Jan 24, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) celebrates during the fourth quarter against the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC Championship football game at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
When it comes to fantasy football, these top 50 players provided many memories for their owners as they helped win leagues all across the world.
2015 offered fantasy football players a very interesting season. With star players like Le’Veon Bell and Tony Romo missing the majority of the season due to injuries and weekly byes, owners were forced week after week to supplement their lineups.
Some players even ended up having better seasons than some top performing players. Although they fell short of making this list because they ranked a little higher, there are a few honorable mentions: Chris Ivory, Todd Gurley, and the defense/special teams of the Denver Broncos.
You didn’t need to have an A-list team, it just needed to be better than your opponents team. If you had a good draft and worked the waiver wire with efficiency, there is no doubt you reaped many benefits this past fantasy season.
This list is ranked by the number of games played, average fantasy points per game and total points for the season in a point per run league. Let’s take a look at the top 50 fantasy football players of 2015.
Next: 50. This Jaguar had over 1,000 receiving yards
Dec 27, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Allen Hurns (88) runs after a catch against the New Orleans Saints during the first quarter at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
50. Allen Hurns
Every year the Jacksonville Jaguars get slightly better, and only a select few players ever make it fantasy line-ups. But, this season Allen Hurns offered owners weeks of high scoring points per game.
This season, Hurns completed more than half of his 100 targets. He also had a season that offered over 1,000 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns.
His best game was Week 4 against the Indianapolis Colts. He completed 11-of-15 targets and a touchdown. He earned over 30 fantasy points in that match-up.
Hurns averaged 15 points per game this season. It’s no wonder he was owned in about 80% of leagues.
Next: 49. This Bear didn't scare anyone starting the season
Dec 27, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA; Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) throws a pass during the first quarter of a football game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports
49. Jay Cutler
You have all heard the saying, actions speak louder than words. Well, what more can I say about Jay Cutler other than he was owned in 35 percent of leagues.
If we can call it his best game, it came during a Week 10 match-up against the Los Angeles Rams. Cutler completed three passing touchdowns earning 40 fantasy points.
Cutler only averaged 15 fantasy points per game; definitely not what owners are looking for. However, with 226 total points on the season, he still managed to do better than fellow quarterbacks Sam Bradford and Matt Cassel.
Next: 48. This tight end will be going to the Super Bowl
Jan 24, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers tight end Greg Olsen (88) celebrates after beating the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC Championship football game at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
48. Greg Olsen
Regardless of who wins the Super Bowl, Greg Olsen had an amazing season. His connection with Cam Newton is something quarterbacks only dream of.
He opened the season with a bang in Week 3 against the New Orleans Saints. I’ll let you in on a little secret, about half of this list had their best performance against the Saints.
Olsen had a season high of 134 receiving yards and two touchdowns. He brought home 50 points in that Week 3 match-up.
There were only a couple weeks out of the season Olsen didn’t earn double-digit points. He averaged about 14 points per game and had 227 for the season.
Next: 47. Nothing stops Big Ben
Jan 17, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger (7) warms up before a AFC Divisional round playoff game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
It’s not often you find a quarterback so high on the list; unless your Jay Cutler. But, if you were Ben Roethlisberger and had two season injuries, you’re just thankful to have made the list.
Missing four games this season, Roethlisberger spent some time on the bench. Two injuries were no road block for “Big Ben” as he still managed to average 19 fantasy points per game.
In Week 13, Roethlisberger had a season high of four touchdowns against the Indianapolis Colts. He managed to post 60 points in that match-up.
Roethlisberger had multiple weeks where he earned well over 40 points per game. I have no doubt he would have been ranked top 10 had he not missed a few games.
Next: 46. He is the only Eagle to make the list
Nov 8, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver Jordan Matthews (81) carries the ball as he is chased by Dallas Cowboys free safety J.J. Wilcox (27) during a game at AT&T Stadium. Eagles won 33-27 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Ray Carlin-USA TODAY Sports
46. Jordan Matthews
We need to give Jordan Matthews a round of applause! He is the only Philadelphia Eagle to make the top 50 fantasy performers of 2015.
Matthews straight disrespected the Arizona Cardinals in Week 15. He had a season high of 159 receiving yards and a touchdown for a little more than 50 points.
He totaled 230 points for the season and averaged 14 points per game.
Next: 45. He helped improve the Raiders
Dec 6, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; Oakland Raiders wide receiver Michael Crabtree (15) catches the ball but is unable to stay in bounds ahead of Kansas City Chiefs cornerback Sean Smith (21) during the third quarter at O.co Coliseum. Kansas City defeated Oakland 34-20. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
45. Michael Crabtree
Drafting a great wide receiver is your fantasy football livelihood. Hopefully if you drafted Michael Crabtree, you also drafted someone that would make up for his inconsistent tendencies.
