Welcome to the last Morning After of the year. Since most of your fantasy seasons have you bathing in gold bullion or sleeping in abandoned warehouses by now, I thought I’d give out some fantasy awards. These all come with a cash prize hopefully donated from the winner to me. And the winners are . . .
Fantasy MVP: Adrian Peterson - This one is a bit of a no-brainer. After rushing for 199 yards and scoring two touchdowns in the season finale, Purple Jesus saved plenty of fantasy teams this season, especially those teams that took a risk and drafted him in the second round.
His list of accomplishments this season is long, but the biggest one for you fantasy footballers is that he’s the only non-quarterback in the top-10 of standard leagues this year. If you own that guy, your team has a huge upper hand on the competition.
He just missed the NFL record for rushing yards in a season by nine measly yards because Blair Walsh didn’t have the guts to shank the game-winning field goal to get them into the playoffs, but 2,097 yards is nothing to scoff at. Oh, and he did just happen to come off a devastating knee injury last Christmas, so, yeah, he’s inhuman. There is no doubt he’ll be the consensus number one pick next year and deservedly so. It will be tough to make any kind of argument against him that’s not based on pure speculation.
Fantasy Rookie of the Year: Robert Griffin III – There were plenty of great rookies this season and I’ll make up some awards for them if I can, but finding a top six quarterback in the sixth round is worth its weight in fantasy gold.
RGIII finished the season with the best passer rating ever by a rookie quarterback and threw for 3,200 yards, 20 touchdowns and just 5 interceptions, along with a great 65.6 completion percentage. He also ran for 815 yards and 7 touchdowns. Those 815 yards are a rookie record and made him the stud fantasy player that he is. The real rookie of the year vote will most likely come down to him and Andrew Luck (and maybe Russell Wilson), but the fantasy vote goes to RGIII every time.
Fantasy Disappointment of the Year: Ryan Mathews – There are several good possibilities here, including Matthew Stafford, Michael Vick, Darren McFadden, Maurice Jones-Drew, Larry Fitzgerald, and Vernon Davis to name just a few, but for me, Mr. Mathews was the epitome of a fantasy bust this season.
There were few players I was higher on coming into the season, so this has something to do with that, but after a promising 2011 as a committee back, it is hard to stomach his horrible 2012 as what looked to be the lead back. Last season he averaged 110 offensive yards a game, 4.9 yards per carry and scored six touchdowns, but of course this season he averaged 80 offensive yards a game, 3.8 yards per carry and had ONE touchdown. He my turn it around at some point, but it will be tough betting on him.
Fantasy Quarterback of the Year: Drew Brees – Last season’s quarterback numbers were similar to this year’s, but the glut of huge numbers at the top settled back down. We had seven 4,000+ and three 5,000+ passing yardage totals, two 30+ and three 40+ passing touchdown totals last year, and this year we had ten 4,000+ and one 5,000+ passing yardage total, with four 30+ and one 40+ passing touchdown total.
I think you can guess who that one player who topped 5,000 yards and 40 touchdowns was, that’s right, Mr. Brees. After a record setting year, he just kept on going with his third straight 5,000+ yard season, which is a record and back to back 40+ touchdowns, which is also a record. Oh and he led all quarterbacks in fantasy points. He’s not going to be up for many real awards after this season, but he’s a fantasy God!
Fantasy Wide Receiver of the Year or The Breaker of The Madden Curse: Calvin Johnson – Megatron only scored five touchdowns this season, but led all wide receivers in fantasy points. Oh, did I mention he also broke Jerry Rice’s record for receiving yards in a season with 1,964? Yeah, he did, and that may have something to do with all those fake points.
The loss of Jahvid Best, Nate Burleson, Titus Young Sr. and Ryan Broyles probably helped him gather many of those yards, but also hurt his touchdown production some. Matthew Stafford did not look good all that often this season, but he also was without those key players and had to throw the ball an inordinate amount of times and the whole world knew it. So looking forward, I doubt Johnson will come close to this yardage total, but his fantasy production could actually rise if the team improves as a whole.
Fantasy Rookie Running Back of the Year: Alfred Morris – Morris came on strong to win this one. Trent Richardson and Doug Martin both had great years, but Morris finished with a 200 yard, three touchdown game to help his team get into the playoffs. And that huge game helped him finish the season with 1,610 yards and 13 touchdowns. That gives him the third best rushing season for a rookie ever. And he was also quite consistent, especially in the fantasy playoffs, when he scored four touchdowns in weeks 14-16.