January 14th, 2011

2010 FSWA Football Awards Honor Foster and Williams

Friday, January 14th, 2011

FSWA members narrowly handed fantasy MVP honors this week to Houston running back Arian Foster, with Tampa fourth-round pick Mike Williams more comfortably winning the top rookie award.

The Fantasy Sports Writers Association called on its membership to name the best of fantasy football season once again, and the voting led with Foster and Michael Vick duking it out for top honors among the 2010 FSWA Football Awards.

“I just want to say thanks to the five-person committee for putting together the ballot,” said president Mike Beacom, referring to the group comprising NFL.com’s Michael Fabiano (chair), ESPN.com’s Tristan Cockcroft, RotoExperts.com’s Scott Engel, SportsGrumblings.com’s John Georgopoulos and DraftSharks.com’s Lenny Pappano. “Thanks also to our members for taking the time to vote.”

A record number of ballots came in — 30 percent more than last year — giving Foster just 1.6 percent more points than the Eagles quarterback, with Tom Brady, Peyton Hillis and Calvin Johnson finishing in that order among the five nominees.

In the rookie vote, Williams grabbed 11.2 percent more points than teammate and running back LeGarrette Blount — who emerged midd-year after being signed away from the Titans. Rounding out that group, in order, were Rams quarterback Sam Bradford, Lions running back Jahvid Best and Saints running back Chris Ivory.

Whereas the Foster and Williams selections made sense, the first relative surprise came in the awards’ new category: best value pick. That vote favored Vick in a landslide.

Of course, considering Vick the top “value pick” of 2010 is no stretch after the guy went from the waiver wire in most leagues to the highest scoring average at his position. The curious part, though, is how a guy can dominate the “best value pick” vote while narrowly losing MVP. The answer could be that the category either needs to be more clearly defined or replaced.

The definitions for “best value” could be myriad. Is best value the player who was most ignored before the season but became a scoring leader? Must he have actually been drafted, since draft picks are generally inherently more valuable than waiver claims? Is the “best value” the early round pick that lived up to his billing, thus ensuring that you didn’t waste the selection?

Whatever happens, there’s certainly nothing wrong with the FSWA introducing an imperfect category so that we might ponder such questions.

Behind Vick in that category came Hillis, Foster, Broncos receiver Brandon Lloyd and Raiders running back Darren McFadden.

Finally, there was the All-Fantasy Team …

QB Michael Vick
RB1 Arian Foster
RB2 Peyton Hillis
WR1 Roddy White
WR2 Dwayne Bowe
TE Jason Witten
PK Sebastian Janikowski
Team D Pittsburgh
IDP Jerod Mayo

The FSWA will present trophies to Foster and Williams in February.

Related: My 2010 FSWA Football Awards ballot