Tunnel Vision of Week 17

Tunnel Vision of Week 17


Tunnel Vision of Week 17


Sunday Salutes

Quarterbacks Yards TD
Cam Newton 303 4
Kellen Moore 435 3
Ben Roethlisberger 347 3
Ryan Tannehill 350 2
Matthew Stafford 308 3
Running Backs Yards TD
Rashad Jennings 176 1
Tim Hightower 105 1
Jonathan Grimes 54 2
Ronnie Hillman 127 1
Matt Forte 110 1
Wide Receivers Yards TD
Antonio Brown 187 1
Calvin Johnson 137 1
Brandon Marshall 126 1
Terrance Williams 173 0
Devin Funchess 120 1
Tight Ends Yards TD
Zach Ertz 152 0
Delanie Walker 130 0
Coby Fleener 88 1
Richard Rodgers 59 1
Will Tye 67 1
Placekickers FG XPT
Steve Hauschka 3 3
Josh Brown 3 3
Nick Novak 3 3
Adam Vinatieri 3 3
Travis Coons 4 0
Team Defense TDs Sacks TOs
Texans 1 8 4
Steelers 0 7 4
Vikings 1 5 2
Chargers 0 2 5
Chiefs 0 6 1




Joe Flacco

Colin Kaepernick

Tony Romo

Running backs

Le’Veon Bell

Justin Forsett

Jamaal Charles

Mark Ingram

Melvin Gordon

Carlos Hyde

Arian Foster

LeGarrette Blount

Thomas Rawls

Marshawn Lynch (almost)

Wide receivers

Jordy Nelson

Kelvin Benjamin

Keenan Allen

Steve Smith

Percy Harvin

Victor Cruz

Tight ends

Jimmy Graham

Martellus Bennett


The season is over and it is time to recognize those players that delivered us to fantasy championships and those who just got in the way.


Best PlayerCam Newton / Carolina Panthers

A true lesson in the power of talent, Cam Newton downgraded last summer when he lost his best receiver. After all, the rookie Kelvin Benjamin accounted for half of all touchdown catches (9) and 45% of all passes thrown to the wide receivers. What it did was to force Newton to spread his passes among all receivers and throw for 3,837 yards and a career best 35 touchdowns. But he also added 132 rushes for 636 yards and added ten more scores. That meant the quarterback most often selected as a back-up ended up as the top scorer by a large margin in most fantasy leagues. (Runner-Up – Tom Brady)

Best Draft Pick – Blake Bortles / Jacksonville Jaguars

Taken as around the 25th quarterback selected in fantasy drafts, Bortles carried the expectations of your worst back-up. And for the first month, he was little more than average. But starting in Week 5 with his first 300 yard game, Bortles was no longer ignored. He went on to turn in six 300 yard games, five games of three or more scores and saved his best games for the fantasy playoffs. Ending with 4,428 pass yards and 37 total touchdowns, Bortles became a top five quarterback for 2015. (Runner-Up – Carson Palmer)

Best Rookie – Jameis Winston / Tampa Bay Buccaneers

This was a two-man race from the start and Marcus Mariota showed plenty of promise. But Winston remained healthy all year and passed for 4,042 yards and 22 touchdowns while adding 210 yards and six scores as a runner. He showed progress by ending with three straight games with over 295 passing yards. In a weaker division and with established weapons on offense, Winston’s outlook continues to climb. (Runner-Up – Marcus Mariota)

Worst Draft PickPeyton Manning / Denver Broncos

The Hall-of-Famer was usually taken as the fourth quarterback in fantasy drafts but was productive in just three games and yet made fantasy owners consider him for ten weeks before his injuries forced him out. Only nine touchdowns over nine starts against 17 interceptions forced all owners to look elsewhere after eventually giving up. Other quarterbacks missed time, but only a legend can entice fantasy owners to continue to start mediocrity. (Runner-Up – Andrew Luck)

Best Free Agent – Ryan Fitzpatrick / New York Jets

There was no reason to grab the Jets’ quarterback in fantasy drafts since they ranked 31st in quarterback fantasy points in 2014 and the players and coaches were overhauled. But the duo of Brandon Marshall and Erick Decker came to life with Fitzpatrick under center. With 3,905 passing yards and 33 total touchdowns, Fitzpatrick snuck into the top ten by the end of the season. His yardage was rarely high, but he turned in at least two scores in 13 different games. (Runner-up -Kirk Cousins)


