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Published: Jan. 4, 2016 at 12:06 p.m.
Updated: Jan. 4, 2016 at 05:35 p.m.

The 2015 Fantasy Football Guru Awards

The 2015 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, and a massive decline at running back due to countless injuries and an overall drop in production. 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). So without further ado, here are my ninth annual Guru Awards.

12 Photos Total

  • <p>The top scorer in fantasy land, Newton was Superman for much of the 2015 campaign. He scored 18-plus fantasy points 11 times in the fantasy season, including eight with at least 23 points. Newton was also a statistical beast in the first two weeks of the fantasy postseason, scoring a combined 64.6 points. The Auburn product will now be the first quarterback selected in most 2016 drafts as a result of his immense success.</p> 12

    Chris Keane/Associated Press

    Fantasy Most Valuable Player: Cam Newton, QB, Carolina Panthers

    The top scorer in fantasy land, Newton was Superman for much of the 2015 campaign. He scored 18-plus fantasy points 11 times in the fantasy season, including eight with at least 23 points. Newton was also a statistical beast in the first two weeks of the fantasy postseason, scoring a combined 64.6 points. The Auburn product will now be the first quarterback selected in most 2016 drafts as a result of his immense success.

  • <p>Freeman, who was dropped in some leagues when it seemed Tevin Coleman would be Atlanta's top runner, went on to lead his position in fantasy points. A huge part of his success came during a five-week stretch where he scored a combined 10 touchdowns. The Florida State product also put up 25-plus points in four of those games. While he was a bit less consistent down the stretch, Freeman still finished with serious numbers.</p> 11

    Al Messerschmidt/Associated Press

    Fantasy Breakout Player of the Year: Devonta Freeman, RB, Atlanta Falcons

    Freeman, who was dropped in some leagues when it seemed Tevin Coleman would be Atlanta's top runner, went on to lead his position in fantasy points. A huge part of his success came during a five-week stretch where he scored a combined 10 touchdowns. The Florida State product also put up 25-plus points in four of those games. While he was a bit less consistent down the stretch, Freeman still finished with serious numbers.

  • <p>One of my favorite preseason fantasy sleepers, Robinson exceeded expectations both on the field and in fantasy football. He finished with 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns while ranking an impressive fourth in fantasy points among wide receivers. The talented Penn State product was also consistent in the stat sheets, putting up double-digit fantasy points 12 times. He'll be a surefire second-round selection in most 2016 drafts.</p> 10

    James Kenney/Associated Press

    Fantasy Sleeper of the Year: Allen Robinson, WR, Jacksonville Jaguars

    One of my favorite preseason fantasy sleepers, Robinson exceeded expectations both on the field and in fantasy football. He finished with 1,400 yards and 14 touchdowns while ranking an impressive fourth in fantasy points among wide receivers. The talented Penn State product was also consistent in the stat sheets, putting up double-digit fantasy points 12 times. He'll be a surefire second-round selection in most 2016 drafts.

  • <p>Bortles finished the season as one of the top quarterbacks in fantasy football, recording 37 total touchdowns and an impressive 316.12 points. That's not bad for a signal-caller who was drafted in the 15th round and behind the likes of Nick Foles, Robert Griffin III and Johnny Manziel based on ADP (average draft position). Bortles is now in line to be a top-50 overall pick and one of the first quarterbacks picked in 2016.</p> 9

    Phelan M. Ebenhack/Associated Press

    Fantasy Supersleeper of the Year: Blake Bortles, QB, Jacksonville Jaguars

    Bortles finished the season as one of the top quarterbacks in fantasy football, recording 37 total touchdowns and an impressive 316.12 points. That's not bad for a signal-caller who was drafted in the 15th round and behind the likes of Nick Foles, Robert Griffin III and Johnny Manziel based on ADP (average draft position). Bortles is now in line to be a top-50 overall pick and one of the first quarterbacks picked in 2016.

  • <p>We saw a decline in the number of impact fantasy rookies this season compared to 2014, but Gurley was at the top of the list regardless. Despite the fact that he didn't start his first NFL game until Week 4, the Georgia product still rumbled for more than 1,100 yards and 10 touchdowns. Gurley is a virtual lock to be one of the first five selections in next seasons's drafts, and he could be as much as the No. 1 overall pick.</p> 8

    John Froschauer/Associated Press

    Fantasy Rookie of the Year: Todd Gurley, RB, St. Louis Rams

    We saw a decline in the number of impact fantasy rookies this season compared to 2014, but Gurley was at the top of the list regardless. Despite the fact that he didn't start his first NFL game until Week 4, the Georgia product still rumbled for more than 1,100 yards and 10 touchdowns. Gurley is a virtual lock to be one of the first five selections in next seasons's drafts, and he could be as much as the No. 1 overall pick.

  • <p>Some considered Lacy one of the safest first-round picks in 2015. Instead, he turned into the biggest bust in fantasy football. Lacy failed to score 10 fantasy points in five of his first six games, and he reached the 14-point mark just four times during the fantasy season. All of the weight jokes aside, Lacy's thin level of production was no laughing matter for fantasy owners who couldn't recover from his lack of success.</p> 7

    Ric Tapia/NFL

    Fantasy Bust of the Year: Eddie Lacy, RB, Green Bay Packers

    Some considered Lacy one of the safest first-round picks in 2015. Instead, he turned into the biggest bust in fantasy football. Lacy failed to score 10 fantasy points in five of his first six games, and he reached the 14-point mark just four times during the fantasy season. All of the weight jokes aside, Lacy's thin level of production was no laughing matter for fantasy owners who couldn't recover from his lack of success.

