This is our look at the 2015 fantasy football awards through our eyes. Of course, league settings vary and could skew one position moreseo over others so we will assume a standard, non-PPR league scoring system. We will also assume a championship in Week 16.
Most Valuable Player: Cam Newton. The expectation for 2015 was for him to stay in the pocket more and run less. Well, after losing Kelvin Benjamin before the season started, Cam was left with a group of WR3s or worse and a top tight end. Great players make those around him better and Cam responded with over 3800 yards passing and 35 TDs with an additional 636 yards rushing and 10 TDs to best the entire NFL. A truly amazing feat for a guy that barely cracked the Top 10 QBs drafted.
Least Valuable Player: Pick any of the RBs drafted in the first 3 rounds and you most likely have a hit. Granted, many of those players; Foster, Bell, Lynch,…suffered injuries, but you need to expect that with RBs and grab their backups. Only 7 RBs broke 1000 yards rushing this year and, to put it in perspective, Darren McFadden was one of them. NONE of the 13 RBs who broke 1000 yards in 2014 repeated. That is an amazing stat that will finalize the current shift in drafting strategy from 2 RBs early to 2 WRs early.
Awards by Position
Best draft pick: well, if our fantasy MVP is Cam, you know that he tops our position list. He had double digit points in every single game, including topping 20 in over half of his games.
Worst draft pick: Andrew Luck. The Colts had a solid receiving core at the end of 2014 and then foolishly added to it instead of bettering their defense so it seemed like Luck was destined to be a point machine just to keep them in games. Granted, an injury shortened his season, but he was almost unstartable before that. He played 7 games and broke 300 yards passing in only two of them. He threw an INT in 6 of those games and multiple in 5 of those games. He was a first or second round draft pick in every league and killed many seasons. Peyton Manning was a very, very, very close second.
Best Free Agent acquisition: Blake Bortles. Now, he was drafted in deeper leagues, but started the season on the waiver wire in the majority of leagues. He had some maddening games and often started slowly, but his numbers were solid at the end of the day. He put up over 20 fantasy points in 9 games and averaged 26ppg during the fantasy playoffs.
Biggest Playoffs Contributor: Kirk Cousins. Cousins only had a few shining moments in the first 12 weeks, but exploded when it counted thanks to finally having a healthy DeSean Jackson and Jordan Reed to throw to. He averaged 30ppg in week 14-16 and carried many teams to a championship.
Biggest Playoffs Killer: Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers’ final numbers on the year look great but his biggest weeks were in the first half of the season. He really struggled in the second half, especially in weeks 14-16, where he averaged 12ppg, including an 11 point dud in week 15 and a 7 point travesty in week 16.
Best draft pick: Devonta Freeman. The Atlanta running back situation was difficult to know during drafts since the Falcons didn’t know themselves. Smart owners drafted both Tevin Coleman and Freeman. Those who got Freeman rode him to the playoffs as he was a flat out stud for the majority of the season and performed well in weeks 15-16.
Worst draft pick: there are many to choose from but Melvin Gordon has to top the list cuz he was actually healthy all year and produced zip, nada, bunko. He was drafted anywhere from the 3rd round to the 6th round and was a bust no matter where he was drafted. He had ZERO double digit games. ZERO! And that includes receiving yards too! He will go into 2016 searching for his first professional score. Eddie Lacy was a very close second but Gordon truly had no rival at how poorly he performed in an ideal situation for him.
Best Free Agent acquisition: DeAngelo Williams. Smart Le’Veon Bell owners drafted Williams as well since Bell had a 2-game suspension to wait out. However, once Bell came back and began tearing up the league, foolish owners dropped him since he essentially had 5 weeks of goose eggs. When Bell went down, Williams ripped off double digits in almost every week from 8-16. Only week 10 at Cleveland was a surprising light effort. In weeks 14-6, he averaged over 19ppg.
Biggest Playoffs Contributor: David Johnson. Johnson showed his versatility at the beginning of the season by scoring on kick returns and passes but was an afterthought for the middle of the season when he rarely got a chance to contribute on offense. When Chris Johnson went down, David stepped in and got better each week. In weeks 14-16, he put up 12, 41 and 19 points. Who would have thought a team of Kirk Cousins and David Johnson would roll through the playoffs?
Biggest Playoffs Killer: C.J. Anderson, DeMarco Murray. Both were full-season Busts that really stood out in the playoff weeks, though each had decent Week 16 efforts for their owners that were undoubtedly out of the running. C.J. put up a 0, 2, 12 playoff line and DeMarco put up a 4, 0, 11 playoff line.
