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We've come to the final week of the fantasy football regular season for the vast majority of leagues. It's time to give out the the year end awards for the 2012 season. It's been a crazy year with some shocking standouts and some bodacious busts. Let's start first with the most important award of all.
2012 Fantasy Football MVP
To determine who was this year's fantasy football MVP, I'm looking for a player that gave owners the most bang for their buck, relative to where they were drafted. Which player gave owners the most value and helped propel them to shocking success?
To me, the hands down winner of this award has to be Andy Dalton. I can already hear the grumbling that RG3 should be the winner for this award. RG3's certainly had a stellar season, ranked 2nd overall in fantasy scoring. RG3 was drafted in the 7th round in most drafts.
If you're drafting a quarterback in the 7th round, he's meant to be your starter. He's still a tremendous value for being drafted in the 7th round and being second overall in points. In almost any other year he would be the consensus MVP.
But, Andy Dalton wasn't even picked in most drafts last summer. Dalton is currently 10th overall in scoring. Dalton has 243 points to RG3's 281 points. We're talking about a 38 point difference stretched out over 12 games, which is little more than a 3-point per game difference.
Still not convinced? Dalton has had five games where he's thrown for three or more touchdowns. In his last three games, at the final leg of the season when owners needed him most, he has nine touchdowns to zero interceptions. He already has a career high in touchdowns and he's on pace for 30 TDs at the end of the season. Not too shabby for a guy who wasn't drafted in most leagues.
Finally, those owners lucky enough to either have drafted Dalton in the last round(s) of the draft or to have picked Dalton up off the waiver wire, he immediately gave his owners trade bait with whoever their starting QB was. You can bet that the smartest Dalton owners out there traded their starting QB and improved another part of their team. Dalton became so good that he became impossible to bench, thus pushing many of his owners to make a trade. Since RG3 was drafted as a starter on the vast majority of his teams, he didn't give his owners the same added trade opportunity many Dalton owners had.
Bust of the Year
One promise I want to make to you right now is that this is the absolute last time I mention that I predicted DeMarco Murray to be the Bust of the Year in the preseason. This is it. I know that we're in overkill territory now.
Needless to say, there have been quite a few busts this year. Antonio Gates, Fred Jackson, Philip Rivers, Ryan Mathews, Larry Fitzgerald and Hakeem Nicks have all had disappointing seasons. Still, the one "advantage" Murray has over all these guys is that he was drafted in the 1st round or at the beginning of the second round in most drafts. He had the highest draft ADP of all these players and he gave owners next to nothing.
He's already missed six games due to injury, nearly half the season. As a direct result of this, he's ranked 42nd in scoring among running backs. For the year, he has 330 rushing yards and one touchdown. Again, this is a player who was drafted in the 1st Round. This is not only the biggest bust of this year, this is one of the biggest busts of the decade.
Waiver Wire Wonder of the Year
Despite how the NFL has become more of a passing league, the most important position in fantasy football is still running back. No other position is so scarce and so coveted. Bearing that in mind, I'm giving this year's Waiver Wire Wonder of the Year award to Alfred Morris of the Washington Redskins.
Morris has been steady as a rock all season long, rushing for over 100 yards four times this season. Looking at his entire season, game-by-game, he's really only had one bad game; last week against the Steelers, one of the toughest run defenses in the league.
Perhaps the most amazing thing about Morris' magical season is that he did it all for a coach, who is notorious for being fickle with running backs; Mike Shanahan, eternal scourge of fantasy owners everywhere. This gives us a nice segue to our next award.
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