Crabtree looked to have a better connection with quarterback Derek Carr this season. In Week 9, we watched him earn 40 points as he completed two touchdowns against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
He averaged just about 15 points per game and 231 for the season. Since 2014, Crabtree added 100 points to his fantasy season total.
Next: 44. Not all of the Dolphins washed up shore
Dec 14, 2015; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; New York Giants linebacker J.T. thomas (55) falls behind as Miami Dolphins running back Lamar Miller (26) scores on a first quarter run at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Innerarity-USA TODAY Sports
44. Lamar Miller
When your team is lacking quarterback capabilities, you no other option but to focus your efforts on a running game. That was partially the situation with Lamar Miller.
Don’t get me wrong, he didn’t have a great season. But, with a few explosive games, he brought his average to almost 15 fantasy points per game.
This was the case in Week 7 against the Houston Texans. He had a season high of 175 rushing yards and 8 touchdowns as well as 61 receiving yards and a touchdown. Miller earned almost 70 points that week.
Next: 43. A Buccaneer rushing with purpose
Dec 27, 2015; Tampa, FL, USA;Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin (22) runs out of the tunnel before the game against the Chicago Bears at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
43. Doug Martin
Not too many players of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers made it to the list. Not only did Doug Martin make the list but, he’s one of only five running backs to make the top 50.
It’s hard to depend on a running back because depending on how the game is going, a team may need to focus on a passing game to win. However, Martin offered consistent points week by week averaging almost 15 points per game.
It was even better when he had a good match-up, kind of like when he played the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 5. He had receiving yards and rushing yards for two touchdowns and 50 fantasy points.
His 97% ownership is validated by his season performance. Keep him on the radar for next season.
Next: 42. This Steeler was a filler who dominated
Dec 20, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers running back DeAngelo Williams (34) runs the ball against the Denver Broncos during the first quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Jason Bridge-USA TODAY Sports
After a Week 8 injury, Le’Veon Bell was ruled out for the season. If you’re as smart as me, you quickly drafted DeAngelo Williams.
Week 9 came and owners knew they were golden. Williams had a season high of 170 rushing yards and two touchdowns against the Oakland Raiders; he earned 50 fantasy points in his break-out game.
Williams averaged a little under 15 fantasy points per game totaling 233. Not too bad for a player who earned negative points in Week 6.
Next: 41. The Falcon owned in 80% of leagues
Jan 3, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan (2) attempts a pass in the first quarter of their game against the New Orleans Saints at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
41. Matt Ryan
You know you had a rough season when tight ends and running backs score more points than you. If you haven’t guessed, I am talking about quarterback Matt Ryan.
All season Ryan was a boom or bust; that’s not a good thing. Week 14 against the Carolina Panthers, Ryan rushed for negative yards, an interception, and only one touchdown; if you were lucky he gave you five points.
Ironically enough, his best performance came two weeks later against the same team that just demolished him. Ryan had over 300 yards and a touchdown for almost 35 points in Week 16.
Ryan averaged about a little over 14 points per game which is not ideal for a quarterback. Randomly, he was owned in 80% of leagues.
Next: 40. Another tight end makes the list
Nov 30, 2015; Cleveland, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns tight end Gary Barnidge (82) makes a catch on a pass from quarterback Josh McCown (not pictured) in the first half against the Baltimore Ravens at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports
40. Gary Barnidge
Gary Barnidge is the second tight end to make the list. I was surprised to see he fell below Greg Olsen, who has really impacted the Panthers in their Super Bowl season.
Barnidge doesn’t offer a huge wow factor but, in a league where most teams don’t utilize a tight end, averaging almost 15 points per game isn’t too shabby. He totaled 237 points for the season, only trailing Jordan Reed by about 15 points.
He had a season high of 139 receiving yards and a touchdown against the Baltimore Ravens in Week 5. Barnidge left owners with about 40 fantasy points.
With slim pickings in the tight end department, Barnidge was a decent draft. It’s understandable as he was owned in 90% of leagues.
Next: 39. This Chief led the team in targets
Jan 9, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Jeremy Maclin (19) catches a pass during the AFC Wild Card playoff football game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium . Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
39. Jeremy Maclin
The Chiefs may not have had the total package this season, they managed to secure a Wild Card position. With quarterback Alex Smith not having an endless amount of receiver options, Jeremy Maclin had several opportunities to score big.
With a few good match-ups, Maclin was able to earn over 40 fantasy points per game, while the remainder of the season offered little or no fantasy value. He averaged about 16 fantasy points per game.
I wasn’t too impressed with his performance compared to other available receivers but he was adequate for the most part.
