The 2008 fantasy football season was a wild ride. The Cowboys were picked as Super Bowl favorites. What a difference a pinkie makes.
Who were the booms and busts for this fantasy season? Who were the season changing fill in players?
From key injuries to clutch pickups, I've brought you a look at some of the best (and worst) of fantasy football's 2008.
Tom Brady's injury changed fantasy football. Did you draft Randy Moss in the first round? Sorry. Laurence Maroney was one big ouch.
Early in the year, even the mighty Colts struggled. Fantasy football conventional wisdom was officially turned on its ear.
While the world looked on in shock at the Tom Brady injury, Matt Forte emerged as a threat in Chicago.
Owners with Forte on their teams got an awesome bonus: 1500 total yards and 11 touchdowns.
I thought that with Orlando Pace coming back the Rams would greatly improve over last year. Oops. If you built your team around St. Louis your season was over early.
There had been a tremendous amount of talk about how Aaron Rodgers would fill Brett Favre's shoes...until we saw the kid play.
Rodgers silenced the media with laser accuracy and incredible poise. Toughness questions were answered when he played with a separated shoulder.
A player who answers criticism with actions would be a welcome addition in every NFL city. Legend or no legend.
Jay Cutler proved this year that his is a prime time player. I'm looking forward to more great things from the Vanderbilt standout.
The Ed Hochuli decision may still decide the AFC West champion. Denver is hanging onto it's lead by a thread.
Phillip Rivers played very well this season. The rest of the Chargers...did not. While we were expecting a 12-4 team in San Diego, we got mediocrity.
The wins were harder to come by than the points, but fantasy football owners reaped the benefits of the 4000+ yard season by Drew Brees.
Personally I think your team needs to win more than seven games to be the MVP, but Brees has put up numbers that are making people ignore winning.
Bill Parcells is at it again. He brought a new staff, some old players, and a winning attitude to Miami.
Oh—and the Wildcat offense, which was soon copied by almost every team in the NFL. It makes you wonder: what if other coaches in the NFL were brave enough to try new ideas of their own? How fun could this sport be to watch if the coaches weren't such risk-averse copycats?
On and off the field Larry Johnson was a disappointment. After a while we got used to seeing this face. Fantasy owners who drafted the former great were rolling their eyes as well.
Anquan Boldin took the scariest hit of the year in one of the highest scoring games in history. It looked career ending, and life threatening. Boldin showed incredible toughness by being back on the field in a few short weeks, and playing well.
While LT nursed his various injuries in San Diego, his understudy stole the show in Atlanta. It goes to show you: with running backs, always bet on the younger guy.
Unless of course, the older guy is Thomas Jones. The Bears ran him out of town in favor of Cedric Benson, whoops. The 31 year old Jones just posted the season of his life. 1,400 total yards and 15 touchdowns.
I guess there is running back life after 30. Don't tell Shaun Alexander.
Kurt Warner revived the Arizona Cardinals this season. He probably put a big charge in your lineup.
The Greatest Show on Turf Southwest has put up phenomenal numbers, and has run away with the NFC west...by posting eight wins.
Anquan Boldin, who we thought might be dead, has posted over 1,000 yards and 11 touchdowns.
No matter what you call the Bengal wide receiver, his season stank. After 540 yards and four touchdowns, next year we might just call him unemployed.
DeAngelo Williams showed his explosiveness this season. When Jonathan Stewart went down he showed he could carry the load in Carolina.
1,300 total yards and 16 touchdowns while sharing time is quite a feat. The Panthers are playing as well as anybody in the NFL right now.
Matt Ryan showed this year that he isn't your average rookie, and Roddy White put up stud numbers at wide receiver.
Ryan, Turner, and White could be the big three you hear about in Atlanta for a few years to come.
Mewelde Moore scored six touchdowns between Weeks Seven and Ten. His fantastic play could have been the difference between making the playoffs and not, if your offense needed a spark at that point in the season.
The Detroit Lions played an important role this fantasy season by providing the best matchup known to man. Anybody against the Lions was a great bet to score lots of fantasy points.
Calvin Johnson may be stuck in an oh-forever nightmare, but he does find the end zone more often than most. Ten touchdowns isn't bad on what might be the worst team in history.
There's a big, new Johnson in the NFL. What would he do if they won four games?
OK, be honest. Who thought the Titans would be this good?
LenDale White has 14 touchdowns, and the Kerry Collins led Titans have one loss.
I was blindsided by this team. Were you?
Andre Johnson went out and had another great year. Of course I never saw a game of his, but reading the box-scores can be fun. Hey, ABC! Next year a little more Texans and a little less Browns. Thanks.
I went home to Philadelphia for Thanksgiving and heard a lot of complaining about the Eagles. People complain about Andy Reid, and Donovan McNabb, but you never hear anybody say anything bad about Brian Westbrook
If the people who booed Santa Claus and Mike Schmidt can't think of anything bad to say about you, you must be pretty cool. Westbrook will play if he can walk. He spent another year proving that he's not too small for the NFL.
He paid huge dividends to fantasy owners down the stretch, scoring six touchdowns in Weeks 13 and 14.
Peyton Hillis scored five touchdowns and had a hundred-yard game between Weeks 11 and 14. This burst of offense from nowhere propelled many nimble fantasy owners into the postseason.
Plus it's just sexy to start a guy listed at fullback. Congrats to those who did.
If you are a professional athlete who thinks he is going to a dangerous club, please hire a retired police officer or two to work security for you.
They handle guns better than you and make great witnesses if something unfortunate happens. If you need to hire one of your old friends make him carry the coffee, hire ex-cops to carry the weapons. If you happen to encounter local police, who do you want speaking for you? Your homeboy or one of their ex-coworkers currently on your payroll?
You're not a thug or a gangster anymore...assuming you ever were. Now you're a rich guy with a bull's eye on his back. Consider the cost of a one game suspension. How many man-hours of security could you buy with the money a one games suspension costs you?
Spend a little money and make sure your career, and freedom, aren't ever in jeopardy.
Edgar Allen Poe's Raven, the Baltimore team's namesake, foretold what would happen this winter.
Ed Reed and the Baltimore Ravens scored a bunch of points on defense late in the season. In weeks thirteen through fifteen the Ravens notched six turnovers, eight sacks, two touchdowns and a partridge in a pear tree.
"But the raven still beguiling all my sad soul into smiling."
Fantastic output for the playoff push. Lots of teams made the finals thanks to the efforts of the Raven's D.
"Ball Hawk Ed Reed", as John Madden likes to call him, just keeps on finding the end zone.
Opposing offenses only hear nevermore.
Peyton Manning just threw for 364 yards and three touchdowns. We were worried in September, but Peyton has put up over 600 yards passing and four touchdowns in the playoffs.
Getting hot at the right time counts for a lot in this game.