With football season in full swing, here is your guide to the top ten fantasy football picks YA has to offer. Sorry we couldn’t get them to you before the first regular season game, but trust me, ESPN has got nothing on this.
- Quentin Barnes (QB/RB): Player for the Krakens in the Galactic Football League. 19 years old, 7 ft tall, once clocked at a 3.6 40 yd dash, capable of throwing 100 yards in the air. Quentin came into the Galactic Football League as a rookie in 2682 with strong prejudices from his Purist Nation home world, but managed to overcome these to become the true leader of his multi-species team. (The Rookie (Galactic Football League) by Scott Sigler)
- D.J. Schwenk (LB): Player for Red Bend High School. D.J. is the full package: driven, hardworking, talented, relentless and level-headed. She also know how to deal with pressure and extreme scrutiny, being the only girl on her high school’s football team. (Dairy Queen by Catherine Gilbert Murdock)
- Infinite Darleen (QB): Charismatic on and off the field. She is both homecoming (drag) queen and quarterback of her high school. (Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan)
- Kurt Brodsky (FB): Player for Oregrove High School. Sure, he’s the new kid and seems like he’s quiet, but when he needs to take care of business, no one better get in his way. (Leverage by Joshua Cohen)
- Marcus Johnson (FB/CB): Player for David Nathan Aldrich High School. Marcus came into a tough situation: a football team stacked with players who had gone undefeated the previous season. However, through determination and the help of a former NFL defensive star, he earned a spot in the starting lineup. Not afraid to take or give punishing hits. Also not afraid to do the right thing off the field. (Pop by Gordon Korman)
- Miles Manning (CB/ST): Player for Confluence High school. Miles began the season as a starting defensive player with an interception run back for a touchdown. He’s a smart player who uses his brain to figure out the best way to defend any situation. His strong sense of right and wrong will help him stay on track this season. (Crackback by John Coy)
- Tiny Cooper (OL): Player for Evanston High School. He’s large and dramatic and obnoxious and writes an autobiographical musical called Tiny Dancer. (Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan)
- Hampton Green (LB): Player for the Kennisaw Knights. In a state where legends are made of high school football players, Hampton is well on his way to legendary status as a defensive star. On the field, he can see plays unravel before they even happen. College recruiters should have him on their radar. (Knights of the Hill Country by Tim Tharp)
- Felton Reinstein (RB/WR): Potential player for Bluffton High. Although he hasn’t played organized football before, Felton Reinstein shows huge promise as an offensive player this coming season as a junior. During the fall of sophomore year, Felton hit his growth spurt and hasn’t looked back. He’s now stupid fast and stupid good. (Stupid Fast by Geoff Herbach)
- Cody Frederick (QB): Player for Bluffton High. Although he probably won’t be moving on to the next level due to his size, Cody is the quintessential team player and a true leader. He doesn’t get involved in drama and could care less about glory for himself; he just wants his team to win. (Stupid Fast by Geoff Herbach)
- Hagrid (OL/DE): Groundskeeper for Hogwarts School. Though he may have never even heard of football, any team would be lucky to have Hagrid for his sheer size. (Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling)
- Finnick Odair (QB): Past winner of the Hunger Games. He’s in great shape, and let’s face it: the quarterback is really the face of the team, and no one in YA literature can charm a crowd like Finnick. Plus, he’s got to have a great arm to throw that trident! (Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins)
- Kaleb (S): Not only would it be great for the fans to see a pirate-esque hunk on the team (*fans self*) but with his ability to feel/affect others emotions, he’d be able to get a drop on the other team and prevent them from scoring! Go Defense!! (Hourglass by Myra McEntire)
- Coach: Troy White: Advisor to the Atlanta Falcons. Troy can predict any football play before it happens, which will help make any team unstoppable. (Football Genius by Tim Green)
Can’t get enough football? Here are some other books you might like:
- Payback Time by Carl Deuker
- Cover Up by John Feinstein
- The Rivalry by John Feinstein
- Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally
- Out of the Pocket by Bill Konigsberg
- Gym Candy by Carl Deuker
- Shooting Star by Fredrick L. McKissack Jr.
More recommendations? Players you feel belong in the Top Ten? Let us know!
Lots of thanks to everyone who contributed a pick: Becky O’ Neil, Emily Calkins, Jessica Miller, Jessica Pryde, Michelle Blank, Amanda Margis, and Kelly Jensen.
— Whitney Etchison, currently reading Karma by Cathy Ostlere