Week 16 is finally here, and after Monday night’s game, the fantasy football season will be over for most of us, if your season hasn’t been ended already. My teams went 1-for-5 on what I will now call Black Sunday, so the best I can do in my leagues is a gold medal and four bronzes. Please make it happen, Matthew Stafford.
Since the fantasy playoffs are coming to a close this weekend -- I refuse to acknowledge leagues that end in Week 17 -- this will be the last installment of Fantasy Fodder for the season. And what better way to end it than by recognizing the fantasy heroes that carried our teams (to the bronze-medal game or points beyond).
So without further ado, here are the Fantasy Fodder Fantasy All-Stars for the 2011 season:
Quarterback -- Aaron Rodgers, Packers: With 40 touchdowns and six interceptions -- and he rushed for three touchdowns, too -- Rodgers has been the top fantasy scorer this season, in the process making Greg Jennings and Jordy Nelson both top-10 fantasy wide receivers. Most pleasant surprise: Cam Newton, Panthers.
Running back -- LeSean McCoy, Eagles: McCoy leads the NFL with 17 rushing touchdowns and is second in rushing yards. Throw in his three receiving touchdowns, and he tops the NFL in total TDs, too. Not too shabby considering Michael Vick was in and out of the lineup. Most pleasant surprise: Marshawn Lynch, Seahawks.
Wide receiver -- Calvin Johnson, Lions: New England’s Wes Welker deserves recognition in PPR leagues, but Detroit’s star wide receiver has been an absolute beast playing with a healthy Matthew Stafford. Johnson has 81 catches for 1,335 yards and 14 touchdowns. Most pleasant surprise: Nelson and Victor Cruz, Giants (tie).
Tight end -- Rob Gronkowski, Patriots: He has had the greatest season ever for a tight end, and he has scored as many fantasy points as Johnson, the highest-scoring wide-out. Most pleasant surprise: Gronkowski.
Kicker -- Dan Bailey, Cowboys: Kickers? Yawn. Let’s just move on.
Defense/special teams -- Ravens: Terrell Suggs and the Ravens were all over opposing quarterbacks, which has led to plenty of sacks, turnovers and fantasy points. Most pleasant surprise: Seahawks and Texans (tie).
Fantasy penthouse: Drew Brees threw for 412 yards and five touchdowns. Calvin Johnson had nine catches for 214 yards and two scores. LeSean McCoy had three TDs. Brent Celek had 156 receiving yards and a TD.
Fantasy doghouse: Eli Manning threw three picks. LeGarrette Blount had 21 rushing yards. Pierre Garcon and Percy Harvin both pitched fantasy shutouts. Tony Gonzalez had one catch for 14 yards in Thursday’s rout.
The wire: 1. Donald Brown rushed for 161 yards Sunday. … 2. Demaryius Thomas has double-digit points in three straight weeks. … 3. Rex Grossman goes against a Vikings defense that Brees ripped apart, but can you trust Grossman? … 4. Darrius Heyward-Bey could click with Carson Palmer again -- or do next to nothing.
I’m here to help: But I’ve been really swamped with the Ravens beat, so I haven’t been checking the blog comments as much as I’d like. If you have a question, email me and I'll get back to you.
Extra point: Ray Rice dropped 204 rushing yards on the Browns the last time they met, but Joe Flacco could be the one with a huge game Saturday. Flacco has been great at home and is 7-0 all-time against the Browns.
Matt Vensel is a reporter for The Baltimore Sun who uses this column to tinker with his fantasy football team on the clock. Send your questions and comments to Matt.Vensel@baltsun.com or @mattvensel on Twitter.