Fantasy Football: 2013 Most Valuable Player Awards
The fantasy football playoffs are upon us! With the end of the NFL's 13th week of the regular season, a majority of fantasy leagues enter their postseason.
Who are the players who have helped their fantasy owners dominate their leagues?
It's time for the "Fantasy Football MVP" awards.
I will honor the top performer and player with the best draft value for each offensive position (QB, RB, WR, TE).
Who are your fantasy MVPs?
Top Fantasy Performer, Quarterback: Peyton Manning
This one is a no-brainer. Peyton Manning is leading all players, in any position, in fantasy scoring. No one is even close. Most Manning owners are at the top of their league standings.
Manning is on pace for 5,500 passing yards and 54 touchdowns, both of which would be NFL records. The production the Broncos' signal-caller has provided from the second or third round of fantasy drafts has been astounding.
Best Fantasy Value, Quarterback: Philip Rivers
In most fantasy leagues, Philip Rivers was drafted late, as a backup. If not drafted as a No. 2 quarterback, Rivers was not selected at all. CBS Sports' Dave Richard ranked Rivers as the No. 24 quarterback in the preseason.
All Rivers has done is produce like a top-five field general. Rivers is on pace for 4,844 passing yards and 32 touchdowns. Only Peyton Manning, Matthew Stafford and Drew Brees have passed for more yards than Rivers. Rivers ranks fifth in passing touchdowns (23) behind only Peyton Manning, Stafford, Brees and Tony Romo.
Top Fantasy Performer, Running Back: Adrian Peterson
The last two weeks of play have placed Adrian Peterson back on his perch, as fantasy football's top running back. Peterson gashed the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears for 357 rushing yards, nearly 30 percent of his total for the season.
Because Peterson was the No. 1 overall selection in most fantasy drafts, he could be considered a mild disappointment, especially before Week 12. The Oklahoma standout is showing signs of life, though, just in time for the fantasy playoffs. Peterson leads all running backs in rushing yards (1,208) and rushing touchdowns (10).
Best Fantasy Value, Running Back: Knowshon Moreno
When the Denver Broncos drafted Wisconsin's Montee Ball in the second round of the 2013 NFL draft, Knowshon Moreno became a forgotten man. Moreno went undrafted in many fantasy leagues. CBS Sports' Dave Richard had Moreno tabbed as a low-end backup.
Moreno has far exceeded his draft-day value by obtaining 1,256 yards from scrimmage, per The Football Database, and adding 11 touchdowns. Moreno's production is obviously a product of having Peyton Manning at the helm, but fantasy owners will not penalize him for it.
Top Fantasy Performer, Wide Receiver: Calvin Johnson
Johnson was drafted in the middle of the first round in most fantasy leagues. Expect him to be drafted even earlier in 2014. Any owner fortunate enough to have landed Johnson in the first round and Peyton Manning in a future round is almost guaranteed a fantasy championship.
Best Fantasy Value, Wide Receiver: Josh Gordon
Josh Gordon was regarded as a rising talent in the NFL before the season started, but fantasy owners shied away from him because of his two-week suspension and the inept Browns offense behind him. Gordon was drafted late, as a third or fourth receiver, in most fantasy leagues. In the preseason, CBS Sports' Dave Richard ranked him 26th among all receivers.
Despite missing two games, Gordon is putting together a monster season, only trailing Calvin Johnson in receiving yards with 1,249. Gordon's incredible run is that much more impressive when you realize his quarterbacks in 2013 have been Brian Hoyer, Brandon Weeden and Jason Campbell. If Gordon can keep his off-field issues at bay, he will be a fantasy superstar for years to come.
Top Fantasy Performer, Tight End: Jimmy Graham
The University of Miami standout will continue to give his owners an edge in the playoffs. Expect more goal-post dunks.
Best Fantasy Value, Tight End: Julius Thomas
Julius Thomas went undrafted in a majority of fantasy leagues. Most preseason rankings did not include him. Except maybe in Denver, nobody knew who he was, that is until he faced the Baltimore Ravens in the NFL regular-season opener. After 110 receiving yards and two touchdowns, the legend of "Orange Julius" began.
Despite missing the last two games with a knee injury, Thomas is still third in fantasy scoring among tight ends, behind only Jimmy Graham and Vernon Davis. Thomas' 10 touchdowns are a big reason for that. If healthy, Thomas will be among the first tight ends to be drafted in 2014.