The 2016 Pro Bowl rosters are set, as the AFC and NFC will face off in a tradition that started in 1970. The coaches for that game were John Madden of the Oakland Raiders and Dick Nolan of the San Francisco 49ers. The contest, which the NFC won 27-6, had two Most Valuable Players ... Fred Carr of the Green Bay Packers and Mel Renfro of the Dallas Cowboys.
The game was played at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, and each player from the winning team was rewarded $2,000.
Had fantasy football been prominent in 1970, the fantasy Pro Bowl team would have included John Brodie, Fran Tarkenton, Ron A. Johnson, MacArthur Lane, Gene A. Washington and Dick Gordon. Brodie led the NFL with 2,941 passing yards, which isn't impressive compared to today's gaudy totals. Johnson would have been a star, as his 1,514 scrimmage yards and 12 total touchdowns would have earned him a top-10 finish among 2016 runners. Washington, who recorded 1,100 yards and 12 touchdowns, was comparable to Davante Adams.
Starter: Aaron Rodgers, Packers - The highest-scoring player in fantasy football, Rodgers recorded 4,428 passing yards, 44 total touchdowns and threw a mere seven interceptions. He scored 20-plus fantasy points 11 times, including 29-plus points on four different occasions. The veteran out of California is likely to be the first quarterback selected in 2017 fantasy drafts.
Starter: David Johnson, Cardinals - Johnson recorded 327.80 fantasy points, which is the most for a running back since Chris Johnson had 342.9 points in 2009. He also became one of four backs ever to post 1,200 rushing yards and 800 receiving yards in a season, joining Marshall Faulk (three times), Le'Veon Bell and Steven Jackson. D.J. will be the consensus top pick in 2017.
Starters: Mike Evans, Buccaneers; Jordy Nelson, Packers - Evans came back from a disappointing sophomore campaign to lead all wideouts in fantasy points (208.1) on the strength of his 1,321 yards and 12 touchdowns. He scored double-digit points in 10 games, found the end zone in nine contests and led the position in targets (173). Nelson, who missed all of the last season due to an injured knee, finished four-tenths of a point behind Evans at the position. No wideout finished with more touchdown catches (14) than Nelson, who scored two touchdowns and averaged 18.6 fantasy points when fans needed him most ... in the fantasy postseason.
Starter: Travis Kelce, Chiefs - In what was a dreadful season for tight ends overall, Kelce was the best of the bunch with a career-high 1,125 yards, four touchdowns and 138 fantasy points. Over the final six weeks of the fantasy season, he put up 100-plus yards five times and scored double-digit fantasy points in all but one of his starts. Kelce will be a top-70 pick in 2017.
Starter: Matt Bryant, Falcons - Bryant finished with 170 fantasy points, which is third-most among kickers in the Super Bowl era. He would have been the 14th-ranked running back, the eighth-ranked wide receiver and the top-ranked tight end based on points, and Bryant outscored the likes of Todd Gurley, DeAndre Hopkins, Lamar Miller, Brandin Cooks, Amari Cooper and Dez Bryant.
Starters: Kwon Alexander, Buccaneers; Bobby Wagner, Seahawks - Alexander enjoyed a breakout season for the Buccaneers and fantasy fans alike, finishing first in fantasy points among linebackers. He was also tied for fourth in total tackles (145) to go along with eight passes defended, recorded three sacks and scored one touchdown on the season. Wagner was the league-leader in total tackles (167), recorded 4.5 sacks and four passes defended while averaging better than 10 fantasy points per game. It was also the first time the Utah State product started all 16 contests in a single season during his five-year career.
Starters: Landon Collins, Giants; Johnathan Cyprien, Jaguars - Collins was the top defensive back in fantasy football this season, and it wasn't even close. The lone defensive back to average double-digit fantasy points, Collins was second in tackles (127) and first in sacks (4) at the position, while also posting 13 passes defended, five interceptions and one touchdown. Cyprien was the NFL leader in tackles (127) among defensive backs, which was his biggest value to IDP owners. The veteran also recorded four passes defended, one sack and a single forced fumble. Overall, Cyprien recorded an average of 8.1 fantasy points a game.
Starters: Khalil Mack, Raiders; Calais Campbell, Cardinals - Mack was a monster in IDP leagues, scoring a league-high 10.4 fantasy points a game. He finished tied for third among defensive linemen in tackles (73), fourth in sacks (11) and tied for second in forced fumbles (4). Mack also scored a touchdown on a pick six against Cam Newton and the Panthers. Campbell was a distant second among linemen based on fantasy points (he was tied for 17th in tackles), but he did record eight sacks and had seven passes defended. Campbell also averaged 7.9 fantasy points per game, which was the second-most at the position.