Fantasy Football News

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Week 14: Regular Season Award Leaders

With a month left to play, the hunt for the coveted Most Valuable Player award is beginning to heat up. There are plenty of deserving candidates around the league, but only one can win. Unless of course you're Steve McNair and Peyton Manning in 2003 (co-MVPs) or Brett Favre and Barry Sanders in '97.

With Week 14 approaching fast, here is All-Out Blitz's favorites for the MVP award and the remaining NFL awards handed out each season.

Most Valuable Player: Adrian Peterson, RB
Stat line: 234 rush attempts, 1,446 yards, 8 TD, 6.2 YPC, 120.5 YPG

Peterson is just one year recovered from major ACL surgery and look at what he's done this season? He's the league's rushing leader with 1,446 yards and 8 TDs. With four games to play, Peterson will likely end the regular season with a career-high in rushing yards. The 27-year old just set a Minnesota franchise record with his sixth consecutive 100-yard game against the Packers last week (he actually topped 200 yards and ran for a career-high 82 yard touchdown in the 23-14 loss).

His Vikings are currently two games back in the NFC North at 6-6, but he's the sole reason Minnesota is even in the playoff hunt and is by far the most valuable player on any team at this point. He gets the edge of Peyton Manning and rookie Andrew Luck because of the fact he underwent knee surgery last December and is still destroying his opponents less than a year later.
Other contenders:

Peyton Manning, QB
Stat line: 68.0 comp%, 3,502 yards, 29 TD, 9 INT, 104.6 rating

Much like Peterson, Manning is recovering from major surgery. After missing all last season and undergoing four neck surgeries which put his career in jeopardy, Manning has stepped onto the field in a different uniform and is poised to take the Broncos to the next level. He got off to a slow start, but his 9-3 Broncos just clinched the AFC West last week and Peyton's arm is looking as strong as ever.

Tom Brady, QB
Stat line: 64.8 comp%, 3,537 yards, 25 TD, 4 INT, 102.6 rating

Brady is in the MVP talks every season, and his four interceptions and 100+ rating, in addition to New England's 9-3 record, obviously puts him in the top 3 at this point in the season. The two-time MVP has proven he still has what it takes to be at the top of the elite quarterbacks list at the age of 35, and I don't think he's going anywhere anytime soon. I don't expect him to capture his third career MVP award this season, but it's still not out of the question with four more games to play.

Andrew Luck, QB
Stat line: 55.5 comp%, 3,596 yards, 17 TD, 16 INT, 76.1 rating

Looking at his numbers, it's tough to take him serious next to Manning and Brady in the MVP race. But the fact that he has the 2-14 Colts in the Wild Card hunt as a 23-year old rookie in the National Football League, he deserves some sort of consideration. Luck has already shown he is a leader, leading the Colts to five comeback victories this season and leading Indy to an 8-4 record through 12 games. The interception total will go down as he progresses as a passer at the professional level.

Offensive Player of the Year: Tom Brady, QB
Stat line: 64.8 comp%, 3,537 yards, 25 TD, 4 INT, 102.6 rating

As the leader of the league's No. 1 offense, the three-time Offensive Player of the Year is a given for the award. Considering I don't like to award the MVP with the OPOY award (too redundant for me), Brady gets the nod over Peterson, and Manning as well. His 4 interceptions and 102.6 rating is what will catch the eyes of voters, even though All-Out Blitz hands out its own awards.

Other contenders:

Robert Griffin III, QB
Stat line: 67.1 comp%, 2,660 yards, 17 TD, 4 INT, 104.4 rating; 714 rushing yards, 6 TD

I left him off the MVP list, much to the surprise of many. But there's no way you can leave RGIII off the OPOY (and obviously OROY) lists. The young rookie signal caller has already broken Cam Newton's rookie record of most rushing yards by a quarterback. His 104.4 rating and 4 interceptions surpasses Brady and he's the reason the Redskins sit at 6-6 and in the middle of the NFC East race.

Adrian Peterson, RB

Stat line: 234 rush attempts, 1,446 yards, 8 TD, 6.2 YPC, 120.5 YPG

Obviously the league's Most Valuable Player will find himself on this list as well. Usually you'd think he'd win both, but like I said above we don't like to give out multiple awards to the same guy. Peterson has been the Vikings' offense this season and he has looked as impressive as ever. Does he look like a guy who tore a knee ligament last season? No way.

Calvin Johnson, WR
Stat line: 86 Rec., 1,428 yards, 5 TD, 119.0 yards/game

Why not add a wideout to the mix? The awards so far have been dominated by quarterbacks and running backs (just Adrian Peterson actually), so why not give the receivers a little love with Megatron, who has successfully battled the Madden curse thus far this season. Though he's caught just 5 TD passes this season, he's racked up over 1,400 yards and leads the league with 29 catches of 20 or more yards. He's still got the big play ability and ridiculous catch ability going for him one year after having the season of his career.
Defensive Player of the Year: J.J. Watt, DE
Stat line: 59 total tackles, 15.5 sacks, 15 PD, 1 FF, 2 FR

He's slowed up a bit recently, but the second-year defensive end's fast start to the season is enough to get him the Defensive Player of the Year award in our book. His 15.5 sacks is enough to put him at No. 2 on the list (behind SF's Aldon Smith) and his 15 passes defensed is by far the most in the league. The freakishly-built 23-year old has been disrupting opposing offenses ever since coming in to the league as the 2011 First round pick of the Texans. The other guys aren't even really close to him in the race at this point.

