2021 MFFL Team Previews

WR Tyreek Hill just might be the final piece to help push the Blitz over the top.
WR Tyreek Hill just might be the final piece to help push the Blitz over the top.

(records and points per game based on cumulative individual player projections)

Bangkok Blitz

Projected Record: 11-3
Projected Points Per Game: 172.70
Over/Under Win Total: 10.5
Super Bowl Odds: 8-1
Key Returners: Dak Prescott (QB/DAL), Jonathan Taylor (RB/IND), Antonio Gibson (RB/WAS), Clyde Edwards-Helaire (RB/KC)
Key Additions: Austin Ekeler (RB/LAC), Tyreek Hill (WR/KC), Tyler Lockett (WR/SEA), Darren Waller (TE/LV)
Outlook: The rebuild has come to fruition. It has reached its culmination. The final pieces of the puzzle have been placed. … and on, and on, and on. Use whatever cliche you want, but the Blitz have all the pieces they need to push for a Super Bowl title in 2021. They have a high-end QB1, a Top 3 tight end, four potential Top 15 running backs, and perhaps the best wide receiver in the game. They acquired D.J. Moore and Tyler Lockett this offseason to add extra depth to the receiver position. It’s been a long, hard two years of rebuilding but it apparently has paid off.
If the glass is half-full… The pieces to the puzzle all fit nicely and the Blitz tear through their schedule on the way to a deep playoff run. Perhaps the only team that can stand in their way in the Southeast Conference is Nagasaki. They manage to slip by them and take on whoever survives the battle in the Northwest Conference in the Super Bowl, where the Blitz have a good shot at being the favorite as the league’s highest-scoring team.
If the glass is half-empty… Things aren’t always as great as they seem. Dak Prescott already has injury concerns (although Aaron Rodgers is a more than capable backup). Taylor’s outlook appears a little more shaky with an injured quarterback and offensive line. Some are predicting CEH struggles and doesn’t take that next step. Perhaps no receiver behind Hill steps up as a consistent threat on a weekly basis. It’s hard to foresee a scenario, short of complete and utter injury devastation, where the Blitz are not at least in the Southeast Conference Championship game.

Christmas Island Crabs

Projected Record: 0-14
Projected Points Per Game: 129.35
Over/Under Win Total: 0.5
Super Bowl Odds: 100-1
Key Returners: Baltimore Ravens (DST/BAL)
Key Additions: George Kittle (TE/SF), Mark Andrews (TE/BAL), Chris Godwin (WR/TB), Curtis Samuel (WR/WAS)
Outlook: I don’t know that in a quarter-century of MFFL football that we’ve seen a running back crew as awful as the Crabs have assembled. And it’s just the kind of depth chart they need to help them secure that first overall pick in 2022. The Crabs have some interesting pieces that you just might see them peddle sometime before the trade deadline. The receiving corps, while not great, is made up of some decent options. And of course, no one has a better pair of tight ends in the league than the Crabs do with George Kittle and Mark Andrews. The Crabs don’t figure to score a lot of points this year, but if they’re not careful, they might sneak one out here and there.
If the glass is half-full… Now we get into some serious philosophical perspective here. If the Crabs are indeed trying to finish dead last, the half-full view would be that they fail in spectacular fashion. Nobody outside Kittle and Andrews puts up consistent numbers. And then one or both get traded. Godwin continues to underperform due to too many mouths to feed. He has some good weeks and then some pedestrian ones. The running back crew completely bombs. The Crabs go winless, or at least gather the fewest wins in the league.
If the glass is half-empty… Oops. The Crabs start winning games they never intended to because some of their players are overperforming. Perhaps Old Man Roethlisberger has one good season left in him, so the Crabs have to turn to Sam Darnold. Or maybe Tevin Coleman keeps the starting job for longer than expected. McKissic and Bernard catch a lot of passes. Whatever the case may be, the Crabs win more games than expected, but still ensure they get the first overall pick.