Next: 38. A Charger that surprised many
Dec 24, 2015; Oakland, CA, USA; San Diego Chargers running back Danny Woodhead (39) carries the ball against the Oakland Raiders during the fourth quarter at O.co Coliseum. The Oakland Raiders defeated the San Diego Chargers 23-20. Mandatory Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports
38. Danny Woodhead
When I saw Danny Woodhead made this list, I literally laughed out loud. There were multiple weeks he didn’t even earn five fantasy points per game.
Amazingly, Woodhead was owned in 75% of leagues. I even told my fantasy opponents to drop him because I felt bad.
But, a few good games made his average points per game a little under 16. Woodhead totaled 244 points for the season which isn’t terrible for a running back.
Week 15 was by far Woodhead’s best game of the season. He scored a rushing touchdown and three receiving touchdowns against the Dolphins; he posted 35 fantasy points that week.
Next: 37. A Bengal worth starting
Dec 13, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Andy Dalton (14) passes the ball against the Pittsburgh Steelers in the first quarter at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark Zerof-USA TODAY Sports
37. Andy Dalton
I was shocked to see Andy Dalton on this list. Didn’t he completely throw away the second half of the season?
It’s so weird, Dalton literally had 30 or more points per game in Weeks 2, 3, 4 and 5. Then in Week 10, a fully healthy Dalton bombed against the Houston Texans, not even scoring double-digit fantasy points.
But, if we go back to Week 3, Dalton had three passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown earning 50 points against the Baltimore Ravens.
Dalton was owned in half of the leagues this season. Owners stuck with him as he had a handful of games that gave them reason to hold onto hope that he’ll eventually break out big. It didn’t happen often after his initial burst at the start of the season.
Next: 36. A Redskin with a ton of potential
Jan 10, 2016; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins tight end Jordan Reed (86) scores a touchdown in front of Green Bay Packers strong safety Micah Hyde (33) during the first half in a NFC Wild Card playoff football game at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
36. Jordan Reed
Jordan Reed had weeks where he ranked among players like Rob Gronkowski. He was owned in 60% of leagues everywhere as he only got better as the season progressed.
Reed developed nicely over the year, increasing his fantasy totals by almost 150 since 2014. He ended the season with 244 points averaging a little over 17 points per game.
He went above and beyond 17 points in a Week 16 match-up against the Philadelphia Eagles. Reed had his season high of 129 receiving yards and two touchdowns; he earned almost 50 fantasy points that week.
Keep in mind Reed also missed a few games that added little or no points per game those weeks. Inconsistent or not, averaging 17 points a game is definitely a tight end you wanted all season.
Next: 35. This Titan triumphed in 2015
Nov 29, 2015; Nashville, TN, USA; Tennessee Titans tight end Delanie Walker (82) catches the ball prior to the game against the Oakland Raiders at Nissan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
35. Delanie Walker
Delanie Walker is another great tight end the league has to offer. But, you already know that being he was owned in 96% of leagues; he should be.
Walker among half of this list had his best game of 2015 against the Saints in Week 9. He was a little shy of having a 100 yard game and managed to reel in two touchdowns for 40 fantasy points.
Among one of the highest ranking tight ends, Walker averaged a little more than 16 points per game ending the season with 244 points, leaving owners more than satisfied.
Next: 34. This Jet scored in almost every game
Dec 13, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Eric Decker (87) spikes the ball in the end zone after catching a touchdown pass against the Tennessee Titans during the first quarter at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
34. Eric Decker
The New York Jets had an unpredictably fantastic season. Nearly earning the Wild Card position in the playoffs, there were a few players that out shined others; Eric Decker is one of them.
No matter how bad of a game the Jets had, Decker always posted double-digit fantasy points. I am shocked he was owned in only 75% of leagues because, if he hadn’t missed two games, he probably would have had a better ranking on this list.
Week after week we saw Decker rule the field. He averaged almost 17 points per game ending the season with 252 total.
Decker is as consistent as they come when it comes to wide receivers. He scored a touchdown in almost every one of his games.
Decker’s best fantasy game was Week 13 against the New York Giants where he had his first 100+ receiving yard game of the season. Decker made a statement earning a little more than 30 points against the other team of New York.
Next: 33. A Saint making a cameo
Dec 27, 2015; New Orleans, LA, USA; New Orleans Saints wide receiver Brandin Cooks (10) gestures after a catch in the second half against the Jacksonville Jaguars at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports
33. Brandin Cooks
I can’t believe a Saints player made it to this list. Actually, I can’t believe multiple Saint players made it to the list with the rough season they had.
Brandin Cooks is the type of player you start on a week to week basis based on his match-ups. Cooks is capable of earning 20 points per game, and yet he still has weeks where he didn’t even reach double-digits.
And then he throws us all for a loop in the Week 16 game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Cooks had 10 rushing yards, 123 receiving yards and a touchdown posting 50 fantasy points.
