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Published: Dec. 28, 2014 at 09:46 p.m.

The 2014 Fantasy Football Guru Awards

The 2014 fantasy football season was without question one of the strangest and most unpredictable we have seen. It saw the continued rise of the quarterback position, an overall decline in faith of running backs and tight ends, and an enormous impact from several rookies. Now that this wild campaign is done, it's time to hand out the hardware for the top statistical accomplishments (to go along with a few awards you don't want to win). Without further ado, here are my eighth annual Guru Awards.

12 Photos Total

  • This was a tough one since DeMarco Murray deserves the award as well, but Bell was unstoppable when fantasy fans needed him the most. Over the final five weeks, he scored no fewer than 13.2 fantasy points ... that includes four games with over 23 points. Overall, Bell led all running backs in fantasy points, posted over 2,000 scrimmage yards and scored 11 total touchdowns in the fantasy season. 12

    Don Wright/Associated Press

    Fantasy Most Valuable Player: Le'Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers

    This was a tough one since DeMarco Murray deserves the award as well, but Bell was unstoppable when fantasy fans needed him the most. Over the final five weeks, he scored no fewer than 13.2 fantasy points ... that includes four games with over 23 points. Overall, Bell led all running backs in fantasy points, posted over 2,000 scrimmage yards and scored 11 total touchdowns in the fantasy season.

  • The 2014 season saw several breakout players, including Bell, Murray and Odell Beckham Jr., but Wilson was the best of the bunch. He finished the fantasy season with more points than all but two quarterbacks (Andrew Luck, Aaron Rodgers), due in large part to his skills as a runner (842 yards, six touchdowns). His 319.34 fantasy points from Week 1-16 were almost 50 more than he scored in 2013. 11

    Elaine Thompson/Associated Press

    Fantasy Breakout Player of the Year: Russell Wilson, QB, Seattle Seahawks

    The 2014 season saw several breakout players, including Bell, Murray and Odell Beckham Jr., but Wilson was the best of the bunch. He finished the fantasy season with more points than all but two quarterbacks (Andrew Luck, Aaron Rodgers), due in large part to his skills as a runner (842 yards, six touchdowns). His 319.34 fantasy points from Week 1-16 were almost 50 more than he scored in 2013.

  • One of my favorite preseason fantasy sleepers, Sanders exceeded our expectations both on the field and in fantasy land. He finished with 1,331 yards and nine touchdowns while ranking a very impressive fifth in fantasy points among wide receivers with 193.5. Those are impressive totals for Sanders, who was an absolute steal based on his eighth-round average draft position (ADP) on NFL.com. 10

    AJ Mast/Associated Press

    Fantasy Sleeper of the Year: Emmanuel Sanders, WR, Denver Broncos

    One of my favorite preseason fantasy sleepers, Sanders exceeded our expectations both on the field and in fantasy land. He finished with 1,331 yards and nine touchdowns while ranking a very impressive fifth in fantasy points among wide receivers with 193.5. Those are impressive totals for Sanders, who was an absolute steal based on his eighth-round average draft position (ADP) on NFL.com.

  • Hill's draft value was questioned during the preseason, as it looked like he would see a secondary role behind Giovani Bernard. And while that was the case during the first few weeks, Hill ultimately ended up being the better fantasy runner. He led all rookies in rushing yards (1,024) and rushing touchdowns (nine) and finished as a top-10 runner during the course of the fantasy football season. 9

    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    Fantasy Supersleeper of the Year: Jeremy Hill, RB, Cincinnati Bengals

    Hill's draft value was questioned during the preseason, as it looked like he would see a secondary role behind Giovani Bernard. And while that was the case during the first few weeks, Hill ultimately ended up being the better fantasy runner. He led all rookies in rushing yards (1,024) and rushing touchdowns (nine) and finished as a top-10 runner during the course of the fantasy football season.

  • This was the Year of the Rookie Wideout, as several put up huge numbers. Beckham made the biggest impact, though, posting 1,120 yards and 11 touchdowns despite missing his first four games. OBJ was also a stud during the stretch run, scoring 19-plus fantasy points in four of his final five contests of the fantasy season. That included three performances with better than 26 fantasy points. 8

    Bill Kostroun/Associated Press

    Fantasy Rookie of the Year: Odell Beckham Jr., WR, New York Giants

    This was the Year of the Rookie Wideout, as several put up huge numbers. Beckham made the biggest impact, though, posting 1,120 yards and 11 touchdowns despite missing his first four games. OBJ was also a stud during the stretch run, scoring 19-plus fantasy points in four of his final five contests of the fantasy season. That included three performances with better than 26 fantasy points.

  • Graham finished with 10 touchdown catches and ranked third in fantasy points among tight ends, but I contend that he was still the biggest bust of 2014. He was a first-round pick in a ton of drafts, but the veteran failed to make a major statistical impact in most games. Graham also found the end zone just once in his last four games, and finished with 78 fewer points than he posted in 2013. 7

    G. Newman Lowrance/Associated Press

    Fantasy Bust of the Year: Jimmy Graham, TE, New Orleans Saints

    Graham finished with 10 touchdown catches and ranked third in fantasy points among tight ends, but I contend that he was still the biggest bust of 2014. He was a first-round pick in a ton of drafts, but the veteran failed to make a major statistical impact in most games. Graham also found the end zone just once in his last four games, and finished with 78 fewer points than he posted in 2013.

