Fantasy Football 2018: Funniest Team Names and Mock-Draft Strategy at Key Spots

Maurice Moton@@MoeMotonFeatured ColumnistAugust 12, 2018

Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald reaches out to make a catch during an NFL football practice Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

Don't go into a fantasy football draft room without a strategy. It's impossible to know how the middle-to-late rounds pan out, but it's absolutely necessary to game plan for the first few selections. 

For the most part, managers must prioritize positions. In standard leagues, it's best to take a running back first then work with what's available thereafter. At times, there's an intriguing name that catches your eye but also carries substantial uncertainty.

How should owners view Minnesota Vikings running back Dalvin Cook as a fantasy asset coming off an ACL tear? When is it too early to pick up Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck? Is Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald a WR1 in his 15th season?

Before answering those pressing questions, let's take a look at a few ideas for team names that could bring about a lighthearted chat minutes before the draft.

Funniest Team Names

T.Y. Very Much

You don't have to join fantasy football leagues and act like a jerk. Show some etiquette. Owners can use Colts wide receiver T.Y. Hilton's name with some class this fall. For your information, his real name is Eugene Marquis Hilton, but that's neither here nor there. When you grab a draft-day steal or pull off a trade heist, there's nothing more to say than T.Y. Very Much.            

Teenage Mutant Ninja Bortles 

This goes out to Blake Bortles fans holding on to a piece of their childhood and faith the 26-year-old signal-caller evolves into a Pro Bowler at some point in his career. Don't be shy about your love for Bortles and old-school cartoons. Put it all together and live your best fantasy football life.

It's a Hard Gronk Life

We all know Rob Gronkowski's life is amazing simply because the New England Patriots are typically contending for a title, and he enjoys life off the field as well. However, whenever you can combine the best tight end in the game with hip-hop legend Jay-Z, it's the right move even in your fantasy football league.

          

Mock-Draft Strategy in Key Spots

Running Back: No Fear of an RB1 on the Mend

Jim Mone/Associated Press

The Vikings opted to hold running back Dalvin Cook out of their first preseason game and gave Latavius Murray opening touches. He broke off a 21-yard run against the Denver Broncos Saturday. 

However, this isn't the time to downgrade Cook on your draft board. Regardless of how many snaps he takes during the exhibition period, all signs point to the second-year ball-carrier taking the field for Week 1. He's been a full participant during training camp practices. Don't shy away from an RB1 asset on the mend. 

Cook tore his ACL last October, which gives him almost a year to recover before preparing for regular-season action. The Vikings played it safe in a game that focuses on player development rather than wins and losses. It's the right route to take with a starting running back.

The Florida State product ran for 127 yards in his NFL debut versus the New Orleans Saints last year. We could see a similar performance in Week 1 against the San Francisco 49ers, whose run defense ranked 22nd in 2017. Beyond that, Cook should have a strong sophomore campaign as the lead running back in the Vikings backfield.

           

Quarterback: A Good Time to Try Your Luck 

SEATTLE, WA - AUGUST 09:  Quarterback Andrew Luck #12 of the Indianapolis Colts runs onto the field prior to the game against the Seattle Seahawks at CenturyLink Field on August 9, 2018 in Seattle, Washington.  (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

Currently, Luck's ADP lists at 8.02. He's a middle-round choice closer to the back end for 12-team leagues, which seems about right for a player who's missed an entire season and admitted to having some doubt about his return to the game.

Furthermore, Luck doesn't have a plethora of high-end options in the offense outside of Hilton and tight end Jack Doyle who comes off a Pro Bowl season, catching 80 passes for 690 yards and four touchdowns. 

Should you pick up Luck a little earlier? How far should you allow him to drop before rolling the dice on his ability to bounce back from a surgically-repaired shoulder?

Luck went 6-of-9 for 64 yards, leading the Colts downfield for two field goals in his first game back from injury Thursday. It doesn't say much but when he's healthy, the 28-year-old will put his team in position to score points. 

However, owners should stay away from him in the early rounds. Ryan Grant, who doesn't have 50 catches in a single season, looks like the No. 2 wideout on the depth chart. Luck must adjust himself to a new coaching staff with head coach Frank Reich leading the charge. Finally, there's uncertainty concerning the ground attack's efficiency with second-year pro Marlon Mack and rookies Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins vying for touches.

For those who'd like to take a chance with Luck, do so only with solid assets at running back. If he goes down with an injury or underwhelms, you can pull off a quarterback trade in exchange for one of the tailbacks on the roster.

       

Wide Receiver: Old Reliable Fitzgerald

Ross D. Franklin/Associated Press

Fitzgerald has been a fantasy asset since entering the league in 2004. He caught 58 passes for 780 yards and eight touchdowns that year. The 11-time Pro Bowler logged at least 1,000 receiving yards in each of the last three seasons. 

Regardless of the quarterback situation in Arizona, you can count on Fitzgerald to put up decent fantasy numbers. Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks made it clear it's Sam Bradford's job to lose under center. Despite his injury history, he can move the ball downfield. 

Bradford threw for 3,877 yards, 20 touchdowns and only five interceptions in 15 appearances during the 2016 term. Unfortunately, a knee injury limited him to two starts last season. In those games, the ninth-year signal-caller logged 382 passing yards and three touchdowns while completing 74 percent of his attempts. 

If the 30-year-old remains healthy, Fitzgerald's fantasy value remains steady. An injury that thrusts rookie Josh Rosen into action would plummet his stock, but he could produce decent numbers as the unquestioned top option in the Cardinals passing attack.

Last year, Blaine Gabbert and Drew Stanton combined to make nine starts, and the 34-year-old pass-catcher ranked eighth in fantasy points with 152.44 in standard Yahoo leagues. Fitzgerald isn't a WR1 going into the upcoming season with a shaky quarterback situation, but he's a high-end WR2 option. 

Average Draft Position (ADP) provided by Fantasy Football Calculator.

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