The fantasy football season is coming to an end. Leagues start their championship matchup this week. Some are one-week matchups and do not play in Week 17 because of NFL teams resting their star players for the playoffs. Others will be two-week matchups and last the rest of the NFL season. As the season comes to an end, let’s give out some awards.
Most Valuable Player: Andrew Luck, Colts quarterback. This is an absolute no-brainer. Luck is the top-ranked quarterback in fantasy football and leads every player in the NFL in fantasy points scored with 322. The third-year player from Stanford was the top-ranked quarterback in fantasy football for a majority of the season and was an automatic start on fantasy football rosters for the duration of the season. It looks like Luck is going to have many successful years in the NFL – and in fantasy football, too.
Least Valuable Player: Doug Martin, Buccaneers running back. Martin burst onto the fantasy football scene last season, making him a risky high draft pick this year. If you happened to take that risk and draft Martin in the first two rounds, it did not quite work out for you. Martin was injured for the first three weeks of the season, which caused you to keep him on your roster. Then, when he came back, he just couldn’t get it going. He has a total of 47 fantasy points for the entire season.
Rookie of the Year: Odell Beckham Jr., Giants wide receiver. He didn’t start to make an impact until Week 5, but he is now the 12th-ranked wide receiver in fantasy football. He is averaging 10.5 fantasy points per game and has a total of 147 points on the season. That is a solid total for a wide receiver, considering he did not accumulate any points during the first four weeks of the season. Beckham Jr. made a name for himself with his fantastic one-handed catch during Week 12 against the Cowboys. Beckham Jr. is going to be a very valuable wide receiver in fantasy football for years to come.
Biggest Bust: Zac Stacy, Rams running back. The sophomore slump hit Zac Stacy pretty hard. Stacy became a fantasy factor last season, and had high expectations this year. He started off the year somewhat productive, but then just completely became a non-factor. Tre Mason became the top running back on the Rams depth chart when Stacy couldn’t get the job done. Stacy is currently owned in only 5.6% of fantasy football leagues and has accumulated only 38 fantasy points on the season. He is the 66th-ranked running back in fantasy football and most likely will not be drafted in ESPN standard leagues next year.
Now that we’ve handed out the awards, here is the 2014 fantasy first team:
ALL-NFL FANTASY FIRST TEAM
QB: Andrew Luck, Colts: average of 23.0 fantasy points per game
RB: DeMarco Murray, Cowboys: average of 18.1 fantasy points per game
RB: Le’Veon Bell, Steelers: average of 17.9 fantasy points per game
WR: Antonio Brown, Steelers: average of 15.3 fantasy points per game
WR: Demaryius Thomas, Broncos: average of 14.4 fantasy points per game
TE: Rob Gronkowski, Patriots: average of 12.1 fantasy points per game
FLEX: Kelvin Benjamin, Panthers wide receiver: average of 10.0 fantasy point per game
DEFENSE/SPECIAL TEAMS: Buffalo Bills: average of 11.4 fantasy points per game
KICKER: Stephen Gostowski. Patriots: average of 10.9 fantasy points per game
THURSDAY NIGHT RECAP: This past Thursday night, the Jacksonville Jaguars defeated the Tennessee Titans, 21-13. The Jaguars improved to 3-12 and the Titans fell to 2-13.
For the Jaguars, quarterback Blake Bortles threw for 150 yards and a touchdown and also ran for 50 yards: a 13-fantasy point performance. Jordan Todman also accumulated 13 fantasy points, rushing for 71 yards and a touchdown and netting 5 receiving yards. Wide receiver Marquise Lee had 65 receiving yards: a 6-fantasy point performance.
For the Titans, quarterback Charlie Whitehurst threw for 287 yards and a touchdown and also ran for 12 yards: a 16-fantasy point performance. Running back Bishop Sankey rushed for 44 yards and had 9 receiving yards: a 4-fantasy point performance. Wide receiver Kendall Wright had 73 receiving yards: a 7-fantasy point performance.
UNFORTUNATE INJURY: This past Monday, Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray had surgery for a broken bone in his hand. He is questionable to play this week against the Colts. Murray is the top-ranked running back in fantasy football, averaging 18.1 fantasy points per game. Joseph Randle will be the starting running back for the Cowboys if Murray cannot play on Sunday.
Cam Newton did not play last week against the Buccaneers because of a back injury from when he got in a car accident. Newton is probably going to play this week against the Browns. Newton is the 16th-ranked quarterback in fantasy football, averaging 14.0 fantasy points per game. Derek Anderson will start at quarterback if Newton cannot play.
UNLIKELY PERFORMANCE: Last week, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers had his worst game of the season in terms of fantasy football performance. Rodgers threw for 185 yards and had two interceptions and ran for 27 yards: a 5-fantasy point performance. This was the first time all season that Rodgers did not throw a touchdown in a game. The Packers lost that game to the Bills, 21-13. The Bills improved their record to 8-6 and the Packers fell to 10-4. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers will look to get back on track this week against the Buccaneers. Rodgers will be facing a Buccaneers defense that ranks 24th in the league in allowing points to the opposing quarterback, allowing an average of 16.6 fantasy points per game.
WEEK 16 FAVORABLE MATCHUPS: Here is an example of a starting lineup for some of this week’s favorable matchups:
QB: Tom Brady, Patriots (projected 23 fantasy points) vs. Jets defense
RB1: Eddie Lacy, Packers (projected 16 fantasy points) vs. Buccaneers defense
RB2: C.J. Anderson, Broncos (projected 16 fantasy points) vs. Bengals defense
WR1: DeAndre Hopkins (projected 16 fantasy points) vs. Ravens defense
WR2: Mike Evans, Buccaneers (projected 14 fantasy points) vs. Packers defense
TE: Greg Olsen, Panthers (projected 12 fantasy points) vs. Browns defense
FLEX: Jeremy Hill, Bengals (projected 12 fantasy points) vs. Broncos defense
D/ST: Giants (projected 8 fantasy points) vs. Rams offense
K: Matt Bryant, Falcons (projected 12 fantasy points) vs. Saints defense