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2020 Fantasy Football Awards

by Zachary Hanshew | @ZaktheMonster | Featured Writer
Dec 30, 2020

 
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!

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MVP

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!

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.


LVP

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

It was tough to anoint him over both Justin Herbert and James Robinson, but JJ was huge in his inaugural campaign, and this level of production couldn’t go ignored.

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.

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).

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

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Zachary Hanshew is a featured writer at FantasyPros. For more from Zachary, check out his archive and follow him @zakthemonster.

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