Now that most teams have played 4 games this season I thought I would give out some awards based on what has happened so far. These are most categories I made up as I decided to have some fun it, but they do highlight trends so far this season. Let’s get into the awards.
Out of No Where Award: Phillip Lindsay
Going into the season it was all about Booker and Freeman in Denver, Lindsay was not even on the radar for fantasy. Lindsay is basically splitting duties with the fellow rookie Freeman to this point in the season, excluding the game he was ejected from. He has looked good so far and went over 100 total yards in his first 2 games. Freeman seems to be the choice around the goal line, but Lindsay has made this a split backfield and puts a damper on the Freeman breakout many were expecting.
Trent Richardson Early Round RB Award: Dalvin Cook
This award was between Cook or David Johnson, but Johnson showed more in week 4 to avoid the honor of winning. So far this season Cook has been a fantasy disappointment. His rushing numbers have not been pretty averaging only 2.7 yards a carry. He has been getting work when on the field so it is not about usage. His receiving has kept him from being a complete bust, but for where he went in drafts this is not what people expected. Here are a couple of RBs who have outscored him in PPR to this point in the season: Chris Ivory, Wendell Smallwood, Tavon Austin, Mike Davis and Jalen Richard.
Breakout Player Award: Patrick Mahomes
This is the most obvious choice. Some people had high hopes for Mahomes coming into the season, but he has been unbelievable. He is not going to continue his TD pace for the entire season, but this offense is explosive and the defense is not very good. He is going to continue to put up points in this situation and he does have the ability to add value as a runner as well. He is the player who has probably seen his value rise those most, especially in dynasty leagues, since the season started.
I Tried To Tell You Award: Kenny Golladay
This offseason I tried to tell anyone who would listen to hop on the Kenny Golladay bandwagon. Golladay is going to be a better fantasy option than Marvin Jones this season as Jones becomes mostly a deep threat. He has been very involved in the Lions’ passing attack trailing only Golden Tate in target and has a 71.9% catch rate so far this season. He is on the field in 2 WR sets and has been on the field for over 90% of snaps in 3 of 4 games. The other was the New England game where it was 87.7% of snaps and Detriot ran the ball well. His worst game was against Dallas where he still had 74 yards and caught all of his targets.
Proved Me Wrong Award: JuJu Smith-Schuster
I did not buy into the JuJu hype this offseason. I knew he was talented, but I had trouble seeing how he could get the target volume to justify the draft price he was going at. It is safe to say I was very wrong, his lowest target total so far is 8. The Steelers defense has trouble stopping people and has led to some shootout which has helped. There is nothing to indicate that will change any time soon. The other factor that has probably helped is the absence of Le’Veon Bell, but even if Bell returns later this year it is hard to imagine the Steelers going away from him with how good he has been. I was wrong about JuJu.
Fun While it Lasted Award: Ryan Fitzpatrick
The start of the season with Fitzpatrick was a lot of fun. He helped people winning fantasy games, especially in superflex league, and had the best post-game press conference so far this season. It was unlikely to last all season and the Tampa offense crashed hard against the Bears. Winston is back and even though it wasn’t like he came in and played well either, it looks like he will be the starter moving forward. Tampa needs to see him out there and figure out what their plan is for the future at QB.
Alligator Blood Award: Javorius Allen
He just keeps hanging around, hanging around. The award name is reference to the movie Rounders if you are wondering. Allen somehow continues to matter. The Ravens have tried to make Kenneth Dixon a thing, they brought in Woodhead last year, but Allen keeps ending up the guy out there. He is frustrating Alex Collins owners this season as he keeps getting the ball, averaging 10 touches a game so far this season and scoring 4 TDs already. It seems like he will continue to be involved this season, so get used to it.
I Am Clearly Better Than That Other Guy Award: Kerryon Johnson
It seems Matt Patricia is following the Marvin Lewis strategy of not turning over the offense to the clearly more talented rookie RB. Johnson has been significantly better than Blount so far this season, but Blount still get used. Kerryon has 3 more carries than Blount so far and 131 less yards. He has more than doubled Blounts yards per carry and is the first Detroit RB to have a 100 yard game in years. Following that game Johnson only got 9 carries in a close game, Blount had 7 carries. In that game Johnson had 55 yards and a TD, Blount had 12 yards. Detroit needs to commit to the young RB.
So That’s How a Real QB Throws Award: Emmanuel Sanders
The QB situation in Denver in 2017 basically made Sanders unplayable. The combination of awful guys the Broncos kept throwing under center seemed like a bad joke. This year with Keenum under center the offense actually looks competent. Sanders already matched his TD total from last year and his yard per reception is almost 2.5 yards better so far this season. It is not like Keenum is a super star QB, the situation last year was so bad that he is a huge upgrade. Sanders isn’t likely to be a WR1 on the season, but he is relevant again.
Who Said I Don’t Catch Enough Passes Award: Ezekiel Elliott
Before the season people were hesitant to put Elliott in front of Bell or Johnson because he didn’t catch enough passes. He is on pace for 60 catches this season on top of averaging over 100 yards a game on the ground. Elliott is the Cowboys offense and since the pass catches are so weak he will continue to be utilized to catch passes out of the backfield. He is not going to be a 75 plus catch guy, but he will be a part of the passing offense. Zeke is a fantasy stud and the Dallas offense will continue to live and die with him.
Best Fantasy WR in Minnesota: Adam Thielen
Before the season people kept trying to say Diggs over Thielen, but the discounting of Thielen as the top option has been a mistake so far. This is not to say Diggs has been bad, but Theilen has been the top option. Thielen has been targeted more so far this season 56 to 44, has a better catch percentage 71.4% to 61.4%, and more yards per game 118.3 to 77.8. Thielen is the top option for the Vikings no matter how much people want to try to deny it. He will continue to be the guy Cousins relies on. He has out produced Diggs and we haven’t even had the annual Diggs getting banged up and missing time injury happen yet.