Ecuador Ewoks

Projected Record: 6-8
Projected Points Per Game: 138.59
Over/Under Win Total: 5.5
Super Bowl Odds: 32-1
Key Returners: Ryan Tannehill (QB/TEN), Ezekiel Elliott (RB/DAL)
Key Additions: Melvin Gordon (RB/DEN), DeAndre Hopkins (WR/ARI), DeVonta Smith (WR/PHI)
Outlook: The Ewoks declared their intentions with a big splash in the NFT portion of the auction. Or, make that two big splashes. The Ewoks traded for DeAndre Hopkins and re-signed Ezekiel Elliott and the two star players are taking up 62.7% of the team’s budget this year. I’m sure many Ewoks fans are having vivid flashbacks to the large contract given to David Johnson that set them back big time over the past two seasons. It would seem far fetched for either Elliott or Hopkins to flop like Johnson did, but you just never know. The Ewoks had to get creative with their auction dollars due to the large cap numbers of Elliott and Hopkins. They did manage to sign some veterans like Melvin Gordon, Brandin Cooks and John Brown who should provide decent production on given weeks. They could really use a big step from youngsters like DeVonta Smith and Cole Kmet to give them a push.
If the glass is half-full… The Ewoks use the trio of Tannehill, Elliott and Hopkins to lead them in scoring each week and get enough production from their supporting cast to score enough points and sneak into the playoffs as a wild card team.
If the glass is half-empty… The lack of depth behind their top few players causes the Ewoks weekly headaches as they try to fill out their lineup. In an uber-competitive Northwest Conference, the Ewoks can’t seem to summon enough points to keep up in the wild card race.

Egypt Pharaohs

Projected Record: 5-9
Projected Points Per Game: 131.02
Over/Under Win Total: 5.5
Super Bowl Odds: 36-1
Key Returners: Patrick Mahomes (QB/KC), Joe Mixon (RB/CIN)
Key Additions: Michael Thomas (WR/NO), Devin Singletary (RB/BUF), Deebo Samuel (WR/SF), Michael Gallup (WR/DAL)
Outlook: The Pharaohs are three-time defending South Division champions, but their reign might be under siege in 2021. Rival Bangkok arguably has the best team in the MFFL this season while the Pharaohs struggled in the auction following a huge, $25 million deal for NFT Michael Thomas. Patrick Mahomes ought to be his dominant self and the Pharaohs will really need him to post some spectacular numbers. If Joe Mixon can stay healthy, it will really do the team some good. If not, the lack of a consistent playmaker behind him will rear its ugly head. Ronald Jones had a very good Year 3 last year but the outlooks for both him and Devin Singletary look a bit questionable. The Pharaohs are hoping for a resurgence from Deebo Samuel and Michael Gallup to help them survive without Thomas for however long he’s out.
If the glass is half-full… Mahomes continues to play at an elite level while Mixon plays a full season and Jones repeats last year’s production. Samuel also stays healthy for most of the year and flashes the potential we’ve seen sporadically throughout his career. Perhaps the Pharaohs get some surprise production from their depth and they score enough points to compete for a wild card spot.
If the glass is half-empty… The team really struggles to score consistently. With one-quarter of their budget allocated to a player who won’t be playing for a large portion of the season, Egypt can’t quite muster enough firepower to compete on a weekly basis. Mahomes is dominant, but can’t do it all by himself. Jones, Singletary, Phillip Lindsay, Sony Michel and Mark Ingram get lost in muddled backfields. Mixon and Samuel can’t stay healthy, per usual, and the Pharaohs can’t get enough production from their receivers.

