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FANTASY FOOTBALL IN-SEASON FEATURES

Tunnel Vision - FINAL
David Dorey
January 2, 2012
 
2011 Salutes
Quarterbacks Yards TD
Drew Brees 81 / 5607 1 / 46
Aaron Rodgers 257 / 4643 3 / 45
Cam Newton 706 / 4051 14 / 21
Tom Brady 140 / 5239 3 / 39
Matthew Stafford 78 / 5038 0 / 41
Running Backs Yards TD
Ray Rice 2068 15
LeSean McCoy 1624 20
Arian Foster 1841 12
M. Jones-Drew 1980 11
Marshawn Lynch 1416 13
Wide Receivers Yards TD
Calvin Johnson 1681 16
Jordy Nelson 1263 15
Wes Welker 1573 10
Victor Cruz 1536 9
Larry Fitzgerald 1411 8
Tight Ends Yards TD
Rob Gronkowski 1327 17
Jimmy Graham 1310 11
Aaron Hernandez 910 7
Tony Gonzalez 875 7
Jason Witten 942 5
Placekickers XPT FG
David Akers 34 44
John Kasay 63 28
S. Gostkowski 59 28
Mason Crosby 68 24
Neil Rackers 39 32

Follow me on Twitter at @DMDorey for news and research tidbits.

The huddle awards 2011

quarterbacks

Most Valuable - Has to be Drew Brees who came on late to overtake Aaron Rodgers. Brees has been money every week and then threw for 412 yards and 5 TDs in week 15 and then 307 yards and 4 TDs in week 16 during fantasy championships. Honorable Mention - Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady

Best Surprise - Cam Newton not only easily, but he may be the best surprise of all time. Set the new NFL rookie passing record (4051) and is the only NFL quarterback to throw for 4000 and run for 500. Oh yeah, no QB has ever ran for 14 touchdowns before. And he was always drafted as a backup if he was drafted at all. Honorable Mention - Matthew Stafford

Biggest Bust - Philip Rivers was the #5 QB in Average Draft Position but was mediocre for the biggest stretch of the season while claiming all was fine despite throwing more interceptions than touchdowns. Honorable Mention - Josh Freeman

running backs

Most Valuable - This is a tough one. Have to go with LeSean McCoy and his 20 touchdowns. He was money every week and in fantasy terms, automatic 20 points per week was always great. Honorable Mention - Ray Rice

Best Surprise - Marshawn Lynch hands down. After four years in the league and nothing that notable, he is in the second year on the Seahawks and then suddenly a month into yet another forgettable season he starts scoring touchdowns and he did not stop until the finale. Lynch had a career best 4.2 YPC and scored 13 times. Honorable Mention - Reggie Bush, Michael Bush

Biggest Bust - Chris Johnson would have been kinder had he done like Jamaal Charles and just not played this year. A few decent games surrounded by a lot of mediocrity and week killing stats. Honorable Mention - Darren McFadden

wide receivers

Most Valuable - Calvin Johnson. Megatron did have a mini-slump in the middle but has been money at the end and money at the start. He leads all wideouts in receiving yardage (1681) and receiving touchdowns (16). Honorable Mention - Wes Welker

Best Surprise - Victor Cruz has been a huge benefit for every fantasy owner who picked him off the waiver wire. For a guy who started the year as the #3 or #4 receiver and had NO CATCHES as an undrafted rookie. Come on - 1536 yards and nine touchdowns? Just goes to show you never know. Honorable Mention - A.J. Green, Laurent Robinson

Biggest Bust - Andre Johnson was most often the first wideout drafted last summer and other than his first three games, he did nothing for owners but take up a roster space. You hope for more than that from a first or second round pick. Honorable Mention - Austin Miles

tight ends

Most Valuable - Rob Gronkowski ended with an unbelievable 17 touchdowns and 1327 yards. He was basically like owning two top stud tight ends. It was a monster season like none other for a tight end.

Best Surprise - Jimmy Graham. We knew he would have a better year but in a very diverse offense with so many receivers, his 1310 yards and 11 touchdowns was tops for the Saints regardless of position.

Biggest Bust - Jermichael Finley. Not that he never had a big game, but for the most part he was just another mediocre tight end and not the #2 average draft position player we thought. Honorable Mention - Vernon Davis, Dallas Clark

Open the record books

1. Both Rob Gronkowski (1327) and Jimmy Graham (1310) passed Kellen Winslow Sr.'s 1290 yards set in 1980 for the most yardage in a single season by a tight end.

2. Darren Sproles finished the season with 1089 kick return yards, 710 receiving, 603 rushing and 294 punt return for 2696 and passed Derrick Mason (2690 in 2000) for the most total net yardage in a single season in NFL history.

3. In the Green Bay - Detroit game, both quarterbacks threw for over 400 yards and five touchdowns in the same game. Matt Flynn has two starts to his name and has set the franchise record with 480 passing yards AND six passing touchdowns. Yes, he is better than Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre.

4. Drew Brees shattered the all-time single-season mark for passing record with 5476 yards to bury Dan Marino's mark of 5084 yards back in 1984. Tom Brady (5235) also broke it but could not catch Brees who also had the #2 record with 5069 in 2008. Matt Stafford ended up with 5038 yards to not only make it three players to pass the 5000 yard mark this year, but those three were more than all of the previous NFL history combined. It only happened twice before and now three times in just one year.

Drama 101 - Somebody has to laugh, somebody has to cry

Comedy Draft Tragedy Draft
QB Cam Newton QB Philip Rivers
RB Marshawn Lynch RB Darren McFadden
RB Reggie Bush RB Rashard Mendenhall
WR Victor Cruz WR Andre Johnson
WR Laurent Robinson WR Austin Miles
WR A.J. Green WR Mike Williams (TB)
TE Jimmy Graham TE Dallas Clark
PK David Akers PK Adam Vinatieri

Another season and this is only the 240th Tunnel Vision I have written in 15 years. This has been a great season and one that had plenty of changes to digest and figure out. The Lockout turned into a non-event but that didn't mean teams were not affected. Somehow, the toughest positions to learn (QB and WR) had multiple impressive rookies and yet rookie running backs were duds. Four of the first six RBs drafted are already on injured reserve.

The Packers spent all year looking unbeatable but then the Chiefs broke that magic. Now the Packers are looking like a nice match for the Saints. The post-season is on and with that we have contests to play and a nice cooling down period from the frenetic pace of change during the regular season.

I'll also whisper to you that we've been listening to you all, going over all the surveys and already making plans on how to make The Huddle an even better place to be for 2012. We'll see what changes we make but rest assured nothing changes unless for the better. We won't rest on our laurels so you can rest on yours.

Have a great postseason - play in a contest or two like the ones we'll have on our message board for free. Then spend the spring checking back on the coaching changes, free agents and then the rookie happenings. I'm going to go take a nap, call it good and then 2012 starts.

Have the best New Year of your life and enjoy yourself!

Now I'll get back to work...


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