The name you give your fantasy football team says a lot about you as a person. It’s the window into your fantasy soul and it’s the thing that will represent you to the league for the entire season. At Gridiron Experts, we appreciate the value of a good Fantasy team name and we have given you a number of different suggestions over the years.
Whether you use our ideas, find inspiration somewhere else on the interwebs, or come up with something smart and creative on your own, do yourself and the other people in your league a favor and avoid the following pitfalls:
1. Your Favorite NFL Team
Everyone appreciates that you are a diehard Chicago sports fan, but your fantasy team name doesn’t have to be “Da Bears.” If you want to go down that road, at minimum use a more illustrative reference like, “The Monsters of the Midway,” but even better would be something specific to this year’s team, such as a Marc Trestman reference or a play on Soldier Field.
2. The Cliché Football-Related Name
If you started playing fantasy football in the early ’90s and were about 12 years old, a team name like “The Pigskin Playas” was perfectly acceptable. Well, it’s not the early ’90s anymore (unfortunately) and 99 percent of the people reading this are probably not 12 years old. Using an alliterative team name that includes “football” or “pigskin” isn’t going to cut it.
3. Any Combination of Your Name and “Team”
If you have a first or last name that lends itself well to a pun or a pop culture reference, by all means have at it. However, naming your squad “Billy’s Team” or “Team Jones” is just lazy. If this is all the effort that you are going to put into the league, the commissioner should think about kicking you out. You’re better than that.
4. Using Names of Players Not On Your Team
While I just advocated considering a creative homage to your favorite NFL team, that shouldn’t include using the names of players that you don’t have on your fake football roster. Sticking with the aforementioned Chicago theme, you might think “Forte Year Old Virgin” is the best team name ever, but if the Bears’ running back is racking up points for someone else in your league, the name just looks kind of ridiculous.
5. Recycled Team Names
If you are in a keeper/dynasty league, I would be 100% committed to picking a team name and sticking with it for the long run. However, if you are in redraft leagues that happen to have some of the same people in them every season, no one wants to see the same tired team names trotted out there year after year. Last year’s hilarious team name was for last year. Keep it fresh. The lone exception to this rule is winning. If “Team Awesome” was your team name when you won a championship, you’ll obviously bring down your entire world by changing it.
6. Using Dated References
It’s very rare that a current event-driven team name holds up over time. Over the course of one season, you might risk the staying power of a take on “Ron Mexico,” but if you’re picking your 2013 team name based on something that happened six months ago, it better be REALLY clever. A prime example of such a violation this year would be a Manti Te’o/Lennay Kekua reference. We all remember the story. The invisible-girlfriend jokes were funny for a months, at most. You can do better than that in September.
7. The Obvious Choice
I read this week that 15% of new fantasy football teams registered in CBS Sports leagues from July 16th through August 5th chose the name “Carlos Danger.” Look, I think Anthony Weiner’s sexting alias is as awesome and so does the rest of America, but that doesn’t mean it’s an ideal team name for 2013. As I already mentioned, current event-driven names don’t usually hold up very well, but in this case it’s such an obvious choice that it doesn’t distinguish your team in any way, nor does it make you look clever. Only 8.4% of people in 12-team leagues will be winners, so almost half of the people currently picking “Carlos Danger” will be losers… perhaps in more ways than one.
8. Using the Same Idea as Someone Else in Your League
You might come up with an incredibly clever take on a player’s name or a current event, but if you register your team and see that someone else in the league already has a similar team name, you need to change yours immediately. It’s first come, first serve in the world of fantasy football naming rights. At the height of the Michael Vick/Ron Mexico news cycle, I was in a league that had two teams named for the then-Falcon’s alleged herpes-testing alias. It was confusing and annoying for everyone else in the league. Don’t do it.
9. Names That Are Inappropriate for Your League
I have nothing against sexual innuendo and/or profanity being a part of your fantasy football team name, but know your audience. If you are in a league with your buddies from college, it’s probably anything goes. If you are invited to join a work league that consists of mostly business professionals, you might not want to lead with your favorite boob-inspired team name. While we’re on the subject of innuendo, don’t fall into the trap of simply stringing together player names like “Johnson Bush Breaston.” I’ve seen this happen and it only makes you look like your eight-years-old.
10. The Overly Obscure
A great fantasy football team name is one that can be appreciated by most of the people in your league. If your team name is an inside joke between you and one other person in the league, or if you get a little too clever and make the name so obscure that no one gets it, you’re missing the mark. As a general rule, you should be shooting for at least 50% recognition, but the more the merrier. Share your team-naming genius with as many people as possible!