Your fantasy team can be made with a pick here, a pick there, that pick-up in Week 2, that trade in Week 8. One move can make your whole season. Now that the season has come to a close, I’ll review some of the best and worst from the 2012 fantasy football season… with a twist. Each category will be titled by some popular music of the year, followed by the actual title of the award. So, without further adieu, the Down and Distance 2012 Fantasy Football Awards.
“Thrift Shop” by Macklemore – Best Value Pick
Boy, there’s a lot of guys you could go with in this spot. I think one stands out, however, and that’s the NFL’s Most Valuable Player: Adrian Peterson. It’s likely that you could have scooped up “All Day” in round two if you were drafting close to the season (which everyone should be doing). If you drafted early on, you got him even later. Possibly even after Toby Gerhart. Talk about value. If you got Peterson in round two, and your first round pick was someone other than a tight end, you probably ran into some winnings this season.
Honorable mentions in order of ranking: Robert Griffin III, CJ Spiller, Randall Cobb, Stevan Ridley, Reggie Wayne
“Brokenhearted” by Karmin – Biggest Bust/Worst Pick
You know that empty feeling you get three weeks into the season and you realize you drafted another bust? It happens to the best of us. The biggest bust this year had to be Ryan Mathews. Now I’m judging this bearing in mind that the biggest bust couldn’t have been injured for the majority of the season. Mathews, even when he did get on the field in the 12 games he played, averaged just 3.8 yards per carry and scored just one touchdown. To put that in perspective, Adrian Peterson averaged more yards (3.8) than Mathews in 2012 [Source]. An easy pick to be the worst pick of 2012. Remember the honorable mentions will not include those who were hampered by an injury for much of the season.
Honorable mentions in order of ranking: Larry Fitzgerald, Darren McFadden, Antonio Gates, Vernon Davis
“Somebody that I used to know” by Goyte – Worst Trade (Player who was down, then soared)
You could make a case for Adrian Peterson here, as well. He went on a touchdown drought from Weeks 2-6, so it all depends on where you drafted him. Stevan Ridley would be my pick for this award, however. Ridley was the 4th highest traded player in 2012 [Source], and that’s not a huge surprise. With the crowded backfield and a pass-first offense in New England, owners likely thought they were selling high on the second-year running back after two consecutive 100-yard games in Weeks 4 and 5. Ridley went on to score eight rushing touchdowns in the next 11 games and averaged just over 17 carries per game in those weeks.
Honorable mentions: Julio Jones, Calvin Johnson (didn’t score between Weeks 4-9)
“We Are Never Getting Back Together” by Taylor Swift – The Undraftable Player award.
This one goes out to Darren McFadden. Not only did he again get injured and miss a quarter of the season (four game), he averaged only 3.3 yards per carry and only 1.9 yards after contact, tied for fourth worst in the NFL. He didn’t score from Week 6 on, and never really looked like he was in full form, especially after the injury. I wasn’t taking him before 2012, and after the third consecutive year of missing multiple games, it was a solid choice.
Honorable mentions in order of ranking: Larry Fitzgerald (until Arizona gets a quarterback who can consistently feed him), Vernon Davis, Ryan Mathews, Reggie Bush, Jermichael Finley, Peyton Hillis, Beanie Wells, Kenny Britt
“Clique” by Kanya West feat. Big Sean and Jay-Z – The Best Duo or Tandem
The only criteria for this one is that both have to play the same position, otherwise I’d be going with Robert Griffin III and Alfred Morris. Since Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez didn’t get to play together a whole lot in 2012, I’m going with the Dirty Birds’ duo at the wide receiver spot — Roddy White and Julio Jones. White finished 9th in receiving yards in 2012, and Jones finished just two spots behind at 11th. This duo should certainly be here for many years to come.
Honorable mentions: Demaryius Thomas/Eric Decker, Lesean McCoy/Bryce Brown (Brown filled in beautifully for McCoy), Colin Kaepernick/Alex Smith
“Boyfriend” by Justin Bieber – The “Never Let You Go” award
Simply, it’s a player who came out of nowhere this year and you’ll never go without again. This one is the easiest: Redskins running back Alfred Morris. I’m not supposed to judge guys off the field when it comes to fantasy, but when it comes to Morris, it’s hard not to. Morris is definitely a “good guy” of the NFL, and came from no where in 2012. If Robert Griffin III is going to be back for 2013, there’s no way I’ll let Morris fall out of the second round. He’s not a product of the system. He broke the second most tackles this season, behind only Adrian Peterson, and fits perfectly with Griffin. The way he acts, the way he plays, I’ll never be able to go without Morris again.
Honorable mentions: Randall Cobb, Mike Williams (easy to get in the draft)
Who are your picks for the 2012 Fantasy Football awards? Any single move can win a season for you, or it can do exactly the opposite. What move was that for you? How can you improve for enxt season? All of these are questions to ask yourself as you gear up for the 2013 season. Buckle down, because it’s going to be a long, slow, painful, agonizing, excruciating, torturing — all right, you get the point — wait to next season.
Follow Christian Hardy on Twitter for the latest news and notes from around the league – @CHardySports