I am not sure his inconsistency made him a valuable asset but, he ended up averaging a little under 16 points per game for a total of 253.
Next: 32. This Patriot excelled at his position
Jan 24, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski (87) leaps over Denver Broncos defensive back Shiloh Keo (33) in the second half in the AFC Championship football game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
32. Rob Gronkowski
If a fantasy owner had to pick just one tight end heading into the fantasy football season, it easily goes to Rob Gronkowski. Increasing his fantasy points by almost 50 since 2014, he delivered nicely in 2015.
Gronkowski averaged about 17 points per game, and probably would have appeared lower on the list had he not been injured for one game. Even still, a tight end who averages 17 points per game is a keeper as most teams don’t have star tight ends like Gronkowski.
We saw him destroy the Miami Dolphins in Week 8. He had 113 receiving yards on seven targets and one touchdown reeling in about 45 points that game.
Gronkowski is a staple name in the NFL and in fantasy football, he once again lived up to the hype last season.
Next: 31. This Dolphin was a boom or bust
Jan 3, 2016; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill sets up to pass in the first half against the New England Patriots at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Innerarity-USA TODAY Sports
31. Ryan Tannehill
I say this next statement with a little humor behind it. Ryan Tannehill wasn’t terrible all season. Miami Dolphin fans may disagree but, fantasy owners benefited a few times this season.
He was mainly a two quarterback league play or a filler in most leagues. Most leagues is probably an overstatement as, he was only owned in 24% of leagues.
But, with the right match-up he lit up the scoreboard. In Week 7, he completed 18-of-19 targets and four touchdowns against the Houston Texans, earning over 40 fantasy points.
Let’s also not forget his Week 17 closeout against the New England Patriots. Tannehill completed 25-of-38 passes, two touchdowns and added 17 rushing yards to the game. See, he wasn’t awful all season.
Next: 30. This Viking bounced back in 2015
Dec 27, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) against the New York Giants at TCF Bank Stadium. The Vikings defeated the Giants 49-17. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
30. Adrian Peterson
Coming into this season we weren’t sure what to expect from Adrian Peterson. Coming back after an entire year after injuring his groin and being indicted on child abuse charges, this was either going to be a make it or break it season for Peterson.
With a 100% ownership, I would say it was a make it season. Peterson average a little over 16 points per game ending the season with 260, which is outrageous for a running back.
In Week 10, the Minnesota Vikings took on the Oakland Raiders where Peterson had an unbelievable 203 rushing yards and a touchdown. Owners were left beyond satisfied with 50 points that week. AP still got it!
Next: 29. Megatron continues to impress
Oct 25, 2015; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson (81) points for a first down during the first quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at Ford Field. Mandatory Credit: Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
29. Calvin Johnson
Calvin Johnson is one of the best wide receivers in the league. Living up to his nickname “Megatron,” has been a hot pick the last few years.
Although he didn’t light up the charts like he has in recent years, he still managed to average a little over 16 points per game. Johnson totaled 261 points for the season which is almost 100 points less than 2014.
His most impressive performance came in Week 6 against the Bears. He had 166 receiving yards for one touchdown topping the charts at almost 50 points for that game.
Next: 28. This wide receiver is going to the Super Bowl
Jan 17, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Denver Broncos wide receiver Demaryius Thomas (88) celebrates after scoring on a two-point conversion against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the fourth quarter of the AFC Divisional round playoff game at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports
28. Demaryius Thomas
If you play daily fantasy, you’re probably going to recognize this Bronco. Demaryius Thomas not only exploded this season but he’s become a hot play in daily fantasy playoff games.
This Super Bowl stud has been dominating the field all season; he was owned in 100% of leagues. Although he decreased his total fantasy points since 2014, he totaled 267 points averaging a little under 17 per game.
His top performing week was against the Green Bay Packers in Week 8. He didn’t even manage to secure one touchdown and still earned 40 points in that match-up.
The Denver Broncos had a great season, and these Super Bowl winning hopefuls have proven why they’re a force to reckon with. With or without Peyton Manning, Thomas continuously dominated the fantasy season.
Next: 27. This Seahawk had a breakout year
Jan 3, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Seattle Seahawks wide receiver Doug Baldwin (89) leaps to catch a second quarter pass against the Arizona Cardinals at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
27. Doug Baldwin
Doug Baldwin had a comical season. It took the wide receiver a few weeks to get the hang of things before having a breakout year.
In the first couple of games, Baldwin wasn’t even averaging double-digit fantasy points per game. But by Week 10 we saw a completely different Baldwin as he posted 40 points against the Arizona Cardinals.
By Week 12, Baldwin exceeded his Week 10 performance against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Baldwin completed 145 receiving yards and three touchdowns soaring the fantasy charts with 60 points.
