Fantasy Football Awards 2014

The dust has settled. Champions have been crowned. Now we can hand off the hardware to the players that helped you win (or lose) your Fantasy Football season.

Tom Brady hot potatoe

Weeks prior to the regular season’s finale, I nominated 4 players in each of the 5 different categories you’ll see below. I then let YOU, the readers, add a 5th nominee to be considered for each award. There weren’t any repeats, in terms of a player being nominated for multiple categories. I think that’s a testament to how crazy this season really us.

Then I put it to YOU via Facebook and Twitter to help choose the winners. I’ve included your picks, as well as mine.

And without further ado, drum roll please…

Comeback Player of the Year

Nominees:

– Rob Gronkowski

– Arian Foster

– Jeremy Maclin

– Randall Cobb

– Julio Jones

YOUR CHOICE – Arian Foster

While the leader of the Texans defense, JJ Watt, got most of the publicity (as he rightfully deserved), Arian Foster was back to being the player who you wanted with one of your league’s coveted top draft picks. Foster ranked 6th in rush yards total (1,246), 2nd in rush yards per game (95.8), 3rd among running backs for total yards per game (121.3) and 5th in total touchdowns (13). Not too shabby for a running back returning from back surgery. Oh, AND HE CAN PASS!

Foster TD Pass

MY CHOICE: Rob Gronkowski 

I love Arian Foster. He’s a big reason I hope the Texans are chosen for Hard Knocks this summer. But 2014 was A Gronking To Remember (read that last link at your own risk). Rob Gronkowski was a big reason the script changed on the Patriots’ season. It went from a “Trade Tom Brady” 2-2 to “AFC Powerhouse” East Division Champion 12-4 because Bill Belichick upped Gronk’s usage. After two consecutive seasons shortened due to forearm and knee injuries, Gronkowski was named 2014’s unanimous All-Pro tight end leading the position in yards (1,124) and tied for touchdowns with Julius Thomas and Antonio Gates (12). He’s also receiving NFL MVP consideration…and unlike Foster, played all 16 games. And that’s the kind of effort you need in a Fantasy season.

Gronk Smash

Biggest Draft Bust

Nominees

– Adrian Peterson

– Jimmy Graham

– Montee Ball

– Toby Gerhart

– Zac Stacy

YOUR CHOICE: Adrian Peterson 

The truth is, there isn’t anyone more deserving. You likely spent a Top 5 pick on AP and he gave you 1 game and 75 rush yards to show for it. The reasons for that are well documented. And you can raise your hand from wherever you’re at if you were “that guy” trying to claim Peterson off waivers hoping he’ll get on the field some way, some how…

Happy Sad gif

MY CHOICE: Adrian Peterson

There was some clamoring for Ray Rice. I didn’t feel bad for anyone who drafted him. And there were mentions for Doug Martin. The Tampa Bay situation was bad from the start with the worst offensive line in football, a questionable offensive coordinator hire, and Martin’s injury history should have given you enough caution to stay away from him in the draft.

Breakout Player of the Year

Nominees:

– Justin Forsett

– CJ Anderson

– Ryan Tannehill

– Mike Evans

– Odell Beckham Jr.

YOUR CHOICE: Odell Beckham Jr. 

I’ve written at length how impressive the 2014 rookie wide receiver class was. None of them caught 100 passes, but 3 recorded over 1,000 yards, and those same 3 caught 9+ touchdowns: Kelvin Benjamin (9), Mike Evans (12) and Odell Beckham Jr. (12)…and Beckham led them all playing just 12 games. Missing 4 games and still posting a line that also included 91 catches and 1,305 yards certainly has you considering ODB on top of your WR draft board next season.

Odell

MY CHOICE: Justin Forsett

I won’t argue with the choice of Beckham. He was a miraculous game changer, especially down the stretch. But in a game where consistency from running backs is SO crucial, Justin Forsett was fantastic story. In his 7th season in the league, 4th different team, Forsett doubled his career highs in attempts (235), yards (1,266) and touchdowns (8). Forsett also led the league in yards per carry with 5.7, running away with the starters role left vacant by Ray Rice. At 5’8 and 197 pounds, it was hard to not root for a guy like Forsett…who was also giving you winning outputs week-to-week.

Forsett TD

Steal of the Draft

Nominees:

– Antonio Gates

– Lamar Miller

– Tom Brady

– Kelvin Benjamin

– Ben Roethlisberger

YOUR CHOICE: Antonio Gates 

I think there are strong arguments for all of the players nominated, but nobody was getting drafted later than Antonio Gates among them. For some reason, Ladarius Green was being selected ahead of him, yet Philip Rivers was making Gates his most reliable receiver in the red zone. In his 12th season, Gates surpassed the 10,000 yard milestone and caught posted his second most total for touchdowns with 12. I took him with my very last pick.

Gates Gif

MY CHOICE: Antonio Gates

There was a strong push for Kelvin Benjamin and he was a close choice for me as well. A middle-to-late round choice in most leagues but so consistent as a scoring option through the first 14 weeks of the season. I also would like to take credit for Lamar Miller as an “I Told You So” Guy. While I only had time to preview the East divisions in the AFC and NFC before the start of the season, I had Miller as player you should snag late while you should be weary of Knowshon Moreno.

Most Valuable Fantasy Player

Nominees:

– Andrew Luck

– Aaron Rodgers

– DeMarco Murray

– Le’Veon Bell

– Peyton Manning

YOUR CHOICE: DeMarco Murray

Durability questions? Answered. Contract year? Cha-ching…DeMarco Murray was HISTORICALLY good this year. He broke Emmitt Smith’s single-season Cowboys rushing record. Yes, Emmitt Smith who is the league’s all-time leading rusher. Murray’s league leading 1,845 yards were 484 more than Le’Veon Bell’s, a beast in his own right, and a margin bigger than anyone’s since Chris Johnson ran for 2,000 yards in 2009. Johnson beat out Steven Jackson that year by 590 yards. Murray had 15 rushes of 20+ yards and 13 touchdowns while no other running back had 10 of either statistic.

DeMarco Murray headbutt

MY CHOICE: DeMarco Murray

I think Andrew Luck and Aaron Rodgers would make excellent choices. However DeMarco Murray proved to be the best at his position for the entire season. Le’Veon Bell is a close second though with 2,215 yards from scrimmage, 83 receptions, and 11 total touchdowns.

Thank you everyone for following along this season! Wish we were already drafting for next season. Keep coming back to MichaelPiff.com in the meantime for more than football. It’s going to be a good bit of fun. 

Brady Peace

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