While the NFL Playoffs are still going on, the 2013 Fantasy Football Season has come to a close. There were highs (Peyton Manning and Tony Romo putting up godly numbers in their matchup against each other), and there were lows (Eli Manning, Trent Richardson on a weekly basis). Below is my best/worst for the 2013 season as well as a small preview for what I think the 2014 season may have in store for us. Enjoy!
2013 Fantasy MVP’s
QB- Peyton Manning
RB- Jamaal Charles
WR- Josh Gordon
TE- Jimmy Graham
K- Stephen Gostkowski
Not much to say on all of these players. They’re all coming off either their best statistical season ever (Manning, Gordon, Graham), are proving all owners that they are the next great player in their position (Charles), or are reminding fantasy players to take notice and stretch a round or two early for dominance in their spot (Seattle defense, Gotskowski). Congrats to every player listed above on a terrific year and I wish them nothing but the best in the upcoming future.
QB- Eli Manning
18 TD passes- his fewest since his rookie season in 2004
27 interceptions- his most in his career
3818 passing yards- his lowest since 2008
No running game to bail him out for most of the season, and struggling to get the ball into his playmakers hands when it mattered most. Eli truly had one of the worst fantasy seasons for a QB in 2013. While he was at best a borderline top 10 fantasy QB at the start of the season, Eli did zero favors to any of his owners, only breaking 20 points just once (week 1) and committing the ultimate fantasy sin for any starting QB that plays an entire game, putting up negative numbers (week 15 vs seattle, 156 passing yards, 5 ints= negative 4 points). QB’s such as Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler who both missed significant time this season both nearly surpassed Eli this year in fantasy scoring. While Eli sympathizers will blame anyone and anything for his regression this season, it doesn’t change the stats. To put it nicely, you were better off playing Geno Smith on a week by week basis than Eli Manning. Eli’s stock will be at an all time low next year, which could be a right time to buy into him, but as of now, he’s no where close to that top 10 QB boarder as he was at the beginning of this season.
RB-Ray Rice, Trent Richardson
Chances are if you took either one of these guys in the first round of your draft, you either (A) Didn’t come anywhere close to the playoffs, (B) Got lucky and grabbed Le’Veon Bell and/or Zac Stacy off waivers, or (C) Knew trouble was coming and got rid of either one of them. Holy hell on a stick, Rice and T-Rich… What the hell happened this season? Rice, you couldn’t even break 1000 total yards? I knew Bernard Pierce was going to play a factor this season, but yeesh. 4 total TDs and only 660 rushing yards? Here’s hopin it was just a fluke and nothing more.
T-Rich, I can’t even look at you. I know your fantasy stock will be at an all time low next season, which will probably lead me into taking a flyer on you, and I hope you can both turn it around next year… But 563 yards rushing and you played all 16 games?!?!?! Hate to steal a line from ESPN, but COME ON MANNNN! Guess there’s no where to go but up for ya next season.
WR- Roddy White, Hakeem Nicks, Dwayne Bowe, Danny Amendola
If I had to pick just one of these WR’s to be the biggest bust of the year, it would be tough, but I’d have to go with Dwayne Bowe. Not to make excuses of Roddy playing most of the year with an injury, Nicks not scoring a single TD all season, and Amendola being… Well injury prone once again. There is no excuse… At least the three players mentioned above all managed to score more than 13 fantasy points in a single game (13 points was the peak of Bowe’s greatness this season). Furthermore, there was no excuse to as to why Bowe was performing so poorly, he wasn’t hurt, he wasn’t in the dog house with the coaching staff. He just appeared to not be in the plans when it came to the offense (had just 1 game where he caught more than 5 passes). Maybe next season will be different, but as of now, Bowe’s fantasy stock has dropped significantly.
TE- Jared Cook
While Jared Cook isn’t essentially that big of a bust due to never being that fantasy relevant to begin with. There was a lot of talk from fantasy experts before the season began that this was to be a breakout year from Cook with him joining the Rams. In his first game, he looked incredible, catching 7 passes for 141 yards and 2 TD’s. Unfortunately for Cook owners, that game accounted for 40% of his TD’s and 22% of his total receiving yards for the season.
“Told You So” moment of the year
Darren McFadden misses 6 games this season, making it 6 straight seasons he has played 13 games or less. His replacement, Rashad Jennings, has a career season in Oakland rushing for 733 yards and 6 TD’s while having 292 receiving yards. Rule of thumb: Never trust Darren McFadden and always snag his backup!
Biggest Shockers of the Season
Andy Dalton finishing 6th overall in scoring
Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery both finishing in the top 10 in scoring WR’s
Josh Gordon finishing first among WR
Julius Thomas going from undrafted to finishing 3rd among TE’s.
