Best Quarterback to Sit Out a Season After Multiple Spinal Surgeries Only to Return to Have One of His Best Seasons Ever: Peyton Manning – And you thought it was going to be Mark Sanchez! The MVP race looks like it will come down to a 36 year old coming off neck surgery or a 27 year old coming off a blown out knee. Both seasons are ones for the ages.
After being out of football for a season and switching teams, Manning was able to lead the Broncos to the best record in the NFL and have his second most touchdown passes and second most passing yards in his career. And he also came pretty cheap as the eighth quarterback drafted, while finishing in the top five.
Breakout Fantasy Player of the Year: Dez Bryant – After underachieving his first two years, he finally caught on and finished with 88 receptions, 1,311 yards and 12 touchdowns. Most of those touchdowns came from Week 10 on, but he helped a ton of teams get into and win their Week 16 fantasy championship with a monster game. He finished the season as the third best fantasy wide receiver and was drafted as the 16th best.
Best Running Back to Return From a Blown Out Knee Not Named Adrian Peterson: Jamaal Charles – J.C. Superstar had his ups and downs this season, but for him to have the season he did, coming off a knee injury and playing on arguably the worst team in the NFL, well, it’s nothing short of remarkable.
He ended up having his highest yardage total with 1,509 rushing yards and averaged 5.3 yards per carry. This of course came with Brady Quinn and company at the helm. He’s an elite talent and showed it through adversity this season.
Waiver Wire Player of the Year: Cecil Shorts – This really depends on your league. I’m sure Alfred Morris or Randall Cobb were on many a waiver wire to start the season, but Shorts was truly a waiver wire wonder this year. He only started nine games and played in 14, but finished the season with 55 receptions for 979 yards and 7 touchdowns.
Best Fantasy Running Back in the Fantasy Playoffs: Marshawn Lynch – I figured this would be Adrian Peterson, but Mr. Skittles himself wins this one with a great stretch weeks 14 through 16. Beast Mode had 385 total yards and six touchdowns in those three games compared to Peterson’s 472 total yards and three touchdowns.
Most Underutilized C.J. of the Year: C.J. Spiller – Hey, I get it, Spiller probably isn’t a 25 carry a game back, but his ability to break huge plays should get him more chances than he had this season. But what he did with those chances was pretty amazing. On just 250 total touches, he gained 1,703 yards, which puts him fifth on the running backs list. The next best with similar touches was Reggie Bush with 263 total touches for 1,278 yards, ranking him 15th. And Arian Foster had 391 touches for 1,641yards. Really, any comparison is crazy. His 6.8 yards per touch is amazing.
@RotoPat -- The Bears' playbook is contained in a box you can only open by inserting a square peg into a round hole.
@greggrosenthal -- Something is wrong with the universe if Shaun Alexander won an MVP and Peterson doesn't get one here.
@SC_DougFarrar -- How about if Peterson's knee gets Comeback Player of the Year, and the rest of him gets MVP?
@MoveTheSticks -- Seems like such a special year for pass rushers but the top 3 guys in 2011 totaled more sacks than this year's top 3... 59.5 to 58.5.
@MoveTheSticks -- 6 of the top 8 rushing teams made the playoffs while the top 3 passing teams didn't.
@ESPN_Numbers -- RG III joins Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson in playoffs. This will be 1st season in NFL history w/ 3 rookie starting QBs in postseason.
@michaelsmith -- And to think, Adrian Peterson is REALLY going to be something NEXT year, when he's all the way back.
@fbgchase -- Matt Stafford has thrown for 10,005 yards the last 2 years, and I don't even know if he's a top 15 quarterback.
@AdamSchefter -- Top 10 draft picks: 1. KC; 2. JAX; 3. OAK; 4. PHIL; 5. DET; 6. CLEV; 7. ARIZ; 8. BUFF; 9. NYJ; 10. TEN.
@ESPNStatsInfo -- #Broncos Peyton Manning: 73rd career game with 3 TD passes, passing Brett Favre for most all-time.
@Dexters_Library -- I bet Jason Hanson takes his kicking shoe to a cobbler.