By the end of the season, Baldwin was averaging almost 17 points per game for a total of 268 points. His 78% ownership probably be a little higher next season as this wide receiver proved to be beneficial.
Next: 26. Another Dolphin makes the list
Nov 29, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; Miami Dolphins wide receiver Jarvis Landry (14) catches a touchdown pass while being defended by New York Jets cornerback Darrin Walls (26) during the second half at MetLife Stadium. The Jets defeated the Dolphins 38-20. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports
26. Jarvis Landry
The Dolphins had everything but a good season. Losing two coaches after a couple pitiful losses, it’s surprising a Dolphin excelled so greatly.
For the most part, Jarvis Landry consistently scored double-digit fantasy points. He averaged almost 17 points per game and was owned in 97% of leagues.
Landry’s best game was a Week 12 match-up against the Jets. Although the Dolphins couldn’t win the game, Landry had 165 receiving yards and a touchdown; he received 50 fantasy points for that performance.
Next: 25. This Chief delivered for the most part
Jan 16, 2016; Foxborough, MA, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Alex Smith (11) throws a pass during the first quarter against the New England Patriots in the AFC Divisional round playoff game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports
25. Alex Smith
Kansas City looked like the team to beat until they were knocked out of the playoffs. Oddly enough this playoff team was headed by Alex Smith, a quarterback who was inconsistent and mediocre all season.
I couldn’t imagine drafting Smith unless I had to replace an injured Tony Romo or Joe Flacco. In Week 2, he didn’t even earn double-digit points against the Denver Broncos.
Then again in Week 4, he managed to earn 35 fantasy points with no touchdowns! That’s wild, you can’t win fantasy with a quarterback who doesn’t even throw consistent touchdowns.
He averaged a little under 17 points per game which in my opinion, puts him in the same category as Tannehill. With these numbers his less than 35% ownership makes sense.
Next: 24. This Bill charged in 2015
Jan 3, 2016; Orchard Park, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills quarterback Tyrod Taylor (5) runs for a first down during the second half against the New York Jets at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Bills beat the Jets 22-17. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports
24. Tyrod Taylor
One cannot deny that Tyrod Taylor showed up when it counted this season for the Buffalo Bills.
Even after missing two games, Taylor beat out Tannehill who played all season. Had Taylor not missed those games, he might have appeared lower on the list as he averaged 19 points per game.
His best performance was in Week 13 against the Houston Texans. He threw for a little over 200 yards and three touchdowns posting 40 points. He ended the fantasy season with 271 points.
Next: 23. A Raider that didn't disappoint
Jan 3, 2016; Kansas City, MO, USA; Oakland Raiders quarterback Derek Carr (4) scrambles in the pocket against the Kansas City Chiefs in the first half at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports
23. Derek Carr
The Oakland Raiders had us all fooled. Looking like a playoff team in the beginning of the season, their random burst of excellence slowly dwindled throughout the year. However, if you drafted Derek Carr, he didn’t upset you too much this season.
Carr earned 60 fantasy points in his Week 8 match-up against the Jets. He threw for 333 yards and four touchdowns. He ended the season averaging 17 fantasy points per game totaling 273.
Carr was owned in about 75% of leagues. My assumption would be that the other 25% were in one quarterback leagues.
Next: 22. He was owned in 100% of leagues
Dec 28, 2015; Denver, CO, USA; Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green (18) pulls in a touchdown as Denver Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib (21) defends in the first quarter at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
22. A.J. Green
Picking a strong wide receiver in the beginning of a fantasy draft is always a good thing because they usually earn the most points. There’s no surprise here that A.J. Green was owned in 100% of leagues because of everything he brought to the table.
He ended the season with 9 touchdowns and over 1,500 yards. He averaged 17 fantasy points per game, totaling 273 for the season.
He made a statement coming into the season posting 70 points in Week 3. He had his season high of 227 yards and two touchdowns against the Ravens.
He increased his 2014 fantasy total by about 50 points this season which is incredible to say the least.
Next: 21. A surprise rookie year by this Buccaneer
Jan 3, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) drops back to pass in the second quarter against the Carolina Panthers at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports
21. Jameis Winston
You never really knew what to expect from Jameis Winston when it came to his fantasy value. He is probably the only quarterback to not ball out against the New Orleans Saints, barely bringing in double-digit points in Week 2.
However, like most, he did have a good game against the Chicago Bears in Week 16. Winston fell just short of having a 300 yard game for two touchdowns offering 40 fantasy points.
Winston averaged about 17 points per game, and although that doesn’t compare to players like Tom Brady, his 275 total points made him a good two quarterback league candidate.