3 Denver Wide Outs (D.Thomas, Decker, and Welker) all finishing in the top 21 fantasy WR.
Comeback player of the year
From late round handcuff/undrafted to the 5th best running back in fantasy. It took him 5 seasons to get it right, finally Knowshon has landed. His 1586 total yards this season is more than his last two years combined. Even with rookie running back Montee Ball coming on strong at the end of the season, it could not halter Moreno’s value. At worst next year he’s a borderline top 10 running back (that’s if he’s splittin 50/50 with Ball), if he’s going to be the primary ball carrier for Denver, and with Peyton Manning still under center, Moreno is a definite top 5 Running Back. Congrats to him on a fantastic season.
Best Waiver Wire pickups of the year
Rookie of the Year
While Le’Veon Bell, Zac Stacy, and Keenan Allen all had solid inaugural seasons, there’s no denying Lacy from the top spot in this list. Nearly 1200 yards rushing, 11 touchdowns, and over 1400 total yards while only missing 2 games, and throw in an average score of 13.2 fantasy points per game. There’s no denying him. A better argument could be made if Stacy and Bell played a full season, but since both of them were a late season add on, Eddie Lacy is without a doubt this year’s top fantasy rookie.
Best Free Agent addition to a team
Wow we knew these two would have a big impact on their respected squads, but who knew both of them would finish in the top 21 WR’s this year. Boldin made the best of his trade to San Fran to lead the 49ers in receiving and targets (nearly amassing 1200 yards and 7 TD’s). Welker on the other hand, continued to be… Well Wes Welker-like, averaging 6 catches a game and collecting another 10 TDs, all in just 13 games (missed the final 3 weeks of the season with a concussion).
Worst Free Agent Addition to a team
Harvin is here only because he played 1 game the whole season, while most fantasy owners passed up on him or only used him as a late flyer, there were some who thought he would be back by mid season and took him earlier on in their drafts. Amendola on the other hand, wow did he fail on a lot of levels. Unless you had him in a PPR league, he was barely startable. While he did miss 4 games due to injury, the new “Wes Welker” for the Patriots only scored 10 or more fantasy points in just 3 of his games (those 3 games were the only time Amendola broke over 55 yards receiving as well). Add in the two TD’s he had for the season and the draft position he went last year (was taken between rds 4-6 in most drafts), and Amendola ranks among the top busts for the 2013 season.
Players to watch for 2014 season
Players to avoid for 2014 season
Robert Griffin III
Biggest fantasy questions for 2014 season
Will Peyton Manning return next season?
If so, is he worth your #1 overall pick?
Is Josh Gordon a true 1st tier WR, or is he just a flash in the pan?
With Danario Alexander returning next year, will that hurt/help Keenan Allen’s value?
How much longer can Frank Gore continue to dominate as San Fran’s leading rusher?
Where will MJD, Ben Tate, Darren McFadden, Toby Gerhart and Chris Johnson land?
Will Gronkowski ever be healthy enough to play a full season?
#1 Overall Pick for next year
You could make an argument for any one of these guys being the top next year. Charles is coming off a season where he lead the Chiefs in receiving and in targets, so his duel threat capabilities are well worth the top pick. McCoy is the featured weapon on a high power offense that lead the NFL in rushing, finished in the top 10 in receiving yards for a running back, as well as amassing over 2100 total yards in 2013. Peyton Manning broke the NFL single season record for passing TD’s and yards. Plus he has at least 10 players on Denver that he can throw to. Finally, Adrian Peterson is the standard for running backs in the NFL. While he did finish 7th in rushing, he’s still Adrian “Freakin” Peterson and is still worth a top spot in any draft.
Top 10 for each position for next yr.
1- Peyton Manning
2- Aaron Rodgers
3- Cam Newton
4- Drew Brees
5- Russell Wilson
6- Colin Kaepernick
7- Nick Foles
8- Tom Brady
9- Matthew Stafford
10- Alex Smith
1- Jamaal Charles
2- LeSean McCoy
3- Marshawn Lynch
4- Adrian Peterson
5- Eddie Lacy
6- Matt Forte
7- DeMarco Murray
8- Le’Veon Bell
9- Zac Stacy
10- Ryan Mathews
1- Calvin Johnson
2- AJ Green
3- Dez Bryant
4- DeSean Jackson
5- Brandon Marshall
6- Antonio Brown
7- Demaryius Thomas
8- Josh Gordon
9- Michael Crabtree
10- Alshon Jeffery
1- Jimmy Graham
2- Julius Thomas
3- Rob Gronkowski
4- Vernon Davis
5- Greg Olsen
6- Jason Witten
7- Jordan Cameron
8- Martellus Bennett
9- Colby Fleener
10- Jordan Reed
1- Justin Tucker
2- Matt Prater
3- Steven Hauschka
4- Stephen Gostkowski
5- Phil Dawson
6- Nick Novak
7- Blair Walsh
8- Ryan Succop
9- Nick Folk
10- Adam Vinateri
2- San Fran
7- New England
9- St. Louis