Aug 17, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams wide receiver Tavon Austin (11) is unable to catch a pass in the red zone during the first half against the Green Bay Packers at the Edward Jones Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The Only Names That Matter for Your Fantasy Draft


Fantasy football season is here: draft advice, cheat sheets, rankings, and other fake analysis is flooding the internet. But you don’t need me to tell you Drew Brees should have a monster year or that Darren McFadden is an injury risk.

And you probably don’t need to know in exactly what order I rank the running backs or tight ends.

Build your team however you want. I’m not gonna waste time telling you what you already know, and if I miraculously had good information (or a real functional crystal ball) I wouldn’t publish it for fear that one of the guys in my league might read this article.

So where does that leave us? Well, as funny and creative as some fantasy football team names can be, I’m really not up for racking my brains for allegedly hilarious suggestions on what team names might garner the most giggles on draft night. Besides, someone out there already has The David Lee Rothlisbergers, so that discussion is over.

But we can still name names.

There should be a rule that if you draft a guy, you have to draft another guy with the same name. So, say you draft Browns RB Trent Richardson in the first round you have to grab Rams RB Daryl Richardson as a handcuff. Or if you get 49ers TE Vernon Davis you have to also draft Washington TE Fred Davis. I guess you could even count Peyton and what’s his name.

Actually, someone should try to draft a team filled with multiple players with the same name. Like Team Smith: QBs Alex Smith and Geno Smith throwing to WRs Steve Smith and Torrey Smith.. Or The Jacksons Victory Tour: WRs Desean Jackson and Vincent Jackson joined by RBs Steven Jackson and Fred Jackson.

Not bad. But could they keep up with the Joneses? Team Jones would boast two elite receivers in Green Bay’s touchdown machine James Jones and Atlanta standout Julio Jones, plus they could probably be allowed to start RB Maurice Jones-Drew in what should be a bounce-back year for him.

The Johnsons wouldn’t have trouble scoring: Lions WR Calvin Johnson along with Titans RB Chris Johnson, Texans WR Andre Johnson and Bills WR Steve Johnson.

Even in fantasy, just like reality, the Browns wouldn’t be that great: Chargers WR Vincent Brown, Steelers WR Antonio Brown, and Giants RB Andre Brown.

For leagues that allow first-name matching, the Brandons would be pretty good: the allegedly improved (and pre-season tested) Cleveland QB Brandon Weeden under center, Giants TE Brandon Myers and Lions TE Brandon Pettigrew, along with Bears super wideout Brandon Marshall and Panthers up-and-coming receiver Brandon LaFell. The Initial Squad is also promising: Bills rookie QB E.J. Manuel throwing to Bengals stud WR A.J. Green and Colts WR T.Y. Hilton, with Buffalo RB C.J. Spiller out of the backfield.

OK, I didn’t want to disclose real strategy, but screw it. The guys in my league aren’t reading this. No one clicks my self-promotional links on Facebook. This year, I’m employing a brilliant fantasy draft strategy that’s a bit more personal for me: only draft guys with two first names.

This could be the team that wins your league. So forget all the cheat sheets and fantasy rankings and PPR and ADP and all that other stuff they try to sell you or bait you to click on.

Just go for The Two First Names Team, aka The Eddie George All Stars:

Quarterbacks
Matt Ryan (ATL)
Russell Wilson (SEA)

Running Backs
Jamaal Charles (K.C.)
Alfred Morris (WASH)
Giovani Bernard (CIN)

Wide Receivers
Dez Bryant (DAL)
Reggie Wayne (IND)
Tavon Austin (St.L)
Miles Austin (DAL)
Josh Gordon (CLE)
Michael Floyd (AZ)
Malcolm Floyd (SD)

Tight Ends
Jimmy Graham (N.O.)
Jordan Cameron (CLE)
Dwayne Allen (IND)
Kyle Rudolph (MIN)

Kickers
Matt Bryant (ATL)
Shayne Graham (CIN)

Tags: C.J. Spiller Fantasy ADP Fantasy Football Featured Geno Smith NFL Fantasy Popular PPR Tavon Austin Trent Richardson