Who would you pick on your team?
With college football season upon us and NFL action just around the corner, the buzz around most water coolers these days focuses around who to start as your Week 1 QB, which draft picks were mistakes – or the too-often heard lament, “Oh, the draft was LAST week?”
The biggest problem I see with fantasy football, though, is that it doesn’t go far enough. I mean, it’s supposed to be fantasy, right? But how can it be, when we use REAL PLAYERS?
Why not use fictional ones?
As in, characters out of books?
And why stop at one team, when you can staff a whole league?
With that in mind, I thought it would be fun to draft fantasy football teams for each of my fictional worlds – Clarkesville, home of my Mountain Man Mysteries series, and the fictional version of Portland, site of my Lying Injustice Thrillers. If you’ve read books in either series, play along to see if you agree with my picks.
Fantasy Football Background
For those unfamiliar with fantasy football, here’s what each “team owner” needs to do. (Those who already play, skip to the next section.)
The goal of the “team owner” is to maximize the number of “fantasy points” their players can earn each week against their actual NFL opponents (based on yards gained, touchdowns scored, etc.), so as to outscore the owner’s fantasy team opponent.
The positions selected are (one) quarterback, two wide receivers, two running backs, a tight end, a “utility” player (receiver, tight end, or running back), kicker, and defense/special teams. You also draft backups at each position, which I’ll skip. Why bother? I never have bye weeks or injuries (except for all of those pesky murders).
Most leagues have a dozen or so teams that play each other round-robin. My league has only two teams, so they’ll play each other every week. Who do you think will win?
The Clarkesville Team
The Clarkesville Team has a few advantages: there are three books’ worth of characters to choose from, and many of them “actually” played football in their fictional past. Here’s the lineup I drafted from this series:
- Quarterback: Jared Barkley. Jared played QB and led Clarkesville to its first conference championship in years. (The Mountain Man’s Bride)
- Wide Receivers: Lehigh and Paul van Paten. This is the position Lehigh played all three years as a starter (referenced in all three books). I thought it would be fun to put Paul, his hated rival, on the other side of the offensive line, and see who Jared throws the ball to.
- Running backs: Ruby Mac and Dwayne Latner. Ruby is the fastest runner around in The Mountain Man’s Badge. Dwayne “runs” for office in Badge. Tricky, eh?
- Tight End: Jim Wadsworth. Gentleman Jim’s a big guy. He can block, he can run, and he loves to go behind enemy lines. He’s also very goal-oriented.
- Defense and Special Teams: Constantine Richards, defense lawyer. He also appears in all three books. Who better?
- “Utility” player: Jackson Pitt from The Mountain Man’s Badge. Jackson broke Lehigh’s conference scoring record as a wide receiver. He also “runs” the motel. See? See?
- Kicker: Dot. Because I like Dot, and I want her on the team. And she’s too small to play anywhere else.
The Portland Team
- Quarterback: Gregg. Gregg is Peter’s boss at Stark’s Lumber. Who better to call the shots?
- Wide Receivers: Peter and Skip. Peter isn’t a take-charge guy in the first book, but he kind of “takes the ball and runs with it” once things get going. Skip has a great name for an open-field runner, doesn’t he?
- Running backs: Christine and Alfred. Christine runs daily around the Eastbank Esplanade (or so she claims in Lying in Judgment). Alfred, a fellow juror, wears his football jersey to jury duty and is the biggest guy around. He’s slow, but strong. Call him a fullback.
- Tight End: Frankie. Frankie reminds me of Rob Gronkowski. Maybe because they’re both big, goofy, and have Polish names. Works for me.
- Defense and Special Teams: Sam Pullen, Frankie’s defense lawyer in Lying in Vengeance. She’s the only character in both books, but I’m going with the story that she got “traded” from Clarkesville in the off-season.
- “Utility” player: Kyle from Lying in Vengeance. In this position, he’d get hit a lot, which he deserves.
- Kicker: Raul. Like Dot, he’s a fun character, but too small to play any other position. Plus, he gets kicked around a lot.
What do you think?
I’d love to hear what you think about this little exercise. Did I get it right, in your opinion? Do these position assignments fit the characters? What would you change?
What other books or series might lend itself to “Fiction Fantasy Football?” Let me know by leaving a comment!