NFL Midseason Awards: Honoring Players Not Named DeMarco Murray and Peyton Manning
You come to numberFire for objective, stat-driven analysis. But that doesn't mean we hate fun.
Search the Google machine for "NFL midseason awards" and you'll find lists of who the MVP should be, who's the best rookie and which coach deserves to be Coach of the Year. That's boring. Why would you want to read more about DeMarco Murray and Peyton Manning?
So instead of handing out fake midseason player awards to the best in the biz, let's take a look at some more unique ones.
The "How Am I Still Seeing Snaps?" Award
Chris Johnson's been terrible in 2014, you guys. Among the 53 running backs with 50 or more carries this year, CJIDontEvenBeInTheGameK ranks 37th in Rushing Net Expected Points per rush. That doesn't seem awful until you realize that his teammate, Chris Ivory, in the exact same situation, ranks 3rd.
Johnson has a Success Rate of 38.81% on the ground, a bottom-tier number, and has totaled a -7.63 Target NEP - points added by a player on all targets - this year. It was good to see his volume decrease last week for the Jets, because he isn't deserving of snaps given his play.
The "Get This Man Some Stickum" Award
Vincent "Stone Hands" Jackson could and probably should win this award every year, so it shouldn't be a surprise to see his name in the winner row. Among all players with 20 or more catches this year, Jackson's catch rate ranks dead last in the league at 40%. He's always had a low catch rate, but he's pacing for a new career low in 2014. Ouch.
The "Runs Like Trent Richardson" Award
I couldn't give this award to Trent Richardson himself because he's actually run the ball fairly well this year. But funny enough, his teammate last season who showed us all why Richardson was nothing more than a plodder is the one who's run most like 2013's T-Rich.
Brown doesn't have the lowest Rushing NEP in the league, but that's because he's only run the ball 59 times. With each tote, however, he's lost 0.24 points for the Chargers. That's nearly twice as inefficient as Jonathan Stewart.
I couldn't fault anyone for giving this award to Toby Gerhart though. The Jags' back has a Rushing NEP per rush of -0.23 this season, and lost his job first to a guy named Storm and then to a college quarterback. It doesn't get much worse than that.
The "DGAF" Award
If you're unsure what DGAF is, go ahead and Google it. But know that it's NSFW.
The person who cares least about this award is Jay Cutler. Despite performing like a top-10 fantasy quarterback all season, Smokin' Jay ranks 23rd in Passing NEP. Why? Because Net Expected Points cares about what happens on the football field, while fantasy football - a game that couldn't care less about turnovers - was made for a guy like Cutler.
The "Back From the Dead" Award
Both players listed here are deserving of this award, but I had to give it to Bradshaw, who's all of a sudden one of the best running backs in the NFL after missing significant time a season ago.
Bradshaw's actually been a little overrated on the ground, cumulating a -4.53 Rushing NEP on the year. But through the air, even the 58-catch Matt Forte has a lower Reception NEP thanks to the Spider 2 Y Banana. Bradshaw just seems to always find the end zone through the air, making him such a stud in 2014.
The "Throws Like Kirk Cousins" Award
Backup quarterbacks getting benched by their new backup. That's the theme of this award.
I'd give Clipboard Jesus more love in any other season, but it's impossible to not give this award to the man who inspired it. After Colt McCoy's gutsy performance against Dallas last night, it's safe to say that Kirk Cousins won't see the field again this year. In fact, in one game, McCoy came within seven expected points of Cousins' Passing NEP total on the year. Maybe someday Cousins will get a chance to play on Monday Night Football as a third-stringer against one of the best teams in the league. He just better not throw like Kirk Cousins.
The "Runs Like a Dad" Award
I throw the phrase "runs like a dad" out there a lot, but trust me, one has to qualify to be a dad runner. No player has embodied the phrase more this season than Matt Asiata.
Asiata has now hauled in a -3.49 Rushing NEP on 74 carries, and has a Target NEP of -6.87. No, this isn't some sort of golf-like game - low scores aren't good.
Why is he the daddiest of runners? Because he ran close to a 4.80 40-yard dash and was starting for an NFL team this season. Shonn Greene could run that fast wearing carpenter jeans.
Scott Chandler gets an honorable mention because no player moves like he's out at the playground with his children more than him. But Asiata is the NFL's greatest dad runner so far this year.
The "Most T.V. Remotes Broken By Stealing Touchdowns" Award
I have to give props to numberFire writer Leo Howell for coming up with this award. There's nothing worse than watching a player on your fantasy football team not score because of some sort of illogical move made by the team he's on. Keenan Allen owners know what I'm talking about - every time you switch to a Chargers game, Eddie Royal is scoring a touchdown. It'd be easier to take if it was someone like Calvin Johnson, but Eddie Royal?
Honorable mention here goes out to Ben Roethlisberger and his goal-line audibles. Le'Veon Bell owners hate you, Ben.
The "Kevin Ogletree" Award
Kevin Ogletree will forever be remembered for his Week 1 outing in 2012 against the Giants, where he caught 8 balls on 11 targets for 114 yards and 2 scores.
Hopefully Allen Hurns won't have an award like this named after him in two years, but let's face the facts: He's this year's Kevin Ogletree. After Week 1, Hurns had a Reception NEP of 11.12 on just 4 catches. That's only tripled in seven games since.
Admittedly, Hurns' fantasy season is more usable this year than Ogletree's was. But man, he's probably not coming close to that Week 1 performance again this year.
The "Best Short Wide Receiver" Award
Team #TallWideReceiver is having a tough time in 2014, as the top two receivers in Reception NEP can't even ride some roller coasters. Pittsburgh's Antonio Brown takes the award here though, as he leads the league in NEP at wide receiver. Hilton's not far behind, and actually edges Brown in Target NEP and Reception NEP per target.
The "Least Like Peyton Manning" Award
I think I'd rather watch all five Scary Movie flicks than the The Jaguars' passing attack. After eight weeks, the team's passing game has an Adjusted Passing Net Expected Points score of -57.19, twice as inefficient as any other team in the NFL. At their current pace, they'll become one of the 10 worst passing teams the league has seen since 2000 according to our metrics.
I'm giving this award to Henne because, before he was benched, he average -0.35 NEP per drop back. For some comparison, that's about what Ryan Leaf averaged during his worst season in the NFL.
The "Probably Throws His Controller While Playing Video Games" Award
The passion that both Rivers and Bryant play with is good for their individual and team games, but that doesn't mean I want to sit down on the couch with them for an hour and play a game of Madden.
Rivers' insane demeanor gives him the award here. And to be honest, without his "I care so much about everything" attitude, I'm not sure he'd be the quarterback he is today. In 2014, he's third in the NFL in Passing NEP, and only Peyton Manning has been more effective on a per drop back basis.
So while you should probably wear a helmet if you're up against him in a game of Street Fighter, know that, well, his intensity is key to his success.