Best draft pick: For me, it is Brandon Marshall. Antonio Brown’s overall numbers were better, but he had some weak performance thanks to Big Ben being out. Marshall was the most consistent WR by far. He didn’t even crack the Top 20 WRs drafted and had double digit points in all but 3 games this year thanks to breaking 100 yards or getting a TD. Getting Ryan Fitzpatrick under center was a Godsend for Marshall’s performance.
Worst draft pick: Dez Bryant. You can cite his injury or Tony Romo’s injury all you want. No matter how you look at it, he was a waste of a first round draft pick. For players active all year, you can look at T.Y. Hilton, Randall Cobb and Jordan Matthews as your runner-ups.
Best Free Agent acquisition: Doug Baldwin. Seattle has never been a team that anyone looked to for WRs except for Bye week fill-ins. That all changed when Jimmy Graham and Marshall Lynch got hurt and Seattle took to the air. His performances in weeks 10-16 were some of the best that I have ever seen.
Biggest Playoffs Contributor: Doug Baldwin. He averaged 20ppg in weeks 14-16.
Biggest Playoffs Killer: Randall Cobb. He was a season-long bust but really stood out in the playoff weeks with a robust 5.5ppg average. It was obvious that he is a much better second fiddle than lead dog.
Best draft pick: Gronk. Gronk justified his lofty ADP by easily outscoring his peers again with a 72/1176/11 season. The first half of his season was fantastic compared to the second half, but he helped position many teams for a playoff run.
Worst draft pick: Martellus Bennett. With Alshon Jeffery injured often and Brandon Marshall gone, Bennett had a stellar opportunity to shine in a contract year, but only had 3 double digit games and the remainder of the games were less than 6. He was greatly outplayed in the second half of the season by backup TE Zach Miller.
Best Free Agent acquisition: Gary Barnridge. The book on him coming into the season was that he was a blocking tight end. Through multiple poor starting QBs, Barnridge was able to put up 8 double digit scoring weeks for a 71/977/9 season tally in another weak year for tight end consistency.
Biggest Playoffs Contributor: Jordan Reed. 21 ppg in weeks 14-16. This guy could rival Gronk for draft position if he could only stay healthy. The QB/TE Redskins pairing was hard to beat with money on the line this playoff season.
Biggest Playoffs Killer: Tyler Eifert. Eifert was a true feast-or-famine producer this season but he tallied a weak 4 points in week 14 and then sat out weeks 15-16 with a neck injury.
Best draft pick: Kansas City. The Chiefs were brutal as a whole early in the season, but, if you throw out their games at Green Bay and at Cincinnati, they were the best scoring fantasy defense this year in many formats. They scored 7 DTD, had at least one turnover in all but those 2 games, and really shined in the playoff stretch by dominating San Diego, Baltimore and Cleveland.
Worst draft pick: Buffalo. This may rank as the worst value pick of the whole draft. The Bills were one of the best defenses in 2014 and they were expected to be even better in 2015 with Rex Ryan as their coach. HA! They scored 4 or less points in HALF of their games with 3 being negative in leagues that penalize for points/yards given up. They were flat out horrible and were one of the first 3 defenses off the board in every league.
Best Free Agent acquisition: Houston. Houston was drafted but was discarded in many leagues after being horrific in the first 7 games of the season, Jacksonville game excluded. Starting in week 8, they posted double digits in 6 of their final 9 games and averaged almost 13ppg in weeks 14-16.
Biggest Playoffs Contributor: Arizona. The Cardinals were a defense to start every week all season but really shined in the playoffs when they steamrolled Minnesota, Philadelphia and Green Bay. Scoring systems vary, but they only gave up 15ppg, with 3 INTs, 8 fumble recoveries and 14 sacks. Their week 16 beatdown of the Packers clinched many championships.
Biggest Playoffs Killer: Denver. Denver may have been the top scoring defense in many formats, but many of those points were tallied in the first 6 games of the year. Scoring-wise, they laid an egg in weeks 14-16 by only registering 2 INTs, 1 fumble recovery and 8 sacks.
Best draft pick: Stephen Goskowski. Not even close. In a year where missed extra points rose dramatically due to the distance change, Goskowski was perfect. On field goals, he was almost perfect . He only missed 3 and they were from 46, 48 and 54 yards out. He had field goals in every game but 3 and also gets our best playoff performance by logging a total of 8 FGs in weeks 14-16.
Worst draft pick: Adam Vinatieri. He missed 3 extra points and only had multiple field goals in 7 games. Hell, he took a goose egg in his first two games and even had negative points if you get penalized for missing short field goals. Further highlighting his poor season, he had 5 games where he had 3 or less points.
Best Free Agent acquisition: Chris Boswell. After Shaun Suisham was lost to injury and Josh Scobee was booed out of town after 4 weeks, Boswell stepped in and secured the job going forward. He only missed 2 field goal at home, which is not an easy place to kick, and only missed one extra point.