Other contenders:

Aldon Smith, LB
Stat line: 51 total tackles, 17.5 sacks, 3 FF

Smith has already set numerous records in his second season in the league with San Francisco. The 23-year old has an NFL record 31.5 sacks in his first two seasons in addition to setting the Monday Night Football single-game sack record earlier this season with 5.5. The 7th overall pick in last year's draft, Smith was in contention for the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year award last season. But his league-leading 17.5 sacks this season will put him in contention for the AP Defensive Player of the Year award.

Von Miller, LB
Stat line: 53 total tackles, 15 sacks, 1 INT, 2 PD, 5 FF (1 defensive TD)

Miller, yet another second-year player, pulled away with the AP Defensive Rookie of the Year award last season over Watt and Smith. This season, he's right up there with Watt and Smith with his 15 sacks. Overall, Miller's numbers are much more well-rounded than Watt and Smith's, which could put him in the driver's seat in the final four weeks of play. But for now, the award goes to Watt without a doubt.

Charles Tillman, CB
Stat line: 67 total tackles, 2 interceptions, 12 passes defensed, 8 FF (2 defensive TDs)

Peanut Tillman, 31, is coming off his first career Pro Bowl season in 2011 and has been the heart and soul of Chicago's defense this season. He has set a precedent in forcing fumbles this season, doubling his previous career-high of 4 and has scored 2 touchdowns on defense. The veteran of the group, Tillman isn't completely out of the race for the award just yet.
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Andrew Luck, QB

Stat line: 55.5 comp%, 3,596 yards, 17 TD, 16 INT, 76.1 rating

The stats would point towards RGIII rather than Luck for the OROY, but the only two stats that we here at All-Out Blitz really care about is the fact Luck has 5 come-from-behind victories this season and the Colts' record is 8-4. Luck has surpassed Peyton Manning's rookie season in Indianapolis, and he has really impressed everyone under center. His leadership abilities may be the most stunning, to me.

Other contenders:

Robert Griffin III, QB
Stat line: 67.1 comp%, 2,660 yards, 17 TD, 4 INT, 104.4 rating; 714 rushing yards, 6 TD

RGIII is a very appealing choice for ROY, his stats speak volumes and the fact that he's got the Skins sitting a game behind at 6-6 is appalling. But I think this is a simple case of "there is no right answer." It's tough to go against either of the two, and they may even end up being named co-Offensive Rookie of the Year winners.

Doug Martin/Alfred Morris, RBs

It's tough not to have both Martin and Morris together on this one. Both running backs have nearly identical numbers and have carried their respective teams. Morris and RGIII make a great tandem in Washington while Morris is a great change of pace for Josh Freeman and the Bucs. Just how similar are the stats? Martin: 236 attempts, 1,106 yards, 9 TDs, 4.7 YPC; Morris: 230 attempts, 1,106 yards, 6 TDs, 4.8 YPC.

Russell Wilson, QB
Stat line: 63.4 comp%, 2,344 yards, 19 TD, 8 INT, 95.2 rating

Wilson has come as a bit of a surprise this season, showing off his leadership abilities and doing everything he can to get his team the victory. He's gained the trust of his teammates and has already established himself as Seattle's quarterback of the future. And I guess his numbers look pretty decent as well.
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Luke Kuechly, LB
Stat line: 114 total tackles, 1 sack, 4 passes defensed, 1 interception

This year is a little different than last. Last season there were guys like Aldon Smith, Von Miller, J.J. Watt (all in the running for DPOY as explained above), but this season the candidates aren't running rampant around the league. Carolina's Luke Kuechly and his fourth-most combined tackles of 114 has the Panthers barely missing the injured Jon Beason, who is on the season-ending injured reserve for the second consecutive season.

Other contenders:

Mark Barron, SS
Stat line: 63 total tackles, 1 interception, 8 passes defensed, 1 FF

Barron has seemed to have gone overlooked by most, but he has managed to establish himself as a threat alongside free safety Ronde Barber. In his 12 starts, Barron's 63 combined tackles has him ranked 25th among all safeties around the league.

Chandler Jones, DE
Stat line: 34 total tackles, 6 sacks, 2 passes defensed, 3 FF

One of New England's two first round picks (the other was LB Dont'a Hightower), Jones has raked in 6.0 sacks and forced 3 fumbles over his 10 starts so far this season. With no one else really running away with the Defensive Rookie of the Year award, his 6 sacks has kept him in the running.
Comeback Player of the Year: Peyton Manning, QB

Stat line: 68.0 comp%, 3,502 yards, 29 TD, 9 INT, 104.6 rating

Considering no one was real sure Peyton would play another down in the NFL, and now he has led the Denver Broncos to a second-consecutive AFC West division title, I'd say it's safe to say that this is well-deserved.

Other contenders:

Adrian Peterson, RB

Stat line: 234 rush attempts, 1,446 yards, 8 TD, 6.2 YPC, 120.5 YPG

It's tough to decide whether Peterson should be considered for the Comeback Player of the Year award. Sure, he tore his ACL and MCL in December and underwent surgery, but it's not like he had an awful season statistical-wise. It was his first season without rushing for 1,000 yards (970), but he still averaged nearly 5.0 yards/carry and 12 TDs. So I'm on the border of handing the award to Peterson, and no matter what happens the final month of the season, this award will be handed to Peyton.

Coach of the Year: Pete Carroll, SEA

Having drafted Russell Wilson to become the franchise's quarterback of the future, that was the first step Carroll, Seattle's 3rd year head coach, took to have a successful 2012 campaign. The 'Hawks have struggled within the NFC West (0-3), but have pulled off upsets of numerous playoff-contending teams such as New England, Dallas, Green Bay (though it ended controversially and they probably shouldn't have won), Minnesota and Chicago.

Carroll has already matched his career-high in wins as Seattle's head coach (7-9 in both 2010 and 2011) and is just one win behind the West-leading Niners.

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