With the fantasy football season ending officially last night, I thought it was pretty appropriate to see where fantasy owners went right and wrong during their drafts around 5 months ago. For all the people who took Ryan Matthews in the 1st or 2nd round and some others who drafted Michael Vick in their leagues final round, this is for you. Here are the ups and downs from the 2010 fantasy football season.
*All fantasy numbers and projections will be used from our Fantasyknuckleheads.com fantasy league*
The number one fantasy player all season long has been Arian Foster, who was the only player to score over 400 fantasy points. Foster on average went in the 5th-6th round of most 12 team leagues; to be honest with you though, most years, the best fantasy player at the end of the year did not get drafted very early. To round out the top 5 fantasy players of the year: Peyton Manning, Aaron Rodgers, Michael Vick and Drew Brees with Phillip Rivers at a very close 6th. The thing to remember with the list though is that Michael Vick did not play at the beginning of the year and also was injured in the middle of the season with the rib injury. The reason people like Vick and Rodgers were on the top of this list is because of rushing yards as well, that really boosted a lot of their statistics. Just like Arian Foster had over 1,600 yards rushing, but what boosted his performance (in PPR leagues) to #1 was his 66 receptions for 600 yards and two touchdowns.
When looking at the total list of fantasy players that succeeded this season, I look at anyone who scored more than 200 total points; but the funny thing about making this list, is taking a look at some of the guys [absolute studs] who fell just below this mark, because to be honest with you, it really shocked me to take a look:
- Frank Gore: 201.44- had to have on list based on going on IR later in the season and ruining fantasy owners playoff run
- DeSean Jackson: 198.04- problem here was 9 games in single digit fantasy points killed owners, but made it up with 4 20+ point games this season
- Wes Welker: 188.98- real tough end to the year with 10 total fantasy points in last 3 games
- Brandon Marshall: 179.91- real disappointing this season; 8 straight games of single digit fantasy points does not work for owners
- Anquan Boldin: 165.74- 9 games of single digit fantasy points this year, and only two games above 20 fantasy points
- Chad Ochocinco: 152.39- Just under 5 fantasy points in final three games combined; exploded in week one with 32 fantasy points then went next 6 of 7 games in single digit fantasy land
- Ronnie Brown: 148.53- honestly where can I even start with him… As a Ronnie Brown owner, one of the most frustrating situations ever- had 4 games of double-digit fantasy points, in 9 games this year he scored between 7 and 8 fantasy points
- Ryan Matthews: 138.17- average draft position of around 20, frustrated the hell out of fantasy owners all season long; 4 games with zero FP, 6 games with under 7 FP- so that is 11 games under 7 FP this season, was almost as bad as the next two guys on this list
- Brett Favre: 125.16- two games of double-digit fantasy points this year… two, end of story
- Shonn Greene: 111.59- in some leagues, this guy went in the late first round… wow that’s frustrating for fantasy owners; I admit I traded Donald Driver for him earlier in the year, and it really never ended up mattering anyway. Four double-digit fantasy weeks, the one week people were banking on him exploding to win your championship, he “rested” with LT and Joe McKnight went nuts and did what you expected out of Greene.
The bottom of this list is really ridden with people who ended up on IR or just got buried below younger more talented players, but just shows how much productivity can take a hit when you lose studs really early in the season either way.
- Tony Romo: 120.73- played 6.5 weeks; projected total would equal around 270 fantasy points, will be good to go next year under Jason Garrett
- Vince Young: 91.70- played 10 of the first 11 weeks, scored negative fantasy points in week two versus Pittsburgh and scored single digit fantasy points in four other games
- Pierre Thomas: 87.46- either injured or in Sean Payton’s dog house all season long; missed 9 straight games in the middle of the season, but tons of potential; scored 46 fantasy points in the first three weeks of the year
- Randy Moss: 84.19- three different teams, 5 weeks of zero fantasy points, 4 weeks of double-digit fantasy points [all 4 weeks before week 8]
- Dallas Clark: 78.12- great player, especially because of how weak TE were this season [will talk about later]; played first 6 weeks, could have scored 200 fantasy points this year
- DeAngelo Williams: 55.16- played first 7 weeks of the season, shared carries with Jonathan Stewart, then Stewart came out and looked real good in the weeks he was healthy in Carolina
- Matthew Stafford: 51.50- fantasy owners got two games of 25 fantasy points in weeks 8 and 9 and basically nothing else at all- injuries killed his status this year
- Jermichael Finley: 51.07- projected as one of the best TE ends in the league pre-season, Finley played 4 games this year
The tight end position this season has been one of the worst things in fantasy sports history. 6 TE scored over 150 points this year [Witten, Gates, Vernon, Mercedes, Tony and Cooley]. There was a span this year where Antonio Gates was leading the league in fantasy points for a TE for weeks while he was still injured, it took Jason Witten a few big games to even catch Gates this season. If you were lucky enough to grab players like Jacob Tamme, Tony Moeaki or Jimmy Graham at points in the year, the TE position did not treat you that horribly. What is interesting though, is that if you started the season with Dallas Clark and was lucky enough to pick up Jacob Tamme at that moment, your “TE” position would have scored 213 total fantasy points this season.
Lets now take a look at some of the great pick ups in drafts this season; who was the guy that won your league for you based on simply getting “lucky” with a waiver wire pick up? If you started the year with Kevin Kolb, Tony Romo, Ryan Matthews, Randy Moss and Jermichael Finley and ended up with Michael Vick, Arian Foster, Peyton Hillis, Dwayne Bowe and Jacob Tamme you most likely won your league and saved yourself from fantasy disaster.
