Readers Vote Alexander as Most Valuable Player

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), December 30, 2005 | Go to article overview

Readers Vote Alexander as Most Valuable Player


Byline: John Dietz

When we began the voting for this year's fantasy football awards three weeks ago, players could have waged a serious debate when selecting from our four candidates for MVP.

Shaun Alexander, LaDainian Tomlinson, Peyton Manning and Steve Smith had carried so many teams to the fantasy playoffs with huge performances nearly every week.

Then came the fantasy playoffs and all doubt was erased.

- Tomlinson ran for 75, 76 and 49 yards with no TDs in Weeks 14- 16.

- Smith was ejected in Week 16 after amassing a paltry 18 receiving yards.

- Manning was throttled in Week 15 (1 TD and 2 interceptions), then barely played in Week 16.

And then there was Alexander the Great. In Weeks 14-16, Seattle's stud running back averaged 140 rushing yards per game with 5 TDs, including 3 in Week 16 when most leagues play their title game.

For his overwhelming season, Daily Herald readers anointed Alexander as this season's fantasy MVP with 71 percent of the vote.

"I'm in three different leagues," wrote Larry Walsh from Lake in the Hills. "The owner of Shaun Alexander is in the championship in all three. Enough said."

Some of Alexander's highlights:

- He scored in all but two games.

- He had multiple scores eight times.

- He had 11 100-yard games en route to 1,807 yards.

- Finally, he is 1 rushing TD short of breaking Priest Holmes' NFL record. You can count on him getting it Sunday in Green Bay.

If Seattle rewards the free agent-to-be with a monster contract, fantasy owners in keeper leagues will breathe a sigh of relief. These owners don't want Alexander leaving to play behind another offensive line because the Seahawks' is the best in the business.

The 28-year-old Alexander should continue producing big numbers in the Pacific Northwest for 3-5 more years.

Surprise player: This vote came down to the wire with Kansas City RB Larry Johnson (29 percent) edging Arizona kicker Neil Rackers (23 percent) and Green Bay RB Samkon Gado (19 percent).

Johnson wasn't even in this category originally, but write-in support put him on the ballot. The finishing kick he's putting on this campaign (eight straight 100-yard games with 13 TDs over that stretch) means he could easily be the No. 2-ranked running back next year behind Alexander. Think about this: Johnson has 1,549 rushing yards this season with 1,150 of those coming in half a season. That works out to a 2,300-yard pace over an entire campaign.

Here's what voter David Wichert of Bridgeview wrote: "I'm not surprised Larry Johnson had success. I considered him a sleeper pick. I'm surprised at just how great he has been."

My only regret in this category was not including the Bears' Thomas Jones. At the beginning of the season, he was a very risky pick. …

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