Fantasy Football: 2019 Season MVPs and Breakouts

With the 2019 fantasy football championships behind us, we look back at the players who carried their teams to titles.
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Congratulations 2019 fantasy football champions! If you won the title this season, you’re going to see some of your players on this list. While Jaime Eisner compiled the busts and LVPs of the 2019 fantasy season, I’m here with better news. Below are the players who carried their teams to championships. I’m dishing out regular season and playoff awards, plus the ever-important Breakout Performers.

Regular Season Fantasy MVPs

QB Lamar Jackson, Ravens

The soon-to-be-named league MVP has piloted Baltimore to a league best 13-2 record with an amazing 2019 season. Jackson posted the most fantasy points of any player in all scoring formats by a wide margin thanks to setting the league record for most rushing yards (1,206) in a season by a quarterback. The second-year sensation finished the fantasy season with an amazing touchdown (36) to interception (6) ratio while adding seven more scores on the ground, carrying fantasy owners everywhere to league championships. Not bad for a player whose preseason ADP had him taken outside the top 12 quarterbacks!

Christian McCaffrey, RB, Panthers

McCaffrey made history, becoming the first running back with 100-plus receptions in multiple seasons. The third-year fantasy stud broke his own previous NFL record for most receptions in a season by a running back (109) and has Week 17 against the Saints to add to the total. McCaffrey amazingly posted 21-plus PPR fantasy points in 13 of 15 games en route to posting the most fantasy points of any skill position player. With just 67 yards in Week 17 against New Orleans, McCaffrey will become just the third player in NFL history with 1,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards in the same season.

Michael Thomas, WR, Saints

The fourth-year wideout has easily cemented himself as a top-five fantasy pick in 2020 after his record setting 2019 season. The Saints wide receiver has developed into the best wideout in the NFL running routes for Hall of Fame bound quarterback Drew Brees. Thomas made league history breaking Colts WR Marvin Harrison’s single-season reception record (143) set back in 2002. Thanks to his NFL record 145 receptions the amazingly consistent Thomas posted double-digit PPR fantasy points in every game this season leading the league in receiving yards (1,688) while second in receiving touchdowns (9).

First-Team Regular Season Stars

QB Dak Prescott, Cowboys

QB Deshaun Watson, Texans

RB Dalvin Cook, Vikings

RB Austin Ekeler, Chargers

WR Chris Godwin, Buccaneers

WR DeAndre Hopkins, Texans

WR Julian Edelman, Patriots

Flex Aaron Jones, Packers

Flex Ezekiel Elliott, Cowboys

TE Travis Kelce, Chiefs

PK Will Lutz, Saints

D/ST New England Patriots

Honorable Mentions

QB Jameis Winston, Buccaneers

RB Derrick Henry, Titans

RB Mark Ingram, Ravens

WR Kenny Golladay, Lions

WR Cooper Kupp, Rams

TE Zach Ertz, Eagles

PK Harrison Butker, Chiefs

D/ST San Francisco 49ers

Breakout Performers

QB Josh Allen, Bills

RB Devin Singletary, Bills

RB Josh Jacobs, Raiders

WR Devonte Parker, Dolphins

WR D.J. Chark, Jaguars

TE Darren Waller, Raiders

TE Mark Andrews, Ravens

PK Matt Gay, Buccaneers

Chargers RB Austin Ekeler and Tampa Bay WR Chris Godwin easily highlight the First-Team award recipients. The dynamic third-year running back accounted for 1,461 yards from scrimmage while hauling in 83 receptions and adding 11 total touchdowns. RB3 overall fantasy numbers from a player drafted in mid-to-late rounds is what earns fantasy championships. Tampa Bay wideout Chris Godwin was heavily coveted by high-stakes players and he did not disappoint, finishing as fantasy football’s overall WR2. The third-year talent caught 86 passes for 1,333 yards and nine touchdowns emerging in Bruce Arians offense. Many fantasy owners were saddened to lose the fantasy star in championship week due to a hamstring injury suffered in Week 15 against the Lions, but he got plenty of you there in the first place.

