September is upon us, and with the ninth month of the year comes a new NFL season. The first game of the season will be here before we know it—the Green Bay Packers square off against the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday—so it's time to get in the year's final fantasy football drafts.
With the end of the preseason, and the announcement of each team's final 53-man roster, fantasy player rankings are pretty much set in stone—well, for a week anyway—allowing fantasy owners to draft with confidence.
The first round of every fantasy draft is extremely important, as making the wrong selection isn't exactly a death sentence, but it sure does make obtaining your league's championship a little more difficult. To help navigate these picks, a first-round mock draft is certainly in order.
Although, once the draft is complete, another daunting task remains: What should you call your team? Picking a great fantasy team name could make you the envy of your league, so let's go over some of the top player-related names to surface around the Web.
Round 1 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||Calvin Johnson||WR||Detroit Lions|
|6||Eddie Lacy||RB||Green Bay Packers|
|7||Demaryius Thomas||WR||Denver Broncos|
|8||Marshawn Lynch||RB||Seattle Seahawks|
|9||Dez Bryant||WR||Dallas Cowboys|
|10||Jimmy Graham||TE||New Orleans Saints|
|11||A.J. Green||WR||Cincinnati Bengals|
|12||Peyton Manning||QB||Denver Broncos|
Mock draft based on standard scoring
The top-three players in this year's fantasy drafts also happen to be the league's top three running backs. While there's a bit of debate between fantasy owners as to who should be selected first, here's one way to settle the discussion.
Yards come first, and LeSean McCoy accumulated the most of any non-quarterback NFL player with 1,607 rushing and 539 receiving for a total of 2,146. He may have only found the end zone 11 times, but after the departure of DeSean Jackson over the offseason, expect him to get more opportunities in 2014.
Former NFL wide receiver and current analyst Cris Collinsworth had some lofty praise for McCoy, via Zach Berman of The Philadelphia Inquirer:
Cris Collinsworth called LeSean McCoy "the best running back in the league." Says Eagles remind him of J. Johnson's Cowboys.— Zach Berman (@ZBerm) August 28, 2014
Jamaal Charles had a great combination of yards and touchdowns last season, and he's certainly worthy of the second selection. He accumulated 1,980 yards and a league-leading 19 touchdowns one year ago. Expect him to deliver once more as the focal point of the Chiefs offense going forward.
Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has been a fantasy staple since joining the league in 2007. He may not rack up the receiving yards, but he's always good for some solid production on the ground—he's never averaged less than 4.4 yards per carry in any season.
This tweet from NFL on ESPN should make defenders very nervous for the impending season:
Matt Forte was a pleasant fantasy surprise in 2013 under head coach Marc Trestman. Forte was utilized in the running game and passing game on his way to Charles-like numbers. Don't sleep on the Bears ball-carrier this season.
After Forte, we have the league's most dominant wide receiver, Calvin Johnson. He's in a pass-happy offense and has a strong-armed quarterback who can get him the ball early and often.
Eddie Lacy comes next. He burst onto the scene last season in Green Bay, handling the brunt of the workload when Aaron Rodgers fell to injury. The quarterback may be healthy once again, but Lacy will continue to be productive.
Even Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll isn't taking Lacy for granted, according to Bleacher Report's Zach Kruse:
Pete Carroll on Eddie Lacy: "He's a hammer. We have a lot of respect for him. He's a big deal now."— Zach Kruse (@zachkruse2) September 2, 2014
The back half of the first round is filled with players who are the catalyst of their respective offenses. From Demaryius Thomas to A.J. Green and everyone in between—including Jimmy Graham, the only tight end worthy of a first-round selection—these players will be huge for fantasy owners this year.
Peyton Manning rounds out the first round. We probably shouldn't expect a record-shattering season again from the 38-year-old signal-caller, but he's surrounded with enough playmakers in Denver to warrant considering him as the year's top quarterback once again.
With your fantasy draft complete, its time to generate a memorable team name that will be coveted by every fantasy enthusiast who crosses your path. Here's a look at some of the best of the best.
|Salute Your Cecil Shorts||Cecil Shorts|
|The Walking Dez||Dez Bryant|
|Teenage Mutant Ninja Bortles||Blake Bortles|
|Good Job, Good Eifert||Tyler Eifert|
|Turn Down For Watt?||J.J. Watt|
|Welker Texas Ranger||Wes Welker|
|Cruz Control||Victor Cruz|
|Stafford Infection||Matthew Stafford|
|Le'Veon a Prayer||Le'Veon Bell|
|Revis and Butthead||Darrelle Revis|
|Henne Given Sunday||Chad Henne|
Some fantasy owners prefer to own the player referred to in their team name. That's fine; however, don't be afraid to don a name simply because it rocks—or in the case of the final example on the list, because you just can't justify drafting Chad Henne.