The 2018 Fantasy Football season has come to an end. There were some players who need some recognition for their performances. Here is a run down of IDP Accolades for the 2018 season.
Most Outstanding Defensive Tackle
Aaron Donald– Los Angeles Rams
Season Statistics: 55 Tackles (37 solo), 24 tackles for a loss, 19.5 sacks, 1 pass defensed, 4 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries.
Aaron Donald has his name in regular MVP talks let alone IDP Fantasy Football. Would you believe that Donald did not get his first sack until Week 4. Since then he has 19.5 sacks, thats 1.6 sacks a game. He was a force to try to stop, most Offensive Lineman couldn’t.
Donald is now in the Rams record books with the most sacks in a single season and the season isn’t even over yet. Whether it was sacking the QB or just terrorizing anybody in the backfield, Donald made plays.
Aaron Donald eating dudes in the backfield 😱 pic.twitter.com/tH4kXteopa
— The Checkdown (@thecheckdown) December 23, 2018
THE RECORD BREAKER!!!
— VENUE KINGS (@VKingsLA) December 24, 2018
Most leagues have Donald listed as a DT which is why he wins here. There really wasn’t any other DT close to Donald from a fantasy standpoint. The next most sacks from the DT position was 12 and that player also had 7 less tackles for a loss. That player is DeForest Buckner. As good a season he had, Donald takes the cake…easily.
Runner Up: DeForest Buckner– San Francisco 49ers 63 Tackles (41 solo), 17 tackles for a loss, 12 sacks, 2 passes defensed, 1 fumble recovery.
Most Outstanding Defensive End
J.J. Watt– Houston Texans
Season Statistics: 57 Tackles (44 solo), 18 tackles for a loss, 14.5 sacks, 4 passes defensed, 6 forced fumbles
Boy is it good to see J.J. Watt back and healthy. Watt’s last few season’s have been injury ridden and many wondered, will he ever be the same? Well here’s your answer…for damn sure he is. Watt had yet another dominant defensive year and is one of the reasons that the Texans sit in 1st place in the Division. He was rated the best edge defender for 2018 per Pro Football Focus:
J.J. Watt leads all edge defenders in PFF grade so far this season. pic.twitter.com/iywqBetULk
— PFF (@PFF) December 20, 2018
Watt routinely beat Lineman to get into the backfield and his length and wingspan is always a problem. The back surgery that Watt had done does not seem to have affected his ability. Though this race was much closer to call than the DT, I still had to go Watt. What I would like to do is give credit to Chris Jones of the Kansas City Chiefs. He has set a new NFL record for most consecutive games with a sack at 11 and counting.
Runner Up: Chris Jones- Kansas City Chiefs 40 Tackles (35 solo), 19 tackles for a loss, 15.5 sacks, 5 passes defensed, 1 interception, 2 forced fumbles, 1 Touchdown.
Most Outstanding Cornerback
Kyle Fuller– Chicago Bears
Season Statistics: 52 Tackles (43 solo), 21 passes defensed, 7 interceptions
I know many leagues play without a CB designation, but some do and these articles are for all Fantasy Fans. As it was Fuller did perform better than a number of Safeties in the league this year. Fuller had an outstanding 21 passes defensed and 7 interceptions this season.
He is a very hard Cornerback to throw on and most avoid him. To his luck though the Bears have another good Corner in Prince Amukamara on the opposite side. You can’t complete avoid Fuller or Amukamara will make you pay.
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) December 2, 2018
This clip above shows how well he can cover. He beats one of the best Receivers in the league in Odell Beckham Jr. Fuller reads the route so well that he beats Beckham to the spot to make the pick. The Bears have an amazing defense and Fuller is a big part of it. With the personnel that Vic Fangio has on his side of the ball, the Bears’ Defense should be stout for years to come.
If Eli Apple had played across from Marshon Lattimore the entire season, this may be his crown. Unfortunately while he was on the Giants his number were not the best as the Giants never fully trusted him. He was traded to the Saints in Week 8 and hasn’t looked back. Since the trade he has 50 tackles (41 solo), 7 passes defensed, 2 interceptions, and a fumble recovery. Not bad for a 9 game span.
