Fantasy Football 2021: Funniest Team Names and Mock Draft Strategy at Key SpotsAugust 15, 2021
Fantasy Football 2021: Funniest Team Names and Mock Draft Strategy at Key Spots
The 2021 NFL regular season is fast approaching, which means that we are in peak fantasy-draft season. Just as NFL teams approach the real-world draft with a defined strategy—or at least, they give that impression—fantasy managers are best served by having a plan in place.
That plan should be suited to the scoring format—standard or points-per-reception (PPR)—and can change depending on where you fall in the pick order. Here we will examine some spot-specific draft strategies for fantasy's key positions—running back, receiver and quarterback—along with a list of funny team-name suggestions to help get you started.
First, though, let's run through a two-round, 12-team PPR mock.
2021 Fantasy Mock Draft, Two Rounds
1. Christian McCaffrey, RB, Carolina Panthers
2. Alvin Kamara, RB, New Orleans Saints
3. Dalvin Cook, RB, Minnesota Vikings
4. Davante Adams, WR, Green Bay Packers
5. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas Cowboys
6. Derrick Henry, RB, Tennessee Titans
7. Austin Ekeler, RB, Los Angeles Chargers
8. Aaron Jones, RB, Green Bay Packers
9. Tyreek Hill, WR, Kansas City Chiefs
10. Saquon Barkley, RB, New York Giants
11. Jonathan Taylor, RB, Indianapolis Colts
12. Clyde Edwards-Helaire, RB, Kansas City Chiefs
1. Nick Chubb, RB, Cleveland Browns
2. Stefon Diggs, WR, Buffalo Bills
3. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Arizona Cardinals
4. Najee Harris, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers
5. Justin Jefferson, WR, Minnesota Vikings
6. Travis Kelce, TE, Kansas City Chiefs
7. Calvin Ridley, WR, Atlanta Falcons
8. Darren Waller, TE, Las Vegas Raiders
9. Joe Mixon, RB, Cincinnati Bengals
10. DK Metcalf, WR, Seattle Seahawks
11. Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City Chiefs
12. Keenan Allen, WR, Los Angeles Chargers
Running Backs and Receivers
We're going to examine running backs and receivers as a group because they are heavily linked in the early draft order.
Running back is the staple position of a strong fantasy roster. While receivers and tight ends generally provide more PPR upside, they also lack the consistency that top running backs provide. A workhorse back is typically going to see double-digit touches every week.
When drafting at the top of the order, taking a back in Round 1 is a virtual must. Guys like Christian McCaffrey, Alvin Kamara and Dalvin Cook are true offensive centerpieces, and there's no way they are going to fall to Round 2.
Kamara, for example, is going to be perhaps the biggest weapon in the New Orleans Saints offense—thanks largely to the presence of a new quarterback and the early absence of Michael Thomas.
"When you have a running back as talented as him, you make it a focal point to get guys like him the ball," quarterback Jameis Winston said, per ESPN's Mike Triplett.
Picking a running back isn't quite as necessary when picking late in the order (Nos. 8-12) because the second tier of starting backs typically bleed into the second round. Taking the earlier mock for example, there isn't a notable difference in fantasy upside between Green Bay Packers back Aaron Jones and Cleveland Browns runner Nick Chubb.
Jones had 1,459 scrimmage yards and 11 touchdowns last season in 14 games. Chubb had 1,217 scrimmage yards and 12 touchdowns in 12 games.
The middle spots are where things can get tricky. The top backs are usually off the board, and there's no telling how a positional run might affect Round 2 availability. Grabbing a target-dominant receiver like Davante Adams or DeAndre Hopkins in the middle or end of Round 1 can pay dividends.
Using a best-player-available approach is advisable in the middle of the order, though you should be sure to grab one back and one receiver within the first three rounds.
Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is the top signal-caller to target because of his consistently high floor. There was not a game in 2020 wherein he failed to throw for 200 yards or a touchdown. He had multiple touchdowns in all but two of his starts.
The second tier generally includes those with dual-threat capability—Josh Allen, Lamar Jackson and Kyler Murray—along with reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers. While not quite as dependable as Mahomes, these are surefire starters worthy of a selection in the first five rounds.
Knowing when to pounce on a quarterback can be tricky because of how snake drafts unfold. If you are picking at the bottom of Round 2, it can be worth waiting to grab Mahomes in the hope that he will still be there a few spots later. If Mahomes is on the board at the top of Round 3, however, it's unlikely that he will still be available when you are back on the clock at the bottom of Round 4.
Paying attention to other managers' drafts can help you anticipate a quarterback run. If, for example, two managers behind you already have two running backs and two receivers—and the elite tight ends are off the board—there's a good chance they will jump on quarterbacks next.
Regardless of your selection spot, though, it's never wise to reach for a quarterback past the second tier. A guy like Matt Ryan can be just as valuable as, say, Russell Wilson and could be available a round or two later.
Funny Team Names for 2021
While picking the right players is the focal point of fantasy drafts, why not try to have a little fun and elicit some laughs while in the draft queue? You can always change your team name later to reflect a player or players on your roster, but a funny team name can up the enjoyment factor on draft day.
Here are some suggestions based on notable 2021 fantasy options:
- Hot Chubb Time Machine
- You Mad, Burrow?
- Cooks and Bakers
- Judge Jeudy
- Tried and Trevor
- Goff Topic
- Guess Who's Dak, Dak Again
- DeSean of the Dead
- Tua Legit to Quit
- Came and Wentz
- Liquid Schwartz
- Aaron It Out
- The Jeffersons
- Zach Daddies
- A Kyler on the Loose
- Zeke and Destroy
- What's Up, Mahomes?
- Hooked on a Thielen
- Game of Jones
- Harris and the Hendersons