You’ve heard all about Cam Newton, Peyton Manning, and the stout defenses about to take the field on Sunday for Super Bowl 50. It’s time to take a look at a game that really matters. The Puppy Bowl, televised on Animal Planet on Sunday at 2 p.m., is about to be played for the 12th time. Animal Planet, along with 44 different animal shelters and rescue organizations, collected a rag tag group of 49 puppies to participate in Puppy Bowl XII. The collection of “wide retrievers” and “linebarkers” will be competing for the Most Valuable Puppy award as a member of Team Fluff or Team Ruff. This year’s contest will even feature two dogs from Austin.
Of course, this wouldn’t be a legitimate sport if you couldn’t make it into a fantasy contest. For the third year in a row you’ll be able to pit(bull) your favorite pups against the rest of the litter for a chance to beat your friends in a friendly fantasy Puppy Bowl game.
Animal Planet’s fantasy contest is pretty straight forward. Touchdowns are worth seven points, field goals are worth three, takeaways are worth three and tackles are worth two points. In our opinion tackles should be worth more, since there’s a higher cute factor. One thing we do like is the inclusion of negative points (-2) for penalties. What’s a penalty in the Puppy Bowl? Well, there’s a five yard penalty for “fertilizing the field,” for example. One of the bigger penalties is “excessive napping” or “illegal lounging.” That can lead to an adorable ejection.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at our fantasy picks of the litter, sleepers and runts.
Picks of the Litter
Timber, male Labrador retriever for Team Ruff—He’s the puppy everyone’s talking about. The 14-week-old has been drafted over 5,000 times according to the Puppy Bowl website and he just looks like he’ll be the most active. Labs are like the best flex players in a regular fantasy football league, they can do it all.
Cooper, male Great Pyrenees/Collie for Team Fluff—The 15-week-old looks the part, and has all the measureables. He’s been selected in over 4,000 drafts.
Atticus, female Husky/Labrador for Team Fluff—She’s young at 12 weeks, but her length could prove to be a big advantage.
Ranger, male Springer Spaniel for Team Ruff—He’s got the look, the name and he’s of a high-scoring breed.
Darby, male Jack Russell Terrier for Team Ruff—What he lacks in size he makes up for in energy. He’s got a motor and highly valued elusiveness. Terriers have a solid history of performing well in the Puppy Bowl.
Leah, female Rottweier for Team Ruff—The 15-week-old has the people’s attention, having been drafted over 4,000 times. You could definitely see her tossing a toy through the uprights for a field goal.
Miss Sassy, female Boston Terrier for Team Fluff—Don’t be fooled by her name, she’s likely to turn some of that sass into fantasy points for your team. She’s young, at 12 weeks old, so you know she’s hungry. You could probably take that literally as well.
Timon, male Terrier for Team Fluff—He’s being undervalued so far, having been drafted less than 2,000 times. This 13-week-old may very well end up the MVP if things fall right.
Runts of the Litter
Star, female Chow Chow/Labrador for Team Ruff—She’s got that puppy in the headlights look. The stage may be just too big for her.
Kevin, male Schnauzer for Team Fluff—Schnauzer’s are typically tenacious, but we can tell this pup won’t perform well on name alone. Seriously, who names a puppy Kevin? He’s only been drafted 2,000 times, so the people can tell he won’t do well.
Magic, male Chihuahua for Team Fluff—At just 1,000 drafts this 16-week-old pup is most likely to make a lot of noise, but that’s probably it. His bark is bigger than his bite.
Boris, male Havanese for Team Fluff—Boris doesn’t even feel like standing up for his promo photo so he’s at high risk of getting flagged for an “excessive napping” penalty.
Now go give your team a nice pup talk and beat your friends in the battle for barking rights. OK, I’m done.