Another great season has come and gone Fantasy Football fans, and with it ends all the glory and possible heart-ache that we all suffered week in and week out. The hopes of a perfect draft in mid-August, and the dreams of the big trophy have all played out, so what was it like for you? Are you the bragger, and a hero? Are you the guy already working on the drawing boards for next year? Well whoever you may be, I hope we all had a great season and look forward to 2012!
It is with great pleasure that I bring you all my version of an “Awards Show” for Fantasy Football, with the 3rd annual “Sharky Awards”. For you who may be new to it, my nickname is “The Shark” and well, hence the very simple name of the award. I look back at the great players and some of the duds in which we choose to forget. No, these rankings are in no way official, so if you see something you may not like, feel free to comment at the end and share your thoughts!
As always, thank you to everyone who read, and followed us along this season at CamelClutchBlog.com, and hopefully the help I offered brought you some glory! Here is to a great season past, and wishing many great seasons to come. So sit back, read and relax and enjoy the 2011 Sharky Awards!
2011 Sharky for Most Valuable Player:
Nominees: Drew Brees, QB, Saints, Ray Rice, RB, Ravens, Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers
The Winner: Aaron Rodgers, QB, Green Bay Packers
With no disrespect to the record breaking year Brees had, or the huge season Rice had, Rodgers was truly the best every week. With 48 TDs he had more than any other player in football and also had 4,643 passing yards and 257 rush yards. He helped lead the Packers to a 15-1 record, and put up all these great stats without even playing the last game. If all this is not enough for you, consider Rodgers threw just 6 INTs and completed a whopping 69 percent of his passes. Not too shabby!
Nominees: Tom Brady, Patriots, Aaron Rodgers, Packers, Drew Brees, Saints
The Winner: Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints
Best Running Back:
Nominees: Ray Rice, Ravens, LeSean McCoy, Eagles, Maurice Jones-Drew, Jaguars
The Winner: Ray Rice, Baltimore Ravens
For all of us who may have had him last year, and were a bit let down, Rice came out this year and played excellent football and helped the Ravens to a division championship. On a Fantasy level, Rice was huge with 76 receptions, and over 2,000 total yards from scrimmage and 15 total TDs. His 1,364 rushing yards were second to only Maurice Jones-Drew, and 76 catches second to only Darren Sproles as far as RBs were concerned. Rice had an amazing bounce back season, and owners thrived from it.
Best Wide Receiver:
Nominees: Wes Welker, Patriots, Calvin Johnson, Lions, Percy Harvin, Vikings
The Winner: Calvin Johnson, Detroit Lions
The man they call “Mega-Tron” sure was huge this past season, and the Detroit Lions have found their way back to the NFL Playoffs. While Welker had more catches, with 122, Johnson still hauled in 96 passes, and 16 of them went for TDs. Only TE Rob Gronkowski of the Pats had more TDs, and Johnson was easily the most reliable player at WR this season. Hard to cover, you bet! Hard to not take in the first-round next year, you bet!
Best Tight End:
Nominees: Rob Gronkowski, Patriots, Jimmy Graham, Saints, Tony Gonzalez, Falcons
The Winner: Rob Gronkowski, New England Patriots
Possibly the most dangerous all-around weapon on offense this year, Gronkowski, along with Jimmy Graham, re-invented the TE position. 90 catches, 1,327 yards and 17 TDs are no fluke, and at most points this season, he was by far QB Tom Brady’s favorite target. Coming from a long line of NFL family brothers, Rob is by far the best of the bunch, and the new leader of the TE pack in the NFL.
Best Defense/ Special Teams:
Nominees: 49ers, Bears, Ravens
The Winner: Chicago Bears
Yet again, the Bears defense managed to make the most of all its chances. 9 total TDs along with 33 sacks, 20 INTs, and 11 fumble recoveries made for a huge season for the Bears. Sadly some injuries on offense had left to a disappointing end, but this defense was stronger than ever.
Nominees: Sebasitan Janikowski, Raiders, Stephen Gostkowski, Patriots, David Akers, 49ers
The Winner: David Akers, San Francisco 49ers
Let go after a long run in Philadelphia, Akers did nothing to disappoint 49ers fans as well as fantasy owners this season. 44 FGs and 34 extra points, oh and also a TD pass in the final game of the season! (How many championships were decided by that nugget?) Akers was a guy who was easily doing double-digits each week, and a force in helping the 49ers get the number 2 seed in the NFC for this year’s playoffs.
