Fantasy Football 2012: The Fantasy Awards

1 of 7

2012 Fantasy Football Awards

peterson
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

It’s now 2013 (take that Mayans) and people usually tend to look back at the year that was. Fantasy columnists such as myself tend to do the same.

In short, the 2012 fantasy season has been the year of the comeback and one of the most sensational rookie classes in recent memory. We also saw one of the greatest fantasy performances of all time. No surprise here, but it came from a certain rookie running back. And what about the waiver wire darlings? There were about four or five guys who weren’t even taken in 2012 fantasy drafts, yet helped win fantasy owners championships worldwide. From the unknown, to the cherished, you gotta love fantasy football.

However, not everything was magical from fantasy land. There were a handful of players who uncharacteristically struggled in 2013. Not to mention a few head coaches that absolutely hindered the fantasy value of some elite caliber guys. Oh, and some quarterbacks who made an All-Pro wide receiver like Larry Fitzgerald irrelevant. Yeah, that’s right, I’m talking to you Ryan Lindley, Kevin Kolb and John Skelton.

So, as I sit here reflecting a very memorable 2012 campaign, join me in handing out the fantasy hardware. We will highlight the good, the bad and the ugly. And of course, the ugly would be Ryan Mathews. Ok, maybe that was a bit rude, but isn’t it true? Let’s take a look at the year that was.

Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy football columnist for Rant Sports.

You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.

2 of 7

MVP: Alfred Morris, RB, Washington Redskins

ALF
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Look, I know what you’re thinking. Where is Adrian Peterson? Are you insane, Adam?

Relax.

This award does not simply go to the best player or whoever had the most points. It belongs to the most valuable, which also could mean the best value from where they were drafted. After his monster rookie campaign, Alfred Morris is my fantasy MVP.

Morris had the most fantasy value from where he was drafted in leagues. Heck, in majority of leagues he probably wasn’t even taken. Cleary that was a mistake as Morris ran for 1,613 yards (2nd in the league), 13 touchdowns (2nd in the league) and averaged 100.8 yards per contest (2nd in the league). Are you seeing a theme here? So am I. It’s called consistency. Head coach Mike Shanahan tends to hinder the fantasy production of his running backs. However, that wasn’t the case with Morris. The young power back carried the ball a whopping 335 times in 2012, proving that he can be an every down workhorse in this league.

“The Butler” has served his fantasy owners all season long and is deserving of MVP honors.

3 of 7

Player of the Year: Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings

AP
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

You know, I was debating leaving Peterson out of these awards due to the fact that he isn’t human. Just kidding, he in fact is human.

I think …

Look, I don’t think I need to explain how historically incredible AP was in 2012. But I will anyway because he is more than worth it. While he wasn’t my MVP, it’s a no-brainer that he was the best player in football this year. Just a year after having serious procedures on his knee, Peterson rushed for 2,097 years, just 9 shy of Eric Dickerson’s regular season record. He also found the end zone 12 times as well as averaging a ridiculous 6.0 yards per carry.

But the stats don’t tell the whole story.

Peterson one hundred percent carried the Vikings to the playoffs this season. Quarterback Christian Ponder threw for under 200 yards nine times on the year and wasn’t much of a threat to opposing defenses. Peterson, however, was. Defenses locked onto AP, knowing he was their only weapon. It’s safe to say that didn’t stop him from producing one of, if not the most impressive individual performance in years. Consensus number one pick next year? I think so.

4 of 7

Bust of the Year: Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals

fitz
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

No, you don’t have to adjust your computer screens. That does in fact say that the great Larry Fitzgerald was a bust in 2012.

Though, it wasn’t really his fault.

Fitzgerald was a victim of a constant quarterback carousel. That wouldn’t have been a problem had any of the signal callers been… well, good. Kevin Kolb, John Skelton and Ryan Lindely saw quarterback duties for the Cardinals this year, making Fitzgerald owners want to suit up and play the position themselves, just so they could get him the ball. Fitz finished the year with an uncharacteristic 71 catches for just 798 yards and four touchdowns. Ouch! From a fantasy perspective, he ended 2012 ranking 41st among wide receivers. Guys like Malcom Floyd, Brian Hartline and even his teammate Andre Roberts had more fantasy points on the year.

I still believe that Fitzgerald is the second best receiver in football (behind Calvin Johnson) but it’ll be hard for him to produce elite numbers with these guys throwing him the football. As talented as he is, Fitz’s fantasy stock has shot way down heading into 2013.

5 of 7

Waiver Wire Darling: Cecil Shorts, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars

shorts
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Raise your hand if you knew who Cecil Shorts was before this season.

