Written by Jason Miller
Images by Jason Miller
It is that time of year again. The Simulation Football League Season 16 is just around the corner. I for one am pumped up and ready for all that SFL action. While I was sitting there eating my fried bologna sandwich with chips, I decided that I needed to write up my declarations for the SFL this season. I will declare one good thing and one bad thing for each team. I will also provide my outlook for the season of each team. So sit back, relax, and let’s get cracking..
The Good: Owner Eddie Gauge is looking to make the playoffs for the first time as an owner this season. With some key additions (CB Garrison, TE TJ Punk, FS Vernard Smith IV) this team is looking to finally get over the hump. In order to do that they will need to have that offense flow through their star RB DJ Moses II. He was 7th in the SFL in rushing and had 10TDs. He was also 1 of 3 RBs to have 100 receptions. Look for Moses to continue the workload this season.
The Bad: The passing offense was the worst part of Arizona this past season. QB Ashley Jackson will have to improve on her performance in big game situations. In the final game last season against Baltimore which was a win and in situation for the playoffs she threw 3 picks. She had 27 (8th most in the SFL). But I can see Eddie Gauge now with a full season of running the offense under his belt looking to cut that number down and raise the number of wins to finally get into the playoffs. Look for her to utilize the Hands Brothers more. Also the signing of TJ Punk makes them interesting as well.
Season Outlook: I can see Arizona in the playoffs for sure. If Gauge can figure out how to eliminate the INTs that Ashley can throw then this team can be dangerous for sure with that defense they have.
The Good: Bryant Dynasty coming off his ROTY performance will be looking to bring this team back into the discussion of the best in the SFL. While retaining almost all their roster they go out in the draft and get TE Will Todd to add to this already potent offense. Look for BDG to be a huge threat once again this season.
The Bad: This team is bringing back the exact same defense as last season. So with that being said the Swarm was dead last in takeaways with 15 and had the worst TO ratio (-11) in Season 15. If they can’t improve that number look for them to possibly get into the playoffs but struggle once they are there.
Season Outlook: The Swarm I believe is a team that is in that 8-12 rank range of playoff teams. The offense will be improved for sure but the defense is where I have worries. If this defense can start creating turnovers then my faith in them can be restored.
The Good: Well what can I say here. The Vultures are the champs. Everything is all good in Baltimore. With TJ retaining his entire roster from last season this team is poised to defend their title and they have the big target on their back. Now that Tom Paterniti is back running the offense this team could look different. But I still think they are the team to beat this season.
The Bad: For the defending champs since they kept all their players there wasn’t any improvement for the Front 7. I like Frank Smith and Alvin Mack as their LBs but this defense is not known to get to the QB. Hopefully the coaches can improve that this season.
Season Outlook: As I stated this team will have a big target on their back. If any team has a good chance in defending their title, it’s Baltimore.
The Good: This could have been a bad offseason for Carolina. Losing Sully Richardson, Rachelle Colston, and others does hurt. But owners James Cline and Harish Prasad went out and found replacements that can keep the ship going in the right direction. Getting Xander Gold, Aman Takess, & Cain Vasquez makes this team stronger in my mind. Oh yea.. And they got one of if not the best prospects in the SFL Draft in DE Cliff Grizzly in the first round. Great offseason for the Skyhawks.
The Bad: To me it’s the defense. What will this defense look like this season? They have made improvements by adding Takess and Vasquez. But how will the scheme look? They were tied with Atlanta for the worst TO Ratio in the SFL (-11).
Season Outlook: A bunch of question marks for sure. How is Xander Gold going to play in this offense? How is the defense going to look? Being in that Atlantic Division isn’t going to help their cause either. They are going to have to get in my mind 7 wins if they want a shot at the playoffs. I can see them improving quite a bit this season. This team to me is a fringe playoff team for sure. But I got to see this defense in action before I can call them a playoff team.
The Good: Charleston is another team that retained their entire roster from the year before. Charleston finished 5-7 last season missing the playoffs. So a lot of familiarity for the Preds this season. I think Swearingen is a good back. They are built to run the ball. So as long as they have success doing that. Then they should be ok.
