© St. Petersburg Times, published October 30, 2002
MVP: Priest Holmes.
Holmes is proving last season was no fluke. And in Kansas City's offense, he is good for 20 fantasy points a week no matter your scoring. He has four games of more than 50 yards receiving and four 100-yard rushing games and has scored every week but one, including weeks of four, three (twice) and two touchdowns.
RUNNERS-UP: Donovan McNabb and Rich Gannon. When he's on, there is no one better than McNabb. Gannon hasn't thrown for fewer than 330 yards since the opener.
BIGGEST FLOP: (tie) William Green and Johnnie Morton.
Green was the rookie running back du jour at draft time, but the Browns pick has been a bust. His best game was a 36-yard effort (he needed 17 carries), and in four of eight games he has fewer than 20. It makes you wonder why Cleveland hasn't gone exclusively with fantasy producer Jamel White.
Morton was expected to thrive in Kansas City's pass-happy offense. Is he still even in the league? After averaging 1,000 yards receiving the past five years in Detroit's offense (we use the term loosely), he's on pace for 404.
RUNNERS-UP: Keyshawn and Kevin Johnson. One touchdown apiece for guys expected to star in new high-powered offenses?
BIGGEST SURPRISE: Deuce McAllister.
Though he wasn't a draft-day risk, few thought McAllister would do this: over 100 yards every week but two, over 1,000 yards total offense and nine touchdowns. He already has as many touchdowns as Ricky Williams had in any one season and is a certain bet to smash Williams' total yardage mark of 1,756 last season.
RUNNERS-UP: Drew Bledsoe and Clinton Portis. Did anyone think Bledsoe would be averaging over 300 yards passing a game? And Portis figured to be the running back of the future with Denver, but in a crowded backfield that included Olandis Gary and Mike Anderson, the future wasn't supposed to be now. On pace for 1,000 yards rushing, Portis has become a Rookie of the Year candidate.
KURT WARNER AWARD: Tommy Maddox.
Kordell Stewart (an honorable mention for the Flop Award) took Pittsburgh to the AFC Championship Game last season. Now he's watching as former Arena Leaguer/XFLer Maddox takes off.
From someone who had Maddox on his XFL Fantasy Football team, congratulations!
RUNNERS-UP: Former New Jersey Red Dog Michael Lewis (1,369 return yards, 2 TDs) and former Albany Firebird David Patten (458 yards, 3 TDs).
WORST FANTASY FOOTBALL COACH: Tony Dungy.
If anyone could come in and spoil the fantasy gold offense of Indianapolis, it's the bane of Bucs fans everywhere. Edgerrin James has 139 fewer rushing yards and two fewer touchdowns than he had at this time last season Marvin Harrison has four fewer touchdowns and Peyton Manning's numbers are slightly down as well.
RUNNERS-UP: Mike Martz and Steve Spurrier. It took Martz six games to figure out he had Marshall Faulk, until then just killing owners of the No. 1 pick in most leagues. And Spurrier led us on during preseason.
FINAL NOTE: I would like to thank all the well-wishers who sent cards and flowers last week upon hearing of the demise of my beloved 0-7 fantasy football team. Thank you again.
Okay, so you guys sent nothing. Nothing! Well, my team doesn't need anything, because it is alive and well (or at the very least on life support) after winning for the first time Sunday.
I don't need to mention whom I beat because that's not my style (Nebraska fan named Matt Waite; lives in New Port Richey), but in keeping with the wacky season, I won the week my top pick, Brett Favre, was off thanks to waiver pickup Tim Couch and the return of Derrick Mason. Go figure.