Runner Up: Eli Apple- New York Giants/New Orleans Saints 73 Tackles (61 solo), 13 passes defensed, 2 interceptions, 1 forced fumble, 2 fumble recoveries.
Most Outstanding Safety
Jamal Adams– New York Jets
Season Statistics: 104 Tackles (79 solo), 9 tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks, 12 passes defensed, 1 interception, 3 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery.
Jamal Adams unfortunately plays for the Jets and for his sake I hope they get better. He is far too good a talent to be wasted on a shitty team. There really isn’t one thing that Adams doesn’t do at an elite level. The man blitzes well, hits harder than mot Safeties, covers tight ends to no avail, and can even play center field. His versatility is key and a big reason why he keeps putting up such great numbers. Poor Julian Edleman felt the wrath of Adams twice in one game.
Julian Edelman attempting to block Jamal Adams pic.twitter.com/E8l44QvSOb
— Matt (@JetsOpinion) November 27, 2018
— Jesse Finver (@jessefinver) November 25, 2018
Jamal Adams usually gets the task of covering elite tight ends. He has definitely shown out in his ability to keep up with even the best of tight ends. When you have to face Gronkowski twice a year, you need somebody like Adams to keep him at under control. Just ask Gronk and Jimmy Graham how good Adams can cover.
This is outstanding coverage from Jamal Adams.
Got flagged for pass interference. pic.twitter.com/0IzRtvkH8P
— Sam Monson (@PFF_Sam) December 23, 2018
Now as much as I gush about Adams’ ability this call wasn’t as easy as it sounds. There were many Safeties who played elite this season. Names like Derwin James, John Johnson III, and Shawn Williams to name a few. Jamal Adams just had that little extra to give him the crown of Best Safety.
Runner Up: Derwin James- Los Angeles Chargers 99 Tackles (70 solo), 4 tackles for a loss, 3.5 sacks, 13 passes defensed, 3 interceptions.
Most Outstanding Linebacker
Darius Leonard– Indianapolis Colts
Season Statistics: 155 Tackles (107 solo), 12 tackles for a loss, 7 sacks, 6 passes defensed, 1 interception. 4 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries.
Darius Leonard just had a historic rookie season. He is the first rookie to lead the league in tackles since Luke Kuechly in 2012. Leonard is also trying to be only the second player ever to win Defensive Player of the Year and Rookie of the Year in the same season. Unfortunately for him Aaron Donald may have something to say about that.
That doesn’t take away from what Leonard has been able to do. He has 155 tackles in just 14 games, missed one and still leads the league. Per Pro Football Reference the Colts had the 30th ranked Defense in 2017. This season they have made the jump to 13th ranked.
Denico Autry and Jabaal Sheard were great free agent acquisitions. Second year players Quincy Wilson and Kenny Moore II are making this secondary strong with Malik Hooker at center field. Second year Linebacker Anthony Walker made a leap this year as well. None of them though have quite made the impact Darius Leonard has. Not Only does he have the league lead in sacks, but he has 7 sacks to add to it.
Some say he is poor in coverage but he has improved throughout the season. He has made great coverage plays down the seam in games like this one against the Giants:
Not doing a film review today, but I looking back at a few notable plays from Sunday's Colts win. On the game-sealing INT, the guy who *really* makes this play is Darius Leonard. Step for step down the seam with a WIDE RECEIVER. Forces an overthrow, which Hooker picks off. pic.twitter.com/f5LLh29cBP
— Stephen Holder (@HolderStephen) December 24, 2018
Leonard is a very good and relentless blitzer. His motor is always running which is a reason for his sacks total and tackle total. He is seen everywhere on the field. Here he takes advantage of a poor Texans Offensive Line and gets to Watson for the sack:
Second DB blitz from IND game was one I think Watson drew some criticism on for not firing at Joe Webb. But note how far in the backfield Kelemete is. Not ideal to throw from where Watson is. By the time he steps up to get to proper platform, he's swallowed up by Darius Leonard. pic.twitter.com/f5f8XNwQ6B
— Rivers McCown (@riversmccown) December 19, 2018
Leonard is easily the Most Outstanding Linebacker and unfortunately for him he got snubbed from the Pro Bowl. The voting for the Pro Bowl is completely outlandish and I feel the game alone should be protested until the voting is fixed. The decision was easy here but the last rookie to lead the league in tackles (Luke Kuechly) had a great season as well. Unfortunately for him Leonard was in his way.
