2011 Fantasy Football Awards (Week One)


America’s favorite game is back and The Sports Bank has you covered with the best and worst of what was Fantasy Football Week One.

The mothership (a.k.a. ESPN) wasn’t kidding when they said it was the “year of the quarterback.” Those who drafted QB’s early in their fantasy draft shouldn’t be critiqued as we saw four of the top five fantasy performances come from signal callers.

Follow the jump to receive up-to-date fantasy analysis and the best waiver wire pick-ups for week two!

* Points and line-up statistics adapted from ESPN standard scoring leagues

Fantasy MVP: QB Tom Brady (32/48, 517 YDS, 4 TDS and 1 INT = 34 points)

Those who drafted Brady in the early second round (ADP = 14.3) have to be pleased with the production they project to receive this season. Brady was sensational while passing the ball around to ten different receivers and toppling the Patriots’ franchise passing record with a ridiculous 517 yards. Brady wasn’t the only elite QB to shine this weekend as fellow-elites Drew Brees (28 points) and Aaron Rodgers (24 points) were also very good, making fans wonder if a pass-happy trend is emerging in today’s NFL.

Next week, Brady and the Patriots host the San Diego Chargers (1-0) who held Donovan McNabb of the Minnesota Vikings to a mere 39 yards through the air. If Brady can light up that defense, we may have something special brewing in New England.

Honorable Mention: QB Chad Henne (33 points), WR Steve Smith (29 points), QB Cam Newton (28 points) and QB Drew Brees (28 points)

Worst Performance of the Week: RB Rashard Mendenhall (12 RUSH, 45 YDS and 1 FUML = 2 points)

It would have been just as easy to put the Steelers D/ST (-6 points) here who were the NFL’s worst defense of the week after being scorched by the Baltimore Ravens. But instead, I went with their so-called “stud RB,” who didn’t really do anything this week. Granted, the Ravens are stout against the run and he received only 12 carries.

Owners shouldn’t worry too much as he has a great rebound match-up against the Seattle Seahawks. Seattle gave up only 85 yards to the 49ers in a 33-17 loss, but I have a feeling the Steelers return to a bruising offensive plan next week.

Wasting Away (Best Bench Player): RB Mike Tolbert (93 Total YDS and 3 TDS = 26 points)

The Chargers’ Tolbert may be owned in 100 percent of leagues, but was started in only 21.8 percent of them this past week. Teammate and fellow RB Ryan Mathews (11 points) looked a lot better, but it was still Tolbert who was the desired man around the end-zone. He did leave the game with a knee injury, but Head Coach Norv Turner indicated he would be find on Monday. Against presumably an average defense in New England, I would strongly consider Tolbert in your RB2 or flex spot next week.

Somebody Pick Me Up (Best Free Agent): QB Chad Henne (30/49, 475 total YDS, 3 TDS and 1 INT = 33 points)

While Tom Brady shocked the world on Monday Night, Henne had a surprising break-out performance. He’s owned in only 5.4 percent of leagues and appears to have a dangerous offensive attack in a new looking Dolphins team. Newly acquired RB Reggie Bush (14 points) looks to be a dangerous threat and WR Brandon Marshall (13 points) still has the talent to be one of the best in the game. If your in the need of a QB, make Henne your first waiver-wire priority immediately.

Henne faces off with the Houston Texans (1-0) in week two, a team who gave old-man Kerry Collins (7 points) a fit on Sunday. Collins made the Texans secondary look a lot better than it actually is, so I would expect Henne to have a respectable day and should be considered for a start in week two.

Panthers QB Cam Newton (29 points, owned in 29.3 % of leagues), Bills QB Ryan Fitzpatrick (24 points, 26.7 %), 49ers D/ST (24 points, 10.6 %) and Redskins QB Rex Grossman (18 points, 3.5 %) should also be considered for roster spots in the upcoming week.

Hurts So Bad (Worst Injury): K Nate Kaeding (ACL Injury)

On Monday, we found out that fantasy’s number-one ranked kicker will miss the season because of a torn ACL. This is why you definitely should not draft a kicker until the last few rounds of a fantasy draft. Those who reached for Kaeding now understand why. Luckily for Kaeding owners, there are tons of kickers out there who can fill right in for the guy.

What surprised you the most in Fantasy Week One? Let me know by commenting below!

Nick Grays is a senior writer at the Sports Bank where he covers the Wisconsin Badgers, Green Bay Packers, and Milwaukee Brewers. He also enjoys to share Fantasy Advice from time-to-time. Follow him on Twitter by clicking here or visit his blog Nick Knows Best.


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