All Pro Fantasy Football Team

The fantasy football season is over and leaves countless owners to watch the playoffs with no extra incentive. Hey there are still plenty of playoff pools and the newly incorporated fantasy playoff leagues. Still, fantasy playoff leagues are no consolation for coming up short in the regular season. Sure it serves as a fun laugh, but it isn?t close to the excitement and control that you have in the regular season. With that in mind, it?s time to hand out the fantasy football awards for each position respectively. Winning your league entitles three key elements. A star that shined, a newcomer that turned heads, or that wily veteran that came through yet again.


Stamp of Approval: Peyton Manning
There isn?t any other quarterback that went 16 whole games without disappointing their fantasy football owner. That?s saying something in itself, and shows that Manning leaves his play on the field. If the Colts do get knocked out this year you can bet Manning will be on a tyrant to succeed even more. His position is becoming so powerful in Indianapolis that he?ll be able to dictate and sign key free agents with his prowess. We saw Jordan do it in Chicago, and free agents are going to begin running to the door at Indianapolis. I?m big on not drafting a quarterback in the first four rounds, but Manning is too good to pass up with an easy 30-35 fantasy points a game.

Veteran Award: Brett Favre
Just when you want to count him out, Favre sticks in there and guts it out. Age is surely catching up to him, but that?s when the mental phase of a veteran is able to add on an extra two to three years to a quarterback. He hasn?t changed his style whatsoever, and still will make those ?o my goodness? throws that drive owners nuts. But if Favre slipped in your league like he did in most, than you can?t argue with his 30 touchdowns (4th in league) and 4000 yards passing (5th in league).

Newcomer Award: Billy Volek
If you were struggling at quarterback this season, hopefully you managed to pickup Volek off waivers to get back in contention. He only started nine games for the Titans, and threw for 18 touchdowns. That?s only an average of two touchdowns a game, but he had a three-week stretch with eleven touchdowns and monstrous yardage numbers. This is an example of when learning on the bench works in leaps and bounds for a franchise. Steve McNair is obviously in serious jeopardy with injuries, and now instead of the Titans having to scramble to draft or sign someone, they can move on like a major league baseball team by just appointing the next man in Volek.

Running Backs

Stamp of Approval: Shaun Alexander
An all around running back goes a long way in aiding a team?s record. Thank goodness the Seahawks had Alexander, or they would have been the worst team in the league. Alexander finished the year with almost 1700 yards rushing and 16 touchdowns. Both stats ranked second among all running backs, which is a highly touted goal for any fantasy owner to have. It?s hard to find a back that gives you both phases of the game, especially touchdowns. Alexander is in the prime of his career, and should be dominant for another five years at least.

Veteran Award: Emmitt Smith and Jerome Bettis
You?re probably thinking ?Emmitt Smith. Yes, that?s right Emmitt Smith did ten times better than any fantasy analyst thought, and made a statement that he is truly a remarkable back. With practically no speed left, he is able to still use his field vision to make incredible cuts and follow his blockers. When he was behind Marcel Shipp in training camp, he sat back and embraced the challenge of being a backup. Then when Shipp went down, the Cardinal quickly signed Troy Hambrick who was supposed to split carries with Smith. Hambrick was also quickly lost for the season, and that meant Smith?s planned limited role in the Cardinals offense expanded to a major role. He came just shy of another 1,000 yard season, and also had nine touchdowns. Truly many football fans won?t remember his season, but it?s because of the way the media portrays what they want to promote. How many times have we seen a great athlete fade out with the media hounding the fact that the athlete is burnt out and needs to retire? Smith just happened to end on a good note, and might even have another year left in him.

It?s amazing how quickly the changes of the guards can happen in the NFL. Both Bettis and Smith were second or third round fantasy picks four years ago. This year they slipped to the eighth and ninth round in most leagues.

Newcomer Award: Reuben Droughns
1200 yards and 6 touchdowns is a nice season for a regular starter, but even better for someone that went the first month with almost no involvement in an offense. Droughns had his first start in week five, and didn?t look back. The former fullback in training camp quickly was picked up by fantasy owners, and added serious firepower to those lucky owners. For being a bruising back, Droughns did a nice job out of the backfield with 250 yards receiving and two touchdowns.

Wide Receivers

Stamp of Approval: Antonio Gates
Gates season has transformed a new development in the way coaches will look for tight ends. His ability in the Chargers offense is one of the main reasons for their success, and has been an unstoppable task for defenses to stop. Teams just don?t know how to play a tight end this versatile, and it takes a total different game plan to attempt that challenge. He finished with 13 touchdowns and 1000 yards receiving, which was sickening for teams using Gates as their third receiver.

Veteran Award: Mushin Muhammed
Someone should do a research story on athlete?s linking their career years to their contract year. Muhammed was once a great receiver, but after the past two seasons had almost everyone in fantasy leagues just pondering if he deserves their last depth spot at receiver. With Steve Smith becoming a superstar last year, and the Panthers drafting Keary Colbert, it looked like Muhammed?s past two mediocre seasons would result in a career low. Instead he more than doubled his touchdown total from the two years previously combined, and led the league in touchdowns and receiving yards. Still, I don?t think a team can take the risk of signing Muhammed as a top five receiver. He is 32 years old, and will need an incentive laden contract as far as I?m concerned.

Newcomer Award: Drew Bennett
Many Titans fans were angered when the Titans let Justin McCareins go without any serious talks of renegotiation. Well, that was quickly put in afterthought with Bennett?s phenomenal year. He possesses great speed, and a knack for getting open downfield. What?s even more remarkable is that during Billy Volek?s hot streak, Bennett was 75 percent of the reason with eight of Volek?s eleven touchdown throws. They definitely have a niche together, and once you hear that Volek is the full time starter, watch out.


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