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Risers and Fallers – 2015 Winners

Risers and Fallers- Awards

Thanks should be given to those who made us all look like brainiacs. And if you didn’t abide by the old “Dance with who you brought” mantra, than shame on you. Theses guys are on a whole new playing field heading into next season. Chances are, you got a gourmet meal at a dollar menu price with these guys. We hope you soaked it all up because next season, the pricetag will be much higher. And the nominees for highest riser are:

(All numbers represent a 16 game fantasy season.)

Ryan Fitzpatrick – 3,724 yards and 29 touchdowns passing (an additional 258 rushing yards and 2 TDs).

Not bad. Not bad. Not bad at all. Being cast out of Buffalo with a fellow castout from Chicago (Marshall) added up to daily play magic. Next season’s pricetag will be much heavier but at least this year you can say that you stole one.  Fitzpatrick went from nothing to a borderline QB1. That’s a leap that can’t be discounted and should be saluted.

Kirk Cousins – 3,990 yards and 26 passing touchdowns (an additional 5 rushing TDs).

Never has a star fallen as quickly as Robert Griffin III. It’s actually sad at the end of the day. But head coach Jay Gruden knew what he was doing. He defied all logic and still ended up on top. He has earned all the decision-making abilities he can handle, in the opposite manner of Chip Kelly. Meaning that he knew he was right against public opinion and ended up being right at the end of the season. Thirty-one total TDs for a Washington QB would have been a best case scenario for RGIII but could very well be just the beginning for Cousins. Cousins should be viewed no lower than the #10 QB heading into 2016.

Devonta Freeman – 980 yards and 11 TDs rushings- 560 yards and 2 TDs receiving

Heading into the season, Tevin Coleman was the man to go after in Atlanta. An injury here, an injury there, and suddenly, BAM! Freeman is the best fantasy running back in football. Looking at next year’s very early first round, Freeman looks to be at the head of the class. If he can avoid missed time and have the starter’s role from the beginning, there’s no telling what his numbers could approach. Freeman is the new Arian Foster, if he can avoid injury, he wins you your league. As of now, he should be viewed as the top pick, ahead of Peterson.

Doug Martin – 1,354 yards and 6 rushing TDs (an additional 211 yards and a TD).

Regardless if he hates the name or not, Muscle Hamster did a muscle flex in 2015. He put all the injuries behind him and suddenly returned to his rookie stud status. Martin went from a last-round flier to a top-three pick. Pretty rare in this day and age. Congrats to those who held on to him as he looked to be a flash in the pan, again. Instead, he’s reclaimed his spot inside the top 5 overall selections in 2016 fantasy drafts.

Todd Gurley – 1,106 yards and 10 touchdowns

Patience is a virtue. That doesn’t ring any louder than it does with Todd Gurley. Jeff Fisher saw enough on draft day to completely scrap what he saw from Tre Mason, which as a reminder, looked unworldly. And he was right to do so. He was completely right. All the doubters were wrong, RnF included. Gurley went from a 3rd or 4th round gamble to questionably the top selection in fantasy. He looks to be AP without the legal issues.

About Patrick White

Have been with Sharks for seven years. Been printed and published. Have been copied by, faced off against, and beaten some of the fiercest competition and abbreviated outlets in football. If you read RnF and live by the old "If you're not first, you're last" mentality, you'll be just fine.