Fantasy Football MVPs of 2012

(twitter.com)

(twitter.com)

It’s not just the first-round picks that make your fantasy team championship-caliber.  It’s the late-round and even free-agent pickups that can bring your team to the promise land.  With that being said, let’s take a look at this year’s top-5  Most Valuable fantasy Players.

Subsequent to jumping into the list, it is worth noting that the simplistic formula to figure out MVPs is expectation vs. output and what it costs to get the player.

Starting with:

(celebritynetworth.com)

(celebritynetworth.com)

5. Andrew Luck

Luck was drafted ,on average, between the 11th-13th round and had little-to any expectations as far as his fantasy value was concerned.  A team that had been gutted by trades and free-agency, Luck inherited an aging Reggie Wayne and a virtually non-existent run-game.  Yet he did not let that deter him from having a terrific rookie-season that is likely to lead  him to Rookie of the Year, and has led his team to the playoffs.

Through 16 weeks Luck had thrown for over 4,100 yards (7th in NFL) with 21 TDs yet 18 INT, adding another 5 TD on the ground to his stat-line.  Luck is the 9th ranked QB in fantasy and 10th overall (Ahead of Eli, Stafford, Flacco, and Dalton) thanks in part to having  7 games with 18+ points with 4 of those games netting he and his owners over 23 points.

4.  Doug Martin

Martin was taken off of the board as early as the 4th round and as late as the 8th round in most drafts.  Concerns lingering around him were the fear that Blount would steal some carries.  Yet, Martin alleviated those concerns, racking up 44 carries in the first two weeks, on his way to back-to-back double-digit performances.

With 16 weeks now in the books, Martin is the number 3 fantasy running back, and has over 1,700 all-purpose yards (1,312 on the ground  good enough for 6th in the NFL and 454 through the air) and 11 TDs (10 rushing tied for 5th in the NFL 1 receiving).  He has had four 100-yard games, two games with multiple TDs, 15 games with multiple receptions, and only 3 single-digit performances all season.

(thescore.com)

(thescore.com)

3. Robert Griffin III

Known for his immense athletic ability, owners drafted RG III in the 8th-9th round in the majority of drafts.  Owners who took him, hopes that he would somehow resemble Cam Newton and his rookie campaign. Those who took the chance on him had their gutsy choice payoff.

For the majority of the season, RG III was the #1 fantasy scorer.  Yet, having to miss time due to injuries, Griffin is still the 5th QB in fantasy, and 5th scorer overall.  Like Newton, Griffin has had his success through the air ( 3,100 passing yards 20 TD to 5 INT) and on the ground (752 rushing yards and 6 TDs).  Griffin had produced eight 20+ point performances with three of those going for 30+ points.  In fact Griffin’s only single-digit performance came when he was knocked out of the game early vs. the Falcons in week 5.

2. Alfred Morris

Undrafted in most drafts, Morris far exceeded his non-existent expectations.  Morris, currently the #6 running back through 16 weeks, has been a model of consistency for fantasy owners who have him everywhere.

Only two games throughout the season has Morris failed to reach 76 rushing yards, which he has more than offset with his 6 100+ rushing yard-games during his rookie season.  Morris has scored double-digit fantasy points in 12 games this season, with two of those games netting him over 20+ points.

Morris is averaging an impressive 4.7 ypc, on his way to gaining 1,413 rushing yards (4th in NFL) and 10 TDs  (5th in NFL) through 16 weeks.  The unknown player-turned fantasy stud has also carried the ball 20 or more times 9 times this season, becoming a real work-horse.

Peterson has been nothing short of amazing this season.(sportsflex.blogspot.com)

Peterson has been nothing short of amazing this season.
(sportsflex.blogspot.com)

1. Adrian Peterson

Is there even an argument here?  After recovering from major knee-surgery, it was unsure if AP would even be ready to go come week 1.  Yet some owners still took a chance on him, as he was drafted on average as early as the 2nd round and as late as the 4rh on average.  Those owners who took the risk were highly rewarded.

