As the NFL season approaches, fantasy football owners everywhere are salivating over their lineup or potential rosters ahead of drafts. Whether you have your team set or are awaiting the start of the first round, there is still plenty of preparation before the year starts.
Before sitting down for the draft, owners want to know who to select with their opening pick. By missing on the first selection, teams can be set back for the entire season.
As for those who have already drafted and others who know the players they're targeting, player-based team names are the way to go. With several new players to reference, a fresh name could wash away bad memories from losing in past seasons.
Here's a look at an updated first-round mock draft and some of the top team names for the 2014 season.
|Full 12-Team Fantasy Mock Draft|
|1||LeSean McCoy||RB||Philadelphia Eagles|
|2||Jamaal Charles||RB||Kansas City Chiefs|
|3||Adrian Peterson||RB||Minnesota Vikings|
|4||Matt Forte||RB||Chicago Bears|
|5||Eddie Lacy||RB||Green Bay Packers|
|6||Calvin Johnson||WR||Detroit Lions|
|7||Dez Bryant||WR||Dallas Cowboys|
|8||Jimmy Graham||TE||New Orleans Saints|
|9||Peyton Manning||QB||Denver Broncos|
|10||Marshawn Lynch||RB||Seattle Seahawks|
|11||Demaryius Thomas||WR||Denver Broncos|
|12||DeMarco Murray||RB||Dallas Cowboys|
|R. Cory Smith's Projections|
Teenage Mutant Ninja Bortles
No, Blake Bortles won't win you any fantasy football games early on. But with this name, no one expects an owner to have Bortles on the roster.
The first-round pick has turned some heads thus far, as Jacksonville Jaguars offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch spoke about, per The Associated Press (via Fox Sports):
We're excited about how he has progressed. I think it's a situation now where each day we are just looking for improvement, and he has challenged himself to get better every day. So, really I'm not exactly sure where I expect him to be, so he is doing well for where he is at.
Needless to say, he's not exactly QB1 or QB2 material. That last name, on the other hand, is prime material for fantasy owners' team names. Using a timeless classic like TMNT makes for a fun—and family friendly—team name for the 2014 season.
Not everyone is in a league composed entirely of adults, so this one is a safe pick while also remaining humorous. And if Bortles does take over the starting duties sometime in the future, he might also make a great waiver-wire pickup down the road.
You Sankeyd My Battleship
Not a fan of "Do the Sankey Leg" but have Bishop Sankey on the roster? This is the name for you heading into the 2014 season.
His name is perfect for hilarious team names like this, but his skill makes him an even better pickup. While Bortles is a liability on anyone's roster right now, Sankey looks like a solid RB2 or flex option at the start of the season.
While some are sold on the Tennessee Titans running back, Michael Beller of Sports Illustrated offers his take:
It looks as though [Shonn] Greene will open the year as the starting running back for the Titans, officially making Sankey the most overhyped rookie in some time
If you haven’t drafted yet, don’t make the mistake of using such a high pick on a guy who has never stepped foot on an NFL field with his team’s starting quarterback. That does not mean, however, that you should break the bank for Greene. He’s a suitable depth back, but nothing more. He may be on top of the depth chart, but he has not performed at all this preseason.
For those in keeper or Dynasty leagues, Sankey appears to be a good option to buy into for the future with depth already on the roster.
As for the moniker, this could be a perfect one to stick with for years down the road if Sankey excels. Along with his flex appeal early in the season, Sankey provides a solid nickname for any team looking to secure a name for years to come.
Finally a No. 1 receiver option and a name to fit for owners.
Sure, the Final Destination movies are well past their prime, but Dez Bryant is merely entering his. Whether he was acquired in the first or second round, the Dallas Cowboys star is set for a huge season.
With a horrid defense and Tony Romo back under center, expect the offense to be throwing the ball quite a bit in Big D. That means Bryant, who put up massive fantasy numbers last year, could post even higher point totals for owners in 2014.
This season, the "Final Dez-tination" for this receiver will be in the end zone on a weekly basis.
Follow @RCorySmith on Twitter.
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!