Not many of you, I assume.

Well, Shorts made himself a household name in fantasy football this season. This guy went from undrafted in fantasy leagues to borderline must-start territory. And he plays for the Jaguars. Shorts caught 55 balls for 979 yards and seven scores in 2012. He would have easily surpassed the 1,000-yard mark, but he had a concussion keep him from the final game of the season. He is quite versatile on the football field. He runs crisp routes, is physical and can get fantasy owners those big plays that they love, as he had 17 catches of 20 yards or more. If you grabbed him off of the waiver wire, you were certainly handsomely rewarded.

Shorts is the type of sleeper that wins fantasy championships.

6 of 7

Overlooked Player of the Year: Michael Crabtree, WR, San Francisco 49ers

crabtree
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Every year there seems to be that one guy who has a great season but yet, is hardly mentioned.

In 2012, Michael Crabtree was that guy.

Crabtree quietly (and I stress the word quietly) had a terrific campaign. The former Red Raider caught 85 balls for 1,105 yards and nine scores. Statistically, he was the 14th best wide receiver this season, ahead of guys like Victor Cruz, Torrey Smith and Miles Austin. He saw 127 targets on the year and really benefited from Colin Kaepernick’s presence in the offense. The second year quarterback looked to throw the ball down field a lot more than Alex Smith, which gave Crabtree more opportunity to produce.

Going into 2013, Crabtree is easily a top 20 wideout. As long as Kaepernick remains under center, he could even be borderlines top 10 when it’s all said and done.

7 of 7

Performance of the Year: Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

martin
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

When one of your players goes out and has an absolute monster game, nothing can put a smile on your face faster. But when that player is in your opponent’s lineup, well, nothing can make you punch your computer faster.

Doug Martin’s Week 9 performance against the Oakland Raiders certainly messed with people’s emotions.

During this historical Sunday, Martin carried the ball 25 times for 251 yards and four touchdowns. Oh, and he also added four catches for 21 yards for all of you PPR heads out there. For those who aren’t aware, that’s 51 fantasy points in standard leagues. 51. It was not only the greatest performance of 2012, but arguably one of the top fantasy games of all time. I watched the game and he single-handedly made the Raiders the worst tackling team in football.

It’ safe to say that Martin probably won many Week 9 fantasy matchups for owners. And for that, they are grateful.

1 of 7

2012 Fantasy Football Awards

peterson
Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

It’s now 2013 (take that Mayans) and people usually tend to look back at the year that was. Fantasy columnists such as myself tend to do the same.

In short, the 2012 fantasy season has been the year of the comeback and one of the most sensational rookie classes in recent memory. We also saw one of the greatest fantasy performances of all time. No surprise here, but it came from a certain rookie running back. And what about the waiver wire darlings? There were about four or five guys who weren’t even taken in 2012 fantasy drafts, yet helped win fantasy owners championships worldwide. From the unknown, to the cherished, you gotta love fantasy football.

However, not everything was magical from fantasy land. There were a handful of players who uncharacteristically struggled in 2013. Not to mention a few head coaches that absolutely hindered the fantasy value of some elite caliber guys. Oh, and some quarterbacks who made an All-Pro wide receiver like Larry Fitzgerald irrelevant. Yeah, that’s right, I’m talking to you Ryan Lindley, Kevin Kolb and John Skelton.

So, as I sit here reflecting a very memorable 2012 campaign, join me in handing out the fantasy hardware. We will highlight the good, the bad and the ugly. And of course, the ugly would be Ryan Mathews. Ok, maybe that was a bit rude, but isn’t it true? Let’s take a look at the year that was.

Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy football columnist for Rant Sports.

You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.

2 of 7

MVP: Alfred Morris, RB, Washington Redskins

ALF
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Look, I know what you’re thinking. Where is Adrian Peterson? Are you insane, Adam?

Relax.

This award does not simply go to the best player or whoever had the most points. It belongs to the most valuable, which also could mean the best value from where they were drafted. After his monster rookie campaign, Alfred Morris is my fantasy MVP.

Morris had the most fantasy value from where he was drafted in leagues. Heck, in majority of leagues he probably wasn’t even taken. Cleary that was a mistake as Morris ran for 1,613 yards (2nd in the league), 13 touchdowns (2nd in the league) and averaged 100.8 yards per contest (2nd in the league). Are you seeing a theme here? So am I. It’s called consistency. Head coach Mike Shanahan tends to hinder the fantasy production of his running backs. However, that wasn’t the case with Morris. The young power back carried the ball a whopping 335 times in 2012, proving that he can be an every down workhorse in this league.

“The Butler” has served his fantasy owners all season long and is deserving of MVP honors.