Peterson, who is the #1 running back by 35 points over #2 Foster, is also the only player who is not a QB to be in the top-10 (Peterson is #8).  AP has posted an incredible seven games with 20+ points (including a 31-point performance in week 9 vs. Sea).  In back-to-back-to-back weeks Peterson posted 28,28, and 27 points.  He also has 9 games where he has rushed for over 100 yards, and two games with over 200 yards rushing.

All of this amazing success this season has Peterson leading the NFL in rushing yards (1,898 which is 408 yards ahead of Lynch and under 200 yards away from Dickerson’s single-season record) yards/game (126.5) and is second in the NFL with 11 rushing TDs, while he is also averaging an awe-inspiring 6.0 ypc.

RG III vs. Andrew Luck, Whose been the more impressive fantasy stud?

(thefootballjuice.com)

(thefootballjuice.com)

 

The number one and two overall pick from this past year’s draft have far exceeded their high expectations, not only in the NFL but in fantasy as well.

In previous articles I have proclaimed my distrust in rookies as fantasy studs, but I have been wrong before.  Nevertheless, let’s take a look at some stats and figure out who has been the more impressive fantasy player.

First is RG III who:

  • Leads fantasy in scoring (259, standard scoring leagues)
  • Has 8 games with 20+ points, with 3 of them with 30 or more
  • Averages 21.6 points/game
  • 6th in NFL completion % (67.4) (218-325)
  • 3rd in NFL passer rating (104.4)
  • 10th  in NFL in rush TD (6)
  • 19th in passing yards (2,660)
  • 14th in pass TD (17)
  • only 4 INT
  • 2 games with multiple rush TDs
  • 222 pass yards/ games
  • 714 rushing yards (6.8 yards/carry)
  • 8 rushing fumbles (only 2 lost)
  • 4 games with multiple pass TD
  • 3 games with over 300 passing yards
  • 7 games with 215 pass yards or fewer

Andrew Luck

  • 8th leading scorer in fantasy (212 points)
  • Only 2 single-digit scoring games (one against Chicago in his rookie debut)
  • 4 games with 20+ points
  • 6 games with multiple pass TDs
  • 2 games with multiple rush TDs
  • 4th in NFL passing yards (3,596)
  • 14th in pass TD (17)
  • 16 INT
  • Tied for 14th in NFL rush TD (5)
  • 300 passing yards/ game
  • 55.5 competition % (279-503) almost 200 more atp than RG III
  • 76.1 QB rating
  • 6 games with 300+ passing yards, 1 with 400+
  • 2 games with 225 passing yards or less

Now, after looking at the numbers, it’s not even close.  RG III is has been the better fantasy player, no contest.

Even if we were just comparing QB’s in fantasy,  RG III would get the edge because he leads QB’s in scoring, but he doesn’t, RG III leads ALL players in scoring.  How can you argue against a guy who has outscored everyone in a league where scoring is everything?

Yet, it is worth noting that if we were talking NFL here, Luck gets my nod for rookie of the year, because I feel he has meant more to his team, is the better quarterback overall, and has had far less weapons to work with than RG III.

NFL 1st Round Draft Picks; Offensive Players, Who’s Worth Drafting?

RG III blazing the 40-yard dash. Photo courtesy of verbumsapsat.com

This year’s NFL was a wild one.  Though some of the shock and awe value was taken out when everyone knew who the first two picks would be there was no certainty after that.  With all of the trade up and trade downs, many teams put themselves in amazing situations, picking up some great players.  Although I am aware that there were 11 offensive players drafted in the first round,  I will only take a look at the ones worth picking up for your 2012-2013 fantasy football teams.

Although I don’t recommend him, I cannot write about first round picks without mentioning:

Andrew Luck I absolutely love his NFL future, however I cannot recommend picking him up in any fantasy league.  Luck himself is a physical specimen, standing 6’4” 235lbs with the capability to run a 4.63 40-yard dash, to coincide with a high football IQ, but that’s not enough.  While Luck is one of the highest regarded players in the last 20 years, his fantasy value this year looks bleak.  Looking at the stats, the Colts ranked 27th in passing yards in the NFL last year with 187.2 YPG.  Granted, that may have been with a bunch of make-shift QB’s, yet they still had Dallas Clark, Garcon, and Addai, all players they are without this year.  In addition, although he was out all last year, Anthony Gonzales is also gone.  That leaves Reggie Wayne, who turns 34 in November and is entering his 12th year in the league.  Also, Luck better not rely on his run game for any help, as they ranked 26th in the NFL last year, averaging a mere 99.6 YPG.  Bright NFL future, dim fantasy (as of this year).

