For about 95 percent of fantasy football fanatics the season is over and the countdown to next season's draft is underway. Some of you came out on top and won bragging rights this offseason (and cash in some cases, and my mailing address can be provided for my cut) while others fell short and can only look back at what went wrong and correct it next season. If it makes you feel any better, I won about seven of my leagues; I fell short in another seven and finished in second place, and I didn't even make it to the show in another six. I am in five more leagues that play through week 17 and am glad to say I am in the finals in all five.
So, let's take a look back at the fantasy studs and the fantasy duds that either took you to the dance or stood you up on prom night.
Michael Vick:Vick was drafted at the top of round nine in most fantasy formats, but he finished the fantasy season with the fourth-most points at the QB position. He managed to eclipse Kevin Kolb as the starter and finish the season with an impressive 3,018 passing yards, 21 TDs and six INTs, although four of the six interceptions have come in the last four games.
Josh Freeman: Freeman ended his fantasy season on the highest of high notes as he threw five TDs, without a single INT, but finished with just 235 yards passing. On the season Freeman put up just over 300 fantasy points on his way to a top-15 ranking.
Arian Foster:It is a glorious day when you take a running back in the 8thround (8.3 average) and he turns out to be the #1 RB in all of fantasy football that season. That is exactly what Foster has managed to do in 2010 as he finishes the fantasy season with 1,436 rushing yards, 594 receiving yards and 16 TDs, good enough for 328 fantasy points in standard scoring formats.
Peyton Hillis: The only thing better than getting a stud RB in the 8thround is getting one in the 10thround! Hillis is actually the #2 ranked RB at season's end with his 1,164 rushing yards, 474 receiving yards and 13 TDs. The Broncos are kicking themselves for trading Hillis and fantasy owners love them for it because Hillis would never have put up the stats he did on the Broncos roster.
Brandon Lloyd:Lloyd was the lucky recipient of a career year by Kyle Orton and he finished with the 3rd-most fantasy points for a WR. Not only did he catch 72 passes this season, but he racked up 1,375 receiving yards and 10 TDs as well. Lloyd has a seven-year career of disappointing stats, so I wouldn't look for him to repeat this again next season.
Stevie Johnson: It's a little hard to get on board with an NFL player named Stevie, but I have to give props where props are due. Johnson is on the worst team in the NFL and still managed to put up 77 receptions, 1,001 receiving yards and 10 TDs. Is he for real or is this just a one-season wonder? We'll find out next year.
Marcedes Lewis: Lewis was drafted in just 65 percent of all leagues and taken in round 14 of the ones in which he was drafted. Lewis rewarded the owners smart enough to trust him by racking up 54 catches for 674 receiving yards and nine touchdowns. Lewis won't be overlooked again next year, so be prepared to snag him once you see the top 4-5 TEs go in the 2011 draft.
Arizona Cardinals defense: I know… I know… but I am not wrong here. The Cardinals defense finished the season with 190 fantasy points after allowing 378 points and still amassing 31 sacks, 17 INTs, 13 fumbles recovered, seven defensive touchdowns and three blocked kicks. I could say I knew this was going to happen, but would you believe me if I did?
Tony Romo:Romo was drafted with an average pick of 3.4 and fizzled out with a broken left collarbone after week 7. When you look at the Cowboys season, Romo and his letdown for fantasy owners shouldn't come as a surprise. He will enter 2011 completely healthy, but I would wait to see what owner Jerry Jones does with the coaching staff before deciding you want him as your starting QB.
Kevin Kolb: Flip over the other side of the Eagles coin and you will see a picture of Kolb. He was supposed to be the future of the franchise after the Eagles parted ways with Donovan McNabb, but he got yanked in favor of Vick and finished the season with 1,035 yards in the air, 56 yards on the ground, six TDs and four INTs. Those of you in dynasty leagues that own Kolb better pray that Kolb or Vick aren't with the Eagles next season.
Ryan Mathews: Mathews entered the fantasy draft as the second coming of LaDainian Tomlinson, and instead of fulfilling those lofty expectations he was basically a complete fantasy bust. Mathews finishes the season with a modest 95 fantasy points on 558 yards rushing, 126 yards receiving and four TDs. He will likely be drafted too high yet again next season, but his value also depends on what they do with Vincent Jackson and his contract demands.
Shonn Greene: Greene was taken with the first pick of the 2ndround in most drafts because he was supposed to carry the workload for the Jets and be mentored by future Hall of Fame running back LaDainian Tomlinson. However, much like Kolb, LT came in and snatched the starting gig away from Greene and it left his owners scrambling to recover after their second pick flamed out. Greene finishes the season with 766 rushing yards, 120 receiving yards and two endzone visits. I guarantee he won't be taken in the second round next season!
Randy Moss: Randy Moss has officially seen his career come crashing down around him as he went from the Patriots roster to the Vikings roster, and finally to the Titans bench. I hardly think a 1st-round pick (1.8) is worth 27 receptions, 375 receiving yards and five TDs. If you made it to the playoffs with your first-round pick a complete bust, you must be a waiver wire hound like I am.
Steve Smith (Car.): If you didn't see this one coming, then you must have been listening to those other websites like Yahoo, ESPN and NFL.com. Any time you enter the season with a rookie at the helm, things are bound to go wrong for fantasy owners. Smith finishes the 2010 season with 46 receptions, 554 receiving yards, two TDs and two lost fumbles. I had him on my do-not draft list and so should you next season.
John Carslon:When you hear about the Seahawks TE his skills and potential are always among the first things analysts mention. The problem with that is that potential is just that… potential. Until you do something with it, it is worth about as much as a 1990's baseball card. Carlson finished the season with 30 catches for 315 yards and a single TD, which are stats hardly worth owning.
Minnesota Vikings defense: The Vikings defense was the second defense taken in most drafts, but finished with the sixth-lowest point totals for fantasy defenses. They did allow just 298 points, but the 30 sacks, 14 INTs, 10 recovered fumbles and one defensive TD weren't enough to keep them from being a massive bust.
It was truly a pleasure to work with the Jacksonville Jaguars for the 2nd season and the fans are some of the most knowledgeable I've talked to. The Jaguars are a team on the rise and there are some fantasy starters on the team, so you and I have a lot to look forward to in the 2011 season