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Tyler's 2023 Fantasy Football Awards

It's that time of the year to reflect on the hours and hours of research, debating, excitement, and frustration (especially if you had any Falcons players) from the 2023 fantasy football season. Hindsight is 20/20 for much of fantasy football and many of these awards' winners. Note that players can only win one award here (sorry, Christian McCaffrey).


Here are my picks for several fantasy football awards:



Fantasy Football MVP

The Fantasy Football MVP honor is awarded to the top fantasy player to exhibit elite production and consistency throughout the 2022-23 season.


Winner: Christian McCaffrey

There's really no question about this one. McCaffrey left no doubt about who the best RB was in the NFL this year, going for 1,459 rushing yards, 14 TDs, and a career-best 5.4 YPC on the ground while adding another 67 catches for 564 yards and 7 TDs via the air. All together? 339 touches, 2,023 yards, and 21 TDs in 16 games.


He led all RBs in fantasy points (391.3) and fantasy points per game (24.5), leading all positions in both categories for the fantasy season while offering unmatched consistency with EVERY game exceeding 13 fantasy points and an absurd 12 games of 20+ points. To put that into perspective, he had the same odds of hitting 30+ points (4 games) as he did of falling below 20 points (4 games).


Having Christian McCaffrey was the equivalent of having an extra player in your starting lineup every week. He was the best player in fantasy this year and left it pretty difficult to select someone else at 1st overall in 2024 drafts.


Runner-Up: Tyreek Hill


 
Fantasy Playoffs MVP

The Fantasy Playoffs MVP honor is awarded to the top fantasy player to exhibit elite production during the fantasy playoffs (Weeks 15-17) and lead their fantasy owners to a championship.


Winner: CeeDee Lamb

Lamb went on a tear following his bye week and that continued with a likely league-winning playoff run where he led all players in fantasy points (84.0) over the three-week stretch.


In the 3-week fantasy playoffs, Lamb posted 19+ points in each game, totaling 420 total yards and 3 TDs. His performances grew with each week, starting off the playoffs with a 19-point game against Buffalo followed by a 132-yard, 25-point game in Miami, then capped off by a historic championship-round performance of 232 yards and 40 points against Detroit.


The monster playoff run helped surge the Cowboys' WR to become the top-scoring WR in fantasy football this season and likely cement him as a top-10 (or even top-5) pick in next year's fantasy drafts.


Runner-Up: David Njoku


 
Rookie of the Year

The Rookie of the Year honor is awarded to the top fantasy player to exhibit excellent production and consistency in their first season in the NFL.


Winner: Sam LaPorta

It was an ugly year at Tight End with injuries to the likes of T.J. Hockenson and Mark Andrews to go with an underwhelming season from Travis Kelce, but that is nothing to discredit the exceptional season of Sam LaPorta, who ended his rookie season as the top-scoring TE in fantasy football.


He ended 2023 with 86 catches for 893 total yards and 10 TDs, finishing as the 3rd-highest scoring (non-QB) rookie in fantasy, only trailing Bijan Robinson and Jahmyr Gibbs by 7 and 3 points respectively.


LaPorta's production reached historic levels for a rookie, ranking 4th all-time in receiving yards (889), 2nd all-time in TDs (10), 1st all-time in receptions (86), and 1st all-time in fantasy points (239.3) among rookie TEs.


Runner-Up: Jahmyr Gibbs


 
Bust of the Year

The Bust of the Year honor is awarded to the top fantasy player who exhibited poor production for their respective ADP. Players are not eligible for this due to off-field issues (suspensions, injuries, holdouts, etc.) and can only be named a bust due to performance-related production.


Winner: Austin Ekeler

After finishing 2022 as the top RB in fantasy with over 1,600 yards and 18 TDs, 2023 couldn't have gone much worse for Austin Ekeler than it did. Ekeler saw his overall production cut in half, dropping from 372.7 points in 2022 to a mere 185.4 points in 2023.


Granted, he did miss 3 games due to injury this season, but that wasn't the reason for his struggles. Ekeler plummetted to a career-low 3.5 yards per carry this year, saw his receiving work (51 catches) drop to the lowest volume since 2018 (his 2nd year in the NFL), and his touchdowns (6) fall to the lowest he had seen in a significant game total since his rookie year (excluding 2020, where he missed 6 games to injury).


Finishing as the RB26 in points and the RB21 in points per game, this season was a massive disappointment for the Chargers' RB that entered the year as the consensus 4th overall pick (and RB2 off the board) in drafts, potentially spelling the end of his tenure in Los Angeles and RB1 relevancy for fantasy.


Runner-Up: Patrick Mahomes


 
Breakout Player of the Year

The Breakout Player of the Year honor is awarded to the top fantasy player to exhibit a tremendous jump in his production from the previous season.