Jamaica Jerks

Projected Record: 7-7
Projected Points Per Game: 150.59
Over/Under Win Total: 7.5
Super Bowl Odds: 28-1
Key Returners: Dalvin Cook (RB/MIN), Joe Burrow (QB/CIN), Chris Carson (RB/SEA), Keenan Allen (WR/LAC), Corey Davis (WR/NYJ)
Key Additions: Mike Evans (WR/TB), Matt Ryan (QB/ATL)
Outlook: The Jerks slipped into the 2020 playoffs with the second wild card spot in the Northwest Conference, where they were summarily dispatched by the eventual Super Bowl champion Scorpions. The conference will be even more competitive in 2021 and the Jerks are hoping they’ve assembled enough weaponry to keep pace. The team gets sophomore quarterback Joe Burrow back and they’re hoping he can take the next step. If not, veterans Matt Ryan and Cam Newton are waiting in the wings. The Jerks will feature a pair of strong running backs in Dalvin Cook and Chris Carson to go with a trio of talented receivers in Keenan Allen, Mike Evans and Kenny Golladay. Laviska Shenault and Corey Davis also add some valuable FLEX depth. Getting into the postseason won’t be an easy feat, but pending health, the Jerks have a good shot at getting there.
If the glass is half-full… Burrow has an explosive sophomore season being surrounded by playmakers. Cook nearly leads all running backs in scoring and Carson churns out another productive season. Allen and Evans lead their respective teams in receiving and Golladay manages to stay healthy long enough to contribute. The Jerks earn a wild card spot.
If the glass is half-empty… Burrow struggles in his return from injury and the Jerks find themselves rotating quarterbacks, trying to play the best matchup. Cook and Carson, two players who have not been the model of health, miss a lot of time and the lack of depth at the position hurts them. Kenny G either gets hurt or takes one more step toward proving he’s not the breakout star many were expecting. The Jerks keep up all season in the wild card chase, and maybe they do make the playoffs or maybe they don’t. But either way, they don’t have the firepower to advance in the postseason.

Nagasaki Kamikazes

Projected Record: 10-4
Projected Points Per Game: 168.36
Over/Under Win Total: 9.5
Super Bowl Odds: 16-1
Key Returners: Kyler Murray (QB/ARI), A.J. Brown (WR/TEN), Diontae Johnson (WR/PIT), Chase Claypool (WR/PIT), Travis Kelce (TE/KC)
Key Additions: Derrick Henry (RB/TEN), Mike Davis (RB/ATL), Javonte Williams (RB/DEN), Robert Woods (WR/LAR), Ja’Marr Chase (WR/CIN), Kyle Pitts (TE/ATL)
Outlook: So, here we go again. After arguably having the best team on paper last year and leading the MFFL in scoring, the Kamikazes ran into a juggernaut in the Super Bowl in the San Juan Scorpions, who broke the scoreboard and handed Nagasaki another Super Bowl loss. The Kamikazes have taken a small step backward on paper — it would have been difficult to keep intact the lineup they had last year — but are still among the top projected scoring teams in the league. With several key returners and some explosive newcomers, the Kamikazes ought to breeze right through the East Division and head back toward the Conference Championship for a big date with, likely, the Blitz.
If the glass is half-full… Kyler Murray picks up where he left off last year and is one of the most explosive quarterbacks in the league. Derrick Henry continues to be a workhorse and dominate defenses. Newcomer Mike Davis becomes a weekly contributor and perhaps rookie Javonte Williams breaks out toward the stretch run. The depth of the receiving corps from Brown, Woods, Johnson, Claypool and the rookie Chase really have some explosive scoring weeks. The Kamikazes win the East crown for a fifth-straight season and head toward the Conference Championship with the hopes for another Super Bowl appearance.
If the glass is half-empty… The string continues. The Kamikazes still win the East Division and are in contention for the league’s points title. But they run into a juggernaut in the Blitz, or one of the teams from the Northwest Conference, and can’t seem to capture that elusive championship. Maybe Henry’s workload falls off. Perhaps there’s too much uncertainty in the Pittsburgh receiving corps, or Chase isn’t quite ready to be that dominant force in his rookie season that many are projecting. Whatever the case may be, 2021 just isn’t meant to be.