Runner Up: Luke Kuechly- Carolina Panthers 130 Tackles (92 solo), 19 tackles for a loss, 2 sacks, 6 passes defensed, 1 interception, 2 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery.
Most Improved Player
Cory Littleton– Los Angeles Rams
2017 Season Statistics: 36 Tackles (22 solo), 2 tackles for a loss, 1 sacks, 4 passes defensed, 1 interception, 1 forced fumbles, 2 blocked kicks.
2018 Season Statistics: 121 Tackles (87 solo), 9 tackles for a loss, 4 sacks, 11 passes defensed, 1 interception, 1 Safety, 2 blocked kicks.
There were a couple names that came to mind when I came to crown the Most Improved Player. Unfortunately for them Cory Littleton made the largest leap of anybody. He made the field in 2018 as an every down player and excelled for the Rams. He posted a career high in sacks (4) and passes defensed (11) this season while making huge tackles along the way.
— Los Angeles Rams (@RamsNFL) December 2, 2018
This play by Cory Littleton was fun to watch. Fights through the designed picks to make the stop. pic.twitter.com/3cbN4NervQ
— Cameron DaSilva (@camdasilva) November 5, 2018
Littleton is one of those Linebackers that is a must start no matter what the matchup is. Littleton posted 9 tackles, 1 tackle for a loss, and 2 passes defensed against the Vikings who give up the least amount of points to LB’s. He had another 5 tackles and 2 passes defensed against the Broncos who give up the 2nd least points to LB’s.
Then poured in another 8 tackles against the Chiefs who allow the 4th least points to LB’s. For good measure he had 10 tackles, 3 tackles, for a loss and 2 sacks against the 49ers who give up the most points to LB’s. Any matchup and he is productive.
This doesn’t mean Littleton was the only player to make a substantial leap this season. Huge praise needs to be given to Shawn Williams who leaped threw the early dominant shadow of Jessie Bates III. Bates started off the season but Williams quickly too control of that secondary to finish with a highly productive season.
Runner Up: Shawn Williams Cincinnati Bengals
2017 Statistics: 49 Tackles (34 solo), 2 tackles for a loss, 3 passes defensed, 1 interception, 2 fumble recoveries.
2018 Statistics: 102 Tackles (75 solo), 2 tackles for a loss, 8 passes defensed, 4 interceptions, 1 forced fumble.
Rookie Of The Year
Darius Leonard- Indianapolis Colts
Leighton Vander Esch has been the top rookie linebacker in the NFL so far this season. pic.twitter.com/7LBJZvwomh
— PFF (@PFF) December 21, 2018
Had it not been for the obscene production by Darius Leonard, this race would have been so incredibly hard to judge. It’s hard not to name the league leader in tackles the Defensive Rookie of the Year. Leighton Vander Esch could have definitely challenged Leonard for the league tackle lead, but the Cowboys chose to start Sean Lee early in the season.
There is a slew of great Linebackers that will come out of this 2018 draft class. This list includes Darius Leonard, Roquan Smith, Leighton Vander Esch, Tremaine Edmunds, Fred Warner as well as others. All those names should have long productive careers ahead of them.
The Defensive Backs were great as well, with the likes of guys like Derwin James, Denzel Ward, Justin Reid, and Jessie Bates III. All players made a huge impact for their teams, fantasy and real life. Derwin James especially. He had a fantastic season playing Safety for the Chargers.
Derwin James is head and shoulders above the rest of this rookie safety class so far this season. pic.twitter.com/889VcBSdD1
— PFF (@PFF) December 18, 2018
For these accolades though, we go for IDP Fantasy purposes, although the NFL outcome may be the same, the crown has to go to Darius Leonard. He is unmatched in what his production was and is the top scorer in IDP fantasy.
