FAN Take: Mocking It Up

Posted on April 24, 2019

By Annalece Anhalt-Slaughter

FAN Take is a series that highlights trending events, issues, and decisions in the world of sports and analyzes how they may or may not factor into the Fan Controlled Football League. We would love to hear your feedback, so let us know what you think about each FAN Take!

Tomorrow night is the start of the 2019 NFL Draft, and all eyes will be on a handful of players, including Kyler Murray and Nick Bosa. Let’s just hope for a better situation for some of these guys than the one Johnny Manziel found himself in a few years ago, where he looked all sad and lonely until the 22nd pick of the first round in 2014. Really, you can only go up from there as far as we’re concerned  – but, really, I mean, Manziel sank MUCH lower than that in actuality.

We know we’ve mentioned this before, but clearly, at the FCFL we’re all big football fans, and love this time of year. We’ve been working on our own mock drafts before Thursday – someone in the office needs to have bragging rights – and we’re looking forward to seeing how everything shakes out on Thursday night. We’re sure that with The Draft Network’s launch of their ‘Mock Draft Machine,’ plenty of people will be comparing their mocks side by side as the 32 teams make their long-awaited picks.

Of course this isn’t our ACTUAL final prediction, you didn’t think we’d give that away so far in advance, did you?

We’ve put together our own mock drafts already, but we want to hear from you! Fill out your mock draft here and share your screenshots. We want to know who you think will be getting the coveted title of the ‘First Pick,’ and really, who will end up being the best pick? We want to know which great decisions (and mistakes) you think teams are going to make. We want to know which teams you think will blatantly disregard what their real needs are in order to get the most high-profile draft prospect. Make sure to post your mock drafts to Twitter and Instagram, tagging us and using #FCFL. Who knows, yours may be featured on our social media depending on how strategic you are with these picks!


Every NFL Schedule Release Video – Ranked

Posted on April 18, 2019

By Annalece Anhalt-Slaughter

One of the best parts of the NFL releasing their regular season schedule, is how each team chooses to present their schedule. Our team went through EVERY video released by the 32 NFL teams this year and ranked them so you wouldn’t have to. Let’s count ’em down.

32. Cincinnati Bengals

31. Los Angeles Rams

30. Oakland Raiders

29. Washington Redskins

28. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

27. San Francisco 49ers

26. Chicago Bears

25. Miami Dolphins

24. Minnesota Vikings

23. New Orleans Saints

22. Jacksonville Jaguars

21. Indianapolis Colts

20. Kansas City Chiefs

19. Seattle Seahawks

18. Green Bay Packers

17. Dallas Cowboys

16. Arizona Cardinals

15. Denver Broncos

14. Atlanta Falcons

13. New York Jets

12. Houston Texans

11. Detroit Lions

10. New York Giants

9. Tennessee Titans

8. Pittsburgh Steelers

7. New England Patriots

6. Carolina Panthers

5. Cleveland Browns

4. Buffalo Bills

3. Los Angeles Chargers

2. Baltimore Ravens

1. Philadelphia Eagles


Draft Do-Overs

Posted on April 10, 2019

By Annalece Anhalt-Slaughter

Okay, this might be our favorite thing that ESPN has pulled together in the past few months. Each of the the 32 NFL team’s beat writers were tasked with taking the biggest draft mistake of the last five years and correcting it with another player.

The rules were fairly simple:

  1. The re-drafted player has to be at a position of reasonable need in that particular draft.
  2. The re-drafted player has to be available at the pick in question.
  3. You cannot trade the pick you’re looking to re-draft, but you can choose not to trade a pick the team traded.

Some of the highlights include Michael Thomas (WR, New Orleans Saints) going to the San Francisco 49ers, Todd Gurley (RB, Los Angeles Rams) to the Atlanta Falcons, JuJu Smith-Schuster (WR, Pittsburgh Steelers) to the Seattle Seahawks, TJ Watt (OLB, Pittsburgh Steelers) to the Green Bay Packers, and literally anyone else to the Cleveland Browns instead of Johnny Manziel. That line-up alone has us imagining what could have been for some of these teams in the NFL. For the full list, you can read it here.

