2021 Season Preview
The League has made it two decades and has survived the global pandemic. We are all heroes. Although some moreso than others. These previews are as recorded from a talking raccoon. Last year the Valyrians were picked first, and didn't have a terrible season, but they certainly were impeded by the prediction. Good luck to all.
I have included the sage and respected draft grades from Yahoo at the bottom.
1. The F*** Buddy Ryans (predicted record: 11-3)
Last Season: Predicted to finish in 2nd place, but they finished in 9th (7-6) and missed the playoffs after losing their last two games and the universe conspiring against them.
2021 Outlook: The FBRs had a brilliant draft and have true starters at every spot. Maybe the best RB combination in the league with Kamara and Gibson, and still got Justin Jefferson. The Prof will avenge the meltdown at the end of the season where they missed the playoffs by 5 points. The last time the FBRs missed the playoffs, The Avengers had not even come out. And coincidentally they were never picked by the previews to finish first during that time. Last year they got picked second and missed the playoffs. By being picked first, we will likely see a Thanos-scale extinction event where half of the FBRs points disappear in a snap.
2. PlazaPlayas (predicted record: 10-4)
Last Season: Predicted to finish 7th (which is more or less an annual occurence), but finished 10th (5-8).
2021 Outlook: No distractions. No guac. No mice murders. And a very strong draft! Who would have thunk? Didn't take the first kicker. And only took one kicker. So I wonder, who has swapped bodies with the Plazas and taken over this team? Maybe it is a variant Plazas that has been in a parallel timeline with five Buddy Bowl wins and has just warped over to our dimension? Or maybe they just paid attention to the draft this year.
3. Valyrian Steelers (predicted record: 9-5)
Last Season: Predicted to finishfirst and ended up sixth (7-6). If that alone wasn't enough of an indignity, they lost in the first round of the playoffs to the Birds.
2021 Outlook: The Valyrians were yet another victim of the curse of being picked first by the previews. But fear not -- this season we are moving them down a few notches. But with Mahomes at the helm, they will make the playoffs as easily as Sam L. Jackson cashes paychecks for his 10 second appearances after the credits. The team is stacked with value picks. Antonio Brown is a third WR and Thielen is second. And somebody who looks like Thanos' grandfather is on the bench. Oh, that's Big Ben.
4. NBTU (predicted record: 8-6)
Last Season: Predicted to finish 9th and miss the playoffs. That would have been nice. Instead they went 2-11 and finished in 11th thanks to points. It was a fine show of hospitality so that the Haboobs wouldn't be lonely with 2 wins.
2020 Outlook: The NBTUs largely abandoned their draft strategy of picking players based on their name. There is still a DeAndre and a Javonte, but since the team was picked by the capability of the players, this may be the strongest NBTU team in recent memory. Jalen Hurts has the real potential to be the Falcon and Winter Soldier of this year's QBs -- boring, ineffective, and forgettable. However, QBs are easily replaced, unlike the NBTUs three starting RBs.
5. 1227 (predicted record: 8-6)
Last Season: The 1227s were projected to finish third. They did not. Instead they won the regular season title (10-3) and then became the first team to repeat as Buddy Bowl champions.
2021 Outlook: Betting against the 1227s is like betting against Captain America. Whatever ragtag squad they put together, you just expect to see them in the playoffs. Last year's team was anchored by Dalvin Cook and a bunch of solid non-stars. However, there was a rookie QB named Justin Herbert on the team learning the system while Kyler Murray was winning the Buddy Bowl. Herbert is now back and joined by Stefon Diggs, who was a revelation last year. If there is a potential flaw (and all heroes have them), it's the RBs. Even though Montgomery was great last year, having a Bears RB as your lead back hasn't really been a good thing since Thomas Jones. And even that wasn't very good.
6. JoeMorrisBavaros (predicted record: 7-7)
Last Season: Predicted to finish 4th and finished the regular season in 7th (7-6). But know this: they went on to make it to the franchise's second Buddy Bowl.