Russia Renegades

Projected Record: 10-4
Projected Points Per Game: 160.73
Over/Under Win Total: 9.5
Super Bowl Odds: 16-1
Key Returners: Lamar Jackson (QB/BAL), Josh Jacobs (RB/LV), Calvin Ridley (WR/ATL), Justin Jefferson (WR/MIN), Allen Robinson (WR/CHI), CeeDee Lamb (WR/DAL)
Key Additions: Najee Harris (RB/PIT), David Montgomery (RB/CHI), Miles Sanders (RB/PHI)
Outlook: The Renegades return a strong core of players from last year and have added a few new running backs to try to strengthen that position as well. Between their strong receiving corps and some talented quarterbacks, the Renegades should be right back in the playoff picture in 2021 with hopes of making a title run. But to do so, they’ll have to fight through a very tough Northwest Conference.
If the glass is half-full… Lamar Jackson returns to the quarterback who was extra dynamic in an MVP season in 2019. Between his running prowess and a renewed running back corps, the Renegades get a lot of points on the ground. Not to be outdone, the deep receiving corps puts up weekly strong numbers and the Renegades make a deep playoff run.
If the glass is half-empty… The Renegades can’t find a lead back to give them consistent weekly production. Justin Jefferson’s shoulder injury hampers him all season. Calvin Ridley misses time, per usual. The tight end position proves to be fruitless and the Renegades can’t make the leap back into the Super Bowl.

San Juan Scorpions

Projected Record: 11-3
Projected Points Per Game: 169.96
Over/Under Win Total: 10.5
Super Bowl Odds: 8-1
Key Returners: Josh Allen (QB/BUF), Alvin Kamara (RB/NO), Nick Chubb (RB/CLE), Stefon Diggs (WR/BUF), DK Metcalf (WR/SEA), Terry McLaurin (WR/WAS)
Key Additions: None
Outlook: The Scorpions are returning essentially the same lineup that led them to a Super Bowl title in 2020, so why wouldn’t they be considered heavy favorites to repeat as champions? With a quarterback as dynamic as Josh Allen, who is as dangerous with his legs as his arm, and a running back duo in Kamara and Chubb that is arguably the best in the business, and a trio of receivers as talented as Diggs, Metcalf and McLaurin, the Scorpions are looking like a sure bet to compete for the points title and to be right back in the Final Four at the very least.
If the glass is half-full… Josh Allen picks up where he left off last year and continues to be efficient with his throws. Kamara receives a heavy workload due to injuries around him. Chubb makes the leap into Top 5 running back territory. Diggs has another great season while Metcalf and McLaurin elevate their games even higher. The Scorpions run right through their schedule with very little resistance and head for another Super Bowl appearance.
If the glass is half-empty… Allen’s accuracy from last year takes a hit in 2021 and regresses back toward his first two seasons. Kamara struggles without a great quarterback and top receiver to help take the pressure off him. Diggs shows some regression from his standout season in 2020. McLaurin does not take the leap into WR1 territory as many are predicting. The Scorpions have a very strong season and even make a deep playoff run but cannot repeat as champions.