We have all the confidence in you, the fans, that you will make the best decisions when it comes time to draft players for your team – but sometimes mistakes happen. Half-way through the season you might think to yourself, “Man, what were we thinking? This other guy would fit in to our style so much better.” And if you do, that’s fine – there’s always opportunities for a trade. And if you don’t, even better. That just means you have earned that FanIQ!


Jordy Nelson Set to Retire

Posted on March 27, 2019

By Annalece Anhalt-Slaughter

Per the only trusted Green Bay Packers news source, James Jones, Jordy Nelson has retired from the NFL. The wide receiver, who most recently played with the Oakland Raiders, boasts over 8,500 yards, 72 touchdowns, and a Super Bowl ring.

Last Spring, Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers essentially shut down any new contract rumors through friend and teammate, James Jones. The WR confirmed that Rodgers would be letting him announce any contract news, and that if fans were interested, they should be following him on Twitter. Sure enough, Rodgers kept that promise and Jones broke the news. So, it was only fitting that when Nelson was ready to leave the field, he had his former teammate make the announcement.

Of course, we love seeing the bond between the former teammates, but we cannot wait to see how our FCFL players will handle similar announcements. We fully expect them to one-up Jones and the rest of the Packers. Who knows, maybe they will take to holding live press conferences on Twitch or designating one of you, the FANS, to be their official news source. No matter what route they decide, we know it’s going to be good.


March Madness: NFL QB Edition

To nobody’s surprise, NCAAM March Madness is completely dominating headlines on ESPN, Bleacher Report, and virtually every sports-based website, with the exception of the Gronk news of course. But let’s face it, we live and breathe football at the FCFL, so we decided we needed something to bring this amazing sport back to the forefront of your minds. Enter, the NFL QB Edition of March Madness.

ESPN published their 2019 QB Confidence Index, ranking the NFL quarterback situations 1-32. Sure, this was posted back in January, but it still holds up pretty well. While ESPN ranked all 32 QBs in one group, we went ahead and separated them by the respective conferences. So all this week, the fans will be voting on these match-ups to crown their champion on our Twitter and Instagram accounts. Not following us yet? We guess now is as good a time as any to stop living under that rock!

For the NFC, ranking is as follows:

  1. Philadelphia Eagles
  2. New Orleans Saints
  3. Seattle Seahawks
  4. Green Bay Packers
  5. Atlanta Falcons
  6. Minnesota Vikings
  7. Detroit Lions
  8. Los Angeles Rams
  9. Dallas Cowboys
  10. Carolina Panthers
  11. Chicago Bears
  12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
  13. San Francisco 49ers
  14. Arizona Cardinals
  15. New York Giants
  16. Washington Redskins

For the AFC, ranking is as follows:

  1. Indianapolis Colts
  2. Kansas City Chiefs
  3. New England Patriots
  4. Los Angeles Chargers
  5. Pittsburgh Steelers
  6. Houston Texans
  7. Oakland Raiders
  8. Cincinnati Bengals
  9. Cleveland Browns
  10. Tennessee Titans
  11. Baltimore Ravens
  12. New York Jets
  13. Buffalo Bills
  14. Denver Broncos
  15. Miami Dolphins
  16. Jacksonville Jaguars

Antonio Brown Comes Out on Top

Late Saturday night it was reported that Antonio Brown was headed to a new team: the Oakland Raiders, our soon-to-be neighbors in Las Vegas. The Pittsburgh Steelers walked away with a third and fifth round pick in return, along with plenty of criticism from fans of other teams for handling negotiations so terribly. Brown, who inked a 3-year deal for $30 million guaranteed, certainly came out ahead of the Steeler’s, who will be eating $21 million against the cap to part ways with the wide receiver. Ouch.

Aside from this being great news for Brown, it might be better for Jon Gruden and the folks over at the Raiders. Gruden landed himself one of the best wide receivers in the game, and the Raiders earned themselves some extra star power ahead of a big relocation – guaranteeing themselves to pick up fans along the way. But really, this news is most important for every wide receiver set to become a free agent this year. Brown’s deal just set a new benchmark for their agents to use in their respective negotiations. Truly, this is just the starting point for major wide receiver contracts – similar to the quarterback contracts we saw over the last few years where each guy managed to one-up the one before him by a few million dollars.