Among the breakout performers, Raiders TE Darren Waller and Ravens TE Mark Andrews will be heavily sought after commodities in fantasy drafts in 2020. Waller emerged as a fantasy star at a weak position, with 84 receptions for 1,038 yards and three touchdowns in Jon Gruden’s offense. Andrews developed into Lamar Jackoson’s top receiving weapon, leading all tight ends with 10 touchdowns. Dolphins WR DeVante Parker had a career year with 64 catches for 1,065 yards and nine touchdowns, while Jaguars WR D.J. Chark broke out in his sophomore season leading Jaguars wideouts in receptions (69), yards (974) and touchdowns (8).

christian-mccaffrey-fantasy-mvp

Fantasy Playoff MVPs

Drew Brees, QB, Saints

The perennially consistent signal caller was awesome in the 2019 fantasy football playoffs, while also becoming the NFL’s leader in career passing touchdowns (544), breaking the mark previously held by Peyton Manning (540). The veteran finished the fantasy playoffs (Weeks 14-16 for most of us) with 929 yards passing and an amazing 12-0 touchdown-to-interception ratio, while adding one rushing score.

Christian McCaffrey, RB, Panthers

McCaffrey continued his dominant regular season into the fantasy postseason, posting 24-plus PPR fantasy points in all three games. The dynamic fantasy stud rushed for 194 yards and two touchdowns, while adding a massive 34 receptions for 289 receiving yards over the pivotal three-game playoff span. His 96.3 PPR points were the most of any skill position player in the fantasy playoffs, rewarding fantasy owners who picked him out of the preseason consensus top four of CMC, Zeke, Saquon and Kamara.

Michael Thomas, WR, Saints

Thomas was simply amazing, posting the three most glorious stat lines in the fantasy playoffs 11/134/1, 12/128/1 and 12/136/1. In case you were wondering that is 30-plus PPR points in all three vital games. Those sorts of numbers at the most crucial time of year carried fantasy owners to league titles. Thomas’s 92.8 fantasy points were second only to the aforementioned McCaffrey for top honors among all skill positioned players.

First-Team Playoff Stars

QB Lamar Jackson, Ravens

RB Saquon Barkley, Giants

RB Kenyon Drake, Cardinals

WR Julio Jones, Falcons

WR A.J. Brown, Titans

Flex Miles Sanders, Eagles

TE Tyler Higbee, Rams

PK Jason Sanders, Dolphins

D/ST Minnesota Vikings

Honorable Mentions

QB Jameis Winston, Buccaneers

RB Todd Gurley, Rams

RB Devonta Freeman, Falcons

WR Breshad Perriman, Buccaneers

WR Terry McLaurin, Redskins

TE George Kittle, 49ers

PK Robbie Gould, 49ers

D/ST Atlanta Falcons

Saquon Barkley was awesome with 43.9 PPR fantasy points in championship week against the Redskins, finishing the final two weeks of the fantasy playoffs with 422 yards from scrimmage and four touchdowns. Drake was outstanding, exploding for 303 rushing yards and six touchdowns in the last two weeks, arising as an unlikely playoff hero for owners who were able to employ his services en route to fantasy glory. Eagles running back Miles Sanders finished as the overall RB4 in the fantasy postseason with 397 total yards, 15 receptions and three touchdowns. Rams tight end Tyler Higbee, who was thrust into starting duties following the injury to Gerald Everett, was a fantasy god, posting three consecutive 100-plus yard receiving efforts good for 18-plus PPR fantasy points. Titans rookie wideout A.J. Brown finished as the overall WR3 in the playoffs with 14 receptions for 301 yards and three touchdowns.

Of course, if you had enough of these guys on your team, you already know. And you may be clearing space for a fantasy trophy on your mantle as we speak.