Greatest Fantasy Team Ever Assembled by Utter-Fantasy Writer & Illustrator Doug Bowles
QB Peyton Manning
RB Ladainian Tomlinson
RB Emmitt Smith
WR Randy Moss
WR Calvin Johnson
WR Jerry Rice
TE Rob Gronkowski
K Adam Vinatieri
DEF Balt Ravens
When I joined my first fantasy football league, it was back in 1985, and it was back before we had any fancy fantasy football websites or fancy fantasy football apps. We didn’t know how our teams did until each of us got our own Monday morning newspaper and scanned the sports section to find out. Then, we had to wait for the commish to send out a newsletter in the mail (not e-mail) to find out how we did compared to everyone else in the league. It is from this history of fantasy participation that I put together this ultimate team. I wasn’t that difficult….what I mean is, I didn’t crunch numbers to do it, like I usually do. These are the guys each year I either said “Damn it, I wish I had that guy” or “I’m damn glad I have that guy.”
(It would be interesting to dig out each of these guy’s best game ever, and see just how big a score in fantasy it would come out to be, if scored in the same week. Maybe I’ll add an addendum to this article if I get so inspired.)
So, above is my “Greatest Fantasy Team Ever Assembled”, and here’s why…
QB- Other names obviously pop into mind for the quarter back…Drew Brees, Tom Brady, and Dan Marino etc, but Peyton’s last couple years wins it for me. He broke the NFL record of throwing for more than one touchdown pass in 14th consecutive games and in 2013, he threw 55 TD passes. (7 TDs in Week 1) In 2014, he threw 39 more TD passes. Manning has also averaged over 31 TDs a year over his 17 year career.
RBs- Ladainian Tomlinson & Emmitt Smith were the solid pieces of any person’s fantasy team that drafted them. They produced every week, and had many multiple TD games over their career. 2 names that one could easily make a case for being here are Adrian Peterson & Marshall Faulk, possibly over Emmitt Smith. Smith I would like to remind you however, had 2 back-to-back seasons over 20 TDs while AP had none.
WRs- Randy Moss single-handedly helped me win more than one fantasy championship, so he has to be here. Oh those days of Culpepper to Moss. Tom Brady threw him a few as well. I remember one snowy game in Foxboro that the Brady/Moss connection got me 3 TDs of the long variety…nice! Although Calvin seems to be at the end of his career, there’s no denying that he is #1 WR in fantasy football over the past 8 years. When it comes to fantasy consistency, the only other wide receiver that comes to my mind other than Jerry Rice, is Larry Fitzgerald. Unfortunately Fitz didn’t always have great QB like Rice did, so Rice gets my 3rd spot.
TE- Gronk is the best TE ever to play the game, in my opinion. He’s unstoppable when healthy. Antonio Gates and Tony Gonzalez are/were great and they get the credit for changing the position. Jimmy Graham is a beast, but I still have to put Gronk on my Greatest Fantasy Team.
K- After 42 year old Adam Vinatieri recently nailed a 53 FG during a playoff game vs the Bengals, he was summoned to take a drug test, the following day! He passed. Two long careers, one with the Patriots, the 2nd with the Colts, this future Hall of Famer is my choice for the Greatest Fantasy Team.
DEF- Over the past 20 years, when you say great NFL Defense of all time…you have to be talking about Baltimore. In 2001, they won a Superbowl with Trent Dilfer as their quarterback…that’s how great they were that year. Seattle is who you think of today, but the Seahawks don’t have the reputation Baltimore has, since the year 2000.
FLEX- For all the greats that I have mentioned, but who didn’t make the The Greatest Fantasy Team Ever Assembled, pick one and put them in the flex position…icing on the Greatest Fantasy Team Ever cake.