Since this is our first post on Michelle’s site, I would like to first introduce ourselves to the many fantastic followers that Michelle has told us about. We are the guys at Fighting Chance Fantasy and would love to become your source for fantasy football information and advice. I am Steve Rapin and I partner with Ryan Hallam to bring you an array of fantasy football, fantasy baseball content as well as random topics like our top ten characters from our favorite TV shows. The fantasy football regular season may be in the books, but baseball is right around the corner, so make sure to bookmark our page and tune in for all of our baseball content that will include team previews, rankings, sleeper/busts as well as a look at the prospects coming up. You can follow us on Facebook here, or follow me @fantasygeek37 and Ryan @fightingchance. We would like to thank you Michelle, for the opportunity to contribute to your great site and I hope all of you enjoy our 2015 Fighting Chance Fantasy Football Awards.
The 2015 fantasy football season is in the books and once again, chaos ran rampant this season. Major injuries to players like Andrew Luck, Le’Veon Bell and Jamaal Charles threw fantasy teams into a tailspin, as did the poor performance from just about every running back taken in the first two rounds. This year, more than almost any in recent memory, made it more important to properly work the waiver wire and if you did, you very well may have put your team in contention for your fantasy football league championship. Since there were a lot of NFL players who didn’t perform up to expectations, that opened the door to players to step up help your team win a fantasy championship. That’s why we wanted to award those players with a Fighting Chance Fantasy Award to recognize their efforts this season. We would love to hear your thoughts on whether you agree with us or would have selected someone else so feel free to leave a message below or shoot us a line on Twitter.
Ryan: Tom Brady, New England Patriots. Questions of whether he would be suspended or not caused him to fall and Brady proved everyone wrong with a monster season.
Steve: Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers. Number one fantasy quarterback that could be drafted in the middle rounds.
Breakout Player of the Year
Ryan: Allen Robinson, Jacksonville Jaguars. He had a few nagging injuries in his rookie season, but Robinson nearly doubled his receptions in 2015 with 80, nearly tripled his yardage to a nice even 1,400 on the season, and went from two touchdowns in ’14 to a whopping 14 in 2015. This dude is here to stay!
Steve: Devonta Freeman, Atlanta Falcons. With the Falcons drafting Tevin Coleman to potentially be their running back of the future, Devonta Freeman looked destined to be at best, a part of a running back time share. After Coleman went down with an injury, Freeman exploded and became the number one scoring running back in fantasy football.
Fantasy Rookie of the Year
Ryan: Jameis Winston, Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Not too many rookie quarterbacks throw for 4,000 yards and 22 touchdowns. He ran for six more and proved that the future is very bright in Tampa Bay.
Steve: Todd Gurley, St Louis Rams. Todd Gurley went into the season banged up, but once he was healthy, he took the league by storm. He had a little stretch with a few bad games, but overall, looks like he will be a top fantasy running back for years to come.
Waiver Wire Pickup of the Year
Ryan: Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars. Bortles took the next step in a big way into fantasy stardom. He threw at least one touchdown in every game but one, and had eleven multiple touchdown games. With the young weapons around him I see this as no fluke.
Steve: DeAngelo Williams, Pittsburgh Steelers. Not many people thought DeAngelo Williams would have much of an impact this season, but those people couldn’t have been more wrong. Even with Le’Veon Bell playing in six games, Williams still finished as the number six overall running back in PPR league.
Sleeper of the Year
Ryan: Jordan Reed, Washington Redskins. We always knew if Reed could stay healthy that he could have a monster year. He did just that with 87 catches and 11 touchdowns. Anyone who took a flier on him at the end of a draft reaped huge benefits.
Steve: Blake Bortles, Jacksonville Jaguars. Despite being a late round flier (or undrafted entirely), Blake Bortles took the league by storm. He threw for over 200 yards in all but three games, threw for two or more touchdowns in 11 games and finished fourth in fantasy scoring among quarterbacks cementing himself as quarterback to be taken seriously in the future.
