2022 Trade Deadline/Mid-Season Recap: Welcome to the Machine - A Season of Haves and Have-Nots and Navigating the Injury Minefield

11/8/22 - Jackson Norriss, Nighthawk Sports - Well, the (little more than) half-way mark in the 2022 BSL season is upon us, the Trade Deadline has passed and in each of the 3 leagues there is wide variety of storylines out there. In the CDL we have our last remaining undefeated team in the (9-0) Guilder Dread Pirates and then just about EVERYONE else (aside from 2 teasm) in the CDL is within 2 games of each other at records from (6-3) to (4-5) making the stretch run in the CDL something that is worth closely watching. In the FSDL and TLSL however we have several teams out front and everyone else looking like they are playing for draft picks. The FSDL is led by the (8-1) Sinister 36ers and China Open Faces and (7-2) FL State Seminal Vesicles with all 3 of the those teams out to at least a 3 game in division lead. The defending Champion Cliff Hangers (6-3) have a 2 game lead but the other 3 teams so far appear to be the class of the league. Time will tell if the Champs have enough to repeat. While the remaining playoff spots are close, like in the CDL, with several teams within 2 games of the last spot it appears the top 3 teams may be too much for someone else to overcome this season. Speaking of top 3 teams… in the TLSL, 3 teams lead the league at (7-2). It just so happens they are all in the same division! The Avengers, Sea Dragons and St. Pete Minutemen share the division and league lead and it appears that if you want to make the playoffs and you aren’t in that group, you will need to win your division. So with 5 games remaining in the regular season, and only 1 teams more than 3 games back, everyone is in the running. We expect a wild end to the 2022 BSL regular season.

One of the biggest storylines for the season so far at the amount of injuries we have seen to players of all levels. Some were known relatively early like RB Javonte Williams and DB Jamal Adams, some were later in the season like promising rookie RB Breece Hall and some have been aggravatingly vague like with WR Keenan Allen and LB Shaq Leonard both being out for extended periods without going on the IR. Add to the Allen and Leonard camp recently injured WR Ja’Marr Chase who may also not go on IR along with a plethora of mid-level players getting hurt and teams have been scrambling to field teams from week to week in some cases. Many of those attempts have simply let the 2022 season slip away from a few teams already. We are starting to get some players back and do expect to get some more big names back down the stretch like RB Cordarrelle Patterson and on the defensive side players like Joey Bosa and Chase Young and those comebacks could have a big impact as things are so close in many instances in divisions and overall playoff spot chases across the 3 leagues. Injuries are always the big equalizer; we will see how the currently players that are out and the one we sure are to come affect the end of the 2022 season. And now to the trade deadline.

Starting the CDL as usual, we had a flurry of deadline week deals with the headliners being the moving of WR Tyler Lockett to the Killer Tomatoes (3-6), along with underachieving Robert Woods, as well as the biggest move of the deadline deals in QB Lamar Jackson going to the Tanzmanian Devils (5-4). Both teams must feel with as things as close as they are in the CDL, any little upgrade could be the difference. Other players moving at the deadline include the Uncanny X-Men (6-3) taking a risk on the currently hobbled WR Deebo Samuel. This could end up the stealth deal of the deadline. The X-Men also are trying to fill their TE hole with the loss of Irv Smith for the season by acquiring Pat Freiermuth from the Blue Coats and sending back DL Nick Bosa from a talented X-Men D-line.

Things were also hot over in the FSDL at the deadline with WRs Tee Higgins, Curtis Samuel, Keenan Allen, DJ Moore, Chris Godwin and Tyler Lockett all changing teams. The aforementioned Hangers picking up both Higgins and Samuel in a big move to try to catch the top 3 teams. With so many players shifting teams it may take a couple weeks to see who benefited from the deadline deals. Other players that changed teams were RB Miles Sanders, WR Robert Woods, and defensive players DL Chris Jones and LBs Shaq Leonard and Jerome Baker. Lots of shifting faces, we will have to wait to see how it all settles out down the stretch.

Over in the TLSL things were a little more subdued. Well for everyone except The Avengers that is. In an effort to find a way to move out in front of the other two (7-2) teams the Avengers made a trade of need and trade of just-can’t-pass-it-up. First, they addressed their yearlong issue at TE, or they hope so, getting Tyler Higbee from the Omaha Players. Higbee should be a little more reliable than their other options now with the loss of Irv Smith here as well. But the BIG move deadline, and actually the only other deal at the deadline at all sees the Avengers ship out a WR with lots of potential but underachieving in Courtland Sutton and acquire the league’s 2nd leading WR in Stephon Diggs, adding him to a WR corp of AJ Brown, Tee Higgins, Juju Smith-Schuster and stellar rookie wideouts Chris Olave and Garrett Wilson. Diggs is a big move for any team, now The Avengers will wait to see if it helps break the log jam on top of the Ditka Division in the TLSL. No matter how things go across the BSL, we do expect all the moves to have a discernible impact on the last 5 weeks of the 2022 season. It should be fun to watch!

Lastly, we leave your with an amazing ALMOST. RB Joe Mixon this week ALMOST set an all-time BSL record for points scored in a game. He game up JUST short. He posted an individual score of 46.28. Only the 2002 Week 4 game from RB Shaun Alexander and his 47.35 and the top all-time score from RB Clinton Portis in Week 14 of 2003 and his 47.77 were higher. Just a couple more yards and we would have had a new all-time scoring champ. Oh and all 46.28 were on the bench in the CDL for the Goldrush Hounds as Mixon sat behind starters Austin Ekeler and Rhamondre Stevenson. We won’t judge the lineup decision as the Hounds still won their matchup in the CDL this week.

The Occasionally Intermittent Bugle