Fantasy Football Awards for 2013 NFL Season
By Guest Writer John Belaska:
The 2013 fantasy football season is officially in the books. Hopefully, it went well for you. If nothing else, we just hope you had a good time participating. Thank you for reading our weekly columns on fantasy football awards for the week. We decided it would be good to give out one more set of awards before next season. Here they are; the fantasy awards for the 2013 season.
Quarterback of the Year- Peyton Manning (Denver Broncos)
Peyton Manning’s record setting season will surely be remembered by fantasy football players for years to come. His 5211 passing yards and 51 touchdowns have set a new benchmark that all fantasy quarterbacks are going to be judged on from now on. Unfortunately for fantasy owners, it is a season that will not be matched any time soon. We will not know whether or not Peyton is coming back for a 2014 run until after the playoffs. If he is coming back, he will be the only quarterback worthy of a first round draft pick next season.
Runners Up- Drew Brees (NO), Cam Newton (CAR)
Running Back of the Year- Jamaal Charles (Kansas City Chiefs)
Jamaal Charles was a monster all season long. He was the most consistent player in fantasy football. He has one of the best performances by any player in fantasy football history in week fifteen. He ended the fantasy season with 1287 rushing yards, 693 receiving yards, and 19 total touchdowns. The centerpiece of the Kansas City Chiefs’ offensive is going to be the unquestioned first player off the draft boards in the 2014 season.
Runners Up- LeSean McCoy (PHI), Matt Forte (CHI)
Wide Receiver of the Year- Calvin Johnson (Detroit Lions)
The decision to name a top wide receiver was a difficult one. Between Calvin Johnson and Josh Gordon, it could have gone either way. However, in the end it belongs to Calvin Johnson. Johnson did not disappoint owners who spent a very high draft pick on him. He was good from the start and remained a top wide receiver the entire year. He ended up snagging 84 balls for 1492 yards and 12 touchdowns. He will once again be the first wide receiver taken in fantasy drafts in the 2014 season. His numbers very well could be better next year if the Lions can continue to focus on Matthew Stafford’s growth into a top tier quarterback.
Runners Up- Josh Gordon (CLE), Demaryius Thomas (DEN)
Tight End of the Year- Jimmy Graham (New Orleans Saints)
Jimmy Graham was one of the most valuable assets in fantasy football this season. He recorded 81 receptions, 1144 yards, and 15 touchdowns throughout the year. He was the only tight end to go over 1000 receiving yards. His first six games were unreal; going for over 100 yards in all of them. He will once again be the first tight end taken in fantasy drafts in 2014 and is going to once again be the only tight end taken in the first three rounds.
Runners Up- Vernon Davis (SF), Julius Thomas (DEN)
Kicker of the Year- Matt Prater (Denver Broncos)
Matt Prater owners really benefitted from the highest powered offense in the NFL. Normally, it is better to have a kicker on an offense that will not score every time they possess the ball. That rule of thumb did not apply this year. Prater may have only kicked 23 field goals this season, but he knocked 71 point after attempts through the uprights. He also hit five field goals from beyond fifty yards away. He is a prime example of a fantasy player who did not let the easy points slip away from him. All those easy points really added up.
Runners Up- Stephen Gostkowski (NE), Justin Tucker (BAL)
Team Defense/ Special Teams Unit of the Year- Kansas City Chiefs
Very rarely does a team defense make a strong claim at the MVP award. The Chiefs certainly did this season. They very well could have been the MVP at midseason. The Chiefs recorded 44 sacks, 20 interceptions, and 15 fumble recoveries. They also scored seven defensive touchdowns and four special teams touchdowns. They accomplished all this while only allowing 242 points for the whole year.
Runners Up- Seattle Seahawks, Carolina Panthers
Rookie of the Year- Eddie Lacy (Green Bay Packers)
The future looks very bright for the Packers. There second round draft pick, Eddie Lacy, has provided them with a running game they have not had for a number of years. Lacy rushed for 1112 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also added 242 receiving yards to his totals. He did this without the help of Aaron Rodgers spreading the defense out for most of the season. Next year, with Rodgers back, Lacy should easily be able to improve on his impressive rookie campaign. He will be considered a low-end number one running back next season. He is worthy of a late first or second round draft pick.
Runners Up- Giovanni Bernard (CIN), Julius Thomas (DEN)
Sleeper of the Year- Josh Gordon (Cleveland Browns)
Josh Gordon is easily the biggest breakout star of the season. The Browns’ wide out caught 80 receptions for 1564 yards and nine touchdowns. He did this without having a legitimate quarterback. It would not be surprising if the Browns drafted one this offseason. Having someone capable under center would only make Gordon an even bigger weapon than he already is. He is in line to have an excellent career.
Runners Up- Alshon Jeffery (CHI), Kansas City Chiefs’ Defense
Bust of the Year- Ray Rice (Baltimore Ravens)
The award nobody wants to receive goes to Baltimore Ravens’ running back Ray Rice. Rice came into the season as a top five running back and demanded a very high price tag in fantasy drafts. He rewarded his fantasy owners with a measly 645 rushing yards and four touchdowns. After a good outlook coming into the season, Rice ended up being nothing more than a player to have on the bench. His totals have dropped for the past two straight years now. Next season he will be seen as somebody with the potential to make a big time comeback. Since he is a number one running back, he will still be drafted in the first three rounds of the 2014 fantasy drafts. However, unless the Ravens sure up their problems on their offensive line, Rice is someone to avoid next season.
Runners Up- C.J. Spiller (BUF), Trent Richardson (IND)
Comeback Player of the Year- Philip Rivers (San Diego Chargers)
Philip Rivers was the laughing stock of the fantasy football world coming into 2013. Once considered a top tier quarterback in fantasy, Rivers production had been declining over the past few seasons. In an era where quarterbacks are plentiful, nobody even considered drafting Rivers. The Chargers quarterback ended up shocking everyone and becoming the fourth most valuable quarterback in the game. Rivers threw for 4249 passing yards, 29 touchdowns, and only ten interceptions.
Runners Up- DeSean Jackson (PHI), Fred Jackson (BUF)
Fanspeak.com’s Most Valuable Player of 2013- Peyton Manning (Denver Broncos)
Peyton Manning’s season was unbelievable. From the very first game, the Broncos’ quarterback was lighting up the stat sheets. Manning took back the passing touchdown record he once held and, in the process, led numerous fantasy owners to the championship. It was not easy to choose a quarterback over a running back for this award; but with the type of season Manning had, there was no way anyone else was more deserving.
Runners Up- Jamaal Charles (KC), Drew Brees (NO)