Next: 20. This Cardinal dominated the field
Jan 24, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; Arizona Cardinals wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald (11) runs with the ball against Carolina Panthers outside linebacker Thomas Davis (58) during the first quarter in the NFC Championship football game at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
20. Larry Fitzgerald
Even though I had a good fantasy season, there are a handful of players I wish I could have gotten my hands on. Larry Fitzgerald is definitely one of those players.
He’s no Brandon Marshall but he consistently earned double-digit points averaging about 17 points per game. Fitzgerald totaled 280 for the season.
His best game was early in the season against the Bears. This Week 3 match-up offered Fitzgerald over 100 yards and three touchdowns, bringing home 50 points.
Next: 19. He wasn't always consistent but this Charger delivered
Jan 3, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; San Diego Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers (17) during the first half against the Denver Broncos at Sports Authority Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports
19. Philip Rivers
The interesting thing about Philip Rivers is that he can have a 30 fantasy point week followed by a 10 point week. But, on average, he earned a little under 18 points per game.
When Rivers played the Ravens in Week 8, he had 301 passing yards and three touchdowns. He gave owners a whopping 43 points that week.
I also find it odd that he was owned in more than 85% of leagues. His inconsistency would have been a red flag for me but, his 284 points for the season isn’t too bad.
Next: 18. Fear the beard of this Jet
Jan 3, 2016; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick (14) throws a pass during the second half against the Buffalo Bills at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Bills beat the Jets 22 to 17. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
18. Ryan Fitzpatrick
I will let you in on a little secret. I won my fantasy football league with Ryan Fitzpatrick and Matthew Stafford!
Who could have known Fitzpatrick would have his career best season averaging almost 18 fantasy points per game? He ended the season with 285 total points.
Ironically enough, his best week was the New York duel as the Jets took on the Giants. With only two touchdowns, Fitzpatrick reached a season high of 390 passing yards leaving owners with 40 points in Week 13.
I am confident this veteran’s 27% ownership will increase dramatically in 2016. Fitzpatrick is like a good wine, he gets better with age.
Next: 17. This Giant came in strong in 2015
Jan 3, 2016; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning (10) throws the ball during the first quarter against the Philadelphia Eagles at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jim O
17. Eli Manning
Eli Manning and the New York Giants had a rough season to say the least. But, he played enough good games to have appeared on the top 20 of this list.
Surprise surprise, Manning had his best game against the Saints in Week 8. With 350 passing yards and six touchdowns, Manning brought home 60 fantasy points.
He averaged about 18 points per game giving owners a little over 285 points for the season. This household name was owned in 91% of teams.
Next season will be interesting to see this career long Giant with a new coach. Things will only get better for Manning in 2016.
Next: 16. This Lion was a leader on the field
Jan 3, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; Detroit Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford (9) looks to pass the ball against the Chicago Bears during the first half at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
16. Matthew Stafford
My man Matthew Stafford! I truly believe I am the only person who purposely drafts Matthew Stafford, and why not, he really is a good quarterback.
Stafford consistently dominated, averaging 18 points per game. That was until he played the Bears in their Week 6 match-up.
Stafford nearly doubled his normal passing game for a total of 405 yards. He completed four passing touchdowns and he left owners with at least 50 fantasy points that week.
He earned 290 fantasy points this season, but was only owned in 50% of leagues which is more than our next player.
Next: 15. Shame on you if you didn't draft this Redskin
Jan 10, 2016; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) warms up prior to the NFC Wild Card playoff football game against the Green Bay Packers at FedEx Field. Mandatory Credit: Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports
15. Kirk Cousins
All season, especially the last half, Kirk Cousins appeared on my start and sleeper lists. If you didn’t listen to me, you’re probably shaking you’re head right now but, you fall in the majority because Cousins was only owned in about 40% of leagues.
Unless you’re playing daily fantasy, I couldn’t imagine why you wouldn’t want a quarterback that averaged a little over 18 points per game. Cousins posted almost 300 fantasy points this season.
When he played the Saints in Week 10, he completed four touchdowns earning owners 50 points. Just when we thought Cousins had his best game, he posted almost 60 points against the Buffalo Bills in Week 15.
Don’t let names scare you, Cousins had a great season, he even took the Washington Redskins to the playoffs.
Next: 14. This Packer was a touchdown throwing machine
January 16, 2016; Glendale, AZ, USA; Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) throws before playing against the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC Divisional round playoff game at University of Phoenix Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports
14. Aaron Rodgers
Whether it was the regular season or post season, Aaron Rodgers for the most part delivered. But, at the end of the day, I can’t say anything horrible about him because he actually is a good quarterback that has a mean Hail Mary.
Believe it or not, Rodgers posted almost 60 points in Week 9 against the Carolina Panthers, who rank No. 1 in the league. He had four touchdowns, the second most of his season.
He averaged a little over 18 points per game. Rodgers also totaled 30 touchdowns, bringing owners 301 points for the season.