Best Player – Devonta Freeman / Atlanta Falcons

Despite missing Week 12 with a concussion, Freeman still outscored other running backs in all formats with a combination of 1,639 total yards and 14 touchdowns. Add in his 73 catches in reception point leagues and he was even more advantageous. His yardage waned later in the season but he totaled nine games with a score and at least 90 yards in 11 of his 14 starts. (Runner-up – Adrian Peterson)

Best Draft Pick – Devonta Freeman / Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons added Tevin Coleman to replace Steven Jackson and fantasy drafters added the rookie as the 29th running back taken on average. Freeman was just the third-down complement and was selected as the 38th back drafted last summer. But when Coleman fractured his ribs in Week 2, Freeman never looked back. Nothing in his rookie season suggested he would become an elite back. That suggests getting both parts of a committee backfield just in case you need “the other one.” (Runner-up – DeAngelo Williams)

Best Rookie – Todd Gurley / St. Louis Rams

A first-year player coming off a torn ACL is troubling enough but Gurley sat out the preseason. He was also expected to miss the first three weeks. Fantasy drafters who took the risk were richly rewarded when Gurley gained over 140 total yards in each of his first four starts. He ended with ten touchdowns and already turned in his first 1000 yard season as a rusher. While he threw in a few clunkers, Gurley quickly became the engine to the Rams offense and was clearly better than all other rookie rushers. (Runner-up – David Johnson)

Worst Draft Pick – Le’Veon Bell / Pittsburgh Steelers

Often the first player drafted last summer, Bell carried big expectations after he returned from a two-game suspension. And he delivered for five weeks until he tore his MCL and landed on injured reserve. Savvy drafters added DeAngelo Williams to cover the initial two games and ended with a very good back for the rest of the way. Those without suffered the dreaded first-round dud. (Runner-up – Jamaal Charles)

Best Free Agent – Thomas Rawls / Seattle Seahawks

While there were numerous undrafted running backs with fantasy value, none turned in the big games when called upon to start that Rawls did. The six games when he substituted for Marshawn Lynch produced four 100 rushing yard efforts and a total of five touchdowns before becoming injured himself in Week 14. (Runner-up – Javorius Allen)


Best Player – Antonio Brown / Pittsburgh Steelers

As a testament to his value, Brown nudged ahead of all other fantasy wideouts despite suffering through four starts between Michael Vick and Landry Jones. He still ended with 1,834 yards and ten touchdowns. Brown topped 100 yards in nine different games including his 284-yard performance against the Raiders in Week 9. So long as Ben Roethlisberger is healthy, Brown heads up the elite class of wideouts. (Runner-up – Julio Jones)

Best Draft Pick – Brandon Marshall / New York Jets

Selecting Marshall took a leap of faith since he joined a Jets team with new coaches and players including quarterback. And recent history had them as one of the worst passing offenses in 2014. But Marshall’s average draft slot of 26th was a bargain considering that he would end up as a top five receiver. He ended the season with 109 catches for 1,502 yards and a career best 14 touchdowns. There were only two games when he failed to either score a touchdown or gain over 100 yards. (Runner-up – Doug Baldwin)

Best Rookie – Amari Cooper / Oakland Raiders

The 2014 draft class was so wildly successful that it falsely heightened expectations this season. Drafting a rookie wideout was disappointing in all but one case – Cooper. The Raiders 1.04 pick ended with 72 receptions for 1,070 yards and six touchdowns. Cooper was also the only wide receiver who became the No. 1 target for his team. (Runner-up – Willie Snead)

Worst Draft Pick – Dez Bryant / Dallas Cowboys

The Cowboys showed him the money but he did not show you the fantasy points. His 1,320 yard, 16-touchdown season in 2014 led him to usually showing up as the second wideout drafted. But he broke a bone in his foot in Week 1 and returned seven games later to a Cowboys team spinning through back-up quarterbacks. While he would play in all or part of nine different games, he only scored three touchdowns all year and totaled only 401 yards. He topped 50 yards in only two games. (Runner-up – Randall Cobb)

Best Free Agent – Doug Baldwin / Seattle Seahawks

In another case of “you just never know”, Doug Baldwin spent four seasons with the Seahawks never gaining more than 825 yards or scoring more than five touchdowns. He was holding true to that pattern until Week 10 when he became the hottest receiver in the NFL. Over the final seven weeks of the fantasy season, Baldwin scored 12 touchdowns and averaged 91 yards per game. (Runner-up – Allen Hurns)


