Nike was the big winner this football off-season, taking over for Reebok as the NFL's official uniform provider for 2012. But which sports performance brand would field the best fantasy football team?
We'll find out with the inaugural STACK “Battle of the Brands” fantasy football league. The four major football brands and their rosters of NFL players will face off against each other to decide which brand is the king of the gridiron.
Now it’s time to meet the teams in the Battle of the Brands. Visit the Battle of the Brands league page at Yahoo! Fantasy Sports to view full rosters, learn about the point system and league set-up, and follow league action each week.
Rookie QB Robert Griffin III is the new face of Team adidas, but TE Jimmy Graham should be the big-time point producer each week. DeMarco Murray and Frank Gore will provide a balanced running attack, with Reggie Bush and CJ Spiller serving as viable options on bye weeks and also at the flex position. The main cause for concern is the absence of a true No. 1 wide receiver, so in order to compete in the Battle of the Brands, Team adidas will need production from rookie Kendall Wright and its group of third-year wideouts, Titus Young, Leonard Hankerson and Jerrel Jernigan.
The Nike 2012 campaign is all about speed, and the number of talented NFL superstars on the Nike roster blew us away. Cutting the Nike roster to just 15 players was not easy, so we focused on players featured in the brand's 2012 football campaign and it “Fast is Faster” spot. Headlining Team Nike are:
DeSean Jackson gets the nod for his appearance in the “Game on, World” commercial. Same for Ray Rice and Victor Cruz, both of whom are featured in the “Speed Delivered” YouTube series. Rounding out the roster are players who are prominently featured on the Nike Football website—running backs Adrian Peterson and Steven Jackson—and those who debuted the new Nike NFL uniforms earlier this year: QB Michael Vick, WR Wes Welker and tight ends Jermichael Finley and Jason Witten. (See video of Nike's NFL uniform launch below.) Last but not least is rookie QB Andrew Luck, who signed with Nike in March.
Game on, world. Team Nike is stacked.
Reebok is on the rebound in 2012 with the return of several players, including the face of its brand, Peyton Manning, and RB Jamaal Charles, who suffered a season-ending injury during Week One of the 2011 season. The biggest boost of all may prove to be the return of workhorse RB Maurice Jones-Drew, who just ended a summer-long holdout.
While Peyton Manning makes his return to the field, his brother, reigning Super Bowl champion Eli, will be pushing for time as Reebok’s starting QB. Did we mention Philip Rivers is also on the Reebok roster?
Roddy White and Brandon Marshall are locked in as the No. 1 and 2 wideouts, respectively, with Antonio Brown and Reggie Wayne, and RB Ahmad Bradshaw on the bench and ready for action. All-Pro Antonio Gates is the man at tight end.
With the consensus No. 1 fantasy player in Arian Foster, along with top-ranked QBs Tom Brady and Cam Newton on its roster, Team Under Armour has a real chance of pulling off an upset and knocking off heavily favored Team Nike in the Battle of the Brands. Emerging superstar Julio Jones joins the always-productive Steve Smith as UA’s 1-2 wide receiver combination. Miles Austin, Torrey Smith, Randall Cobb and Anquan Bolden are solid candidates for the flex and add plenty of depth at wideout. Ten-year veteran Willis McGahee will battle second-year man Stevan Ridley for the No. 2 running back spot.
Illustration: Jack Kruyne