By: Aaron Schillinger @aaron_schill
2017 Fantasy Football Awards
Another year of Fantasy Football is in the books, and it’s time to hand out some awards to some of the best and worst fantasy performances of the year. This year was full of surprises. From talks about ‘Zero-RB’ being dead, to the resurgence of some veteran QBs. Some of these names are surprising, and some we expected to be on this list.
2017 MVP – Todd Gurley (RB, LAR)
First and foremost, we have the stud RB, Todd Gurley. There was no questions as to whether or not he would be on this list, but rather which award he should receive. He could’ve easily been the ‘2017 Bounce-Back Player of the Year’, but MVP is much more fitting. This guy was on a tear. Not to mention, he finished the season off by single-handedly winning many players their fantasy championship.
In 15 games, Gurley was averaging 25.6 PPR points per game. This isn’t only more points per game than every running back, but every player in fantasy. The next closest player was Russell Wilson who put up 347.8 points in 16 games. Gurley ended the year with 383.3 PPR points. After being seriously disappointing in his second year, there’s a good chance you got Gurley for a discount in your redraft leagues this past off-season. Obviously he was an excellent ‘bounce-back’ candidates, but he was above and beyond that. Your 2017 Fantasy Football MVP, Todd Gurley.
2017 Fantasy Rookie of the Year – Alvin Kamara (RB, NOS)
After the first few weeks of the season, it was pretty clear that the Chiefs rookie RB, Kareem Hunt was going to make a name for himself in the fantasy world. At the end of the year, Hunt ended with 295.2 PPR points, but it was rookie Alvin Kamara who had taken off and passed him with 315.4 PPR points. Had Hunt been a little more consistent week in and week out, he may have given Kamara more of a run for this award, but from weeks 6-13, that whole offense fell off. Hunt didn’t have a 100 yard game during that time, and only got over 20 carries in just one of those games. Earlier this year, I pulled some numbers from the rookie RBs this year. This isn’t normal. This year was insane for rookie backs, check out just how great they were below.
— FFDynasty260 (@FFD260) January 19, 2018
One of the factors that made Alvin Kamara just so good this year, was when the Saints shipped veteran RB Adrian Peterson out to Arizona. I don’t think there was anyone that was expecting this sudden change in the Saints offense, moving to a run-first one with two stud RBs. The pass-heavy days of Drew Brees and the Saints’ offense may very well be a thing of the past. That defense is legit, and the offenseive duo of Kamara and Mark Ingram was ridiculous. Kamara was averaging just under 20 PPR points per game, and his plays were insane. He finished the season with 1,426 scrimmage yards on just 187 touches, for a staggering 7.63 yards per touch, with 12 TDs. Kamara is giving some of the top dynasty RBs a run for the top few spots, and this award for him, is well deserved.
2017 Bounce-Back Player of the Year – DeAndre Hopkins (WR, HOU)
DeAndre Hopkins was up there as a candidate for the Fantasy MVP this year with Todd Gurley. Anyone that can fall off as hard as he did in 2016, and come back in 2017 giving Antonio Brown a run for the top WR, deserves the bounce-back award. Whether you want to give credit to rookie DeShaun Watson, or you want to give Hopkins all of the credit, there’s no doubt he’s in this conversation. He finished the year as the number 2 WR in PPR, just .5 less than Brown. Regardless of the QB that is throwing him the ball, Hopkins has been putting up numbers. As long as the ball is thrown in his vicinity, he does the majority of the work. Hopkins is without a doubt, my ‘2017 Bounce-Back Player of the Year’, and looking like an elite NFL receiver.
2017 Biggest Bust – Terrelle Pryor (WR, WAS)
I know there’s been a lot of talks about guys like Mike Evans or Jordy Nelson being the biggest busts this year, but I’m going with Terrelle Pryor. It doesn’t get any worse than someone who was hyped up as a WR2 with upside heading into Washington, and finishing as the number 105 WR in fantasy. He played just 8 games this season and finished with 50 PPR points. There were even some drafts that I saw last off-season with Pryor getting drafted in the second round of redraft leagues. Seriously. Evans and Nelson were disappointments, but even Evans still finished as a WR2, and Nelson lost Aaron Rodgers. Pryor was virtually a lock for 1,000 yards and was the presumed red-zone favorite for Kirk Cousins, after some very nice showings in the pre-season. Kirk Cousins even finished as the number 6 QB, and Pryor was not even worth owning after a few weeks into the season.
2017 Best Waiver-Wire Pickup – Chris Thompson (RB, WAS)
Prior to Chris Thompson’s injury in week 11 against the Saints, he was a top 10 RB in PPR leagues. In weeks 1-10 Thompson put up 294 yards on 64 carries with two rushing TDs. He also racked up 510 yards and four TDs through the receiving game. Between Thompson, Rob Kelley, and Samaje Perine, there wasn’t much hype around the Washington backfield coming into the year. Some fantasy owners were intrigued by the somewhat of a “breakout” season in 2016 from Kelley, but it wasn’t anything that anyone was too crazy about. Thompson is someone you more than likely picked up in the first couple weeks of the season, if you were luck enough to grab him towards the end of your redraft league drafts last year, then props to you. PPR leagues this was probably more likely considering his role in the pass game, but it’s no question that Thompson was a major surprise to the fantasy world. At this point it sounds like Thompson is on track to come back for 2018 in training camp, so this backfield will be one that will be interesting to watch as our 2018 fantasy drafts approach.