Has your Fantasy Football withdrawal kicked in already? Are you already thinking about next year’s draft? Yeah, me too…That’s why I’ll be frequently updating my draft boards on MichaelPiff.com starting next week.
We have some awards to hand out from the 2015 season!
This season was wild. Injuries, suspensions, surprises, Gary Barnidges, backup quarterbacks, drama and more drama…We’ll look at all the impact players, and some of the worst, that dictated your fantasy season this past season.
Cam Newton, Panthers
Every year you do your Fantasy draft, who usually goes off the board first?…Running backs. Then someone drafts Aaron Rodgers (probably Andrew Luck this year too) ridiculously high and some wide receivers will round out your first round. Quarterbacks don’t typically start to go in bulk until the 4th round and Cam Newton wasn’t even being considered until the 8th. His average draft position was 77.1 overall, average round was 8.4.
Those who rolled with Newton, and weren’t afraid of the lack of hype around his wide receivers, reaped ALL the benefits of #1 scoring quarterback in football. He finished the season leading the league in total touchdowns with 45 (35 passing, 10 rushing) and added 4,473 yards from scrimmage (3,837 passing, 635 rushing). Newton’s stretch from Week 11-15 (19 total touchdowns) likely helped carry you to your league’s championship too.
Next Best: Carson Palmer
Hard not to consider Carson Palmer as an MVP as well since he regularly gave you at least 290+ yards and 2-3 touchdowns through the air.
Biggest Bust of the Year
Eddie Lacy, Packers
I can’t fault players who miss time or underperform due to injury. The top tier of the running backs almost all suffered this, besides Adrian Peterson. Eddie Lacy wasn’t hurt though. Lacy was a Top 5 pick in most leagues, and he gave you just 3 rushing touchdowns and 758 yards on the ground in 15 games. He was out of shape, missing curfews, and just simply…bad. If any of his 3 games of 100+ yards helped you, I imagine it was because you were desperate at running back. It took Lacy until Week 11 to do so.
Next Worst: Dez Bryant
I’m probably breaking my injury rule here, but you likely picked Bryant late 1st or early 2nd round, held on to him while he was injured, and got just 3 touchdowns and 401 yards in 9 games for your patience. Tony Romo or not, Bryant is supposed to be a game changer…not THAT.
Devonta Freeman, Falcons
If you paid close attention to the Falcons in the offseason, you were weighing your options of taking rookie Tevin Coleman or 2nd year RB Devonta Freeman as one of your flier picks. If you picked Freeman, you CHOSE WISELY. Freeman went 119th overall on average, 2 rounds or so after Coleman, and he gave you 1,639 yards from scrimmage and 14 total touchdowns (most in the league). He also helped you stack up some wins from Weeks 2-6 with 10 touchdowns (9 rushing, 1 receiving).
Next Best: Tom Brady
If you picked Tom Brady before his suspension was lifted, you got him at backup value in later rounds. If you took him after, you still enjoyed his #RevengeTour with 36 touchdowns and only 7 interceptions.
Waiver Wire Pickup of the Year
DeAngelo Williams, Steelers
While Le’Veon Bell served his 2 game suspension to start the year, DeAngelo Williams filled in with 204 yards and 3 touchdowns (all in one game). After Bell went on IR following Week 8, Williams gave you high-end RB1 production, averaging 125 yards from scrimmage and finishing tied with Freeman for the league’s lead in rushing TDs.
Next Best: Gary Barnidge
Might gut went with Gary Barnidge initially, but Williams’s value after Bell went down was just too strong…Barnidge was certainly the breakout player of the year, posting 1,043 yards and 9 touchdowns on 79 catches at the age of 30. Before this year, Barnidge’s career totals were 604 yards, 44 catches and 3 touchdowns over 7 years.
Comeback Player of the Year
Doug Martin, Buccaneers
I’ll admit it. I wrote off the Muscle Hamster. After recording nearly 2,000 yards yards from scrimmage his rookie season, the guy barely hit half of that total over the next 2 years because of injuries, bad offensive lines and worse offensive coordinators. Bucs OC Dirk Koetter figured it all out though and made Doug Martin into the league’s 2nd leading rusher, picking up 1,402 yards on the ground. For someone who went in the 9th round on average in most fantasy drafts, I think you’d take that.
Next Best: Ryan Fitzpatrick
Ryan Fitzpatrick is the definition of a journeyman quarterback. 6 teams in 10 years, never making the playoffs and a career high of 24 touchdown passes in both the seasons he started all 16 games…until this year. Surround his beard with 2 excellent possession receivers, a quality offensive line, and 2 viable running backs and Fitzpatrick turns into FitzMagic throwing 31 touchdowns. He threw multiple touchdowns in 12 of his 16 starts…Who figured Geno Smith getting punched in the face would benefit them so well?
Rookie of the Year
Todd Gurley, Rams
It’s hard not to picture Todd Gurley being drafted in your first round next season. In 12 starts, the rookie out of Georgia 1,106 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground (2nd highest in the league). Gurley was the Rams’ only source of offense, which explained some of the slow down in production down the stretch as opposing defenses keyed in on him. Expect Gurley to just get stronger and scarier now that he’ll have a full offseason without rehabbing an injury.
Next Best: Jameis Winston
It’s easy to compare Jameis Winston with Marcus Mariota, both rookie QBs with Heisman trophies in their mantles. Winston separated himself from Mariota with big play ability, ranked 2nd in yards per completion (13), and was more consistent for scoring in the 2nd half of the season.
QB: Cam Newton, Panthers – 3,837 yards, 35 TD passing / 636 yards, 10 TD rushing
WR: Antonio Brown, Steelers – 1,834 yards, 136 catches, 10 TD
WR: Julio Jones, Falcons – 1,871 yards, 136 catches, 8 TD
WR: DeAndre Hopkins, Texans – 1,521 yards, 111 catches, 11 TD
RB: Adrian Peterson, Vikings – 1,485 yards, 11 TD rush / 30 catches, 222 yards receiving
RB: Devonta Freeman, Falcons – 1,061 yards, 11 TD rush / 73 catches, 578 yards 3 TD receiving
FLEX: Odell Beckham Jr, Giants – 1,450 yards, 96 catches, 13 TD (15 games)
TE: Rob Gronkowski, Patriots – 72 catches, 1,176 yards, 11 TD
K: Stephen Gostkowski, Patriots – 33/36 FG, 52/52 PAT
DEF – Denver Broncos – 52 sacks, 14 INT, 16 fumble recoveries, 5 TD
QB: Kirk Cousins, Washington
WR: Allen Robinson, Jaguars
WR: Doug Baldwin, Seahawks
WR: Brandin Cooks, Saints
RB: Todd Gurley, Rams
RB: David Johnson, Cardinals
FLEX: Lamar Miller, Dolphins
K: Brandon McManus, Broncos
DEF: Minnesota Vikings
Who are your picks for our Year-End Fantasy Awards? Let me know on Facebook or Twitter! Stay tuned for year-round Fantasy Football info for next year’s draft!