Week 7 is over! I frantically checked my fantasy apps this week and learned that Week 7 is apparently the halfway point of most leagues, not including playoffs. Hey, we made it! Congrats to all of us. Let’s give out some midseason awards, because that’s what people do.
Quick note: Calling someone a “bust” because they got injured is, y’know, mean. Tony Romo isn’t out because of something HE did. Nor is Arian Foster. So let’s focus on the people who played poorly all on their own, like this entire Colts team.
Guy Who Was Supposed To Be Good, And Is Good: Aaron Rodgers, god of quarterbacks. He lost his favorite target for the season and didn’t miss a beat, which probably makes Jordy Nelson feel jealous and the rest of that receiving corps wayyyy nervous. You’re replaceable, Packers wideouts, and you know it. All of you.
Sleeper Who You Missed Out On: Blake Bortles is the sixth highest-scoring fantasy QB in the league right now. That’s downright WEIRD. It’s uncomfortable. And it’s not like there’s anyone out there who snuck Bortles in at the flex position and is now crushing it. Some people just undoubtedly noticed the consistency, rolled the dice, and have been pleasantly surprised. That’s some feel-good stuff all around, to be honest. And the Jags are still terrible, so it’s not like Blake is genuinely ruining anything for anyone. He’s tremendously inoffensive in that way, which feels odd for a guy named “Blake.”
Bust of the Year: I’ll say this, Andrew Luck, you really cashed in on your endorsement stock at the right time. All these add execs were like, “He’s charming! He’s a franchise QB! We can do some alt-comedy stuff with the beard!” and you did not disappoint, outside of, you know, on the football field. It’s kind of sad, I guess. On one hand, good NFL QBs are so sparse right now that the media is trying to make Kirk Cousins happen. And on the other hand, Colts fans have been spoiled and their owner’s a weirdo. It’s a 50/50 toss-up, much like a lot of the passes Andrew’s been throwing.
We Never Should Have Doubted You: God, people really thought that deflated football thing would stick, huh? Tom Brady’s getting uncomfortably close to a place where folks will toss the word “undisputed” around, which feels gross. But what’s even grosser is how he CONTINUALLY delivers. It almost validates that kind of talk! Calm down, I said “almost.” But Brady’s the top scoring QB in the league right now, and he doesn’t show any signs of stopping.
Guy Who Was Supposed To Be Good, And Is Good: Matt Forte, I guess? Gosh, I dunno. Maybe Adrian Peterson, even though his stats aren’t exactly eye-popping. It’s been an awful year for running backs. They’re all fumbling around, taking turns having one high-scoring week en route to finishing woefully behind Devonta Freeman. Speaking of which ...
Sleeper Who You Missed Out On: Devonta Freeman has five more touchdowns than the next closest back, 50 more rushing yards, and almost 60 more fantasy points, depending on how you score this stuff. He’s doubled his carries from last year after only seven games and he’s undoubtedly ruined multiple leagues this year. Freeman is a monster, and now that he’s established himself as a monster, I fully expect him to get injured or something. Fantasy is a cruel game.
Bust of the Year: Eddie Lacy has been covered at length in this column, and it would feel cruel to mock him further. But then again, he also went to Alabama and makes way more money than I do, so that’s perhaps some misplaced empathy on my part. Lacy has been awful. He’s starting to round into form lately, which is cool, because I’ve already been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs in all of my leagues. You’re the worst, Eddie Lacy.
We Never Should Have Doubted You: Danny Woodhead, the David Eckstein of football. God bless you, lil' dude. The Chargers may have given up on their city (figuratively AND geographically!) but you haven’t. Keep catching those passes out of the backfield, my guy. You’re going to make L.A. feel all kinds of confused, which is fine, because we’re terrible at expressing stable emotions anyways.
Guy Who Was Supposed To Be Good, And Is Good: Julio Jones is awesome. Antonio Brown is ALSO awesome. I think I’ll give the nod to both, with the slight caveat that the Steelers winning ugly in Big Ben’s absence is way more fun than the Falcons looking like a divisional-round playoff out with their full team intact. I can’t wait to bet against the Falcons in the playoffs.
Sleeper Who You Missed Out On: Allen Robinson, another piece of this Jags team that scores points but doesn’t win games. The Jags and Raiders are both really challenging the notion that Jacksonville and Oakland are parched fantasy deserts. Amari Cooper is putting in work at the Black Hole and Allen Hurns is someone you’ve never heard of who has five TDs for the Jaguars. That’s a refreshing change of pace, one that will presumably never become stable enough to count on and exploit for fantasy glory.
Bust of the Year: Andre Johnson stated earlier this year that “I don’t play Fantasy.” Which is cute, because he thinks he’s off the hook. You are NOT, Andre Johnson. You are the worst. Sucking for an entire season save for one mind-blowing game is the M.O. for the WORST kind of fantasy player. Go away, Andre Johnson.
We Never Should Have Doubted You: Larry Fitzgerald is really, really good at football. We all somehow collectively forgot that with a decent QB and someone to help thin out the coverage, Fitz is the best damn receiver in football. I’m happy for him, but less so for Cardinals fans, who are getting closer and closer to convincing themselves that this might actually be the year. Guys. Save yourselves the heartache. I can’t bear to watch you like this.
That’s it for one half of our midseason fantasy awards. Tune in next week to find out if someone other than Gronk won Best Tight End (nope) or if a defense other than Denver's won Best Defense (they didn’t). Thanks for sticking with me this far, folks. The finish line grows mercifully closer.