Fantasy Football Truths
Overhyped again: Tim Tebow cannot even make the all-surprise first team, easilyoutdone by Cam
Most fantasy football seasons have drawn to a close already — you're either counting your winnings, bemoaning what could have been or you play in one of those strange leagues that use Week 17.
With that in mind, let’s recap the fantasy football season that was. In this edition, we celebrate the biggest surprises of the season, the guys who likely went undrafted yet turned into every week fantasy starters.
QB Cam Newton, Carolina: After a preseason where he looked lost throwing the ball, most fantasy experts took a wait-and-see approach to the immensely talented yet unconventional rookie. Back-to-back 400-yard passing games to start Newton's career answered a lot of doubts, but what truly made him special was his running ability around the goal line.
Newton's 14 rushing touchdowns were second in the league. If you play in a league where touchdown passes are worth a little less than touchdown runs, this stat really stands out.
RB Willis McGahee, Denver: Five years removed from his last 1,000-yard season, it looked like McGahee would be at most a touchdown vulture in his inaugural season in Denver. Instead, he wrested the job away from Knowson Moreno and thrived in the Bronco offense, adjusting on the fly to the Tim Tebow-ified running game with great results.
He has six 100-yard games this season, and his stats would look even finer if he could have shaken some minor injuries along the way.
RB DeMarco Murray, Dallas: For six weeks during the middle of the year, nobody was better. He sat behind Felix Jones at the start of the season, and he missed the end after breaking his ankle.
But what a stat line he amassed for those six games, averaging about 127 yards per game with three 100-plus yard games in that span. The one downside was that he scored only two touchdowns, but he also put up the biggest yardage game of the season in his first start against St. Louis, chewing the Rams up for 253.
WR Victor Cruz, New York Giants: After two games, Cruz had two catches for 17 yards as the Giants struggled to find a third receiver. Then he busted out with 110 yards and two scores against Philly in Week 3, and he’s been soaring ever since. His 99-yard touchdown reception against the Jets on Christmas Eve is one of the plays of the year — and you know the Cowboys are stressing over Cruz heading into this Sunday night's winner-take-all game.
Heading into the regular season finale, Cruz is third in the league in receiving yards with 1,358, and he’s got a respectable eight touchdowns. Those are WR1 statistics, which is awful impressive for a guy who wasn’t even trusted as a WR3 on his own team to start the season.
WR Laurent Robinson, Dallas: Robinson was a free agent at the start of the year, a guy whose injuries kept costing him jobs in the NFL. Ironically an injury to Miles Austin in Dallas gave him a shot — and he hasn’t looked back.
Robinson has been particularly sharp late in the year, surging to nine receiving touchdowns, which is tied for fifth in the league. Here’s hoping you stuck with him even with Austin back, as he's responded with more big performances.
TE Fred Davis, Washington: Obviously, Davis won’t be amassing any more stats after being suspended for the season’s final four games. Yet before his suspension, he ranked third among all tight ends in receiving yards behind only fantasy superstars Rob Gronkowski and Jimmy Graham.
This is another guy who really took advantage of an injury, gobbling up the passes that might have gone to Chris Cooley. Davis also showed excellent pop for a tight end, averaging 13.5 yards per catch.
QB Tim Tebow, Denver
RB Roy Helu, Washington
RB Ben Tate, Houston
WR Torrey Smith, Baltimore
WR Antonio Brown, Pittsburgh
TE Jake Ballard, New York Giants
There you have it: The guys who went from invisible to invaluable in no time at all. I hope you picked a few of them up along the way.