The Bad: The problem in my mind with Charleston is that they just didn’t score enough. Simple right?? No it’s not. Since they retained everyone on their roster from last season there wasn’t any improvement. They are still running the 2TE, 2WR, and 2OL on this team which to me is a sign of a run first offense but will that type of setup help the WR core they have? I mean McCarro and Simons are good, but not elite.
Season Outlook: This team is going to be interesting for sure. That Atlantic Division is no joke with playoff teams like Jacksonville, Florida & an improving Carolina team. Time will tell with this team but I could almost see another close but no playoff season from Charleston.
The Good: The DC Dragons are an expansion team for this season. And when I mean expansion I mean it. They had only 5 Free Agents sign with them. The rest of this team is rookies led by the 2nd overall pick Kevin Seay. Seay was the best RB on the board and for a good reason. If DC runs what I think they will run for offense Seay could be a monster and an early ROTY favourite. Another good thing for them is their secondary. Jack Russell and Kayne Rockafella will be the leaders on this defense along with LB Clint Hendershot.
The Bad: 15 rookies! That’s rough. Their entire front 7 except for 1 player (Hendershot) is rookies. Their entire offense except for QB Shabazz Psynergy is a rookie. With Steve Mullenax running the offense we should see the 4 WRs used plenty. But with no professional experience out of their playmakers it will be an interesting year for the Dragons.
Season Outlook: Look we know that Destro and Mullenax are not rookies in this league. Destro was an owner from Seasons 5-7 and Mullenax is a veteran in this league as well. It might be slow at first for these guys, but they could surprise a few people. I don’t see them making the playoffs, but they could play spoiler for teams at the end of the season.
The Good: It was good to see Jeremy Vega back as the HC of the Nightwings. That team improved majorly from Season 14 to Season 15. They were the #1 seed and a lot of people had them pegged as their favorites to win the title. They didn’t have to make too many changes this offseason but getting WR Riley Quintero at 20 in the draft was a steal in my mind. He will be a key weapon in that offense for Josh Miller.
The Bad: Their weakness is an odd one for sure.. It’s one word. Baltimore.. They lost twice to them last season. They will be looking for revenge in that Week 3 rematch.
Season Outlook: Denver to me is one of the top teams in the SFL. They will probably make the playoffs in my mind. Hopefully the path for them into the championship won’t involve Baltimore. Cause if it does.. Then it may not end well especially if they lose that Week 3 battle this season.
The Good: A Lot of people said that the Storm were done, not making the playoffs, won’t be worth a darn. Well we were all wrong. Florida was 7-5 last season and they are looking to not only get back to the playoffs but make it back to the championship game. This team is led by Ron Cockren. As long as he had a good season I am sure Florida will once again make the playoffs. With Mighty running the show I wouldn’t be surprised.
The Bad: Not many changes to this team but drafting Biletsky as their #2 RB in the 3rd Round was interesting for sure. Them and DC are the only teams with 2 RBs on the roster. That roster spot could have gone to someone that could make a difference on the field. But hey it’s their decision. In the words of Pepper Brooks from Dodgeball “It’s a bold strategy Cotton, Lets see if it pays off for them.”
Season Outlook: This team to me is a tough one to call. I think with Mighty leading the way you can’t just count this team out. My guess as of right now is that they are on the fringe for a playoff spot. I wouldn’t be surprised to see them in the playoffs. But I also wouldn’t be surprised to see them out of the playoffs.
Fort Worth Toros
The Good: To me them putting Cameron Curtis at QB was the best move of the offseason for the Toros. They already have great weapons and now they have a QB that is dedicated to the franchise and probably will become one of the top QBs in the league in the future. I like the draft pick of Lauren Percoco as well. With her being able to learn the TE position from “The Cowboy” Robert Garret Jr, this team is looking to make a big jump in Season 16.
The Bad: To me the safeties could be a spot that teams can go after the Toros this season. With Nash as the SS and Stone as the FS with Prine being the draft pick at 47 I think they have one of the weaker safety groups in the SFL. If they can step up and be a force this season this team could be a dark horse team this season.