Best Player – Rob Gronkowski / New England Patriots

Though he tailed off later in the season, Gronkowski still retains his crown of King of the Tight Ends. He ended with a healthy 72 catches for 1,176 yards and 11 touchdowns. Through the first seven games, he totaled seven touchdowns and 92 yards per game to get fantasy teams off to a healthy start. (Runner-Up – Jordan Reed)

Best Draft Pick – Jordan Reed / Washington Redskins

Pairing with Kirk Cousins and finally staying healthy for a full season made a star of Reed. He posted consistently good fantasy points and produced a career-best 87 catches for 952 yards and 11 touchdowns. Better yet, his three-game run over the fantasy playoffs totaled five touchdowns and 333 yards. (Runner-up – Benjamin Watson)

Best RookieWilliam Tye / New York Giants

Despite their lofty draft slots, Maxx Williams and Clive Walford fell short of the undrafted rookie Tye. Signed as a free agent in May, Tye ended with 42 catches for 464 yards and three touchdowns in a position that rarely offers much from first-year players. Even better – those scores all came from the final four weeks of the season. (Runner-up – Clive Walford)

Worst Draft Pick – Jimmy Graham / Seattle Seahawks

Like Peyton Manning, when do you give up on an elite player? Graham would only score twice on his new team and ended with only 48 catches for 605 yards. He tore his patellar tendon in Week 12 and landed on injured reserve after only recording four games with more than 51 yards. (Runner-up – Cameron Jordan)

Best Free Agent – Gary Barnidge / Cleveland Browns

There are head scratchers and then there are 31-year-old tight ends in their eighth season and third year on the team who enjoy a breakout season. Though his previous best was only 242 yards and two touchdowns in a single season, Barnidge ended with 1,043 yards and nine touchdowns on 79 receptions. The was better than his previous career best of 13 catches. (Runner-up – Zach Miller)


Comedy Yards TDs Tragedy Yards TDs
QB Kellen Moore 435 3 QB Tom Brady 134 0
RB DuJuan Harris 153 0 RB DeAngelo Williams 23 0
RB Jonathan Grimes 54 2 RB Latavius Murray 56 0
WR Terrance Williams 173 0 WR Martavis Bryant zip 0
WR Devin Funchess 120 1 WR Michael Floyd 16 0
WR Cole Beasley 53 2 WR Amari Cooper 20 0
TE Will Tye 67 1 TE Travis Kelce 10 0
PK Nick Novak 3 FG 3 XP PK Chandler Cantanzaro nope
Huddle Fantasy Points = 143 Huddle Fantasy Points = 16

Sunday’s Couch Commentary

Well this is only my 323rd Tunnel Vision which means 2016 will be The Huddle’s 20th year!

Fantasy football is alive and well because the offenses are scoring more and gaining more yards. The wide receivers in particular are scoring better.

Here are the numbers of players who scored two or more touchdowns this year:

2+ TDs 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006
RB 60 66 64 55 54 69 84 92 54 81
TE 23 26 20 18 18 19 22 9 17 13
WR 73 71 74 57 56 64 46 39 64 40
Total 156 163 158 130 128 152 152 140 135 134

These last three seasons have produced over 70 instances of a wide receiver scoring two or more touchdowns in a single game.

Here are the total touchdowns scored by position:

TDs 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006
RB 400 424 428 394 399 415 460 506 396 432
TE 211 216 238 200 199 190 193 139 186 161
WR 533 492 487 493 479 492 438 425 479 434
Total 1144 1132 1153 1087 1077 1097 1091 1070 1061 1027

The overall scoring is about the same but the wideouts have never been higher and the running backs have never been lower. What you should expect is to rightfully see those wideout taken early and often in drafts next summer. It has to be one of the wildest draft years ever since the previous year always has a huge impact on the next draft. And we’re coming off a year where quarterbacks once again had little variation between them and the best ones came from outside the top ten of 2014. And running backs underwent tremendous change and injury. Almost no running back picks in the first round met expectations. But most of the wideouts did.

It will be a great 2016 season and I hope to see you back. Thanks for spending Monday mornings with me and have a great offseason!

Now get back to work…


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