3 of 7

Player of the Year: Adrian Peterson, RB, Minnesota Vikings

AP
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

You know, I was debating leaving Peterson out of these awards due to the fact that he isn’t human. Just kidding, he in fact is human.

I think …

Look, I don’t think I need to explain how historically incredible AP was in 2012. But I will anyway because he is more than worth it. While he wasn’t my MVP, it’s a no-brainer that he was the best player in football this year. Just a year after having serious procedures on his knee, Peterson rushed for 2,097 years, just 9 shy of Eric Dickerson’s regular season record. He also found the end zone 12 times as well as averaging a ridiculous 6.0 yards per carry.

But the stats don’t tell the whole story.

Peterson one hundred percent carried the Vikings to the playoffs this season. Quarterback Christian Ponder threw for under 200 yards nine times on the year and wasn’t much of a threat to opposing defenses. Peterson, however, was. Defenses locked onto AP, knowing he was their only weapon. It’s safe to say that didn’t stop him from producing one of, if not the most impressive individual performance in years. Consensus number one pick next year? I think so.

4 of 7

Bust of the Year: Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Arizona Cardinals

fitz
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

No, you don’t have to adjust your computer screens. That does in fact say that the great Larry Fitzgerald was a bust in 2012.

Though, it wasn’t really his fault.

Fitzgerald was a victim of a constant quarterback carousel. That wouldn’t have been a problem had any of the signal callers been… well, good. Kevin Kolb, John Skelton and Ryan Lindely saw quarterback duties for the Cardinals this year, making Fitzgerald owners want to suit up and play the position themselves, just so they could get him the ball. Fitz finished the year with an uncharacteristic 71 catches for just 798 yards and four touchdowns. Ouch! From a fantasy perspective, he ended 2012 ranking 41st among wide receivers. Guys like Malcom Floyd, Brian Hartline and even his teammate Andre Roberts had more fantasy points on the year.

I still believe that Fitzgerald is the second best receiver in football (behind Calvin Johnson) but it’ll be hard for him to produce elite numbers with these guys throwing him the football. As talented as he is, Fitz’s fantasy stock has shot way down heading into 2013.

5 of 7

Waiver Wire Darling: Cecil Shorts, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars

shorts
Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Raise your hand if you knew who Cecil Shorts was before this season.

Not many of you, I assume.

Well, Shorts made himself a household name in fantasy football this season. This guy went from undrafted in fantasy leagues to borderline must-start territory. And he plays for the Jaguars. Shorts caught 55 balls for 979 yards and seven scores in 2012. He would have easily surpassed the 1,000-yard mark, but he had a concussion keep him from the final game of the season. He is quite versatile on the football field. He runs crisp routes, is physical and can get fantasy owners those big plays that they love, as he had 17 catches of 20 yards or more. If you grabbed him off of the waiver wire, you were certainly handsomely rewarded.

Shorts is the type of sleeper that wins fantasy championships.

6 of 7

Overlooked Player of the Year: Michael Crabtree, WR, San Francisco 49ers

crabtree
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports

Every year there seems to be that one guy who has a great season but yet, is hardly mentioned.

In 2012, Michael Crabtree was that guy.

Crabtree quietly (and I stress the word quietly) had a terrific campaign. The former Red Raider caught 85 balls for 1,105 yards and nine scores. Statistically, he was the 14th best wide receiver this season, ahead of guys like Victor Cruz, Torrey Smith and Miles Austin. He saw 127 targets on the year and really benefited from Colin Kaepernick’s presence in the offense. The second year quarterback looked to throw the ball down field a lot more than Alex Smith, which gave Crabtree more opportunity to produce.

Going into 2013, Crabtree is easily a top 20 wideout. As long as Kaepernick remains under center, he could even be borderlines top 10 when it’s all said and done.

7 of 7

Performance of the Year: Doug Martin, RB, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

martin
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

When one of your players goes out and has an absolute monster game, nothing can put a smile on your face faster. But when that player is in your opponent’s lineup, well, nothing can make you punch your computer faster.

Doug Martin’s Week 9 performance against the Oakland Raiders certainly messed with people’s emotions.

During this historical Sunday, Martin carried the ball 25 times for 251 yards and four touchdowns. Oh, and he also added four catches for 21 yards for all of you PPR heads out there. For those who aren’t aware, that’s 51 fantasy points in standard leagues. 51. It was not only the greatest performance of 2012, but arguably one of the top fantasy games of all time. I watched the game and he single-handedly made the Raiders the worst tackling team in football.

It’ safe to say that Martin probably won many Week 9 fantasy matchups for owners. And for that, they are grateful.


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