Season Outlook: The Toros to me are one of my surprise teams this season. If Curtis can make this offense better than this team could surprise some people and make the playoffs for sure.
The Good: I can find one thing good about Houston. And that’s Warren Murray. He is going to have to find his inner Reggie Streeter if this team thinks it can reach the playoffs.
The Bad: Ok here we go.. The last time we saw this team they gave up 76 points to Vancouver. 76!. That’s just bad. And that was with a defense that had some vets. Now this team looks different. They lost QB Kentez Johnson to TwitterGate. So they signed QB ET King from the Chicago Wildcats (Which is no longer in the league). I mean he did throw 8 less picks then Johnson so maybe that’s good?? I don’t know. But they have 2 new CBs from the draft which I do like those guys but not to lead a CB group. They signed FA Zach Turner from London which was an interesting move due to how his rookie season went. I could probably put more in but I will save space.
Season Outlook: My outlook on Houston isn’t good. Too many losses and some questionable signings could make this franchise go backwards. I think once next season hits and they get some of these guys back from TwitterGate I think it could be a different story.
The Good: This team is poised to take another shot at being one of the top teams in the SFL. Jared Willis should be a beast in the backfield again this season. They still have all their weapons so I can see them right back in the thick of things.
The Bad: I said it in my Winners and Losers column (which you can find on the website btw) that I was not a fan of the Kings draft. They had two picks and picked 2 LBs but they could have picked way better value there. But then again maybe they know something I don’t.. But we will see.
Season Outlook. Even with the two picks that I wasn’t a fan of this team is still good. Look for them to continue towards their goal of a championship.
Las Vegas Fury
The Good: I know I didn’t pick them to take Colin Pierce in the draft at QB but I do love the pick now that I have done even more research. He was a perfect fit to replace Tom Ramen who now owns LA. I also think Bovine could be a sneaky signing that goes under the radar as well.
The Bad: They had a job to replace the Ramens that played CB. Having that 7th pick they took Mangle at FS when there were better options there. Coming back in the early second round and taking Creeg was interesting as well when Ralgar Lawe was sitting there. I had Lawe as their first round pick. To me I got to see how these rookies will help out. Bovine will be calling the plays this season which according to my sources could be a disaster.
Season Outlook: Vegas finished 4-8 last season. This team to me will go as far as Pierce can take them. A lot to ask for the rookie QB. And with a new play caller and questionable draft picks, this season could be about the same for the Fury.
The Good: When you hit rock bottom the only way to go is up. That’s the motto my pop pop always said. So in London’s eyes this should be a different season. With DFO Tanner Hendrix and new GM Chad Roland running the show I can see the light. They had a fantastic draft. Getting Jack Lewis at 4 was the obvious choice. But Blackman moving over to CB with the 25th pick was a sneaky good move. And Syrok Black at 42 was one of the biggest steals in the draft. Getting Storm from Louisiana was a great pickup. And don’t sleep on Chris Joseph coming over from Houston. He could be a beast this season.
The Bad: Well TwitterGate also happened for London. They lost 2 All Stars in Jack Russell (DC) and Iggy Swift (JAX). Russell will be the biggest loss. They replaced him with Barry Barkley. Not as good as Jack but should fill in ok for them. The key here will be the play of QB Angus McClaine. He was tied for the league lead in interceptions with 31. If he can cut that number down. London will be a better team.
Season Outlook: I know that they have won 4 games in two seasons but things are looking up for sure in London. I think 5 wins is a realistic goal. If they can get to 5 wins, the perception of London will be changed. This offseason has been a challenge for the Knights according to my sources. But from the looks of it they have changed the culture around in a hurry. Which hopefully for them, turns into more wins.
Lone Star Glory
The Good: The Glory to me won Free Agency. I mean Carolina is right up there but them getting WR Greg Soto and CB Bo Martin Jr was a great job by Dave Axis and the rest of the front office. Soto paired up with Axis and new WR Deuce Fenech should be a different looking offense this season. As long as the diva has his sleeves then LSG should be good to go.