Winner: Kyren Williams

Kyren Williams' rookie campaign in 2022 was something to be expected from a 5th-round pick, featuring limited involvement (and production) with just 44 touches all season and double-digit touches in just one game all of last year.


2023 was an entirely different story. Williams quickly supplanted Cam Akers as the Rams' lead back (ultimately leading to Akers' departure) and didn't look back, tallying 1,350 total yards and 15 TDs in just 12 games this year. He finished the year as the RB7 in fantasy points (255.0) and behind only Christian McCaffrey as the RB2 in points per game (21.2).


Williams went from an afterthought heading into the 2023 season to a potential 1st round pick in 2024 drafts after the season he just had.


Runner-Up: Jordan Love


 
Waiver Wire Pickup of the Year

The Waiver Wire Player of the Year honor is awarded to the top fantasy player to exhibit high-end production after being a waiver wire pickup. Only players who had an ADP outside the typical 12-team PPR draft or were featured in our top weekly waiver wire pickups are eligible.


Winner: Puka Nacua

The other half of the Rams' young former 5th-round pick duo, Puka Nacua took the league by storm in his rookie season, opening the season with 39 catches and over 500 yards through the first four weeks in Cooper Kupp's absence.


That was the start to a historic rookie season for Nacua, who would go on to finish the year as the WR4 in PPR scoring (298.5 points) with 105 catches, 1,575 total yards, and 6 TDs. He set the single-season rookie records for catches (105) and receiving yards (1,486) while ranking 3rd all-time (behind only Randy Moss and Ja'Marr Chase) for fantasy points by a rookie Wide Receiver.


Undrafted in over 97% of leagues on ESPN, Nacua ended up being a league-altering waiver wire pickup following his statement 22-point performance in Week 1 and likely will see himself go as a WR1 option in 2024 fantasy drafts.


Runner-Up: De'Von Achane


 
Comeback Player of the Year

The Comeback Player of the Year honor is awarded to the top fantasy player to exhibit resiliency and production amidst returning from a previous season of poor production, injury, and/or suspension.


Winner: Breece Hall

Runningbacks coming off an ACL tear are supposed to struggle the following year. Apparently, Breece Hall didn't get that memo.


After suffering a torn ACL in Week 7 of 2022, Breece Hall did take a minor step back in efficiency, falling from 5.8 YPC as a rookie to 4.5 YPC in 2023. That was the only area he fell back in, going for 1,585 total yards and 9 TDs in 2023 on the way to finishing as the RB2 in fantasy behind only Christian McCaffrey.


Even despite the horrid QB play of an Aaron Rodgers-less Jets offense, Hall managed to find a way to production through the air, ranking 7th in touches (299) and leading RBs in targets (95), catches (76), and receiving yards (591), establishing a pretty consistent weekly floor with 10+ points in 14/17 games.


Runner-Up: Lamar Jackson


 
Draft Bargain of the Year

The Bargain of the Year honor is awarded to the top fantasy player to exhibit an elite return in production upon excellent draft-day value. Only players that had an ADP within the typical 12-team PPR draft board are eligible.


Winner: Raheem Mostert

1,187 total yards. 21 total touchdowns. RB5 in points. RB4 in points per game.


Where would you expect that RB to be drafted? 1st round? 2nd or 3rd round? Maybe he was a breakout from the 5th or 6th round? Not even close. Raheem Mostert was drafted in the 13th round!!!


Drafted at the 13.09 spot (147th overall) as the RB45 off the board in drafts on a consensus of the major sites, Raheem Mostert blew away his draft day price, posting historic numbers relative to where he was drafted and plenty of consistency too (10+ points in 13 of 15 games). Those are league-altering numbers coming from a round that some were drafting kickers in.


Runner-Up: Rachaad White


 
'Mr. Reliable' Player of the Year

The 'Mr. Reliable' Player of the Year honor is awarded to the top fantasy player to exhibit elite consistency and production of the highest level.


Winner: Amon-Ra St. Brown

Amon-Ra St. Brown continued to show why volume is king in fantasy football, bringing in 119 catches (2nd) for over 1,500 yards and 10 TDs in a career year as the WR3 in fantasy football behind only CeeDee Lamb and Tyreek Hill. Having that level of production is one thing, but being able to consistently produce at an elite level is another layer of value that few players provide.


St. Brown led all non-QBs when it came to consistency, finishing as the only player in fantasy to post 12+ points in 16 games and the most consistent non-QB when it came to both Consistency Rating (0.321) and Sig CR (0.327) metrics. He placed as a top-24 WR in 13 games while ranking as a top-12 WR in 10 games, both of which were only matched by CeeDee Lamb at the WR position.


Heading into 2024, there's no reason to believe St. Brown is moving away from being Jared Goff's go-to target and the PPR machine that led him to a top-3 finish.


Runner-Up: Jalen Hurts

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