  • <p>Baldwin, who had an ADP of 148.20 (Round 15), was the reason that a lot of fantasy fans went to (or won) their league title. While he scored fewer than 10 points in eight of his first 10 games (71.9 points), Baldwin went off in the final five weeks with a ridiculous 114.4 points (22.88 FPPG). During that mind-numbing stretch, the veteran scored 11 touchdowns and registered no fewer than 16.5 fantasy points.</p> 6

    Stephen Brashear/Associated Press

    Fantasy Draft Value of the Year: Doug Baldwin, WR, Seattle Seahawks

    Baldwin, who had an ADP of 148.20 (Round 15), was the reason that a lot of fantasy fans went to (or won) their league title. While he scored fewer than 10 points in eight of his first 10 games (71.9 points), Baldwin went off in the final five weeks with a ridiculous 114.4 points (22.88 FPPG). During that mind-numbing stretch, the veteran scored 11 touchdowns and registered no fewer than 16.5 fantasy points.

  • <p>This was the season of the waiver wire pickup, so you can make an argument for several players who are worthy of winning this award. I went with Barnidge though, because he went from being off the radar to a fantasy superstar overnight at a position than lacked depth all year long. The Louisville product had more catches (79), yards (1,043) and touchdowns (9) this season than he had in his first six NFL campaigns <i>combined</i>.</p> 5

    David Richard/Associated Press

    Fantasy Waiver Pickup of the Year: Gary Barnidge, TE, Cleveland Browns

    This was the season of the waiver wire pickup, so you can make an argument for several players who are worthy of winning this award. I went with Barnidge though, because he went from being off the radar to a fantasy superstar overnight at a position than lacked depth all year long. The Louisville product had more catches (79), yards (1,043) and touchdowns (9) this season than he had in his first six NFL campaigns combined.

  • <p>Williams wasn't much of a fantasy factor last season, as he missed all but six games due to injuries. He turned things around in Pittsburgh though, as the loss of Le'Veon Bell allowed him to see a true featured role for the first time since 2008. Williams thrived in the role, finishing in the top five in fantasy points at a thin position despite the fact that he started just 10 games and barely played when Bell wasn't hurt.</p> 4

    Nick Wass/Associated Press

    Fantasy Comeback Player of the Year: DeAngelo Williams, RB, Pittsburgh Steelers

    Williams wasn't much of a fantasy factor last season, as he missed all but six games due to injuries. He turned things around in Pittsburgh though, as the loss of Le'Veon Bell allowed him to see a true featured role for the first time since 2008. Williams thrived in the role, finishing in the top five in fantasy points at a thin position despite the fact that he started just 10 games and barely played when Bell wasn't hurt.

  • <p>Heading into Week 8, Brees had thrown for a combined eight touchdowns and was considered to be a potential bust in fantasy circles. Then came a matchup against the New York Giants and well, the bust word seemed to fade away. Brees threw the ball 50 times in the game, posting 505 yards and seven touchdowns. The veteran connected on 78 percent of his attempts, recorded a passer rating of 131.7 and scored 44.30 fantasy points.</p> 3

    Jonathan Bachman/Associated Press

    Fantasy Performance of the Year: Drew Brees, QB, New Orleans Saints (Week 8)

    Heading into Week 8, Brees had thrown for a combined eight touchdowns and was considered to be a potential bust in fantasy circles. Then came a matchup against the New York Giants and well, the bust word seemed to fade away. Brees threw the ball 50 times in the game, posting 505 yards and seven touchdowns. The veteran connected on 78 percent of his attempts, recorded a passer rating of 131.7 and scored 44.30 fantasy points.

  • <p>Palmer could have been the Most Valuable Player, the Comeback Player of the Year, and the Fantasy Draft Value of the Year ... he was that good. I saved him for the Fantasy Start 'Em of the Year honors, because he was a virtual lock to produce impressive totals for his fantasy fans each time he went out of the gridiron. In fact, Palmer scored 18-plus points in 11 of his first 13 games and hit the 20-point mark seven times. </p> 2

    Greg Trott/Associated Press

    Fantasy Start 'Em of the Year: Carson Palmer, QB, Arizona Cardinals

    Palmer could have been the Most Valuable Player, the Comeback Player of the Year, and the Fantasy Draft Value of the Year ... he was that good. I saved him for the Fantasy Start 'Em of the Year honors, because he was a virtual lock to produce impressive totals for his fantasy fans each time he went out of the gridiron. In fact, Palmer scored 18-plus points in 11 of his first 13 games and hit the 20-point mark seven times.

  • <p>Cobb had a huge start to the season, scoring four touchdowns while averaging 16.5 fantasy points in his first three games. Unfortunately for fantasy fans, that's when the wheels fell off. Cobb scored fewer than six points in five of his next six games and would hit the double-digit mark once during his final 13 contests. Numbers like that made him a no brainer as a sit 'em for a major portion of the fantasy football season.</p> 1

    Greg Trott\Associated Press

    Fantasy Sit 'Em of the Year: Randall Cobb, WR, Green Bay Packers

    Cobb had a huge start to the season, scoring four touchdowns while averaging 16.5 fantasy points in his first three games. Unfortunately for fantasy fans, that's when the wheels fell off. Cobb scored fewer than six points in five of his next six games and would hit the double-digit mark once during his final 13 contests. Numbers like that made him a no brainer as a sit 'em for a major portion of the fantasy football season.