Are you looking to shake things up with your fantasy football team this year? Then, consider changing your team’s name. If you can’t figure out how to name your fantasy team, then we have a few suggestions like clever puns on player names, pop culture references, fictional football names, paying homage to old-school pros, and drawing inspiration from your favorite bands or musical lyrics.

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The cast of ‘The League’, a comedy series on FX about competitive friends in a long-standing fantasy football league. (Image: FX)

Sometimes, fantasy football team owners select the same team name year after year because it’s just easier to stick with your nickname and a familiar brand. But, if you’re in a rut and haven’t made the playoffs in a while, a name change and rebranding can help set a positive tone for the new football season.

If I’m joining a new fantasy football league, I’ll pick a new team name. If I’m returning to an old fantasy football league, then I’ll use the same name as the previous year. I have friends who’ve stuck with the same team name for more than 20 years, and I also have friends who change their name every season. The cool thing about fantasy football is that there are no rules when it comes to team names, so you can do almost anything so long as it doesn’t get flagged by censors or subject you to cancel culture for being too risque.

Clever puns

My colleague Jess created one of my all-time favorite team names, which was inspired by Baltimore Ravens kicker Justin Tucker while also nodding to the original Die Hard film with “Yippee ki yay, Justin Tucker.”

The folks in my fantasy football pool also have a sense of low-brown humor with My Nut Zach Ertz. They’ve also used classic puns like Rollin’ With Mahomies, Scott Frosted Flakes, Kerryon My Wayward Son, When the Le’Veon Breaks, Trubisky Romance, Davante’s Inferno, Juju Really Wanna Hurt Me, Fresh Prince of Helaire, and Tua Legit Tua Quit.

Pop culture and movie quotes

“Utah get me two!” is a funny quote from Gary Busey in Point Break, and Utah Get Me Two is been a popular fantasy football team name that I’ve used in multiple leagues.

If you’re a fan of Breaking Bad, then you can appreciate that Skinny Pete won my fantasy football pool one year. You’ll also find Los Hermanos Pollos as a popular team name among BB fans. During the height of Game of Thrones’ popularity, leagues were peppered with GOT references.

When in doubt, find something inspiring from your favorite film. Cinematic references from quotable movies with wacky characters like Fletch, Caddyshack, The Godfather, Goodfellas, Clerks, Old School, Pulp Fiction, and The Big Lebowski have all been represented in fantasy football names. I’ve seen Little Lebowski Urban Achievers used by different people in different leagues over the years.

Star Wars geeks have a treasure trove of potential references, including the Millennium Falcons and The Seattle Ewoks.

My pal Shamus won my league a couple of times with More Cowbell, which referenced a popular Saturday Night Live sketch.

Old-school players

A lot of my friends and family are diehard fans of the New York Jets, so they’ve paid homage over the years to Leon Washington, Al Toon, Wayne Chrebet, Chad Pennington, the New York Sack Exchange, Joe Namath, Rex Ryan, and Mark Sanchez and the infamous butt fumble.

If you’re stuck, try to remember the funniest name of a player or coach from your favorite team while growing up. Think of gems like Bronko Nagurski, Buzz Nutter, Pork Chop Womack, Refrigerator Perry, Spider Lockhart, and the “Mad Stork” Tim Hendricks.

Fictional teams

What’s your favorite football movie? Pick a character name or reference from a flick like Varsity Blues or The Longest Yard. I use “Johnny Utah” for my college fantasy team every year, even though Point Break is more of a surfing and action movie. But don’t overlook Johnny Moxon, Billy Bob, Sunshine, Gerry Bertier, Shane Falco, Bobby Boucher, Randall “Pink” Floyd, Frank “Cush” Cushman, or “Steamin'” Willie Beamen.

If your favorite football movie has fictional team names, then pick one of those like any team from Oliver Stone’s version of the NFL in Any Given Sunday. The San Francisco Knights, Albuquerque Aztecs, Chicago Rhinos, Los Angeles Breakers, Miami Sharks, Wisconsin Iceman, Orlando Crushers, or New York Emperors all deserve representation somewhere.

My brother’s favorite sports movie is The Bad News Bears about little league misfits, so he doesn’t mind using Chico Bail Bonds during football season.

Musicians and bands

If you’re stuck, think about your favorite band or musician. Can you conjure up a team name based on their name? How about song lyrics?

My current fantasy football team, Shakedown Street, pays homage to one of my favorite Grateful Dead songs. A lot of my friends are Phishheads and follow Phish around the country, so there’s no shortage of 420-friendly references and lyrics.

A friend from the UK who loves American football had a cheeky Radiohead and soccer reference with The Bends it like Beckham. I almost named a fantasy team Kamara Police last year in homage to Radiohead’s Karma Police.

Some other clever musical names include Andre Bad Moon Rison, Dinosaur Jr. Seau, Coutee and the Blowfish, More Than A Thielen, Nick Chubbthumping, Touchdown of Grey, and Strawberry Field Goals Forever.

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