The 2015 Fantasy Football season has been a lot like going on vacation with your family for the holidays. The vacation site or league site has been set, the group or league members are committed and tickets have been paid for. Draft day approaches and excitement builds as family members send out links to excursions and themed restaurants they assume everyone will enjoy.
The season begins and you immediately remember why you’ve taken a break from this specific group of people. You send out your third email to those who are late paying their league fee just as your uncle decides he wants his own check instead of simply splitting the bill at dinner.
By the end of the vacation, the following is true: you’ve lost Le’Veon Bell but weren’t smart enough to handcuff him with DeAngelo Williams. Your grandfather is pissed at your little sister for being on her phone the entire trip. You traded Cam Newton as a sell high because without Kelvin Benjamin he couldn’t be THIS good. Your father-in-law saw you from across the bar when you ordered that frozen daiquiri drink special and hasn’t looked at you the same way since. Your mother doesn’t understand how to load the 847 pictures she took onto her Facebook page, and all at once the realization sets in you willingly took money out of your personal account to be a part of this experience.
You wanted this. You have no one to blame but yourself.
Let’s take a look at the the 2015 Fantasy Football season awards!
Comeback Player of the Year
Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Three years ago, Doug Martin had one of the best rookie running back seasons in NFL history, totaling almost 2,000 yards, averaging over 4.5 yards per carry and catching almost 50 passes to go along with 12 touchdowns.
The last two years Martin has battled numerous injuries and his production dipped so far the Buccaneers failed to pick up the option on the final year of his rookie contract. After averaging less than four yards per carry over the last two season, scoring only three touchdowns and being labeled injury prone, Martin ends the Fantasy season with over 1,300 rushing yards, Seven total touchdowns and a career high in yards per carry. More impressively, however, Martin has played in every game this season while handling over 70 percent of the team’s rushing attempts. The Muscle Hamster is no more and the Dougernaut is born.
Honorable Mention: Carson Palmer, Jonathan Stewart, Jordan Reed
Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars
If we’re talking value, Bortles defines it. Bortles’ ADP (average draft position) was 210, placing him 24th amongst quarterbacks and after his four-touchdown performance during Week 16, championship week, Bortles finishes the season as the No. 4 overall quarterback in standard scoring leagues, a variance of 20 spots. Bortles threw for two or more touchdowns in 11 out of 15 games this season. Bortles also performed well in difficult match-ups, throwing for two touchdowns vs. New England, three vs Houston, two vs. Buffalo and two vs. the Jets. Lastly, Bortles was at his best down the stretch, averaging 26.5 points per game between Weeks 12-16.
Honorable Mention: Carson Palmer, Kirk Cousins
Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
You could argue Cam Newton deserves the MVP over Bortles, but Cam’s ADP, 74th, placed him as the 11th highest drafted quarterback in 2015. Cam finishes the season as the No. 1 overall QB, which gives him a variance of 10 spots, half of Bortles’ 20. There is no argument, however, for which QB had the biggest breakout this season. Cam made Soulja Boy proud, as he unapologetically Supermanned defenses to the likes of over 4,000 total yards and 41 touchdowns, scoring over 25 points on six different occasions.
Honorable Mention: Ryan Fitzpatrick, Tyrod Taylor
Bust of the Year
Matt Ryan, Atlanta Falcons
Ryan was taken as the 7th overall quarterback in drafts, with an ADP of 50. 2015 was a total disaster as Ryan lived up to his Matty Ice moniker, remaining ice cold for the majority of the year. Finishing as the No. 19 quarterback, Ryan threw for zero or one touchdown in 10 of his 15 games this season. That’s an ugly stat; we’re talking Steve Buscemi having an allergic reaction level ugly.
Honorable Mention: Peyton Manning, Andrew Luck
DeAngelo Williams, Pittsburgh Steelers
With an ADP of 139, Williams was the 42nd running back selected in drafts. Finishing as the No. 3 running back in standard scoring leagues and the No. 4 back in PPR (point per reception) leagues, Williams finds himself with a variance of roughly 39 spots. DeAngelo scored a touchdown or amassed over 100 total yards in nine different games this season and finished the year strong for owners, scoring eight touchdowns over the final seven games.
Honorable Mention: Todd Gurley, Danny Woodhead, David Johnson
Devonta Freeman, Atlanta Falcons
Freeman’s season was the equivalent of the television series Entourage. It came out of nowhere, blew us all away, had us hooked and then barely hung on, scrapping by toward the end off of the reputation it created for itself. With an ADP of 114, Freeman was the 39th running back off the boards after a disappointing rookie campaign.
