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The 2005 RBTN Fantasy Football Awards

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The 2005 RBTN Fantasy Football Awards

Postby The Lung » Thu Jan 20, 2005 11:42 am

Rotisserie By The Numbers: The 2005 RBTN Fantasy Football Awards:

Rotisserie By The Numbers: The 2005 RBTN Fantasy Football Awards


January 20, 2005
By Craig Rondinone
SportsTicker Contributing Writer

BRISTOL, Connecticut (Ticker) - Welcome to the 2005 RBTN Fantasy Football Awards!

The RBTN Awards have less music than the Grammys, less pageantry than the Oscars, less prestige than the ESPYs and are less boring than the Golden Globes.


This is the fifth year that the RBTNs have been handed out to the best and worst in fantasy football, and they are special because fantasy football owners from around the world and across the universe were the ones who decided who won and who lost. The power of the mighty e-mail was felt as I received hundreds of e-mails over the past week from fantasy voters casting their ballots.

So without any further adieu, let's celebrate the top fantasy performers of 2004! Here are this season's RBTN award winners.

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR: Michael Clayton, Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Ben Roethlisberger might have gotten all the rookie love this year from the media, but Clayton got all the love from fantasy owners. Tampa Bay's top receiver dismissed the theory that rookie receivers do not make good fantasy players because pass catchers normally need a year or two before they become great.

Clayton stepped in immediately when Joey Galloway was injured early in the season and consistently produced week after week, ending up with 80 receptions for 1,193 yards and seven touchdowns. With this kind of rookie campaign, fantasy owners are salivating at the thought of what Clayton might do in year number two.

RUNNER-UP: Kevin Jones, Detroit Lions.

MOST IMPROVED PLAYER: Antonio Gates, San Diego Chargers. It was the year of the tight end in 2004, and Gates was the poster boy. He is built like a defensive lineman but has the speed, grace and hands of a top-flight wide receiver. That physical combination made him impossible to stop, whether it was on a 20-yard seem route or a five-yard fade pattern into the end zone.

Gates finished with 81 catches for 964 yards while breaking the NFL record for touchdowns for a tight end with 13. Gates showed some promise at the end of last season, but I still doubt that any fantasy pundit through that Gates would become this amazing this fast after only having 389 receiving yards and two scores in 2003.

RUNNER-UP: Javon Walker, Green Bay Packers.

COMEBACK PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Mushin Muhammad, Carolina Panthers. Where had Muhammad been hiding the past three years? After a couple spectacular seasons early in his Carolina career, Muhammad had been middling as an injury-prone No. 2 receiver the last three seasons, not hitting the 1,000-yard plateau since 2000. Far from a fantasy force.

But when star receiver Steve Smith broke his leg in Carolina's opening game, Muhammad summoned the talent, hands, speed and leaping ability that he had during his glory years and suddenly became a more valuable fantasy player than the likes of Randy Moss, Torry Holt, Hines Ward and Chad Johnson.

Muhammad topped all receivers with 1,405 receiving yards and 16 touchdown grabs while ranking sixth in receptions with 93. He was the top fantasy wideout in 2004.

RUNNER-UP: Drew Brees, San Diego Chargers.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Ed Reed, Baltimore Ravens. Here is another award for Reed's mantle. It is not often that the best fantasy defensive player is a safety, but Reed is more than just a safety. He is a ballhawk. He is a big-play man. He is a master returner. He is a turnover machine.

Reed led the NFL with nine interceptions, added two sacks, made 78 tackles and returned a couple turnovers for touchdowns. He made big play after big play, the kind that win fantasy leagues, like his 106-yard interception return on a Sunday night against Cleveland. The bonus points in yardage leagues for that score probably made many a head explode.

RUNNER-UP: Dwight Freeney, Indianapolis Colts.

RBTN SPECIAL AWARD: Terrell Owens, Philadelphia Eagles. I might have nominated T.O. for fantasy MVP if he did not break his ankle late in the season. His numbers were right there with Muhammad's at WR, if not better at the time of his demise.

Fantasy owners thought Owens deserved something for his achievements this year, and I cannot disagree. That is why I created the RBTN Special Award for players who were not nominated in the other categories but deserved some piece of hardware for their good stats.

Owens not only danced up a storm after TDs, made smarmy Monday Night Football promos and talked more smack than a UFC ultimate fighter, he gave fantasy owners 77 receptions for 1,200 yards and 14 touchdowns in 14 games. T.O. might not have been around for fantasy owners during their playoffs but he helped get them there.

RUNNER-UP: Jerome Bettis, Pittsburgh Steelers.

THANKS FOR NOTHING AWARD: - Koren Robinson, Seattle Seahawks. Talk about hatred. From the e-mails I received from fantasy owners, you would have thought Robinson had threatened the president or poisoned a town's water supply or punched somebody's baby. In the minds of fantasy owners, he did something much worse. He stunk up the joint this season. Royally.

Robinson missed six games. Now if it was because of an injury, fantasy owners could cut him some slack. But he missed four for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy and was suspended for two more by Seattle for violating team rules.