Next: 13. This Jaguar was on the prowl in 2015
Dec 6, 2015; Nashville, TN, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars wide receiver Allen Robinson (15) catches a pass to score a touchdown against Tennessee Titans cornerback Perrish Cox (29) during the second half at Nissan Stadium. Tennessee won 42-39. Mandatory Credit: Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports
13. Allen Robinson
Allen Robinson is the second Jaguar to make it to the list. Yes, I was surprised there were multiples as well.
Surprisingly, his best week wasn’t against the Saints even though he earned 50 fantasy points. It was Week 2 in a match-up against the Dolphins.
Robinson had over 150 receiving yards and two touchdowns giving owners 60 points. He averaged 19 points per game for a season total of 304.
He nearly tripled his fantasy points from 2014. Robinson was owned in 98% of leagues as owners knew he would be a nice sleeper in 2015.
Next: 12. This Saint deserves some major recognition
Jan 3, 2016; Atlanta, GA, USA; New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) passes against the Atlanta Falcons during the first quarter at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
12. Drew Brees
Ironically enough, most players on this list have had their greatest weeks against the New Orleans Saints. Now that Drew Brees makes it into the final 12, fantasy owners knew that he would be a viable option in 2015.
Brees had one incredible performance against the Giants. During their Week 8 match-up, Brees completed seven touchdowns, yes seven! He posted over 65 fantasy points during that game.
When he wasn’t blowing the Giants out of the water, he was averaging 20 points per game for a total of 306. This household name proved he still has it, even if the rest of his team doesn’t.
Next: 11. A huge season by this Cardinal
Jan 24, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer (3) throws a pass during the first quarter against the Carolina Panthers in the NFC Championship football game at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
11. Carson Palmer
Slow and steady wins the race when it comes to Carson Palmer. He consistently performed all season having had only one week scoring less than 20 points.
Week 1 seemed to be Palmer’s most productive week earning 50 fantasy points against the Saints. Until, he met the Cleveland Browns in Week 8 and posted about 52.
Palmer averaged 19 points per game and totaled 309 for the season. This playoff caliber quarterback was the way to go this season.
Next: 10. A Jaguar on the rise
Jan 3, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Blake Bortles (5) throws during the game against the Houston Texans at NRG Stadium. Houston won 30-6. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
10. Blake Bortles
If the Jaguars could just tweak a few things, they have potential to be a very good team. If you don’t believe me, you must not have owned Blake Bortles this season.
Bortles had 35 touchdowns trailing behind Tom Brady by only one. He also totaled over 4,000 yards for the season.
He averaged about 19 fantasy points per game for a total of 316. His best week was against the Saints where he completed four touchdowns for 50 fantasy points.
He beat out playoff quarterbacks in total points. It’s hard to believe but Bortles showed up big time this season.
Next: 9. A Falcon making a statement in 2015
Dec 20, 2015; Jacksonville, FL, USA; Atlanta Falcons running back Devonta Freeman (24) scores a touchdown in front of Jacksonville Jaguars middle linebacker Paul Posluszny (51) during the first quarter at EverBank Field. Mandatory Credit: Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports
Devonta Freeman made a statement this season. He managed over 1,000 yards and 13 touchdowns in his second year in the league.
Week after week he made owners proud as he averaged 21 points per game for a total of 316. He dominated against teams like the Redskins and the Saints.
However, his most impressive performance came in Week 3 against the Dallas Cowboys. Dominating the rushing and receiving game, he completed three touchdowns and posted over 50 points for owners.
Next: 8. This Giant wears his emotions on the field
Dec 20, 2015; East Rutherford, NJ, USA; New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (13) signals first down after a catch and run against the Carolina Panthers during the fourth quarter at MetLife Stadium. The Panthers defeated the Giants 38-35. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
The Giants had a long season ahead of them without star wide receiver Victor Cruz. Odell Beckham Jr. stepped in as their No. 1 receiver and he literally exploded.
From his one-handed catches to his wing span abilities to outreach many of his opponents, Beckham delivered. Even after a one game suspension, Beckham’s numbers topped most players.
He had multiple games where he posted over 40 points. In Week 8, he posted about 60 points against the Saints.
He averaged a little over 21 points per game for a total of 319 this season. Talk about having a great sophomore season when it comes to his fantasy football value.
Next: 7. This Texan consistently excelled in 2015
Jan 3, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Houston Texans wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins (10) runs with the ball during the first half against the Jacksonville Jaguars at NRG Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports
Another popular wide receiver in the fantasy world is DeAndre Hopkins. He averaged a little over 20 points per game.
Hopkins completed 11 touchdowns and 1,432 yards this season. His best game earned 50 fantasy points in Week 11 against the Jets.
Hopkins earned owners a total of 331 fantasy points this season, which is almost a 100 point increase since 2014. He was one of the most consistent at his position all season long when it came to fantasy points.