Freeman took hold of the starting job after an injury to Tevin Coleman and scored 10 touchdowns in the Falcons’ first six games. Freeman’s value in the 2nd half came predominantly in PPR leagues, as he struggled mightily after his hot start, scoring only two touchdowns in his final eight games. While it may have been inconsistent, Freeman finishes the Fantasy Football season with over 1,400 total yards, 13 touchdowns and over 70 receptions.
Honorable Mention: Latavius Murray, Chris Ivory, Dion Lewis
Bust of the Year
DeMarco Murray, Philadelphia Eagles
Coming off one of the greatest seasons in NFL history, Murray was a first-round pick in the majority of leagues, being drafted 12th overall and the 7th running back taken in drafts. After scoring five touchdowns in the team’s first nine games, Murray and head coach Chip Kelly had a faster falling out than Chip Kelly and LeSean McCoy, or Chip Kelly and Jeremy Maclin, or Chip Kelly and DeSean Jackson or … either way, Murray was essentially relegated to 3rd string over the team’s final four games, seeing just 22 percent of the snaps. Murray somehow finished inside the Top 20 of running back scoring in both standard and PPR, but his benching down the stretch likely cost some owners a chance at a title.
Honorable Mention: Eddie Lacy, Joseph Randle, C.J. Anderson
Allen Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars
Robinson was the 30th wide receiver off the board this season, registering an ADP of 86. While some, most notably Matt Harmon of NFL.com, touted Robinson as a must-draft, breakout star of 2015, I’m not sure anyone saw this level of stardom in just year two of his promising career. Arob finishes the Fantasy Football season in the Top 6 of both standard and PPR leagues through breakout performances as well as consistency, hauling in five or more passes in 10 different games and scoring at least one touchdown in 10 as well. And as with all of our positional MVP’s, Robinson finished the year by doing some of his best work down the stretch, scoring seven touchdowns in his final five games.
Honorable Mention: DeAndre Hopkins, Larry Fitzgerald, Brandon Marshall
Doug Baldwin, Seattle Seahawks
The 53rd wide receiver drafted, and the 168th player overall, Baldwin owners have every right to claim that he, and not Allen Robinson, is the wide receiver MVP of 2015. My counter to that argument: talk to the owner that drafted Baldwin and ask if they share the same opinion. Baldwin was essentially useless early on, having less than 40 yards receiving in six of the team’s first eight games, and was most likely owned and dropped by at least one owner in your league this season. Baldwin’s second half has been epic, and not hipster epic, legitimately epic. Baldwin reeled in 12 touchdowns in Weeks 10-16, exceeding 80 yards in five of those six contests and is most likely personally responsible for the majority of the Frank the Tank championship celebrations in 2015.
Honorable Mention: Allen Hurns, John Brown, Ted Ginn
Bust of the Year
Randall Cobb, Green Bay Packers
Cobb’s 2014 production was believed by many to be his floor for 2015 as Cobb surprisingly re-signed with the Packers in the offseason and then the only white non “scrappy” wide receiver, Jordy Nelson, was lost for the season due to injury. Cobb was the 8th wide receiver drafted and the 20th player overall as owners envisioned a season similar to that of fellow slot stud, Wes Welker, in his prime. Cobb exceeded five receptions in a game only five times, finishing the season with less than 800 yards receiving. To solidify his bust of the year status, Cobb failed to score a touchdown in his final five contests.
Honorable Mention: Mike Evans, Jordan Matthews
Fantasy Football Song of the Year Award:
The It’s Not You It’s Me Award:
(Awarded to the player who I fully recognize has value but I’m just not feeling any chemistry so… I’ll pass)
The Roger Goodell & Jeff Fisher Award:
(Awarded to the player least effective at their job yet for some reason has little-to-no job security concerns)
The Terrible Ex Wife/Ex Husband Award:
(Awarded to the player I’m breaking up with, permanently, forever, with zero fond memories of)
The Shane Vereen Award:
(Awarded to the player we’ve all owned at one point and undoubtedly will own again in the future, whether we like it or not)
The Rebecca Black Award:
(Awarded to the player we’ve never heard of but now will always remember. It’s Friday, Friday, Friday!)
The Spring Break Award:
(Awarded to the player who best fulfilled our fantasies. It was never real but it was a wild ride while it lasted and we thank you)
The Facebook Friend Award:
(Awarded to the player who’s always there for you, except for the times you actually need something)
The Cheese In A Can Award:
(Awarded to the player who at first made you look like a genius but ultimately left you nauseous and gassy)
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