2020 Fantasy Football Awards
The fantasy football season is over, so it’s time to reflect on the up’s and down’s, the trials and tribulations, the good, the bad, the ugly, and everything in between. That’s right. It’s fantasy football awards time! Without further adieu, here are this year’s winners!
Winner: Travis Kelce
I think this might be one of the easiest – and most universally agreed upon – MVPs to hand out in recent memory. Kelce set the record for most receiving yards by a tight end in a single season (1,416), and he now owns two of the top three such seasons in NFL history. He outscored the next highest TE by a margin equal to the gap between TE2 and TE8!
Fun facts about Travis Kelce:
* He outscored the TE2 by 57.4 points in half-PPR;
* He scored twice as many points as the TE6;
* He'd be the WR3, behind only Adams and Hill;
* He outscored all but three RBs (Kamara, Cook, Henry);
* Delivered 80 yards &/or a TD in 13 of 15 games.
— Andy Behrens (@andybehrens) December 28, 2020
Put simply, Kelce’s season was magical, and his consistent, elite scoring was an anomaly of the highest order among a position group devoid of both consistency and high-scoring. If you selected him in the second round, revel in the value, as I can’t imagine a scenario where he falls out of the top-12 in 2021 fantasy drafts.
Winner: Ezekiel Elliott
He’s the RB11, but this guy was drafted early in the first round with the expectation that he could push for an overall RB1 finish. Instead, he frustrated fantasy managers throughout the year, mixing in good games with week-losing performances and sitting out a crucial Week 15 before surprisingly storming back in Week 16. There was arguably no more frustrating player than Zeke this season. To be fair, he’s been a true stud throughout his career, and it seems ludicrous to scoff so loudly at an RB11 finish, but this is about expectations – and Zeke just didn’t live up to them in 2020. He’s my Least Valuable Player of the season.
Rookie of the Year
Winner: Justin Jefferson
Sunday is our last chance to watch Justin Jefferson dust corners for quite some time and that is sad pic.twitter.com/X0ELo2btMT
— Ian Hartitz (@Ihartitz) December 29, 2020
The LSU product has racked up an impressive 79/1,267/7 receiving line through 15 games, while breaking the Vikings’ rookie receptions record (held by Randy Moss) that has stood for 22 seasons. He’s got one more game to notch the 67 yards needed to set the rookie receiving yards record (also held by Moss) that has also stood since 1998. Any time you’re mentioned in the same breath as Randy Moss, you’re doing something right.
Breakout Player of the Year
Winner: D.K. Metcalf
I really went back and forth with Calvin Ridley or Metcalf (with brief thoughts of Diontae Johnson), but ultimately, Metcalf was the guy who was most deserving of this one. Expectations were pretty high for Ridley, and Johnson was heralded as a sleeper throughout the preseason.
D.K Metcalf’s chase down tackle was truly remarkable. pic.twitter.com/3Jihmu2YEu
— National Football Post (@FootballPost) October 26, 2020
Just like his infamous chase-down of Buddha Baker, Metcalf snuck up on fantasy football enthusiasts and made play after explosive play to finish as a top-5 WR. The sky’s the limit for the budding star after this meteoric campaign.
Comeback Player of the Year
Winner: Alvin Kamara
Kamara finished last season as the RB13 in half-PPR scoring, and his lackluster showing left some fantasy managers with a bad taste in their mouths. In 2019, Kamara finished with career lows in total yards (1,330) and touchdowns (6). He was an early pick in 2020 drafts, but most didn’t expect him to finish with the monster season that he did. With one game left to play, Kamara has already set career highs in rushing yards (932), rushing touchdowns (16), receptions (83), scrimmage yards (1,688) and total touchdowns (21).
Alvin Kamara has 6 touchdowns today — tying the NFL record for most rushing touchdowns in a game.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) December 26, 2020
He capped the year off with the second-highest scoring game of the entire season (behind only Tyreek Hill‘s 13/269/3 performance in Week 12) and likely played a major role in the outcome of fantasy championship matchups. No other player is more deserving of this award.
Waiver Wire Pickup of the Year
Winner: James Robinson
Could this one really have gone to anyone else? J-Rob was masterful as an UDFA, seizing the starting job in Jacksonville and piling up over 1,000 rushing yards in the process. A fantasy football UDFA too, J-Rob was surely on your waiver wire prior to Week 1 and maybe even leading up to Week 2.