The Bad: Not much to point out here. The only thing I can think of is some of the internal position changes are odd. Moving Doug Day to SS was weird to me. But hey I won’t go against Coach Craven when it comes to that. He knows what he is doing.
Season Outlook: LSG was a playoff team last season. Hopefully Ace doesn’t have a sophomore slump. But with new shiny weapon Greg Soto and the surprise of last season Adam Williams, this LSG team is primed to not only make it back to the playoffs but make a deep run. I will make a bold prediction now, I think LSG could end up being a Top 4 Seed in the playoffs this season.
Los Angeles Lycans
The Good: LA was the team that took over for Chicago after the owner was forced to sell. New owners Tom Ramen and Rachelle Colston have a bright future. Getting Sully Richardson at QB I think will be interesting for sure. With a different set of weapons around him he could capitalize on that All Star performance from last season.
The Bad: The defense is going to be what I watch this season for the Lycans. I like their secondary with the Ramens and drafting Mike Scott they will have an underrated secondary. It’s the front 7 I am worried about especially at D-Line. Having Andre Krimm move over from DT to DE loses value and having Forrest Stark at DT was an interesting move for sure. But once they all get built up…Look out.
Season Outlook: Should be interesting for sure in that Pacific Division for sure. With Vancouver, SD, and Portland in there LA looks poised to be a threat. I believe Vancouver wins the division, but LA could be that team that comes out in second and sneaks into the playoffs.
The Good: So many good things about the Revs. First off is their MVP RB Reggie Streeter. Look for him to continue his dominance. And then QB Jonny Pichler. One of the most vocal players in the SFL but he backs up the talk as I believe he is one of the best QBs in the SFL. My thought is that I believe Jonny has a breakout season and will be in the running for top QB in the SFL this season stats wise. You heard it here first.. Along with that defense and the coaching staff this team is all loaded up and ready to go.
The Bad: I mean I think the Revs are for real and will be a threat to win it all. But if I have to find something about them it could be the receiving core. The loss of Storm could be a huge factor as BE Robo will try to replace him. Now I know they are a run heavy team for sure. But if the SFL figures out how to stop Streeter and they make Jonny beat them, my question would be does he have the right weapons on the outside to help him?
Season Outlook: Here is my prediction. They make it to the SFL Championship. I still like Baltimore to repeat. But if I had to choose another team. It’s the Revolution.
Mexico City Aztecs
The Good: MXC is an interesting team. The return of Ray Bentley will give the MXC fans something to cheer about. But will he help this team produce?? I think Matt Wilson and Mike Daggs are the key to this team.
The Bad: This isn’t really a bad I guess but I wonder how this defense is going to be this season. The additions of DT Dan Tritz and Ronnie Watson should boost this defense for sure. Cause if they want to win the Tex-Mex division.. That defense is going to have to step up.
Season Outlook: MXC is a team I believe could make the playoffs. If the duo of Wilson and Daggs goes off then they could surprise some people this season.
The Good: Portland has made some great moves this offseason. Moving Truzeman back to FB was key to me. He just wasn’t productive as a RB. So getting Love at RB will change that. Adding Warner to that WR core should be interesting as well.
The Bad: With those new weapons though it’s going to be about how QB Matt South plays. He was tied for the most interceptions with 31 so cutting that number down will lead to more wins.
Season Outlook: I think Portland can make some noise this season. Especially in that division where you have an expansion team in SD and a new relocated team in LA. Are they a playoff team?? Only time will tell.
Queen City Corsairs
The Good: QCC retained all but 2 spots on their roster. I was surprised they went FB Hubba Krimbel with the 10th pick but after thinking about it the choice was a good one. He will help Jett Zero for sure in the run game this season. I think if Jett has a breakout season, then look out for the Corsairs.
The Bad: The rest of the offense has to pick it up. They averaged 19 PPG which was 7th worst in the league. Caswell has to play great or else QCC will be on the outside looking in.
