Another fantasy season is in the books. Before we look ahead to the 2021 season — yes, I have a draft in a few weeks — let us look back and hand out some awards (both good and bad) from 2020.
Most Valuable Player (taking draft capital into account):
The Nominees: Josh Allen, Aaron Rodgers, Dalvin Cook
The Winner: Aaron Rodgers
Aaron Rodgers was an afterthought in drafts this year. I had him ranked as the 17th quarterback in my personal rankings. Forty-eight touchdowns later, he was by far the best draft-day value this season. In early drafts he lasted into the 15th round — crazy to think about now.
Least Valuable Player (also taking draft capital into account):
The Nominees: Ezekiel Elliott, DJ Chark Jr., Zach Ertz
The Winner: Zach Ertz
Taken as the TE4 in drafts, Ertz finished as TE28 based on fantasy points per game (5.4). He finished well behind fellow Eagles tight end Dallas Goedert, too. Ertz in the fourth round turned out to be one of the worst values at any position this year.
Never, Ever Again Award:
The Nominees: Kenyan Drake, James White, any 49ers running back
The Winner: Kenyan Drake
Anyone who reads my articles knows I have a soft spot for James White, especially in a PPR league, but without Tom Brady in charge he fell off the face of the earth. 49ers head coach Kyle Shanahan makes trusting any 49ers running back week in and week out a migraine waiting to happen. As for Kenyan Drake, the Cardinals’ offense isn’t built to run the ball, and unless he becomes a full-time three-down back — and gets more than 25 grabs a year — I will let someone else have the headache, especially in the second round of drafts.
Better Late Than Never Award:
The Nominees: Cam Akers, David Montgomery, Lamar Jackson
The Winner: David Montgomery and Lamar Jackson (tie)
Jackson was QB2 and Montgomery was RB2 in weeks 14-16 (the fantasy playoffs). Jackson was taken as QB1 or QB2 in most drafts, and even though he was still a top-12 quarterback all year, he never lived up to that draft status until the fantasy playoffs. Montgomery was RB24 in fantasy points per game through eight weeks. I even saw some teams flat out drop him.
Rookie of the Year:
The Nominees: Justin Jefferson, James Robinson, Justin Herbert, Jonathan Taylor … so many really good rookies.
The Winner: This was by far the toughest award, but because we always take draft capital into consideration, the winner is … James Robinson.
In most leagues, neither Herbert nor Robinson was drafted. Robinson gets the nod based on position scarcity at the running back position. Herbert finished as QB9, while Robinson finished as RB7.
Breakout Star of the Year, Non-Rookie:
The Nominees: Robert Tonyan, Stefon Diggs and Kyler Murray
The Winner: Stefon Diggs
I am not going to pretend Diggs was not a good receiver entering 2020, but establishing oneself as a top-five WR going forward is a breakout performance. Diggs set personal records for catches (127) and yards (1,535).
2020 Fantasy Football All-Pro Team:
QB: Josh Allen and Aaron Rodgers
RB: Dalvin Cook, Derrick Henry and Alvin Kamara
WR: Davante Adams, Tyreek Hill and Stefon Diggs
TE: Travis Kelce, Darren Waller
K: Younghoe Koo
Defense: Los Angeles Rams
2020 Fantasy Football All-Rookie Team:
QB: Justin Herbert
RB: Jonathan Taylor and James Robinson
WR: Justin Jefferson, Chase Claypool and Brandon Aiyuk
TE: Cole Kmet
K: Rodrigo Blankenship
Top 12 Picks In 2021:
- Christian McCaffrey
- Alvin Kamara
- Dalvin Cook
- Jonathan Taylor
- Derrick Henry
- Aaron Jones
- Saquon Barkley
- Davante Adams
- James Robinson
- Austin Ekeler
- J.K. Dobbins
- Nick Chubb/Travis Kelce
Please do not forget about these guys in 2021 …
- Christian McCaffrey
- Saquon Barkley
- Courtland Sutton
- Kenny Golladay
- Joe Burrow
- Blake Jarwin
- Preston Williams
- O.J. Howard
- Parris Campbell
- Will Fuller
So what do you think? What did I miss? How wrong am I?
On to 2021!
Photo Credits: Kenya Allen and Sabina Moran/PressBox
Ken Zalis ranked No. 3 in FantasyPros’ 2019 Fantasy Football Draft Accuracy Rankings.