Verdict: Stay Away

Robert Griffin IIIYou can’t help but love this guy.  While Luck is a physical specimen, RG 3 is an athletic freak.  Also, like Luck, I project a bright future for him in the NFL.  However, unlike Luck I also project a high fantasy value for him as well.  While RG 3 may not be inheriting a hall-of-fame wide receiving core, he is coming into a good one.  Ranking 14th in passing yards/game last season the Redskins have all of their big receivers returning, with some additions like Josh Morgan and Pierre Garcon.  Besides RG 3’s receiving core, let’s also not overlook his ability to run.  A former Gatorade High School Track Athlete of the Year, RG3 he has shown he sure can run, running a 4.43 40-yard dash at the combine, and collecting over 2,200

Richardson showing off his strength, photo courtesy of muscleprodigy.com

yards rushing and 33 rushing TDs at Baylor.  Although I do not believe he duplicate, there have been talks of him putting up Cam Newton-like numbers.  Not likely, however he will get it done through the air and on the ground.

Verdict- Late-round selection, great back-up QB

Trent RichardsonQuite possibly the player with the highest fantasy value from this year’s draft.  Trent Richardson is an absolute beast, and has the clearest path to dominate his new team’s backfield touches, and scads of all-around ability.  In addition to his presence in the backfield, there is also a new QB to be under center for the Browns this year in Brandon Weeden.  Therefore, in order to relieve some pressure off of Weeden, Richardson will bear the brunt.  Yet, do not let Richardson’s hype fool you into drafting him in the first round, as that would be far too high of a spot to select him.  While he will be great, do he may serve best as your 2nd RB or flex WR/RB option.

Verdict-if you need a second RB in middle rounds, get him, fantastic back-up or flex option

Justin Blackmon– He isn’t the fastest or the biggest, and his QB, Blaine Gabbert, was flat out awful last year, yet I remain optimistic.  With the addition of the speedy Laurent Robinson, Mercedes Lewis back to 100% and MJD still in the backfield, Blackmon will manage to make an impact.  Blackmon will play the flanker role while Laurent Robinson will play the split end, allowing many targets to fall Blackmon’s way.  Though he may be great, I still have my doubts about Gabbert, still I would take him.

Verdict- late-round WR, good back-up for your bye weeks

Michael Floyd– At 6’3” 224lbs, Floyd possesses the size and speed (ran a 4.42 40-yard dash) to be a serious #1 receiver in the future.  Some think that having Fitzgerald line up alongside him will hurt his stock, however I disagree.  Having Fitz will take some pressure off of the rookie, since most defensives will be keying in on him,

Martin showing off his skills, photo courtesy of idahostatesman.com

it may leave room for Floyd to slip through the cracks on his way to a solid rookie year, with decent fantasy numbers.

Verdict– Depending on how hot/cold Kolb is Floyd could be a great bye-week filler or even a great flex option.

Doug MartinAt 5’”9 223, Martin has earned his nickname “The muscle hamster”, and there is a reason the Bucs got him in the first round even though they already have Blount.  Due to the fact that Martin is already a better blocker and pass-catcher than Blount; he could see some extra time and added carries.  I like his chances to make somewhat of a fantasy impact.

Verdict- Good fill-in for your bye-weeks, if Blount has fumble issue again he could see his carries increase

 David Wilson-Plain and simple, Jacobs is gone, Manningham is gone, and Nicks is out for up to 12 weeks leaving Cruz and Bradshaw as the only real threats.  That is unfortunate for the Giants, but great for Wilson as his productivity could be higher than expected due to all of these absences.  Though he likely will not make a huge impact, his name will be known.

Verdict- Bye-week filler, draft late in draft, worth taking a shot on