Another fantasy season is in the books. Before we look ahead to the 2020 season — yes, I have a draft in a few weeks — let’s look back and hand out some awards (both good and bad) from 2019.
Most Valuable Player, taking draft capital into account:
The Nominees: Christian McCaffrey, Michael Thomas, Dalvin Cook, Lamar Jackson
The Winner: Lamar Jackson
Jackson went as late as the 11th round in some places, and I never saw him go before Round 6 (and I only saw him that high in Maryland drafts). He was historic and consistent all season. Cook got hurt by his late-season injury. McCaffrey and Thomas were great, but the draft capital worked against them for this award.
Least Valuable Player, also taking draft capital into account:
The Nominees: Odell Beckham Jr., David Johnson, JuJu Smith-Schuster, Brandin Cooks
The Winner: David Johnson
You can make a good argument for any of them, but after Week 6, Johnson lost his job and never got it back. We thought Johnson might be a great fit in the Cardinals’ new offense, but that only lasted six weeks. For a first-round pick, that’s just awful. Smith-Schuster gets a pass due to his quarterback situation. Beckham at least gave you WR3/flex numbers. As for Cooks, yes, he was droppable by midseason, but he was a third- or fourth-round pick, so the first-round price for Johnson gave him my nod.
Never, Ever Again Award:
The Nominees: Sammy Watkins, Amari Cooper, Will Fuller, any Miami running back
The Winner: Amari Cooper
OK, this one many will disagree with. Maybe this is my bias showing, but I have drafted Cooper the last two years. Outside of three or four boom games (which inflates his numbers, every year), he never sniffs WR 1 status most weeks. Add in that he is seemingly always hurt in the fantasy playoffs and that equals a huge headache you should let someone else have. I just can’t deal with Watkins anymore — but I sort of thought that before the season. Fuller is hurt too often for me, so he can’t be trusted. Dolphins running backs can’t seem to get anything going in Miami, then go elsewhere and become great (Lamar Miller and Kenyan Drake).
Better Late Than Never Award:
The Nominees: Saquon Barkley, Alvin Kamara, Jared Cook
The Winner: Saquon Barkley
If you made it through Barkley’s injury and then the bust weeks while he was getting healthy, he paid off his lofty draft capital with huge weeks when it mattered most in Weeks 15 and 16. Kamara did the same in Week 16 and added two more touchdowns for those playing Week 17.
Rookie Of The Year:
The Nominees: A.J. Brown, Miles Sanders, Kyler Murray
The Winner: A tie! A.J. Brown and Miles Sanders
Brown finished as WR15; Sanders, RB15, and Murray, QB7. So we are splitting hairs here. In Weeks 14-16 (the fantasy playoffs), Brown was WR2, Sanders was RB5 and Murray was QB23. So I eliminated Murray. Brown and Sanders were just fantastic when you needed them the most and I have no more hairs to split, so a tie it is!
Breakout Star Of The Year, Non-Rookie:
The Nominees: Courtland Sutton, DeVante Parker, Michael Gallup, Tyler Higbee
The Winner: DeVante Parker
I had to include Higbee since Weeks 13-17 vaulted him to TE8 for the year. Parker was everything we thought he could be for the last three years. In 2020, he will be an interesting case study for drafting, as Miami could have a new rookie quarterback. Does one solid year forgive the sins of the past? Sutton and Gallup also established themselves as up and coming receivers who could be considered a WR1 or WR2 on your fantasy team next year.
2019 Fantasy Football All-Pro Team:
QB: Lamar Jackson
RBs: Christian McCaffrey, Dalvin Cook, Derrick Henry
WRs: Michael Thomas, Julio Jones, DeAndre Hopkins
TEs: Travis Kelce, George Kittle
K: Wil Lutz
Top 12 Picks In 2020:
1. Christian McCaffrey
2. Saquon Barkley
3. Ezekiel Elliott
4. Dalvin Cook
5. Alvin Kamara
6. Michael Thomas
7. DeAndre Hopkins
8. Nick Chubb
9. Derrick Henry
10. Aaron Jones
11. Davante Adams
12. Lamar Jackson (if I ever would take a QB in Round 1)
Please do not forget about these guys in 2020 …
1. A.J. Green
2. Kerryon Johnson
3. Derrius Guice
4. Ben Roethlisberger (if he plays)
5. Matthew Stafford
6. Cam Newton
7. Preston Williams
8. JuJu Smith-Schuster
9. Alshon Jeffery
10. Will Dissly
Photo Credit: Kenya Allen/PressBox