Week 17 ended with some fireworks as the NFL playoff picture wasn’t totally clear until late. Now that the regular season is over, we can take a look back on the fantasy football year. Here are my 2017 fantasy football awards, complete with MVP, the All-Fantasy team and much more.
The MVP: Todd Gurley, RB, Rams
He was my most disappointing player of 2016, given the spot in which he was drafted. This season he turned it all around, thanks in large part to rookie head coach Sean McVay. Gurley rushed for 1,305 yards, good for second in the league, and caught 64 passes for 788 yards. He totaled 19 touchdowns on the season, including 13 on the ground to lead the NFL. With the Rams looking like the NFL’s team of the future, if not present, I expect Gurley to keep it going next year.
2017 All-Fantasy Team
Quarterback: Russell Wilson, Seahawks (3,983 yards passing, 34 TDs, 586 yards rushing, 3 TDs)
Running back: Todd Gurley, Rams (1,305 yards rushing, 13 TDs, 788 yards receiving, 6 TDs)
Running back: Le’Veon Bell, Steelers (1,291 yards rushing, 9 TDs, 655 yards receiving, 2 TDs)
Flex: Alvin Kamara, Saints (728 yards rushing, 8 TDs, 826 yards receiving, 5 TDs)
Wide receiver: Antonio Brown, Steelers (101 rec., 1,533 yards, 9 TDs)
Wide receiver: DeAndre Hopkins, Texans (96 rec., 1,378 yards, 13 TDs)
Wide receiver: Keenan Allen, Chargers (102 rec., 1,393 yards, 6 TDs)
Tight end: Rob Gronkowski, Patriots (69 rec., 1,084 yards, 8 TDs)
Defense/Special teams: Jaguars (8 TDs, 21 INTs, 55 sacks, 17 FF, 12 DFR, 2nd in points allowed)
Kicker: Stephen Gostkowski, Patriots (45 XP/47 XPATT, 37 FG/40 FGA, 8 FGs made beyond 40 yards, 4 FGs made beyond 50 yards, Long of 62)
Best rookie: Kareem Hunt, RB, Chiefs
Hunt gained at least 100 yards from scrimmage in the first seven games of his career. When Spencer Ware went down in the preseason, Hunt landed on many radars, but I didn’t expect him to lead the league in rushing. He hit a lull before finishing the season strong. He took his only carry in Week 17 for 35 yards and a score. That sealed the rushing title for the rookie as he finished with 1,327 yards.
Best waiver pickup: Alvin Kamara, RB, Saints
When the season started it was tough to see how the rookie out of Tennessee was going to be a factor in the Saints’ backfield. It looked like Mark Ingram and Adrian Peterson would take a large share of the touches. Once Kamara caught 10 passes for 71 yards and a touchdown in Week 4, the Saints jettisoned Peterson to Arizona and things opened up for the rookie.
Best bang for your buck: Jarvis Landry, WR, Dolphins
The Dolphins lost Ryan Tannehill to start the season and when Jay Cutler was brought in, there wasn’t much hope for big fantasy games from Miami. Landry has proven that he can be a reliable target no matter who starts at QB. He led the league with 112 receptions as he gained 987 yards and scored nine touchdowns. He finished as a WR1 even though he was drafted as a low-end WR2.
Breakout player: Carson Wentz, QB, Eagles
His injury couldn’t have come at a worse time, but you can’t ignore how well he performed up until then. Wentz’s rookie season was decent, but the way he ran the offense for Philadelphia this year put him in the MVP conversation. Not one of his games was a dud. He would have been fantasy’s top quarterback had he not missed the final three games of the year. Wentz finished with 3,296 yards passing and 33 touchdowns. He also rushed for 299 yards.
Best comeback: Keenan Allen, WR, Chargers
Before this season, Allen played in just nine games the previous two years combined. He played in all 16 games this year and lived up to the potential displayed in his rookie year. Allen recorded career highs in receptions and yards with 102 and 1,393. He scored six touchdowns and had an outstanding run from Week 11 through Week 14.
Never say die award: Larry Fitzgerald, WR, Cardinals
Fitzgerald was last season’s “Never say die” award winner, and he just keeps producing. His future is up in the air right now, as is Carson Palmer’s. Their coach Bruce Arians just announced his retirement. It would be surprising if Fitz called it quits after turning in the year he had this season. He was second in the league with 109 receptions. He gained 1,156 yards and scored six times in his 14th year, one of his best.
Worst regression: Matt Ryan, QB, Falcons
I predicted his regression before the season started. The biggest reason for it is losing Kyle Shanahan to the 49ers. The production Ryan had in 2016 was unsustainable, but his numbers dropped drastically this year. After throwing 38 touchdowns in 2016, he managed just 20 this season. That’s the least amount of TD passes he’s had since his rookie year when he threw 16.
Biggest disappointment: Terrelle Pryor, WR, Redskins
Pryor had a great breakout year last season, catching 77 passes for 1,007 yards and four touchdowns when he moved to wide receiver. That was with the Browns, so most expected him to keep putting up big numbers as he joined Kirk Cousins and the Redskins. The situation was ripe for a new No. 1 wideout to join Washington as DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon left the team. Instead, Pryor caught just 20 passes for 240 yards and one touchdown in ten games. With him being drafted as high as the second round in most fantasy leagues, he turned out to be a big bust.
2017 was a tough year for a lot of top fantasy talent. You could make an all-star squad out of all the big names that fell to injury this year. So I did.
Quarterback: Aaron Rodgers, Packers
Running back: David Johnson, Cardinals
Running back: Dalvin Cook, Vikings
Flex: Ty Montgomery, Packers
Wide receiver: Odell Beckham Jr., Giants
Wide receiver: Pierre Garcon, 49ers
Wide receiver: Brandon Marshall, Giants
Tight end: Jordan Reed, Redskins
Kicker: Sebastian Janikowski, Raiders