Runner Up: Derwin James- Los Angeles Chargers
IDP Fantasy Playoffs Best Waiver Acquisition
Adrian Phillips– Los Angeles Chargers
Statistics Weeks 14-16: 24 Tackles (17 solo), 3 tackles for a loss, 1 pass defensed
If you had the opportunity to add Adrian Phillips to your squad for the playoffs than kudos to you. With Denzel Perryman out Phillips started playing some Linebacker for the Chargers and finished the season as an every down Middle Linebacker.
He played great in the center of the defense for the Bolts and finished the Championship game with a great matchup and stat line. In the Championship he had 9 tackles (7 solo) and 2 tackles for a loss. Considering you probably added him as a Safety on your roster makes this the number one acquisition.
If Lorenzo Alexander was available come playoff time and you picked him up then you were a very happy camper. Tell them about it @natecheat. Alexander had a great IDP Fantasy Playoff stretch. Unfortunately for him there were other Linebackers that overshadowed him.
Runner Up: Lorenzo Alexander- Buffalo Bills Statistics Weeks 14-16: 22 Tackles (15 solo), 3 tackles for a loss, 2 passes defensed, 1 interception.
IDP Fantasy Playoff MVP
Darius Leonard- Indianapolis Colts
Statistics Weeks14-16: 32 Tackles (26 solo), 2 tackles for a loss, 1 sack, 3 passes defensed
I know Darius Leonard’s name is starting to get a little redundant, I apologize but it is well deserved. Not only did he propel teams to a likely top 3 seed, or take a team out of the basement, but was also top notch in the postseason. He averaged just over 10 tackles a game which is huge come playoff time.
There were other great contributors as well. Kevin Byard had a slightly disappointing season in comparison to his 2017 campaign but came through in the playoffs. He had 17 tackles, 2 tackles for a loss, 2 sacks, 2 passes defensed and an interception in the playoffs. Lavonte David was also huge tallying 27 tackles. 3 tackles for a loss and 2 sacks.
Runner up: Lavonte David- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Statistics Weeks 14-16: 27 Tackles (22 solo), 3 tackles for a loss, 2 sacks, 1 fumble recovery
IDP Fantasy Season MVP
Darius Leonard- Indianapolis Colts
Season Statistics- 155 Tackles (107 solo), 12 tackles for a loss, 7 sacks, 6 passes defensed, 1 interception, 4 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries.
Yup, you guessed it, Darius Leonard is your 2018 IDP MVP. As a rookie he led the league in tackles with 155 during the fantasy season, and he even missed a game. The tackles alone would have been huge for his case but he also made game changing plays.
— Josh Boeke (@JoshBoeke) August 26, 2018
That was one of his passes defensed that could have possibly been a pick six considering positioning and momentum. He also came up with a number of sacks including this punishing blow on Marcus Mariota:
Darius Leonard showing those elite instincts on the delayed blitz. He explodes on Mariota so fast he seems unable to react in time. Another sack, another forced fumble, another possession ended. #Colts pic.twitter.com/7JQGvqSOzB
— Josh Boeke (@JoshBoeke) November 19, 2018
Most impressive was his Weeks 2-4 stretch where he accumulated 45 tackles (32 solo), 7 tackles for a loss, 4 sacks, 2 passes defensed, and 1 forced fumble. If he wasn’t drafted then he was definitely picked up somewhere during that stretch. An amazing season this youngster had and it earned him the crown of MVP of 2018.
Runner Up: Aaron Donald- Los Angeles Rams Season Statistics: 55 Tackles (37 solo), 24 tackles for a loss, 19.5 sacks, 1 pass defensed, 4 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries.
There are might 2018 IDP Fantasy Season Accolades. Hopefully you all enjoyed the 2018 season and won yourself some Championships, as I did myself. Darius Leonard is the big winner this season coming up with four accolades including the MVP. The rookies drafted in 2018 should continue their reign of terror into 2019 as this may be one of the most productive IDP classes ever.
Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @josephhaggan and @IDPGuys. Tune into the IDPGuys podcast on a weekly basis for info to help you win your leagues. Also be ready for the “No B/S IDP Content Podcast”f with the IDP TIpster @Hbogart27, Sam @FFstompy and myself for spome great IDP knowledge coming February 2019.