  • Ingram had been a bust for most of his first four seasons at the NFL level, so it wasn't a surprise to see him fall into the 13th round (128.36 ADP) in NFL.com drafts. Clever owners who selected him at that point were rewarded, though, as he posted career bests across the board and finished the fantasy season as a top-15 runner. Not bad when you consider Ingram missed a combined three games. 6

    Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

    Fantasy Draft Value of the Year: Mark Ingram, RB, New Orleans Saints

    Ingram had been a bust for most of his first four seasons at the NFL level, so it wasn't a surprise to see him fall into the 13th round (128.36 ADP) in NFL.com drafts. Clever owners who selected him at that point were rewarded, though, as he posted career bests across the board and finished the fantasy season as a top-15 runner. Not bad when you consider Ingram missed a combined three games.

  • No one knew what to expect in the Baltimore backfield with the whole Ray Rice situation, but few pundits predicted Forsett's impact on the field or the stat sheets. At the age of 29, the California product rushed for over 1,000 yards with eight touchdowns and ranked among the 10-best runners in fantasy land. When you consider how thin the position was as a whole Forsett was a real star. 5

    Nick Wass/Associated Press

    Fantasy Waiver Pickup of the Year: Justin Forsett, RB, Baltimore Ravens

    No one knew what to expect in the Baltimore backfield with the whole Ray Rice situation, but few pundits predicted Forsett's impact on the field or the stat sheets. At the age of 29, the California product rushed for over 1,000 yards with eight touchdowns and ranked among the 10-best runners in fantasy land. When you consider how thin the position was as a whole Forsett was a real star.

  • Maclin missed all 16 games last season due to an injured knee, but he sure made up for it in the stat sheets with 1,269 yards and 10 touchdowns during the 2014 fantasy campaign. The veteran out of Missouri scored a touchdown in four of his first five games and in eight of his 15 contests overall for the fantasy season. Not bad for a player who had an ADP of Round 11 (103.68) on NFL.com. 4

    Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press

    Fantasy Comeback Player of the Year: Jeremy Maclin, WR, Philadelphia Eagles

    Maclin missed all 16 games last season due to an injured knee, but he sure made up for it in the stat sheets with 1,269 yards and 10 touchdowns during the 2014 fantasy campaign. The veteran out of Missouri scored a touchdown in four of his first five games and in eight of his 15 contests overall for the fantasy season. Not bad for a player who had an ADP of Round 11 (103.68) on NFL.com.

  • The 2014 Fantasy MVP, Bell also posted the best single-game performance with 235 scrimmage yards, three touchdowns and 41.5 fantasy points in a win over the Cincinnati Bengals. It was the best performance to me in large part because of when it happened ... the first week of the fantasy postseason (in most leagues). Bell posted 31.4 points the week prior, and 23.9 in the fantasy semifinals. 3

    Michael Conroy/Associated Press

    Fantasy Performance of the Year: Le'Veon Bell, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers

    The 2014 Fantasy MVP, Bell also posted the best single-game performance with 235 scrimmage yards, three touchdowns and 41.5 fantasy points in a win over the Cincinnati Bengals. It was the best performance to me in large part because of when it happened ... the first week of the fantasy postseason (in most leagues). Bell posted 31.4 points the week prior, and 23.9 in the fantasy semifinals.

  • I listed Beckham as a Start 'Em in each of the final five weeks of the fantasy season (he was also there in Week 17, too). Why? Well, a lot of superstitious owners out there wanted me to keep listing him in order to keep his streak of ridiculous production alive. And well, he ended up recording a combined 421 yards with six touchdown catches during the fantasy postseason. Knock 'em dead, kid! 2

    Evan PinkusAssociated Press

    Fantasy Start 'Em of the Year: Odell Beckham Jr., WR, New York Giants

    I listed Beckham as a Start 'Em in each of the final five weeks of the fantasy season (he was also there in Week 17, too). Why? Well, a lot of superstitious owners out there wanted me to keep listing him in order to keep his streak of ridiculous production alive. And well, he ended up recording a combined 421 yards with six touchdown catches during the fantasy postseason. Knock 'em dead, kid!

  • Davis was listed as a start 'em in Week 1, and he scored two touchdowns with an impressive 16.4 fantasy points. Unfortunately, that would be the best game he had all season. In fact, Davis scored fewer than 20 combined fantasy points during the rest of the 2014 fantasy season! Because of his name value, that lack of production made Davis a permanent fixture as a sit 'em the rest of the year. 1

    Michael Zito/Associated Press

    Fantasy Sit 'Em of the Year: Vernon Davis, TE, San Francisco 49ers

    Davis was listed as a start 'em in Week 1, and he scored two touchdowns with an impressive 16.4 fantasy points. Unfortunately, that would be the best game he had all season. In fact, Davis scored fewer than 20 combined fantasy points during the rest of the 2014 fantasy season! Because of his name value, that lack of production made Davis a permanent fixture as a sit 'em the rest of the year.