- Arian Foster: 404.66- 51 fantasy points to start the year versus Colts, one game of single digit fantasy points this year, enough said
- Michael Vick: 331.32- did not play 4.5 games and still put up these numbers, expect him to go number one in 2011 fantasy football drafts, especially with the rushing yards helping owners out every week
- Peyton Hillis: 297.02- one of the biggest anomalies in the league this year, former Denver Bronco took advantage of a run-first offense in Cleveland and scored single digit fantasy points in three games [unfortunately it was the last 3 games of the year for fantasy owners]
- Darren McFadden: 271.51- started season with 4 straight 15+ fantasy point games, missed two games, then scored 68 points in two games. From week 12-16 he rattled off 101 fantasy points when it counted for fantasy owners
- Josh Freeman: 264.44- one game of single digit fantasy points [against Pittsburgh, isn’t it always though], he was an absolute beast this season and probably other than Brady, the most consistent QB all year long
- Brandon Lloyd: 253.75- led the NFL in receiving yards, 5 games of single digit fantasy points, 6 games of 20+ points- a very good season overall for a guy that probably was not even drafted in most leagues
- Matt Cassel: 248.14- only threw 7 interceptions this year, five 20+ fantasy points this season and led the Chiefs to the playoffs
- Kyle Orton: 245.88- 12 straight weeks of double digit fantasy points, then he played the Chiefs and Cardinals, then lost job to Tim Tebow… wow what a year
- David Garrard: 239.26- started the season kind of weak with 75 fantasy points through first 7 weeks, but finished with 163.34 fantasy points in the next 9 games [missed week 17 due to injury]
- Hakeem Nicks: 223.68- Nicks missed three games this season and still put up amazing numbers for a wide receiver this year. Scored double digit fantasy points every week but one for the first 11 weeks of the season [4 games of 20+]
- Ryan Fitzpatrick: 222.90- did not play first two week of the season, but literally stole the job away with only two single digit games before the debacle in New England in week 16 and not playing in week 17; scored over 20 twice and over 30 twice… very good year for the Harvard graduate
- Stevie Johnson: 219.55- after starting very slow [10 pts in two weeks], Stevie scored double digit fantasy points in 8 of the next 9 weeks, then scored double digit only once in final four games- so a little confusing, but shows how well Ryan Fitzpatrick played this year
- Sam Bradford: 208.78- only 4 games with single digit fantasy points, unfortunately one of them was week 17 against Seattle, but for a rookie season… wow
- BenJarvus Green-Ellis: 202.47- the “law firm” 10 weeks of double digit fantasy points, from week 8 on, Ellis scored single digit fantasy points only twice
- Mike Tolbert: 183.90- 5 games of 20+ fantasy points, some weeks he was a beast and some weeks he only saw a couple of goal line carries, the Chargers running back position could be a great fantasy option if it was down to 1 and not 3
- Davone Bess: 172.72- 9 weeks of double-digit fantasy points, he was the security blanket for Chad Henne all season long, a very good PPR possession receiver
- Jacoby Ford: 170.04- We saw his explosion in week nine, from week nine on Ford scored 143.69 fantasy points in 7 games, could be a very good option the entire year next season
To end my recap article, I just want to give you a list of back up quarterbacks who either made a start or played significant amount of time this year and give you a taste of some rankings and projections for fantasy football 2011.
Week 17 starters with * next to name: Not all QBs named
Rex Grossman, Colt McCoy, Shaun Hill, Drew Stanton, Joe Webb, Tavaris Jackson, Kyle Boller,, Bruce Gradkowski, John Skelton, Richard Bartel *, Max Hall, Brian Brohm *, Brian St. Pierre, Tim Tebow, Jon Kitna, Stephen McGee, Matt Leinart, Matt Flynn, Trent Edwards *, Brodie Croyle, Chad Pennington, Tyler Thigpen, Kevin Kolb, Mark Brunell *, Troy Smith, Byron Leftwich, Charlie Batch, Dennis Dixon, Charlie Whitehurst, Kerry Collins and Rusty Smith
2011 fantasy football tid bit:
Players that will now enter into the top few rounds of fantasy drafts next season are Michael Vick, Arian Foster, Peyton Hillis, Brandon Lloyd, Josh Freeman, Mike Williams [TB] and Hakeem Nicks just to name a few. What I think will be the interesting question going into next year, will be if Vick stays with the Eagles and if that will effect his draft status in fantasy owners minds. Here are a few questions to look for going into the grind of the 2011 fantasy football season:
Will the return of Montario Hardesty hurt any production from Peyton Hillis?
When DeAngelo Williams returns to the field for Carolina [they have first pick in April’s draft as well], will he or Jonathan Stewart be able to share workload and will either become good fantasy option?
Where will Chad Ochocinco and Terrell Owens end up next season? And how will that effect Carson Palmer?
Tim Tebow or Kyle Orton? Can they exist on same team? Where will Orton end up?
Does the Cowboys RB situation get any clearer next year?
Does return of Ben Tate and Derrick Ward effect status of Arian Foster being top 5 pick next season?
The Return of injured players from this year: Dallas Clark, Ryan Grant,
How will the Vikings treat their QB situation next year without Brett Favre?
With emergence of Chris Ivory, how will Saints RB situation work with fantasy?
Watch for Miami QB situation for status of Marshall, looked like he had no connection with Henne this year
Eli Manning turned over the ball over 40 times this year, that does not translate well into fantasy football success
LaDanian Tomlinson versus Shonn Greene should be very interesting to watch going into next year
Is Darren McFadden a top 10 RB?
Will Josh Freeman, LeGarrette Blount and Mike Williams turn into fantasy studs again?
Who will be the quarterback in front of the most dangerous RB in football in Tennessee?
What will happen to the Redskins QB position and where will Donovan McNabb end up?
See you next season and thank you for reading my column