The 2018 Rotos: Most Valuable Fantasy Football Player - Roto Street Journal
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The 2018 Rotos: Most Valuable Fantasy Football Player

Whether a target hog receiver, bell cow back, gunslinging quarterback, or sometimes even both, how the numbers came doesn’t matter. What does matter, however, is what these numbers meant:  A fighting chance every week because you knew at least 20+ were coming. The 30+ point explosions that saved you a week you had no business winning.  Even the rare 40 point outbursts, left fantasy opponents begging for mercy. The comfort knowing no game was ever over, as long as you had this player waiting in the wings.

All these stats and the emotions tied to them really boil down to three simple letters: M-V-P.

Here are the nominees for 2018’s Most Valuable Fantasy Player:

Contenders

Davante Adams

The Packers receiver finished the season as the WR1 in all of fantasy this year with a 111-1,386-13 stat line. Adams led the league in targets, was third in receptions, fifth in yardage and second in touchdowns. He scored double digit fantasy points in every week this fantasy season and flourished as the clear cut WR1 in Aaron Rodgers’ offense after the departure of Jordy Nelson. Adams had a few blow up games of over 20 points, but was the most reliable receiving option you could plug into your lineup as a true WR1. Stud receivers usually get drafted in mid to end of Round 1, but Adams was billed for the middle of the second round in drafts, giving any owner who went RB/WR with Adams on the backend a huge advantage in RB1/WR1 territory.

Saquon Barkley

One of the most heralded rookie running backs to grace the fantasy landscape in some time. The Roto Street Journal loved his talent and fit in New York’s offense garnering him a worthy Top 5 pick in 2018. The Penn State product was thrust into a bell cow role as a high volume back in both the passing and running game. Barkley finished the season with 244 carries for 1,198 yards and 10 touchdowns. Then in the passing game he had 113 targets for 87 catches, 688 yards and 4 more touchdowns. Barkley was the focal point of the Giants offense with Eli Manning really struggling to move the ball. Barkley averaged 21.8 fantasy points per game as the third highest scoring back of the season. His best game of the year came in a shootout against Tampa Bay where he went for 27-142-2 on the ground and 2-10-1 in the air. As a RB picked in the middle of the first round, Barkley most definitely paid off for the owners willing to take the risk on a rookie back with no NFL experience. What kept Saquon out of the finalist pool for the award was his Week 15 performance of 8.35 points (lowest of the year) and a slightly underwhelming Championship Week score of 17 points.

Todd Gurley

Those who were blessed with the #1 overall pick this year likely took Todd Gurley (if they listened to our advice) and were carried by the beast all the way to the fantasy playoffs. The Roto Street Journal debuted their Fantasy Stock Profile pages in 2018 which Gurley was the feature for being the highest rated player. He followed up his monstrous 2017 year with another stat stuffing 2018 landing him as the #1 RB in fantasy and #2 player overall. He finished second in rushing attempts, second in yards and the first in touchdowns with a blistering 17. Add in his 59 catches for 580 yards and 4 scores, and you get one of the elite bell cow/target hog backs that win you leagues. He’s likely to go as the #1 overall pick once again in 2019 drafts, but what kept Gurley from finalist contention was the injuries and disappointing fantasy playoff performances. He scored a measly 7.3 points in Week 14 which you simply cannot have from your stud RB1. If you somehow survived that, you were rewarded with a patented 30.6 points Week 15 which is exactly why you went Gurley #1. But the sitting out in Week 16 really derailed teams (unless you picked up CJ Anderson) and we simply cannot give an MVP award to someone who doesn’t even play the Fantasy Championship Week. Sorry, Todd.

Finalists

Patrick Mahomes

Oh man, what can be said about Patrick Mahomes that we haven’t said already. The 2018 Poster Boy of the Roto Street Journal, Mahomes was labeled as The Wolf’s centerpiece of his Already All-In Team  back in JANUARY. For a little context here, back in January the Chiefs QB was still Alex Smith after a disappointing loss to Tennessee in the playoffs. Our guy Wolf with that big ol’ brain of his saw the potential of moving Smith to give Mahomes the starting gig and unleashing his big rocket arm. With the high numbers Smith put up with a limited skill set, upgrading to Mahomes would do wonders in that offense under Andy Reid. Fast forward to present day, and Wolf looks like a goddamn genius telling every soul under the sun to take Mahomes as your QB1 late in Rounds 8-10 while you bulk up on stud RB/WRs. Mahomes finished as the QB1 and #1 overall player in fantasy this year recording a season low of only 15.82 points this year.

Christian McCaffrey

Another one of The Wolf’s poster boys, this one came however with some controversy. McCaffrey first debuted under Wolf’s “Overpriced” list in the first Market Report of 2018. The signing of CJ Anderson to Carolina appeared to have a committee backfield on the horizon, and McCaffrey’s already disappointing rushing numbers was sending his stock down. But then, the preseason happened and The Wolf astutely adjusted his rankings. Preseason does matter folks. His ADP was sitting around early to mid second round back at draft time, but The Wolf was howling out to his wolfpack that CMC needed to be taken in the late first round based on his volume. Sure enough, McCaffrey finished as the RB2 and 3rd overall player in fantasy. Stat lines of 215 carries, 1,080 yards and 7 touchdowns is already close to bell cow status. It’s his receiving numbers that put him into MVP contention. 123 targets, 106 catches for 845 yards and 6 scores put him in Robert Woods and Stefon Diggs territory based on just his receiving numbers. He scored double digit points in every game this year and shined brightest in the postseason with three games all over 20+ points. Those who got him at the end of Round 1 were well prepared. Those who snagged him up in Round 2, made out like bandits.

Your 2018 Roto Winner for Fantasy Football MVP

Patrick Mahomes

I mean, how could it not be? The ability to get the QB1 and #1 overall player in Round 10 is just too much value to overlook. Mahomes could very well win the NFL MVP this year, but this Roto Award is much more esteemed and brings far more glory. If you had Mahomes on your team, there’s a great chance you made your fantasy playoffs and very well could have won the whole thing. The best part of this all, is that fantasy experts and countless others will tell you they didn’t see this coming. We did. Back in January. We know exactly what we’re doing.

If you want to watch The 2017 Rotos in its entirety, click here.

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