With Week 17 of the NFL regular season in the books — and everyone’s fantasy football league has awarded their version of The Shiva — it’s time to take a look back at all of the players you should have drafted for your NFL fantasy football team this year. Let’s take a look at the top performers from each position, and then see how you could have filled out your roster to earn bragging rights over your friends or co-workers.
At least I won my fantasy championship https://t.co/6T4iM7xUvm— Matt Wvlff (@matt_wulff) January 4, 2016
The overall points listed here for each player come from NFL.com’s standard fantasy football scoring. We’ll assume that you’re filling out a standard fantasy roster with starters that include one quarterback, two running backs, two wide receivers, one tight end, one flex, one kicker and a defense — and make suggestions for bench players, as well.
QUARTERBACK — Over the last several weeks, there has been a lot of discussion among sports authorities like ESPN about who deserves this year’s MVP award: Tom Brady or Cam Newton. While there is a very real chance that these two elite quarterbacks will get the opportunity to show each other up at SuperBowl 50, the fantasy results are in. While Brady claimed second place, Newton was the highest scorer by almost 50 points. Russell Wilson’s third place performance helped the Seahawks sneak into the NFL Playoffs with a No. 6 seed in the NFC.
Cam Newton (Carolina Panthers) — 407.28 points
Tom Brady (New England Patriots) — 358.20 points
Russell Wilson (Seattle Seahawks) — 349.56 points
Cam Newton is tied with Steve Young for the most career rushing TD by a QB in the Super Bowl era (since 1966) pic.twitter.com/BfwhjEapww— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 4, 2016
RUNNING BACKS — If you break it down to the sixteen games each running back played, Adrian Peterson trailed Devonta Freeman by less than one-third of a point per game. However, the gap between Freeman and Peterson is only an eighth of the distance between Peterson and No. 3 overall running back, Doug Martin. Todd Gurley and DeAngelo Williams managed the exact same fantasy score of 219.50, ending the season tied as the No. 4 best fantasy performer among running backs.
Devonta Freeman (Atlanta Hawks) — 281.60 points
Adrian Peterson (Minnesota Vikings) — 276.40 points
Doug Martin (Tampa Bay Buccaneers) — 236.40 points
Todd Gurley (St. Louis Rams) — 219.40 points
DeAngelo Williams (Pittsburgh Steelers) — 219.40 points
WIDE RECEIVERS — Julio Jones is the second player from the Atlanta Falcons to make this All-Pro fantasy team as a starter, despite the fact that Atlanta didn’t even make the playoffs. He was only bested by Antonio Brown and it was by less than a point per game. Only one of the five receivers from this squad will be in the NFL Playoffs, and the Steelers are just a No. 6 seed. Could it be than an elite receiver isn’t an important part of an elite team?
Antonio Brown (Pittsburgh Steelers) — 271.10 points
Julio Jones (Atlanta Hawks) — 262.70 points
Brandon Marshall (New York Jets) — 252.10 points
Odell Beckham (New York Giants) — 246.00 points
Allen Robinson (Jacksonville Jaguars) — 239.00 points
Julio Jones and Antonio Brown, take a bow. pic.twitter.com/WWJ8HZbtnK— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 4, 2016
TIGHT END — Are there any experts who wouldn’t have picked Rob Gronkowski to be the most valuable fantasy tight end for the season? Despite scoring more touchdowns than any other TE in the NFL, Tyler Eifert of the Cincinnati Bengals only came in at No. 6.
Rob Gronkowski (New England Patriots) — 196.80 points
Gary Barnidge (Cleveland Browns) — 169.20 points
Jordan Reed (Washington Redskins) — 167.90 points
Rob Gronkowski Goes Nuts at WWE Event with 'Stay Hyped' Crew Gronk Patriots https://t.co/IppyOj3oX7— Jeremy Gates (@Gates22Jeremy) January 1, 2016
KICKER — When you’ve got a combination like Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski taking the ball down the field for you as a kicker, you’re going to get a lot of opportunities for field goals and extra points. Graham Gano of the Panthers lead the league in extra points, but would have required another 17 to catch Gostkowski’s fantasy total for the year.
Stephen Gostkowski (New England Patriots) — 165.00 points
Graham Gano (Carolina Panthers) — 148.00 points
Blair Walsh (Minnesota Vikings) — 140.00 points
DEFENSE — If you weren’t aware of the fact that the Denver Broncos were generally considered the best defense in the league, then you haven’t been following the NFL this season. It is a defense that could very well lead the Broncos to the SuperBowl, and could have taken your fantasy team to your league’s championship as well.
Denver Broncos — 188.00 points
Kansas City Chiefs — 183.50 points
Arizona Cardinals — 183.00 points
Now that the NFL regular season is over and your fantasy league has concluded, you can get your football fix with the NFL Playoffs, beginning January 9.
[Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images]