Fantasy Football is inherently fun. No doubt. But sometimes, we get involved in multiple leagues, and we need something to really separate one from another, outside of just different owners and rosters. One solution to this is by creating fun themed Fantasy Football leagues that connect all of your owners by a common interest other than football.
I’ve been involved in several different themed Fantasy Football leagues over the years, and they all stand out from the “standard” draft-and-play leagues. My buddy Todd has run several themed leagues in both Fantasy Baseball and Football, and this dude does it right.
There’s just something about good themed Fantasy Football leagues that keeps owners interested and wanting to return year after year. They have an identity with it, and they’re always looking for more ways to connect with it.
Also, if you’re the commissioner, plan on buying one of our customized 2017 Fantasy Football Draft Boards, with your new league’s name printed right on it! They’ll be ready to ship by the end of June!
Components of Themed Fantasy Football Leagues
First, let’s talk about what makes themed Fantasy Football leagues awesome. We’re going to use one of Todd’s leagues for examples, then I’ll list some good league theme ideas later on.
League Name: Obviously, the theme of the league should essentially be the league name, or at least a direct derivative of it. For instance, Todd’s Seinfeld league is called, “The Peterman Reality Tour.”
Division Names: If you’re in a 10-team league, use two divisions, or three divisions for a 12-team league. Ideally, you’d use division names that are all somewhat related. Todd’s division names aren’t related, but they are topical.
- “It’s Like a Sauna in Here”
- “Was It a Titleist?”
- “Yeah, I am Batman”
If I were to name the divisions in the Seinfeld League, I think I’d use related terms, like the tertiary characters, the “Newman Division,” “David Puddy Division,” and “Uncle Leo Division.”
Opportunities for Great Logos: The main logo for our Seinfeld league is below. But there are a ton of great image opportunities for Seinfeld, including the featured image at the top of this article, which is the logo for my team, “These Pretzels are Making Me Thirsty!”
Opportunities for Great Team Names: Obviously, this is what counts the most. You want your owners to get creative in naming their teams, and allowing them to dig deep for an obscure, yet awesome, reference allows for just that. The team names in our Seinfeld league, include:
- Kramerica Industries
- Spare Squares
- These Pretzels are Making Me Thirsty!
- Bad Chicken
- Soup Nazis
- The Assman
- Cult of Festivus
- Rusty’s Beefarino
- The Van Buren Boys
- Box of Cubans
Championship Game Name: Then, of course, your commissioner can also have some fun in naming your themed Fantasy Football league’s Super Bowl, like Todd did for our H.E. Pennypacker Bowl.
15 Different Themed Fantasy Football League Ideas
Here are a few topics that would seem to have all of the characteristics I’ve mentioned above.
1. Seinfeld: We’ve kinda touched on this one already, no? Serenity now!
2. Star Wars: Especially with the new trilogy beginning, this could be a pretty good theme. It won’t necessarily be as funny, but you could get some great obscure references in there. I’d also allow some “Spaceballs” mentions!
Of course, you could also combine both Seinfeld and Star Wars! ( You can actually buy this poster!)
3. Saturday Night Live: This is pretty cool because it runs over the past 40 years, which allows owners to pull team names from their favorite SNL era and about a bazillion different SNL recurring characters.
4. Will Ferrell: I’m actually in a mega-Fantasy expert league with 360 people right now that used this theme: The #SFB360 Invitational. Really, though, only the conferences are named after Will Ferrell things, like “Anchorman,” “Zoolander,” “Step Brothers,” etc. Then each conference has five different 12-team divisions in it, with names like, “Dorothy Mantooth Division,” “I Love Lamp Division” and “Sex Panther Division.” All the team names are just our real names, though.
5. Game of Thrones: This HBO series has taken on a life of its own, and you can break down the divisions by the Houses, like House Stark, House Lannister and House Tyrell. There are definitely several great Fantasy Football team names you can use, including:
- Demaryius Targaryen
- White Welkers!
- Cleveland Brunns
- Three-Eyed Ravens
- Valyrian Steelers
- The Redskin Wedding
- New York Football Giant Wun-Wuns
- All I Do is Wun Wun Wun
- Ezekiel Unsulliott
- Hodordy Nelson
- Alshon Joffery
- Famous Jameis Lannister
- Winston is Coming!
6. The Simpsons: I always thought this universe, and possibly “Family Guy,” would be perfect for a themed Fantasy Football league. The league name kinda names itself – “Worst Fantasy Football League Everrr!”
7. FX’s “The League”: Just think, a league named after the show about a Fantasy Football league full of fake teams? Let’s get metta!
8. Mafia: This one’s different from the others, in that it’s not really funny or comical for the most part. But there are plenty of great references to be made with gangster movies from the past, including “The Godfather,” “Scarface,” “Goodfellas,” “The Departed,” “The Sopranos,” and “A Bronx Tale.” Todd used this theme in our Fantasy Baseball league, and my team was “Clemenza’s Cannolis.”
9. Disney Movies: This year, the Scott Fish Bowl league is doing a Disney theme, where each of us choose a different character, who our individual league will be named after. (I got Buzz Lightyear! #fistpump!) I thought this would be awesome to do for a family league, or a league with a lot of kids in it. You can even help all of them name their teams something Disney related, like Beauty and the Beast Mode, Le’Veon Tinker Bell or Juleeyore Jones!
10. The ‘80s: From MTV to awesome sitcoms and John Hughes movies, there are tons of great references for this topic.
11. NFL Hall of Fame: This one is a bit obvious, but you can do a theme surrounding all the best NFL players from the past, and you can break the league down to regions if you want. The divisions could include names of the great NFL coaches, like the Shula, Halas and Lombardi divisions.
12. Saved By the Bell: I’m not a huge fan of this one, but I was also 20 when this show was popular. It might hit with some 30-somethings right now, though.
13. Alcohol: From great craft beers to interestingly named cocktails, there should be plenty of content here, with team names like the “Fuzzy Navels,” “Harvey Wallbangers,” “Fat Bastards,” etc.
14. Horrible NFL Players: How awesome would it be to have a team named after The Boz or Todd Marinovich or Blair Thomas or David Klingler or JaMarcus Russell or Johnny Manziel or … OK, I’ve derailed …
15. Local Watering Hole: Finally, you could use your local bar as your league’s theme, and your team names could involve things exclusive to that place. Obviously, you’d have your draft here, and your team names would range from “Hail Mary’s Chest” to “Broken Urinal,” your group should be able to find some quality team names here.
I’d also like to recommend that you change the theme of your league once every few years to help keep it fresh!
Obviously, you can have a lot of fun if you pick the right theme, so talk with the rest of your leaguemates, share this article with them, and see if there’s something that sticks out. Playing with great themed Fantasy Football leagues makes a good league great!
David Gonos spent 5 years as a CBSSports.com Senior Fantasy Writer and three more years writing with SI.com. Over the past 17 years, his work has been published on NFL.com, MLB.com, FanDuel, FoxSports.com and USA Today. Since 2001, he has been tracking down the Top 50-plus Free Fantasy Football Draft Tools online. You can contact David Gonos here.