2017 FNTSY Superlatives: Vote For 2017 Fantasy Football Awards!

  • David Gonos

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It seems like just yesterday that we were beating our chests and bragging about the unbeatable Fantasy team we put together, led by first-rounder David Johnson, second-round pick Amari Cooper, third-rounder Dalvin Cook, and Terrelle Pryor inexplicably fell to you in Round 4! NO ONE CAN DEFEAT YOU!

But a lot of stuff has happened between now and then, and that’s what our 2017 Fantasy Football Awards are all about! Now, we can look back and vote on who we think deserves recognition for awesome/horrible seasons!

The way we did this was we asked 23 Fantasy experts, writers from RotoExperts and the video analysts on FNTSY Sports Network, to vote for their favorite player at each category. Then, after they voted, we opened up the voting for readers and followers on Twitter for one week.

When we refer to Fantasy stats, we’re using this page, and when we refer to ADP, it’s this page.

2017 Fantasy Football Awards & Superlatives!

For the most part, the FNTSY video hosts and RotoExperts writers agreed on who should be the winners in each of these categories, with just a few exceptions. FNTSY’s Twitter followers happen to agree on most of these choices also, except for a couple.

2017 Fantasy Football MVP!

Our definition for this, the greatest of the Fantasy Football awards, is that it’s the player that was the most valuable in all of Fantasy – not necessarily the one that was picked the lowest and produced the most.

The writers/analysts voted 22-1 in favor of Rams RB Todd Gurley as the 2017 Fantasy MVP, with Jake Ciely voting for Kareem Hunt. Through Week 16, Gurley outscored the second-best Fantasy RB (Le’Veon Bell) by 20 percent! He outscored Hunt by 40 percent! Gurley was a second-round pick in most leagues, which also made him better value than Bell in the first round, or Hunt in the third/fourth rounds.

2017 Fantasy Football BUST!

These are the players that cost the highest draft picks, but provided the least output from a Fantasy perspective. For the most part, we’re not allowing injured players in this category, like David Johnson, but some of these players might have lost time because of injury. In those cases, they were busts before they got injured.

When I first created this category and listed the voting options, I initially forgot to include Terrelle Pryor, probably because he was injured and I’m trying to exclude those. But even before he went on injured reserve in Week 10, he was a colossal Fantasy bust, catching just one touchdown pass and posting just two games with more than 35 receiving yards.

Ten experts voted for Pryor as the biggest bust, with six voting or Cooper and four voting for Nelson.

2017 Fantasy Football Breakout Player of the Year!

Our definition of a “breakout” and a “sleeper” is different. A breakout is a player that was a mid-round pick according to ADP (greater than top-50), but has produced value of that of a player picked in the early rounds. A sleeper is a late-round pick or undrafted player that produced the value of a middle-round pick.

Sixteen experts voted for Thielen as the Breakout Player of the Year, with four voting for Ingram, as the second-biggest breakout. What’s strange is that Ingram isn’t a traditional breakout player, like Thielen, since Ingram was a second-round pick just a couple seasons ago.

2017 Fantasy Football Sleeper of the Year!

As we mentioned, these are Fantasy Football players that were drafted in the later rounds (or went undrafted), but produced like players chosen in the middle rounds. In some cases, like with defenses that are generally chosen much later overall, we chose one that had a low ADP among others at their position, but produced like the best at their position.

This was a weird one because we had three players from the same position among the sleeper candidates. The sophomore QBs, Goff and Wentz, made huge strides, but they ranked ninth and sixth respectively in Fantasy points at their position (granted, Wentz only played 13 games due to injury).

Alex Smith, however, wasn’t drafted in most leagues, and here he is ranking second among all Fantasy QBs in points through Week 16. (As you can probably tell, my vote was for Smith as the Sleeper of the Year.)

The Jaguars are a great option, too, but they are a DST, which means they are late-round picks no matter how you slice it.

The only other option I had was Devin Funchess, but only one expert (Gregg Sussman) voted for him.

2017 Fantasy Football Free-Agent Pickup of the Year!

This award goes to the best Fantasy free agents that went undrafted, but it doesn’t include rookies, since we have a separate category for them altogether. These are players with ADPs higher than 180 (a 15-round draft in a 12-team league).

Three RBs and two WRs were on the ballot for the experts, and nine of them voted Dion Lewis as the best free-agent pickup in Fantasy. Six voted for Drake, and three voted for Robby Anderson.

I feel like part of Lewis’ ascension into Fantasy awesomeness was aided by the Fantasy turd-itude of Mike Gillislee, who I consider one of the biggest Fantasy Busts of 2017.

2017 Fantasy Football Rookie of the Year!

Which first-year player knocked it out of the box this season? Who was the most valuable rookie in Fantasy Football this year?

The way this vote shook out blows me away. Fifteen experts voted for Kamara as the ROY, with just eight voting for Hunt – who was also a Fantasy MVP candidate! Hunt outscored all but two other non-quarterbacks!

My guess is the fact that Kamara started slow and finished strong, which is kind of the opposite for Hunt, who didn’t have over 10 Fantasy points in one of the five games between Weeks 8 and 13, killing his owners’ chances of reaching the Fantasy playoffs. But since the playoffs began, only Todd Gurley has outscored him!

2017 Fantasy Football Best Rookie Free Agent Pickup!

Rather than just award one rookie for being the best, we wanted to award another rookie that broke out despite not being a high Fantasy pick. These rookies were undrafted or had ADPs lower than 180 this summer.

In many leagues, Kamara was a free-agent pickup, but his Average Draft Position was 158, which means 14.02 in 12-team leagues, or else he’d be the Best Rookie Free Agent.

Steelers WR JuJu Smith-Schuster was the runaway pick for this award, as 19 of 23 experts voted for him.

2017 Fantasy Football Rookie Bust of the Year!

This award goes out to the first-year players that had the most hype, but produced the least, in relation to their ADP, for their Fantasy owners.

Coming into this season, after breakout years from Todd Gurley and David Johnson in 2015, Ezekiel Elliott and Jordan Howard in 2016, rookie running backs were going to be drafted high and often.

Leonard Fournette, Christian McCaffrey, Dalvin Cook, Hunt and Joe Mixon were all taken among the top 20-40 picks in most drafts. Cook played well before getting injured, and both Fournette, Hunt and McCaffrey were top-15 RBs this season. That leaves Mixon, who picked it up in the second half, didn’t score over 15 Fantasy points until Week 12.


Hopefully, you had more of the breakout/sleeper/MVP types on your team than you did the busts! We hope you enjoyed our 2017 Fantasy Football awards, and you’re already looking forward to next year’s drafts!

David Gonos

David Gonos has been writing about sports online since 2001, including CBSSports.com, FoxSports.com, NFL.com, MLB.com and SportsIllustrated.com.