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2013 Pre-Championship Awards

Best first-round pick – LeSean McCoy –
Coach Chip Kelly’s offense was everything that it was rumored to be. Not only did the new coach manage to breathe life into the passing game, but, in doing so, also opened up running room for McCoy. He’s the unquestioned big gun in the offense both as a receiver and runner and things don’t look to be changing at all entering next year. In fact, with the threat of Michael Vick stealing rushing touchdowns completely out of the picture next year, McCoy will offer more value than he did entering 2013.

Biggest first-round bust – C.J. Spiller –
Still having a hard time figuring out exactly what in the hell happened in Buffalo. It’s not like he suffered an injury or was completely replaced by older counterpart Fred Jackson. It’s as though he just forgot how to find his explosive sixth gear that he showed off for the second half of the 2012 season. Regardless of rhyme or reason, Spiller will go from census top-10 pick to an end-of-the-draft lottery ticket pick if drafted at all. Huge letdown.

Biggest second-round bust – Stevan Ridley –
There are very few players you can really rely on for fantasy consistency from New England over the past decade. You do have the usual big names in Tom Brady, Randy Moss, Wes Welker, Corey Dillon and Rob Gronkowski, who have been flat out elite. While that’s all well and good, the Patriots also have several Danny Amendolas, Laurence Maroneys and Chad Johnsons. We can now add Ridley to the list of Patriots’ bums who just couldn’t live up to the hype. Ridley will likely be shown the exit this offseason as Shane Vereen will be given the chance to either join the list of greats or fall in line with the letdowns. If Ridley doesn’t get a handle on his fumbling issues he’ll likely find himself on the bench for the remainder of his career.

Biggest overall draft day surprise – Alshon Jeffery –
Flat out nasty! Some of the catches that Jeffery has pulled down this season were so amazing that Calvin Johnson himself couldn’t replicate them. Jeffery has surprised everyone after being drafted as a WR3 and coming through as a sure fire WR1 each and every week. In fact, Jeffery could be targeted earlier in drafts next season than his Bears’ counterpart Brandon Marshall. Huge value boost for the big man as he’s already shot his value through the roof.

Biggest overall draft day bust – David Wilson –
Week 1 is where it began and ended. Wilson came out of the gate with a case of the fumbles and found himself so far in coach Tom Coughlin’s doghouse that he needed a flashlight and a GPS to find his way out. And when Wilson finally did manage to get out of the doghouse and off the bench, he continued to put the ball on the turf. And adding injury to insult, Wilson ended up suffering a serious neck injury which ended his season early. Since then, Andre Brown has put a stranglehold on the lead runner’s spot, putting even more strain on Wilson’s long term value. Bad news all the way around here.

Best waiver wire QB pickup – Philip Rivers –
Not going to lie, Rivers single-handedly saved my fantasy season. After suffering a rash of injuries and underperformance from several options, Rivers was picked up after his four touchdown-game against Houston. Chances are that I wasn’t the only one that was saved by the play of Rivers as he’s already surpassed 4,000 yards and 28 touchdowns with only nine interceptions with two games left to play. Rivers could really pad the stat sheet this week against the Oakland Raiders and cement himself as a top-10 option for next season. If Peyton Manning wasn’t having the monster season he’s having in Denver, a strong case could be made for Rivers as NFL Most Valuable Player.

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