Fantasy Football 2021: Creative Team Names and Early Keeper Advice

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBANational NBA Featured ColumnistJuly 16, 2021

Fantasy Football 2021: Creative Team Names and Early Keeper Advice

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    Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

    The offseason is always on in the fantasy football world.

    Draft preparation is basically a perpetual process. And when you aren't identifying top targets and deep sleepers, you might be dipping into your brain's most creative regions to come up with that perfect team name for the 2021 season.

    We're here to help on both fronts with some of our favorite team names for next season, plus do and don't recommendations to shape your keeper strategy.

Creative Team Names

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    Aaron Doster/Associated Press

    Chase Jam

    A short, sweet and a fun one for hoop lovers who can't get enough of the Space Jam movie franchise.

    As an added bonus, Ja'Marr Chase looks like the caliber of freshman you can already name your fantasy club after. The Cincinnati Bengals' first-round pick is reunited with Joe Burrow, his quarterback at LSU in 2019, when he turned 84 receptions into 1,780 yards and 20 touchdowns.

                        

    I Think JuJu Should You Leave

    This isn't second-guessing JuJu Smith Schuster's decision to return to the Pittsburgh Steelers in free agency, though if you weren't fans of the move, then it works on that front too.

    Instead, it's a nod to what's objectively (in my subjective opinion) the best comedy show to surface in a long time, Netflix's I Think You Should Leave. If you have the roster space, this works even better if you can tack on "With Allen (or James) Robinson."

                      

    Noah Fanta Orange

    There isn't a better orange soda around then Fanta, and maybe there's a universe in which Noah Fant—who sports an orange jersey with the Denver Broncos—holds a similar spot on the tight end rankings.

    OK, that's super-wishful thinking (especially with Denver's quarterback situation), but the offseason is all about maximum optimism.

Do Place a High Priority on Elite RBs

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    Butch Dill/Associated Press

    While each position has a tier of elite players at the top, the gap in fantasy relevance is widest at the running back position.

    With teams continually embracing by-committee approaches in the backfield, the value of a true feature back continues to spike. And if you can find a bell cow back who consistently catches passes too, that's especially true.

    The ceiling-plus-floor combo of the top running backs is a fantasy asset unlike any other.

    But you must be selective here. Don't treat a second-tier running back like a first option if the numbers don't bear that out. But do place a high priority on a Christian McCaffrey, Saquon Barkley or Alvin Karama since their healthy seasons are almost always elite.

Don't Get Carried Away with QBs—or Rookies

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    Julio Cortez/Associated Press

    Want to build your team around Patrick Mahomes? Go for it. He has 114 touchdown throws against 23 interceptions to show for the past two seasons.

    Feel like locking into a second-round price on rookie Steelers rusher Najee Harris? We would give you the green light. That offense has been itching for a three-down back, and he's in the driver's seat to claim the spot and pile up the production when he does.

    Just remember one thing: These are the exceptions.

    If you aren't getting Mahomes, you must be extra cautious about overspending at the quarterback position. There just usually isn't enough separation between the fifth-best QB and the 15th-most productive player at the spot to justify the cost.

    Similarly, don't treat all rookies like they are positioned for success the way Harris seems to be. Travis Etienne might be electric, but the Jacksonville Jaguars just got a monster season out of James Robinson. The Miami Dolphins needed a playmaker like Jaylen Waddle, but that doesn't guarantee he'll steal a ton of touches away from DeVante Parker, Will Fuller and Mike Gesicki.

    Don't avoid rookies or quarterbacks you like. Just be conscious of the cost and realistic with your expectations.

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