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The Dandy Awards By: Dan Dankert

With now over 50% of games played for the season it’s time to look at midseason awards. The following midseason awards called The Dandys (As in a combination “The Dundies,” from The Office, and my first/last name). This will be a list of some serious awards and some not so serious awards.

The first Dandy I am handing out tonight goes out to the best Tight End thus far in the league. An award that surely would have gone to Gronkowski for the past several years if the Dandys were around then. This is one of the most underrated positions in fantasy football and sometimes it’s important to give the underappreciated players a little time in the spotlight. The best tight ends are surely an afterthought on most teams but can be the difference between a win and a loss.

This year at the half way point a familiar name sits as the highest scoring tight end. Greg Olsen of Carolina currently is the best performing fantasy tight end. A safe and consistent target for Cam Newton, Olsen has helped propel that offense as much as he can. For these reasons, Olsen is my choice for the best Tight End Dandy.

The Second Dandy will go out to the greatest defense to play against. Have you ever looked at your lineup and realized “my star player is playing the worst defense in the league this week” and then proceeded to watch said player score 25+ points? Well, this award goes out to this year’s greatest defense to play against, the New Orleans Defense/Special Teams.

The New Orleans Defense/Special Teams has scored a total of 2 points through 7 weeks. That’s right, only 2 points! I am pretty sure that I could score 2 fantasy points if I got the chance to run the ball 5 times for the Dallas Cowboys. The crazier statistic here is that in week one, they scored -8 points! 5 players for the opposing team scored in the double digits that week. So thank you New Orleans for being a bro and for being the best team to have players playing against. Weird side note, they held Julio Jones, arguably the best wide receiver in the league, to just 1 catch and 1 fantasy point.

The Third Dandy will go to the best defense to have on your fantasy team. Having a great defense in fantasy football is often overlooked and it’s usually just a guessing game as to which defense will be the best as the year goes. But this year, one defense has been playing head and shoulders above the rest and that’s the Minnesota Vikings Defense.

The Vikings Defense has scored 91 points! That’s 15 points per game! Just for some context, if the Vikings Defense were a running back, it would be the 7th highest scoring running back thus far this year. Having a defense score like a top 10 running back is a huge boost to any team’s chances of winning both in fantasy and in real life.

This just in, the Vikings Defense offer to trade this award for Adrian Peterson’s health. Even they know that they won’t win a playoff game without Adrian Peterson.

 

The Fourth Dandy will be the breakout player of the year thus far: Melvin Gordon. Gordon in 2015 finished ranked 56th for running backs. After failing to score a single touchdown over the course of his first season, Gordon has rebounded nicely and has scored 8 already this year. To show just how bad that touchdown drought was, here is a nifty stat that I found on ESPN, “Forty-one RBs racked up at least 111 carries during the 2015 regular season. Gordon was the only one who failed to score a rushing TD.”

Gordon is shredding defenses left and right and is currently ranked 3rd for running backs in fantasy football. As long as Gordon continues to punch the ball into the end zone on a regular basis, expect him to keep putting up nice numbers each week. Weird side note, Gordon has one of the worst yards per carry averages in the league, which doesn’t bode well for the second half of the season.

The fifth Dandy is the Oops Dandy. This award goes out to a player that everyone thought was going to be great, and now we are like “oops, got that prediction pretty wrong.” Enter Todd Gurley. I expected Gurley to be the safest and best pick to take 1st in the draft this year but he has disappointed fantasy football owners all across America. Currently Gurley is the 19th best running back in fantasy football. That is barely RB2 material. He is basically a flex quality player. He went from the best, to flex in half of a year.

The sixth and final Dandy goes to the MVP of fantasy football this year at the midway point. For this award, let’s take a look at the finalists:

The first finalist is Matt Ryan. Ryan is the signal caller for the top offense in the league. He is currently the highest scoring player at any position in fantasy football, averaging almost 22 points per game. With the best stats in fantasy football this year Ryan makes a strong case for MVP.

Ryan’s top receiver Julio Jones comes in as another finalist. Jones has dominated corners this year thus far. Jones is averaging nearly 15 points per game, and earlier this year caught 12 passes for 300 yards and a touchdown against Carolina. One of the most gifted receivers the NFL has ever seen, Julio has the numbers to be right up there with the best of them for MVP.

My last finalist for MVP comes from Iowa, and is the most exhilarating player in the league right now, David Johnson. There are not enough adjectives to describe how electrifying and dynamic of a player Johnson is. So far Johnson has rushed for nearly 700 yards and has over 300 yards receiving through 7 games! Johnson seems to be a yardage king, and a point producer. Thus far Johnson is averaging almost 20 points per game as a running back! The next closest running back is DeMarco Murray averaging under 17 points per game.

When looking at all three candidates, it really came down to Jones and Johnson for MVP. As good as Ryan has been, so much of his stats have come from the bevy of offensive weapons around him. He is a good player, but not a great player, and Johnson and Jones are great players. In the end Johnson’s numbers are too good. He is clearly the best fantasy running back in the league and deserving of the MVP Dandy award.

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