The NFL preseason is officially underway. While wins and losses at this time of year don't matter, it is fun to see teams back in action and to get an early glimpse of rookies, offseason additions and unheralded players.
Ultimately, the preseason is a notable event because it means the regular season is right around the corner. It also means fantasy football is also on the horizon. Now is the time to start preparing for your fantasy draft and to think up the perfect team name. And if you're starting a brand-new league, you should begin putting that together as well.
All of these bases will be covered here. You will find a two-round, 12-team mock draft based on standard scoring, plus some clever suggestions and guidelines for naming your fantasy team or league.
2-Round Mock Draft
1.01: Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants
1.02: Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints
1.03: Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers
1.04: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys
1.05: Le'Veon Bell, RB, New York Jets
1.06: David Johnson, RB, Arizona Cardinals
1.07: DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston Texans
1.08: James Conner, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
1.09: Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers
1.10: Michael Thomas, WR, New Orleans Saints
1.11: Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
1.12: Julio Jones, WR, Atlanta Falcons
2.01: Todd Gurley, RB, Los Angeles Rams
2.02: Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs
2.03: Odell Beckham Jr., WR, Cleveland Browns
2.04: JuJu Smith-Schuster, WR, Pittsburgh Steelers
2.05: Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota Vikings
2.06: Tyreek Hill, WR, Kansas City Chiefs
2.07: Nick Chubb, RB, Cleveland Browns
2.08: Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers
2.09: Damien Williams, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
2.10: Mike Evans, WR, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2.11: Amari Cooper, WR, Dallas Cowboys
2.12: George Kittle, TE, San Francisco 49ers
In standard scoring leagues, the focus in Round 1 should be on high-end three-down running backs. These are players who rarely come off the field and who will provide at least some fantasy production, even on off days.
While opposing defenses can limit a player like Saquon Barkley or Alvin Kamara, they are almost never going to yield a blank on the stat sheet.
However, there are a few wide receivers who deserve to be in the first-round conversation, even in standard scoring. High-volume pass-catchers like DeAndre Hopkins, Davante Adams, Julio Jones and Michael Thomas are safe picks because they, too, are rarely going to draw blanks.
For example, DeAndre Hopkins' worst game in terms of yardage last year came in Week 14. He had just 36 yards receiving but also scored a touchdown—roughly 10 points in most standard formats.
Obviously, receivers are more valuable in points-per-reception (PPR) leagues, but your elite pass-catchers are viable first-round selections in all formats.
In years past, Antonio Brown would be right up there with the top receivers, but he's looking like a player to avoid in the first two rounds this season. Not only is he dealing with frostbite on both of his feet, but he's also refusing to play without the helmet he prefers—one that is deemed too old by the NFL.
"Wide receiver Antonio Brown has told the Oakland Raiders that unless he can wear his old helmet, he will not play football again, league sources told ESPN on Friday," ESPN's Adam Schefter wrote.
Pass on Brown for now.
Heading into Round 2, you should still be focused on running backs and receivers, though elite tight ends like Travis Kelce, George Kittle and Zach Ertz are worth consideration.
Based on their roles in their respective offenses and their production levels, these three tight ends can essentially be viewed as No. 1-caliber receivers.
While there's nothing wrong with doubling up on running backs or receivers in the first two rounds, grab at least one running back in standard formats. There are many quality receivers in the NFL, but there are only 32 starting running back jobs—and far fewer elite players at the position.
Last season, only nine running backs topped the 1,000-yard mark for rushing. There were 20 pass-catchers who topped 1,000 yards in 2018.
Some fantasy players don't put a lot of time into their team names. Don't be one of those. This is your chance to add some flair to your team, and it's the one aspect of your team you can completely control.
Be as original as possible, and don't be afraid to give a nod to the things you enjoy. Favorite movies, music and literature are great starting points if you're looking for a unique and personal team name. Are you a Dr. Seuss fan? Green Eggs and Cam. Enjoy the works of early Pink Floyd? Darnold Layne.
If you're like most fantasy enthusiasts, though, you're looking to either tie in your favorite player or team or reference one of your top fantasy picks. Groanworthy puns often work best here.
2019 Fantasy Football Team Name Suggestions
- What's Up, Mahomes
- Hide and Zeke
- Clelin Froggy
- 3rd Down for Watt
- Dalvin and the Chipmunks
- Hot Chubb Time Machine
- Kitchens and Bakers
- Lights, Kamara, Action
- Deshaun of the Dead
- Dak's Incredible
- Montez Sweatin' to the Oldies
- That's Amari
- Thielen Alright
- Evans Can Wait
- Return of the Mack
- What the Flacco?
- He's Bosa Be Good
- Too Good to be Trubisky
- Boswell That Ends Well
- Shepard's Pie
- Wherefore Art Thou, Antonio?
When it comes to naming your league, make it about the group more than about yourself. Try to incorporate an inside joke or a common theme that references everyone. If they are all involved in the restaurant industry, Party of 12 could work. Is there carryover from your bowling league to your fantasy league? 10-Pin Heads is a possibility.
Be as inclusive as possible here. This is, after all, meant to be fun for everyone.
Feel free to be a little more generic if your fantasy group includes friends of friends or people you've never met. Generalized suggestions include:
- Baker's Dozen
- Dirty Dozen
- Playing for Keepers
- Projectors of the Realm
- Fantasy Managers Anonymous
- The Usual Suspects
- Last Place Buys Dinner