Season Outlook: A lot of people are picking QCC as a comeback team. I can see it for sure but it’s a “prove it” ordeal for me. Until I see it, I don’t know if I believe it.
San Diego Mavericks
The Good: This team is interesting for sure. They are the other expansion team but you wouldn’t tell from the vets they have. Optimus Cline has put together quite a squad. Getting former SXF FB Jailyn Wells to be the RB will be fun to watch I think. And those weapons on the outside?? Man those are some nice targets. And it also doesn’t hurt having Optimus as a TE either. Getting Mike Ryan with that #1 pick and still getting LB Devin King the Mavericks have some building pieces to build that defense around for the future.
The Bad: I have to say it. For me it’s QB Javier Vazquez. Having the 3rd worst QBR in the league last season wasn’t good. I just was not impressed by what he did in STL. For a new franchise to hand him the keys to the kingdom was a bold choice. But he could turn it around.
Season Outlook: This is a new team. On offense they have the weapons but the QB has to be better if they want to make any noise in their first season. But my guess is that this season is a building season to see what they got. I think they will be decent. Just not playoff team decent.
Sioux Falls Sparrows
The Good: This team retained all players except 1 and was in the championship game. They drafted a FB Cornelius to replace Wells who left for SD. This team is a run first team and I can see RB Hart carrying them far this season.
The Bad: Nothing much on the Sparrows. If anything you could say Tyree could be a weak point but with the way this team operates he is the perfect QB for them.
Season Outlook: This team will make a deep run into the playoffs. I wouldn’t be surprised if they make it to the finals again.
St Louis Gladiators
The Good: Same ol story for the Gladiators. They had to draft another QB. This time they take Christian Brown from the Fuel. I like him for sure. I think drafting him and Clawson will help this offense. But this team is about their defense. And they pretty much are bringing back that same defense. Look for them to continue that tough defense this season.
The Bad: Like I said.. Another year, another QB. It’s a sad story for them but I think Brown is a guy they can build around. He seems like a team first guy. But also with this comes another coach. If their offense can catch up with their defense, this team can be a threat for sure.
Season Outlook: This team is hard to pick. I like them but with another QB and another system to put in I have to see it on the field before I say they are a playoff team. I think they can be. But time will tell.
The Good: I’m telling you right now. Getting rid of Deacon Nickens was the move of the offseason. Going back and watching film he held this team back. Now they got the most pro ready QB from the draft with Jay Cue. I wasn’t high on him originally but guys and gals.. I was wrong. He could be a key factor for this team. Getting him and Jason France at TE could be a combo comparable to Wilson and Daggs from MXC. If they run their offense right. With Robinson, Manning and Jones as their other weapons don’t sleep on this Desperados team.
The Bad: This team lost Cain Vasquez to Carolina. A huge loss. They replaced him with Ricky Thornton who doesn’t have near the value. Pairing him with 43rd overall pick Torres at FS, their safeties have to be the worst in the league as a combo. Teams will exploit that and for their sake I hope those guys can catch up quickly to the fast paced SFL.
Season Outlook: This is another one hard to pick. On one hand I like what they have done on offense. They are going to be better this season for sure. But defense wise that secondary is going to get picked on. I don’t think they are a playoff team this season, but when those safeties improve.. Lookout for Season 17.
The Good: The Legion I believe did a great job this offseason. They went out and got WR Kendra Hall to try and replace a legend in Rich Pratchard. They had a fantastic draft getting I believe a DROTY candidate Josh Farnzy at 18 and getting Achilles Papatonis at 37. Overall this team is poised and ready for another deep run. Being in the division they are in will help them. If they don’t win the division it would rock the SFL to its core.
The Bad: Besides the relationship of Michael Percoco and Andy Hamilton, this team doesn’t have many weaknesses. With what’s considered the easiest division in the SFL and the draft they had, I could see the Legion as a team with a shot at making the finals. I’m not trying to make Andy’s ego any bigger than it already is, I’m just calling it like I see it.
So that’s it. That is my manifesto. And I’m sticking to it. Lets see if I am right…Or if I am wrong.