In the 10 games he did play in, he only had 31 catches (while dropping about 50 balls) for 495 yards and two touchdowns. Fantasy owners figured he would have around 60 receptions for 1,000 yards. Thanks for nothing, Koren!

RUNNER-UP: Ricky Williams, Miami Dolphins.

MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: Peyton Manning, Indianapolis Colts. Our most prestigious award was the one that was the most one-sided in terms of voting. Manning crushed the competition, just like he crushed the hearts of cornerbacks, safeties and defensive coordinators this year.

Eli's big brother set the NFL mark for touchdown passes with 49, besting Dan Marino's old mark. You cannot quibble with 49 touchdowns. Touchdowns are the linchpin to winning in fantasy football, especially in touchdown leagues where yardage does not matter. And in yardage leagues, Manning added 4,557 passing yards.

Fantasy owners do not give a rat's behind what Manning did against New England in the playoffs unless they own him in fantasy playoff leagues. Manning was the most instrumental player in fantasy football this season, and people who were lucky enough to have him on their rosters probably won a fair chunk of change thanks to his exploits.

RUNNER-UP: Shaun Alexander, Seattle Seahawks.

Thank you very much for reading my football columns this past season. The columns were as fun for me to write as watching a Terrell Owens touchdown celebration or listening to a Bill Parcells rant. Hopefully we will all have as much fun during the 2005 season. Now if you will excuse me, I have to help Bill Belichick devise a plan to stop Pittsburgh's running attack.

For more information on Craig, his columns and his book, Ten Tales To Make Your Head Explode, please visit publishedauthors.net/craigrondinone.
(~);}

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(~);}
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Postby SwiperNoSwiping » Thu Jan 20, 2005 11:44 am

Pretty interesting read...I don't know if I like the Ricky Williams award. He was retired before a lot of leagues drafted. He did hurt those who had him in a keeper league though. I think I would have put Barlow in his place...

I also think I would have had Brees as the comeback player over Muhammad. Muhsin has put up decent numbers in the past. Brees can't really say that.

Good read though.
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Postby joshyboy72 » Thu Jan 20, 2005 11:50 am

Hey thanks for the read The Lung, probably one of the best read's I've seen on this forum in a while due to all the crappy NFL mocks that are flying around the Cafe now.

Kind of funny how the writer used adieu though. He's smart enough to know that word but used it in a spot where the simple 'ado' is supposed to be used. Well it's at least better Bush's nucular instead of nuclear, which we'll be hearing for the next 4 years.
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Postby kevinoc81 » Thu Jan 20, 2005 12:05 pm

SwiperNoSwiping wrote:I also think I would have had Brees as the comeback player over Muhammad. Muhsin has put up decent numbers in the past. Brees can't really say that.


Maybe that's why he did it? It's hard to give comeback player of the year to a player who never came in the first place!

If Brees deserved an award it would be like breakout player of the year or something.
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Postby deluxe_247 » Thu Jan 20, 2005 1:35 pm

pretty nice read ;-D thanks. i agree anout the brees part. how can he be a comeback player at all?
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Postby joshyboy72 » Thu Jan 20, 2005 1:37 pm

deluxe_247 wrote:pretty nice read ;-D thanks. i agree anout the brees part. how can he be a comeback player at all?


What are you talking about? He used to be horrible. Why do you think he was the AP's Comeback Player of the Year? You definitely can't call him a breakout player, he's not that young.

It's 'The Most Improved Player' that should be switched to Breakout Player. Gates and Walker haven't had much to improve upon, they're both so young. But yes they definitely broke out this season.
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Postby kevinoc81 » Thu Jan 20, 2005 2:30 pm

I guess in my mind I have a different opinion of the word "comeback." I figure a comeback is when you are good, or at least have one good year, and then you go bad for a while, and all of sudden you 'come back" to your old form.

A "breakout" player to me is a person who has always been horrible and then all of a sudden, out of nowhere he "breaks out." I don't associate age with this award. You can be 35 and all of a sudden have a breakout year in my book.

I guess it's just how you interpret the meanings of each award.
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Postby mtryanks12 » Thu Jan 20, 2005 3:23 pm

in my mind, brees was w/o a doubt the comeback player of the year. He went from nowhere to huge this season.
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Postby deluxe_247 » Thu Jan 20, 2005 3:26 pm

kevinoc81 wrote:I guess in my mind I have a different opinion of the word "comeback." I figure a comeback is when you are good, or at least have one good year, and then you go bad for a while, and all of sudden you 'come back" to your old form.

A "breakout" player to me is a person who has always been horrible and then all of a sudden, out of nowhere he "breaks out." I don't associate age with this award. You can be 35 and all of a sudden have a breakout year in my book.

I guess it's just how you interpret the meanings of each award.


exactly!! you cant comback if youve never been there, and brees has never been there. you stated exactly what i think about those terms kevinoc81 ;-D
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Postby SwiperNoSwiping » Thu Jan 20, 2005 4:41 pm

I also agree with those labels...Breakout would have been more in line with Brees and Gates this year, I would say.
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