2021 Outlook: Just like the teasers at the end of every Marvel movie, the JmBs keep you looking forward to the next season for the big payoff. Their draft this year was harder to read than the sub-titles to Shang-Chi when you are sitting in the front row of the theater. Per the usual, they had great picks (Godwin, Hardman, Gronk) and some very mysterious picks (Sermon, Beasley). If Josh Allen and D Cook play like they did last year, the JmBs franchise could feature the best combination of weapons and alcoholic intake since Thor.
7. teen stars (predicted record: 7-7)
Last Season: Predicted to finish 11th but came in fourth (8-5) and won a playoff game against the Bums before losing to the 1227s.
2021 Outlook: The teen stars went the Age of Ultron route and used the most sophisticated AI this side of a solar powered calculator -- the Yahoo autodrafter. The draft was actually tremendous, and it is unclear how much re-ordering the teen stars did before. Lamar Jackson, D Adams and Calvin Ridley give them the potential to have several 110+ point weeks. There are some plot holes, such as RBs and WR depth. But having back-ups for kickers and defense is apparently more important.
8. Cougars (predicted record: 6-8)
Last Season: Predicted to finish 5th and were able to finish 8th (7-6) after a wild end to the season. They lost in the first round to the eventual champs.
2021 Outlook: The Cougs finished the last season with a lot of heart and a bit of luck. They may finish in the same spot but will be better situated for the playoffs. Stafford is finally on a real team and the Cougs got a steal with both of their Robinsons. However, the Cougs have had to make some replacements after originally casting some heroes that aren't playing this season.
9. The Haboobs (predicted record: 6-8)
Last Season: Picked to finish sixth in their inaugural season, but things didn't go that well. They lost 10 games in a row and finished last (2-11).
2020 Outlook: The Haboobs got off to a rip-roaring start last year, but their season turned to dust not much later. Much like The Incredible Hulk, the life of an expansion franchise doesn't always go too well. Their draft places a ton of faith in players that have very uneven track records -- Tannehill, Ekeler, Barkley. If they can stay healthy, they should make the playoffs. If Barkley returns to form, they could do some real damage.
10. Metrosexuals (predicted record: 5-9)
Last Season: Predicted to finish last in the previews last year. So naturally, they had a strong season and finished 2nd (8-5). However they lost a shootout to the underdog JmBs in the first round.
2021 Outlook: The Metros were off saving galaxies from interdimensional villains, so they missed the draft and left to the Yahoo supercomputer. Things went mostly pretty well. A-Rod, DK Metcalf and Derrick Henry are a solid core. But the supporting cast is a little dicey and the bench looks like they're auditioning for the role of Dr. Who? (I realize Dr Who is not MCU, but those men on the bench are not really NFL). If the Metros can keep their starters wrapped in Vibranium, then they should be good for the playoffs.
11. Ladybirds (predicted record: 4-10)
Last Season: Predicted to finish eighth, but finished in third (8-5). They lost in the Final Four to the JmBs.
2021 Outlook: The Birds consider themselves to be the Ironman of the league, but are instead more like the Loki. The God of Mischief. Every time you think they are out of the picture -- they write themselves back in. The Birds had the number one pick, but was able to pull quite the trick of still managing the worst draft. Of course the Birds loaded up on Patriots RBs from present, past, and probably future (I'm looking at you, Kareem Hunt). The Birds trying to win a championship on the backs of Patriot second stringers is their own version of the Infinity War.
12. Wisey’s Bums (predicted record: 3-11)
Last Season: Picked to finish 10th, the Bums finished 5th (7-6) after losing their last 3 regular season games. And then lost to a rampaging teen stars team in the first round of hte playoffs.
2021 Outlook: Ah, the top grade in the draft from Yahoo. That alone costs a team 4 wins in their prediction. The line-up is built of players who are either old enough to have bought the first Spider-Man comic (1962) for their kid or are so young that they couldn't get into Age of Ultron (2015) without a parent. The Bums line-up is already more damaged than Bruce Banner's shirts after going green.