring out new Scottish sayings to yell out to keep pretending I'm from there. I know, it sounds weird, especially because I'm Greek, but it really does work on the French Canadian ladies who recently moved to Lewiston that venture down my way to the OOB Pier.

Back to the topic at hand, I heard from hanging out with the Greg and Chris that you won the Clam Festival 5 Miler last year, I bet Matt Lane was pissed, congrats!

Talk you later,

Pappas

What They Should Do: In the draft, take the best two players available at 15 & 16. With an unknown draft class this year, it might be an ideal spot to pick up a potential game changer as no one really has a firm grasp on who's going to emerge. As for the season, good luck to the rest of the field - the Chickens are aiming for back-to-back titles and are in a prime position to do so.