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posted: 12/14/2012 5:30 AM

Cast your votes for Fantasy Football winners, losers

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  • The polls are open, and it's time to make your pick for the Fantasy Football MVP and other postseason awards. New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is one of several strong contenders.

      The polls are open, and it's time to make your pick for the Fantasy Football MVP and other postseason awards. New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is one of several strong contenders.
    Associated Press

 
 

It's that time of year again ... time for Daily Herald readers to cast their votes in the annual Fantasy Football Awards.

You know the drill by now -- choose without bias among the candidates, one candidate per entry and include a comment and hometown if you want to be considered for publication.

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All votes can be sent to me at jdietz@dailyherald.com. As always, write-in votes are welcome if you feel strongly that I've omitted a worthy player.

Votes may be cast until Dec. 25 (I will pubish the list again next week).

MVP

•Tom Brady. The Patriots' QB has been his usual, stellar self with 32 total TDs, a measly 4 INTs and 3,833 passing yards. He's also come up huge over the last four weeks with 12 TDs.

•Drew Brees. The Saints' QB has 33 TDs and 18 picks with 4,028 passing yards. He's stumbled horribly the last two weeks, but maybe a strong finish will earn him your vote.

•Arian Foster. Going back to last season, Foster has scored in 20 of the last 22 games he's played in. This year, he leads the league with 16 rushing scores.

•Adrian Peterson. With 1,600 rushing yards, the Vikings' freak of nature has a real chance to become just the seventh back in NFL history to reach 2,000 yards on the ground. His last seven games have been truly remarkable as he's averaged 143 rushing yards per game with 8 TDs.

Biggest surprise

•Tony Gonzalez. Most of his damage was done early in the season, yet Gonzalez is still on pace for his first 1,000-yard season since 2008.

•Peyton Manning. You could have won plenty of bar bets if you'd wagered Manning would have more points than Aaron Rodgers to this point in the season.

•Doug Martin. The rookie's been somewhat erratic with 7 of his scores coming Weeks 7-9, but he does sit as the No. 3-ranked tailback heading into Week 15.

•Alfred Morris. The Redskins' RB situation was as crowded as a mall on Black Friday, yet owners who bought Morris as a cheap late-round pick have loved the gifts he's bestowed upon them most of the season.

•Adrian Peterson. Even his staunchest supporters couldn't possibly have foreseen the monster season AP is putting together.

Biggest bust

•Larry Fitzgerald. Unless Brett Favre comes out of retirement again, Fitzgerald's five-season streak of 1,000-plus receiving yards will come to an end. He ranks 43rd in fantasy points among WRs and has a grand total of 6 catches over the last four games.

•LeSean McCoy. When you are ranked as the second or third best back, nobody expects you to check in at No. 11 after 11 weeks, but that's where McCoy (5 total TDs) was before suffering a concussion that's forced him to miss the last four weeks.

•Darren McFadden. Sooner or later we'll learn never to draft the Raiders' running back who always seems to disappoint. Ranked in many analysts' top 10 in the preseason, McFadden was 23rd among tailbacks in fantasy points when he was injured in Week 9.

•DeMarco Murray. Another preseason darling, Murray has 3 TDs in seven games. He ranks 29th in fantasy points heading into Week 15.

Rookie of the year

Really this is a two-man race between Redskins QB Robert Griffin III and Bucs RB Doug Martin.

The case for Griffin can be made with his gaudy rushing numbers (759), his 24 total TDs and the fact that he's only turned the ball over six times. Owners can find fault, however, if you consider RG3's thrown up five stinkers, including the last two weeks.

Martin has 1,605 yards from scrimmage and 11 TDs. On the negative side, over half of his fantasy production came over a three-week span in the middle of the season.

Maybe it comes down to who performs better in the next two weeks, so withhold your vote if you are on the fence.

Good bets

•Falcons QB Matt Ryan vs. New York Giants. It seems ludicrous to need to put Ryan in here, but when a guy throws just 11 TDs and has 12 turnovers over an eight-game stretch, I'm sure many fantasy owners are pulling their hair out. I like him to approach 300 yards this week with 2-3 TDs against a relatively soft Giants pass D.

•Bucs QB Josh Freeman at New Orleans. The last time Freeman faced the Saints, he threw for 420 yards and 3 TDs. Sounds like a slam-dunk start to me.

•Raiders RB Darren McFadden vs. Kansas City. In six career games against the Chiefs, McFadden has produced solid numbers in four of them, including a 114-yard effort seven weeks ago.

•Giants RB David Wilson at Atlanta. This of course assumes Ahmad Bradshaw is out. If he is, though, Wilson is easily a top-10 play.

•Dolphins RB Reggie Bush vs. Jacksonville. It pains me to no end to put Bush here, but it's tough to ignore two facts: 1. The Jaguars are flat-out awful against the run. 2. Bush hasn't been all that bad the last three weeks, averaging 83 yards from scrimmage.

•Jets RB Shonn Greene at Tennessee. With 44 carries for 181 yards the past two weeks, Greene is playing like a solid RB2.

•Broncos RB Knowshon Moreno at Baltimore. This is not a world-class defense anymore, so play Moreno with confidence.

•Titans RB Chris Johnson vs. New York Jets. My gut says Johnson gets 85-110 yards and scores.

•Saints WRs Marques Colston and Lance Moore vs. Tampa Bay. Both guys had big games the last time these two teams met, so get them in there if you can.

•Bucs WR Mike Williams at New Orleans. Bit of a risky play here, but Williams does have 7 TDs in 13 games. I'll take a 50-50 shot at a score out of my third receiver every time.

•Lions defense at Arizona. Last week's fantasy output by the Seattle D ranks No. 6 all time in one of my leagues that goes back 14 years. Now Detroit gets to face that offense and the Lions will tear it apart.

Bad bets

•Bears defense vs. Green Bay. In case you missed the memo, it's time to stop blindly putting this old, decrepit, emergency-room defense in your lineup.

•Niners defense at New England. You did see what Tom Brady just did to Houston last week, right? Use your head here. It's the fantasy playoffs and you need every edge possible, so find a more appealing option.

•Cowboys QB Tony Romo and WR Miles Austin vs. Pittsburgh. No way are you trusting Romo and Austin against the league's best pass defense.

•Giants QB Eli Manning at Atlanta. Manning ranks fifth in fantasy points the last three weeks, so this is a risky call, but the Falcons have only allowed 13 passing TDs all season.

•Bills WR Stevie Johnson vs. Seattle. If you want to play it safe and pencil in 4-7 points, be my guest, but the ceiling on Johnson this week is quite low.

•Colts RB Vick Ballard at Houston. McFadden, Reggie Bush and CJ2K all easily outpoint Ballard this week.

•Pats RB Stevan Ridley vs. San Francisco. I'm throwing Ridley against the wall again. No way can he score in back-to-back weeks against the two best rush defenses in the league. No way.

•Ravens WR Anquan Boldin vs. Denver. Lightning isn't striking twice, folks. If you missed your window for Boldin last week, my condolences. But don't make things worse by starting him against this defense.

jdietz@dailyherald.com

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