Best Sleeper Pick:
Nominees: Darren Sproles, RB, Saints, Antonio Brown, WR, Steelers, Andy Dalton, QB, Bengals
The Winner: Darren Sproles, New Orleans Saints
At the end of the year, anyone who had Sproles on their roster and claimed they knew it all along, was clearly lying! In the 4 leagues I was in this season, Sproles was either not drafted at all, or taken near the end. He had one of the best seasons of any player in Fantasy for 2011 with 603 rush yards, 86 receptions for 710 yards, 1383 total return yards and 10 TDs. Yes, nobody expected the big things they got from Brown or Dalton, but Sproles quickly turned into an every week must start!
Rookie Of The Year:
Nominees: Andy Dalton, QB, Bengals, A. J. Green, WR, Bengals, Cam Newton, QB, Panthers
The Winner: Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
It was a good year for many rookies in the NFL, but none quite as good as Newton. 35 total TDs, and over 4700 total yards from scrimmage is a rookie season for the record books. Newton had his doubters coming into this season, and was compared to many QBs that fell flat when they made the big time. However, mid-way through the season, the waiver wire was exploding with Newton pick ups, and he finished in the top 5 in total Fantasy points for QBs in many leagues. If you want him next year, it may cost you a first-round pick.
Biggest Draft Day Bust:
Nominees: Peyton Hillis, RB, Browns, Chris Johnson, RB, Titans, DeSean Jackson, WR, Eagles
The Winner (I guess?): Chris Johnson, Titans
If you judge by the position in the draft Johnson would go, this one is easy. Hillis may have struggled, and had injuries, but Johnson was clearly slowed by a hold-out and lack of motivation early this season. Johnson finished with just 1,047 rush yards and only 4 TDs, which crushed many of you who thought taking him at the end of the first-round was quite a steal. Many question what he could have left, and the big contract may have gone right to his head, but I feel he comes back nicely next year. This season however, he will enjoy only a Sharky Award.
Best One Week Pick Up:
The Winner: Kevin Smith, RB, Detroit Lions
No nominees were needed here. Week 11 was some kind of “out of nowhere” performance by Smith. Although many may not have made the move, some had and for it they got 140 rush yards, 4 catches for 61 yards and 3 TDs. From that point he was hampered by injury and never had a week quite like that. Smith was sitting at home and not even on the roster a few weeks prior to this performance, which goes to show you that you always need to stay in shape as an athlete, and always keep your eyes peeled as a Fantasy owner.
The Sharky Award All First Team Second Team
QB: Aaron Rodgers QB: Drew Brees
RB: Ray Rice RB: Darren Sproles
RB: LeSean McCoy RB: Arian Foster
WR: Calvin Johnson WR: Percy Harvin
WR: Wes Welker WR: Roddy White
TE: Rob Gronkowski TE: Jimmy Graham
Flex: Maurice Jones-Drew Flex: Marshawn Lynch
Defense: Chicago Bears Defense: San Francisco 49ers
Kicker: David Akers Kicker: Sebastian Janikowski
The Sharky Award All Waiver Wire Team
QB: Cam Newton
RB: Darren Sproles
RB: DeMarco Murray
WR: Victor Cruz
WR: Jordy Nelson
TE: Brent Celek
Flex: Roy Helu
Defense: Detroit Lions
Kicker: Dan Bailey
Comeback Player Of The Year:
Steve Smith, WR, Carolina Panthers
And finally the Sharky Awards 2011 Flashbacks of the Worst Moments:
Injuries to big names like Peyton Manning, Jamaal Charles, Andre Johnson, Matt Forte and Darren McFadden
Stevie Johnson and his horrible TD celebration
The Tyler Palko Experiment
Albert Haynesworth being Albert Haynesworth
Jason Garret icing his own kicker
Matt Leinart’s one half comeback
And some fond Fantasy farewells to former big time performers:
Donovan McNabb, Randy Moss, Terrell Owens, Clinton Portis
Thank you again everyone for an excellent 2011 season, and thanks for following along and reading and your support. Hope to see you all again in 2012!
If you’d like to hear anything else from me on topics or ideas I can be reached at [email protected]