Bust of the Year
Ryan: DeMarco Murray, Philadelphia Eagles. Coming off an 1,800 yard season, most everyone expected him to regress some. But to THIS???? Murray fell so far out of favor that he was just flat out benched multiple times. His 603 rushing yards were the worst of his career, and his four touchdowns had fantasy owners looking for a bridge to jump off.
Steve: Eddie Lacy, Green Bay Packers. Eddie Lacy was a top five pick in many fantasy leagues this season and yet, he sucked major booty all year. He only topped 20 fantasy points in a game twice this season and finished as the 32nd ranked fantasy running back…barely a RB3. He has some work to do to get back into good graces with fantasy owners next season.
Fantasy Comeback Player of the Year
Ryan: Brandon Marshall, New York Jets. Coming off a 61 catch season where he was a total pain in the ass, Marshall’s stock didn’t look good going to New York. But he, Eric Decker, and Ryan Fitzpatrick formed a passing game the Jets only dreamed of. Marshall’s 109 catches and 1,508 yards were both near career highs, while his 14 touchdowns were his best.
Steve: Adrian Peterson, Minnesota Vikings. The 30+ year old running back returned from missing almost the entire 2014 season due to his child abuse case and picked up right where he left off as he rushed for almost 1,500 yards and 11 touchdowns. He finished as the number two fantasy running back and is once again set to be a top fantasy draft selection next season.
2015 All Fantasy Team (Performance + value at draft position)
QB: Carson Palmer, Arizona Cardinals. Not only did Palmer beat the odds and stay healthy all year, he was magnificent throwing for nearly 4,700 yards and 35 touchdowns. Not too shabby for a guy you picked as insurance towards the end of the draft.
RB: Devonta Freeman, Atlanta Falcons. Tevin Coleman won the job out of training camp, but all Freeman needed was one chance and the job was his for the rest of the year as he scored touchdown after touchdown after touchdown. If he had stayed healthy he could have scored 20.
RB: Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I would have gone with DeAngelo Williams but I was trying to pick guys who actually played all season. Muscle Hamster bounced back in a big way even if he didn’t score many touchdowns.
WR: DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans. Even with the worst quarterbacks in the league, Hopkins still had eye popping numbers. If Houston could ever get someone competent under center, Hopkins could be the best receiver in football.
WR: Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers. Who could have thought that Brown would be even better in 2015? He was just that with a staggering 136 catches for over 1,800 yards. Imagine what his stats would have been if there weren’t those three games with Michael Vick!
TE: Gary Barnidge, Cleveland Browns. I fought it for weeks that this guy couldn’t keep his hot streak going. Boy was I wrong. Even in a terrible offense, Barnidge was amazing.
QB: Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers. Best quarterback despite losing his top receiver, Kelvin Benjamin, in the preseason. He deserves this spot with receivers like Ted Ginn, Philly Brown and Devin Funchess as his wide receivers.
RB: Devonta Freeman, Atlanta Falcons. Top fantasy running back this season. Nuff said.
RB: Doug Martin, Tampa Bay Buccaneers. I couldn’t have been more wrong about Martin as he finished as a top five fantasy running back this season. He burned me last year when I drafted him and he sucked. He burned me this year when I didn’t draft him and he did well. I hate him!
WR: Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh Steelers. He’s a stud and he will likely be on my list every year he’s in the league. Unlike Doug Martin, I love Ant Brown.
WR: Brandon Marshall, NY Jets. Brandon Marshall scored double-digit fantasy points every week this season, caught 109 balls for 1500 yards with 14 touchdowns and finished as the third fantasy scoring wide receiver. Well done sir.
TE: Delanie Walker, Tennessee Titans. 94 receptions for 1088 yards and six touchdowns led to Delanie Walker being the number two fantasy tight end.