We know our fans aren’t the kind of people to tell athletes to ‘shut up and play’ – you guys like the drama and the story behind every player. But when it comes to negotiating with another team for a trade, we know you’ll do better than the Steelers. Sure, we won’t have $30M transactions, but we feel confident that you wouldn’t bungle negotiations as bad as the Steelers did. You’re better than that.


FAN Take – Gaming: Connecting Athletes and Fans

By Annalece Montgomery

FAN Take is a series that highlights trending events, issues, and decisions in the world of sports and analyzes how they may or may not factor into the Fan Controlled Football League. We would love to hear your feedback, so let us know what you think about each FAN Take!

We’ve talked about well-known NFL players that have voiced their love for gaming, whether it’s PUBG, Fortnite, or any other game – but NBA players like Kenneth Faried are into it too! So much so that it was announced last week that the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) had partnered up with ReadyUp.  Together they will launch an “esports smart calendar that will act as the comprehensive source to find esports matches, tournaments, and livestreams that includes video game fan experiences and media events with NBA Players.” The players will be filling in the calendar with their own game livestreaming events so that fans are able to either watch or join in and play.

With 85% of NBA players playing video games, what do you think the percentage is like in the MLB, NHL, MLS, and NFL? How pumped would the fans be to see this kind of calendar put together across other sports as well? You could be watching Mike Trout (Los Angeles Angels) one day and Marshawn Lynch (Oakland Raiders) the next? Would you rather watch these athletes stream or get in on the action? If you’re just spectating, would you team up with some of your friends to watch your favorite athletes? Would you want to see a calendar like the one NBPA and ReadyUp are making for FCFL athletes? Maybe even some of the coaches, depending on how savvy they really are? We want to know how important it is to you, the fans, to watch your favorite athletes get their game on!


Rookies Take Over

By Annalece Montgomery

Week Three of the NFL season has ended with an important message: the rookies are taking over. Three teams now have rookies starting in the quarterback position. When does that ever happen?

In Thursday night’s game between the Cleveland Browns and the New York Jets, Tyrod Taylor left the game per NFL concussion protocol, and Baker Mayfield (Texas Tech) entered to win the game. That’s right, the Cleveland Browns won their first game in 635 days. And in so doing, they unlocked small fridges of Bud Light for the people of Cleveland! He will be starting against the Oakland Raiders on Sunday. Taylor is still in concussion protocol, but we imagine that Hue Jackson would have Mayfield start either way.

In the season opener, the Buffalo Bills were decimated by the Baltimore Ravens, in a 47-3 loss. Their starter, Nathan Peterman was pulled in the third quarter when they were trailing 40-0, and the No.7 pick from the 2018 draft, Josh Allen (Wyoming), was put in. We don’t think it was much of a surprise when the Bills named Allen their starting QB for next week’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Monday morning the Arizona Cardinals announced Josh Rosen (UCLA) would be making his starting debut next week in their match against the Seattle Seahawks, per head coach Steve Wilks. Rosen proved himself in this week’s game, a loss to the Chicago Bears – he replaced Sam Bradford with 4 minutes and 31 seconds left in the game. Bradford will be serving as Rosen’s backup.

So, would the fans want to start a rookie, if they were coaching? They could make the case for a “forced” apprenticeship for the first year. It’s working pretty darn well for Kansas City’s Patrick Mahomes (Texas Tech), who spent his rookie year on the sidelines watching veteran Alex Smith lead the team before busting out of the gate with 13 TD’s in his first three games as a starter, in his second year in the league!  And, of course, riding the bench in his first season worked out pretty well for another guy, who happens to be named Joe Montana. In his second season (1980), the GOAT took over from Steve DeBerg, and the rest is history!

All that said, we do believe our fans would probably start a rookie if his stats supported it. We think our fans are excited to have anyone on the field, as long as they’re bringing in results. They want to see strong stats and wins – so if that’s going to happen by throwing in a rookie, they’ll be all for it!