Switzerland Squirrels

Projected Record: 6-8
Projected Points Per Game: 144.41
Over/Under Win Total: 6.5
Super Bowl Odds: 32-1
Key Returners: Adam Thielen (WR/MIN), Cooper Kupp (WR/LAR)
Key Additions: Tom Brady (QB/TB), Trevor Lawrence (QB/JAX), Aaron Jones (RB/GB), Kareem Hunt (RB/CLE), Odell Beckham (WR/CLE)
Outlook: The Squirrels are under new leadership and you can tell by the moves they’ve made this offseason that they have every intention of breaking their streak of 1-win seasons. The team added some much needed help at quarterback, they beefed up their running back crew, they have a quartet of competitive receivers and even have a duo of talented tight ends. In an ultra-competitive Northwest Conference, the Squirrels have every intention of fighting til the end for a wild card spot.
If the glass is half-full… Brady takes the reins of the offense and the veteran puts up dynamic numbers in a high-powered system. Jones puts up RB1 numbers again while Hunt adds some strong RB2 support. Veterans Adam Thielen and Odell Beckham prove they still have something left in the tank. Kupp explodes again with the aid of improved quarterback play. The Squirrels score among the top teams in the Northwest and secure a playoff spot.
If the glass is half-empty… While the team gets good production from players like Brady, Jones and Kupp, other players seem to struggle to keep up. Hunt does not have near the production he had in 2020. Zack Moss and James Conner struggle in crowded backfields. Adam Thielen sees major regression in touchdowns. Odell Beckham continues to underperform. The Squirrels compete til the very end, but just miss out on the postseason.

Turkey Jerky

Projected Record: 6-8
Projected Points Per Game: 145.02
Over/Under Win Total: 6.5
Super Bowl Odds: 32-1
Key Returners: Amari Cooper (WR/DAL), Tyler Boyd (WR/CIN)
Key Additions: Ryan Fitzpatrick (QB/WAS), D’Andre Swift (RB/DET), Darrell Henderson (RB/LAR), Davante Adams (WR/GB)
Outlook: The Jerky just barely squeaked into the playoffs in 2020 with a sub-.500 record and were a quick first-round exit. If they’re going to get back there in 2021, they’re going to need some more firepower, and that’s exactly what they got. They acquired running backs D’Andre Swift and Darrell Henderson, who both should put up decent numbers this season. They also brought in one of the best receivers in the game in Davante Adams to team with Amari Cooper and Tyler Boyd, forming a formidable receiving trio. Robert Tonyan was also added, and the tight end had a breakout season last year. Can he repeat in 2021?
If the glass is half-full… The Jerky offense has some extra pep in its step with the cannon-firing Ryan Fitzpatrick putting up some big performances. Swift proves a lot of critics wrong when he receives a heavy workload and anchors Turkey’s ground game. Henderson has the breakout season that was reserved for Cam Akers until the latter got hurt. Adams and Cooper post huge numbers while Tonyan has another strong season. The Jerky make the playoffs, but just don’t have the firepower to make a deep run.
If the glass is half-empty… The quarterback position is not as fruitful as one might imagine. Fitzpatrick has some boom weeks, but also a number of busts. Swift battles injuries and a running back committee and does not post the numbers the Jerky expected from him when they acquired him. Adams is dominant, but Cooper woefully underperforms his contract. Tonyan proves to be a one-year wonder. The Jerky miss the postseason.

Ukraine Grainers

Projected Record: 9-5
Projected Points Per Game: 158.41
Over/Under Win Total: 9.5
Super Bowl Odds: 20-1
Key Returners: Christian McCaffrey (RB/CAR), Brandon Aiyuk (WR/SF)
Key Additions: Russell Wilson (QB/SEA), Saquon Barkley (RB/NYG), J.K. Dobbins (RB/BAL), Julio Jones (WR/TEN), Courtland Sutton (WR/DEN), Jerry Jeudy (WR/DEN)
Outlook: The Grainers have a fresh look for 2021 with several new faces joining some key holdovers. I guess you can make the case that Christian McCaffrey, too, is a new face given that he only played in three games last year. The Grainers’ starting backfield will be a pair or top backs in McCaffrey and Saquon Barkley who both missed most of last year. Should they return to health, they will be posting monster numbers in 2021. The Grainers’ receiving corps lost Tyreek Hill but gained some new bodies in Julio Jones, Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy to help alleviate the loss. The Grainers also parted ways with not one, but both stud tight ends they had last year in George Kittle and Darren Waller. The trio of Noah Fant, Evan Engram and Gerald Everett will try to replace that production. The Grainers should be right back in contention in 2021.
If the glass is half-full… Veteran quarterback Russell Wilson comes in and replaces Deshaun Watson and should have the Grainers’ offense humming. McCaffrey, Barkley and J.K. Dobbins will put up big numbers while some combination of the receiving corps will add some strong performances. The Grainers will compete for the North Division crown again and make a deep playoff run.
If the glass is half-empty… The loss of Kittle and Waller will cause some uneven scoring at the tight end position where they’ve normally had consistently strong production. Likewise, the Grainers won’t have that every-week dominance of their WR1, instead relying on some kind of rotation at the position. McCaffrey and Barkley either struggle to remain healthy in a new trend, or they just aren’t the same invincible players they’ve been. The Grainers still compete for the division title, still make the playoffs, but just can’t advance to the Super Bowl.

