Fantasy Football: Quite a Decade

January 2, 2020

I have been playing fantasy football for three decades. As we turn to 2020 and a dawn of a new decade I look back on these last 10 years and it blows my mind to see how far things have come in the industry and beyond.

Now with legalized sports betting entering the mix and more and more states jumping on board the need for Best Sportsbook Promo Code has never been higher.

Twitter wasn’t a primary source for information ten years ago. SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio didn’t exist and most of us didn’t have smart phones to easily manage our teams from anywhere at any time. 

The best part of looking back is thinking about some of the epic moments that the NFL and fantasy football has delivered us many of those since 2010.

One of my favorite fantasy football storylines of the decade was Peyton Manning’s MVP season with the Broncos. 

In 2011, it appeared as if a neck injury would end Peyton Manning’s entire career. After drafting Andrew Luck the Colts parted ways with Manning. He landed in Denver as a free agent. Nearly everyone wrote him off.

During his first year in the Mile High City Manning won the NFL Comeback Player of the Year and finished second in MVP voting as he passed for 4,659 yards and 37 touchdowns.

It 2013 that was so special and so incredibly memorable as Manning led the Broncos to a Super Bowl appearance and won an unprecedented fifth Super Bowl MVP in the process.

Take a look at some of the numbers compiled during this epic campaign:

  • 7 TD’s in the season-opening Thursday night game 
  • 12 TD’s in first three games (breaking Tom Brady’s previous record in 2011)
  • Finished the season with 55 touchdown passes and a league-record 5,477 yards, breaking Drew Brees’s mark by one yard. His 450 completions were at the time tied for second most all time. The Broncos scored an NFL record 606 points, becoming the first team ever to eclipse 600 points in a season.
  • Broncos had more 50-point games in a season than any other team in NFL history, with three. Four Denver receivers recorded at least ten touchdowns—an NFL record—and Manning set a season record with nine games with four or more touchdown passes.
  • His 115.1 passer rating ranks seventh all time and he joined Brady as the only two quarterbacks at the time to achieve a passer rating of 110.0 or higher in more than one season. 
  • Went on to lose Super Bowl 43 to the Seahawks 43-8

That performance was impressive, but there are so many great showings to consider. How many of these performances still standout in your memory?

  • Week 9 – 2012 -> Doug Martin’s 55-point game for fantasy owners as he rolled all over the Raiders for 251 yards and four touchdowns on 25 carries.
  • Week 9 – 2014 ->Ben Roethlisberger goes off for 6 TD’s vs. normally tough Ravens D on Sunday night football. He also tossed 6 TD’s the week earlier vs. the Colts giving him 862 Yards, 12 TDs over the two-week period.
  • Week 8 – 2015 -> Saints win a thriller 52-49 over the Giants. Drew Brees had 550 passing yards and seven touchdown passes. Eli had 350 passing yards and six touchdowns, three to Odell Beckham Jr (8 catches for 130 yards).
  • Week 15 – 2015 -> David Johnson had his third consecutive start and recorded a season-high 29 carries for 187 yards and three rushing touchdowns, while also recording four receptions for 42 yards in a 40–17 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles on NBC Sunday Night Football.
  • Week 7 – 2016 -> Jay Ajayi rushed for 214 yards. With his 204-yard rushing output the week before, Ajayi became the fourth player in NFL history to rush for at least 200 yards in consecutive games.
  • Week 1 – 2017: Kareem Hunt’s breakout. Hunt fumbled his first play from scrimmage, before going on to earn 246 total yards and three TDs. 
  • Week 12 – 2017:  Julio Jones scored 50.8 PPR points. He caught 12 passes for 253 yards and two touchdowns.
  • Week 16 – 2017: The fantasy playoffs were dominated by Todd Gurley, who averaged 41 fantasy points per game over that time. He topped the amazing three-game run with 22 carries for 118 yards and 10 catches for 158 yards and two touchdowns versus the Titans.
  • Week 11 – 2018 ->The Monday Night thriller KC vs LAR in Mexico, Game of the Decade.
  • Week 5 – 2019 -> Will Fuller’s 14 catches for 217 yards and 3 TDs against the Falcons gave us a glimpse of what could be for him and the Texans’ passing attack if he could stay healthy.

There have also been some great draft classes to consider that produced crops of fantasy talent. Here are some of the better groups to consider:

  • 2012 NFL Draft/Rookie QBs: Luck, RG3, Russell Wilson, Nick Foles, and Kirk Cousins.
  • 2014 NFL Draft: Best WR class ever?: Sammy Watkins (1.4), Mike Evans (1.7), Odell Beckham (1.12), Brandin Cooks (1.20) and Kelvin Benjamin (1.28). Davante Adams (2.53), Allen Robinson (2.61), Jarvis Landry (2.63), John Brown (3.91).
  • 2017 NFL Draft – Best overall class? – Trubisky, Mahomes and Watson top 12 picks; Running backs galore: Leonard Fournette (1.04), Christian McCaffrey (1.08), Dalvin  Cook (2.41), Joe Mixon (2.48), Alvin Kamara (3.67), Kareem Hunt (3.86), James Conner 3.10), Tarik Cohen (4.119), Marlon Mack (4.143), Aaron Jones (5.182); Wide receiver loaded too: JuJu Smith-Schuster (2.62), Cooper Kupp (3.69), Chris Godwin (3.84), and Kenny Golladay (3.96).
  • 2018 NFL Draft: 1st round QBs – Mayfield, Darnold, Rosen, Allen and Jackson.

And let’s not forget about the great innovations within the fantasy sports industry to occur over the last 10 years:

  • Points Per Reception vs Standard Leagues
  • Zero RB Theory
  • Rise and Fall of Daily Fantasy Sports
  • Legal Sports Betting
  • Draft Valuation Changes – wait on QBs, catchers and closers
  • Innovation – Best Ball leagues, Guillotine Leagues, 2 QB Leagues, Fantasy Movie League, Fantasy Reality TV, etc.

Needless to say it’s been a damn good decade to play fantasy football. I am really looking forward to what comes next.

  • Categories: NFL

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