1,000 RUSHING YARDS for James Robinson!! pic.twitter.com/Ur9DkgHgqY
— Laurie Fitzpatrick (@LaurieFitzptrck) December 13, 2020
Robinson will finish the season with just 14 games under his belt, though he ends his rookie campaign with 1,414 scrimmage yards, 49 receptions, and 10 total touchdowns. Mike Davis and Tee Higgins, eat your hearts out. There’s only one man deserving of this award, and he’s in a tier of his own.
Back from the Dead Award
Winner: Jonathan Taylor
Did public opinion swing so far in either direction as it did for Taylor? After a trio of duds midway through the season, the fantasy community seemed to have written his obituary, but it was premature. Over his last five games, Taylor has racked up 488 rushing yards, 95 receiving yards, and six total scores.
— NFL (@NFL) December 27, 2020
He finishes the season as an RB1 with double-digit touchdowns, despite some clear struggles along the way. Taylor’s stock should be high in 2021 fantasy drafts.
It’s Not About How You Start Award
Winner: David Montgomery
Monty got off to a ridiculously slow start. To roster Monty on your fantasy team was akin to watching paint dry, but as you know, “It’s not about how you start, it’s about how you finish.” There was no better finisher this season than the Bears running back, who was the overall RB1 from Weeks 12-16. Seriously, the RB1, even ahead of Derrick Henry in that span. In those five games, Monty racked up a ridiculous 692 scrimmage yards and seven total touchdowns.
David Montgomery RB1 szn never ends pic.twitter.com/Ra6l0bfO3p
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) December 27, 2020
He also crossed the 1,000-yard mark, becoming just the 13th Bears RB of all time to accomplish that feat. In what was a tale of two halves, Monty finished stronger than anyone.
Shoutout to All My Haters Award
Winner: Aaron Rodgers
Rodgers was largely written off after two down seasons, but he came roaring back in 2020, obliterating opposing defenses on the way to a league-leading 44 touchdown passes through 15 games.
Does Aaron Rodgers have NFL MVP locked up?
◼️ 44 TDs – 1st
◼️ 4,059 yards – 5th
◼️ 119.4 passer rating – 1st
◼️ 70.3 completion % – 2nd
◼️ 32 TD | 0 INT in red zone
◼️ 5 INTs
◼️ 12-3 record
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) December 28, 2020
I strongly considered Rodgers for the Comeback Player of the Year, and he was well deserving of it, but I ultimately rolled with Alvin Kamara for that one.
Aaron Rodgers is looking to join elite company this season.
Fewest INT in NFL history for QB with 40+ Pass TD
Aaron Rodgers: 5 (2020)
Aaron Rodgers: 6 (2011)
Aaron Rodgers: 7 (2016) pic.twitter.com/FT7miK9c2J
— NFLonCBS (@NFLonCBS) December 28, 2020
Rodgers proved to be one of the best values of any player taken in this year’s draft, going on average at ADP 80 overall and QB11. Rodgers is the favorite to win the real-life MVP award, and to be able to post the best season of his career at age 37 is nothing short of remarkable.
Fantasy Championship MVP
Winner: Stefon Diggs
I’ve already given an award to Kamara, so this one goes to Diggs, though that’s not really a stretch. Heading into Week 16, expectations were high for Kamara and Davante Adams (who both dominated in Week 16), but did fantasy managers really expect Diggs to post his best game of the season during fantasy championship week?
THERE GOES @STEFONDIGGS.
— NFL (@NFL) December 29, 2020
In dramatic fashion, Diggs racked up fantasy points until the 11th hour, going 9/145/3 as the Bills swept the Pats en route to a 12th win. This is far from chalk, but I’m crowning Diggs as my fantasy championship MVP.
If you want to dive deeper into fantasy football, be sure to check out our award-winning slate of Fantasy Football Tools as you navigate your season. From our Start/Sit Assistant – which provides your optimal lineup, based on accurate consensus projections – to our Waiver Wire Assistant – which allows you to quickly see which available players will improve your team, and by how much – we’ve got you covered this fantasy football season.