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Around the League (in 1,119 words or less)

Bobby Sansone

By: Bobby Sansone, YFFL.com Senior Writer

Posted: Nov 01, 2005

NFC

Steve Smith
Steve Smith is making a strong case to be only the second WR to ever win the league's MVP award
  • Just four short weeks after owners expressed concern about the slow progress of the Mallards rebuilding process, Steve Dugas and his third year expansion franchise have responded and emerged as the favorites in the NFC East. Winners of four straight, the Mallards have a young trio eerily similar to that of the Merry Men in Ben Roethlisberger, Willis McGahee and Steven Jackson. With three young QBs on the roster, Dugas could move one of them to acquire a veteran before the trading deadline.
  • It didn't take long for the Dragons to come back to earth. After a 4-0 start the Dragons have been outscored 253-163 en route to four straight losses. Next up are the Jekyll and Hyde Chickens who surprisingly haven't made a move yet to acquire more depth for a playoff run. Mike Kinsman, the most unorthodox owner in the league, seems to be favoring Drew Brees over Donovan McNabb while showing loyalty to struggling RBs Jamal Lewis and Kevan Barlow. The Week 9 showdown between the Dragons and Chickens will have huge wild card implications. With 4 teams vying for 1 Wild Card spot in the NFC, conference losses could be devastating.
  • Many owners are keeping a close eye on the highly contested MVP race. Steve Smith appears to be the front-runner to become the league's first WR MVP since Jerry Rice in the league's inaugural season in 1993. LaDainian Tomlinson, who has been quiet in recent weeks, could steal some votes while Carson Palmer and Shawn Alexander will factor into the race as well.
  • Anthony Aceto and the White Guys will be busy answering the phones up until the trade deadline as several owners are interested in acquiring veterans for a playoff run. The general consensus is that if the Chickens don't make the playoffs, the Super Bowl is essentially up for grabs. Brian Davidson in the Brothers could be looking to add a veteran WR like Keyshawn Johnson to compliment Steve Smith.
  • Despite a heart-breaking loss to the Mallards behind a 0-point effort from Mark Brunell, Clinton Portis and Plaxico Burress, Bobby Sansone said he will stick with Brunell until Trent Green can prove he can consistently score. The Beans are still hoping to move either Donald Driver or Eddie Kennison and possibly Mike Anderson to acquire more youth before the trade deadline.
  • The UCornn Huskers, the forgotten team in the NFC, appear ready to play the spoiler role over the final 5 games. A huge upset win over the Boys without Peyton Manning at the helm has Kevin wondering what would have been of the 2005 season if he hadn't traded for the YFFL MVP. The lineup of Drew Bledsoe, Preist Holmes, Tiki Barber, Hines Ward, Joey Galloway, Jeb Putzier, John Kasay and Derrick Mason looks pretty good on paper.
  • The curse of Brett Favre has already begun. Since trading the league's all-time leading scorer and the face of the Big Boys, the team has responded with back-to-back losses against a very short-manned Brothers squad and the Huskers without Manning. The bizarre trade had several owners buzzing as to why the 6-0 Boys would trade away the league's highest scoring QB for help that won't come until next year. Making it even more bizarre was the fact that the recipient of Favre was the Boys bitter rival the Dragons.

AFC

Daunte Culpepper
Already without Deuce McAllister, Daunte Culpepper's injury leaves it up to Shaun Alexander to carry the defending champs
  • Daunte Culpepper's horrific knee injury has put the Merry Men's future in doubt. Already lost is Deuce McAllister and with Rudi Johnson losing more and more carries each week to Chris Perry, the franchise which once had all the making of a dynasty, now only has Shaun Alexander to lean on. Dugas hasn't landed a big first round draft pick in several years either so there is not much help on the way. Despite all the makings of a rebuilding scenario, the Merry Men still find themselves as the favorites to win the Wild Card over the Llamas and Thugs, who are both struggling through injuries as well.
  • The Burger Buddies continue to win despite disappointing seasons from Randy Moss, Michael Vick and Bubba Franks. Vick's fragileness could spark Mike to make a move for a backup QB before the trade deadline. Chris Chambers and Lee Suggs seem like the most likely candidates to be shipped out of town. Nevertheless, both Mike Kinsman and Brian Davidson like their chances of sending two teams to the playoffs and quite possibly two teams to the Super Bowl.
  • The Eaters look like they are well on their way to extending their playoff drought to 5 seasons, the longest such streak in the YFFL. Davidson likes his nucleus of Matt Hasselbeck, Chris Brown, Brian Westbrook and Marvin Harrison but undoubtedly injuries to the Eaters last two first round draft picks of Kellen Winslow and Eric Shelton have stalled the rebuilding process.
  • An unlikely candidate for Rookie of the Year is emerging in an otherwise quiet season for rookies. The Market Thugs TE Heath Miller now leads all rookies in scoring with 40 points. Miller's exceptional play has helped the Thugs win 4-straight and reemerge in the Wild Card picture. The loss of Ahman Green and now Anquan Boldin in recent weeks could have the Thugs returning to earth sooner than expected though.
  • The Hoochie Llamas might still be the favorite to win the Wild Card in a very depleted AFC. The Llamas have stayed afloat despite missing Jerome Bettis and Julius Jones for much of the season. Chester Taylor and Marion Barber have played exceptionally well in their absence. Jake Delhomme could be the most underrated fantasy QB in the league.
  • The Refugees will use the rest of the season as a tryout to see if either Kerry Collins or Josh McCown is going to be the franchise QB in the years to come. Neither has played with any consistency which has hurt the Refugees all season. Don't be surprised if Anthony Aceto deals one before the trade deadline.
  • Marshall Faulk appears ready to retire in a Poop uniform which irked his former owner Jon Kinsman. But Faulk knows his role with the 5-3 Poop and is excited at the possibility of winning one final Super Bowl. The Dragons cut the league's 11th All-Time leading scorer to sign WR Joe Jurevicius after Kinsman and Faulk reportedly had a falling out.
  • The Orangutangs are still right in the thick of things at 3-4-1. With the Wild Card a crap shoot, Kinsman will turn to his veterans once again to lead the way. The surprisingly play of Jake Plummer has Kinsman optimistic but the WRs continue to disappoint. Kinsman is undoubtedly regretting not taking the Beans offer of Eddie Kennison and Donald Driver for Laveranues Coles more seriously prior to the draft.