Wake Island Wookiees

Projected Record: 3-11
Projected Points Per Game: 135.29
Over/Under Win Total: 3.5
Super Bowl Odds: 44-1
Key Returners: T.J. Hockenson (TE/DET)
Key Additions: Matthew Stafford (QB/LAR), Myles Gaskin (RB/MIA), Damien Harris (RB/NE), James Robinson (RB/JAX), Robby Anderson (WR/CAR), Jarvis Landry (WR/CLE)
Outlook: The Wookiees have been in rebuilding mode since the end of last season. They shipped off Saquon Barkley for future picks and also traded away Pick 4 of the 2021 draft for multiple future picks. They began the offseason with among the fewest returning players before swinging a deal to land the UFA rights to James Robinson. They placed the EFT on him, which was certainly ill-advised at the time. Recent events have now made Robinson much more valuable, although still overpaid. Between him, Myles Gaskin and Damien Harris, the Wookiees should have an intriguing backfield. The receiving corps is a bit more sketchy. They have a collection of veterans in Robby Anderson, Jarvis Landry and Marvin Jones, plus second-year wideout Darnell Mooney. They might not be able to expect weekly consistent production there, but they’re hoping that T.J. Hockenson and Matthew Stafford can help make up for the lost production at receiver. The “experts” don’t have a lot of love for the Wookiees this year, but if a few things go right for them, they can at least compete for a playoff spot.
If the glass is half-full… Matthew Stafford finds the fountain of youth and is rejuvenated in his new surroundings. Gaskin, Harris and Robinson turn out some solid performances and each assures himself of lead back status in his respective offense. The Wookiees get solid floor production from Anderson and Landry and then either Jones or Mooney show up on the stat sheet from time to time. The Wookiees remain competitive for one of the Southeast wild card spots.
If the glass is half-empty… Stafford puts up solid numbers as he has done throughout his career, but not spectacular ones. Gaskin splits too much of the workload and Harris doesn’t catch enough passes. Robinson does well, but far underperforms his salary. Anderson regresses from his breakout 2020 season. The Wookiees can’t find a consistent receiver of the bunch. The team hangs in there for most of the season but just runs out of juice by the end of it and watches the playoffs from home.

Predicting the Final Standings

East Division Record Points
Nagasaki Kamikazes 10-4 2357.00
Wake Island Wookiees 3-11 1894.00
Christmas Island Crabs 0-14 1810.90
South Division Record Points
Bangkok Blitz 11-3 2417.80
Turkey Jerky 6-8 2030.30
Egypt Pharaohs 5-9 1834.30
North Division Record Points
Russia Renegades 10-4 2250.20
Ukraine Grainers 9-5 2217.80
Switzerland Squirrels 6-8 2021.80
West Division Record Points
San Juan Scorpions 11-3 2379.50
Jamaica Jerks 7-7 2108.30
Ecuador Ewoks 6-8 1940.30

Playoff Predictions

San Juan defeats Jamaica
Russia defeats Ukraine

Bangkok defeats Wake Island
Nagasaki defeats Turkey

San Juan defeats Russia

Bangkok defeats Nagasaki

Bangkok defeats San Juan