Next: 6. This Seahawk continued to build his legacy
Jan 17, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) looks to pass during the fourth quarter against the Carolina Panthers in a NFC Divisional round playoff game at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports
Russell Wilson not only led the Seattle Seahawks to the playoffs but, chances are if you owned him in a league, he took you pretty far this season being he was owned in 99% of leagues.
Wilson totaled 3,827 yards and 31 touchdowns this season. He averaged about 21 points per game for a total of 336 points this season.
His best performance came in Week 12 against the Pittsburgh Steelers where he completed his season high of five touchdowns in one game. Wilson posted 50 points that week as he is no doubt a definite fantasy star.
Next: 5. This Jet made NFL history in 2015
Jan 3, 2016; Orchard Park, NY, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Brandon Marshall (15) jumps to make a catch while being defended by Buffalo Bills strong safety Leodis McKelvin (21) during the first half at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports
As we head into the top five fantasy football players of 2015, one better believe wide receiver Brandon Marshall makes it. Marshall had a career-high season breaking all kinds of NFL and franchise records for the Jets, which reflected fantasy scores tremendously.
Although Marshall averaged 21.2 points per game, his highest scoring game was in Week 12 against the Dolphins. He completed 9-of-11 receptions for over 130 yards and two touchdowns posting 50 fantasy points.
He completed the season with 1,376 yards and 13 touchdowns. Marshall totaled 339 points this season which almost doubled his 2014 fantasy points.
Next: 4. This Patriot continued to silence his critics
Jan 16, 2016; Foxborough, MA, USA; New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady (12) signals to the sideline during the second quarter against the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Divisional round playoff game at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports
4. Tom Brady
No matter how much you think he’s a cheater, or just can’t stand him, you can’t say anything bad about Tom Brady. Especially if you owned him in your fantasy league this season.
Brady had 36 passing touchdowns for a total of 4,636 yards. He also had three rushing touchdowns earning owners 344 fantasy points this season.
Aside from him averaging 21.5 points per game, his best game was Week 8 against the Dolphins. Brady completed 356 passing yards and four touchdowns for 50 fantasy points.
Oddly enough, Brady was owned in 99% of leagues. I guess that one percent didn’t mind losing out on a great quarterback; must have been a Jets fan.
Next: 3. This Falcon averaged 23 fantasy points per game
Nov 1, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Julio Jones (11) runs against Tampa Bay Buccaneers cornerback Mike Jenkins (24) after a catch during the first quarter at the Georgia Dome. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports
3. Julio Jones
Julio Jones was definitely one of the first wide receivers to go in your fantasy league. He consistently lit up the scoreboard averaging 23 points per game.
Jones opened the season with a bang against the Eagles. He completed 9 receptions and two touchdowns, earning owners 50 fantasy points in Week 1.
He continued this the following week when he posted 40 fantasy points. That was only the first two weeks of the season. Jones has really become beneficial to the game and totaled 375 fantasy points this season. There’s no doubt he was a hot draft pick in 2015.
Next: 2. This Steeler was the top performing receiver of 2015
Jan 3, 2016; Cleveland, OH, USA; Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Antonio Brown (84) runs with the ball after a catch as Cleveland Browns cornerback Pierre Desir (26) defends during the first quarter at FirstEnergy Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports
Antonio Brown made a huge impact on any fantasy team. He was a catalyst on the Steelers’ offense as he consistently put up great numbers, even at times without Ben Roethlisberger, defenders respected his presence on the football field.
He averaged almost 24 points per game and in multiple games, he posted over 40, like we saw in Week 10 against the Browns.
Brown was no match-up for the Browns. He completed 10-of-14 receptions and two touchdowns, earning owners about 60 fantasy points.
He finished the season with nine touchdowns and over 1,600 receiving yards and was owned in 100% of leagues. If you drafted him congratulations, he earned 382 fantasy points this season!
Next: 1. Maybe he really is Superman
Jan 24, 2016; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) dabs during the fourth quarter against the Arizona Cardinals in the NFC Championship football game at Bank of America Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
1. Cam Newton
If you drafted any Carolina Panther to your team in 2015, then you had a good season. But, if you were able to snag Cam Newton, you were probably the most hated player in your league.
He earned passing points, running points, touchdown points; he was all over the place this season. Newton averaged a little over 24 fantasy points per game but, there were some games he earned over 40.
In Week 3 and Week 13, Newton played the Saints and had a combined total of over 100 fantasy points for those games alone. He also threw five touchdowns in Week 13.
Need more? Newton destroyed the Giants in their Week 15 match-up. He completed five passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown for over 65 fantasy points that game for a season total of 389 points. Newton is one of the main reasons why the Panthers are headed to Super Bowl 50.