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1st Quarter Season Awards

Hello fans,
Week 5 starts tonight, but before kickoff starts the Straight Football Talk crew wanted to hand out some 1st quarter season awards; a mixture of real life and fantasy. Yes that’s right, some awards that mean absolutely nothing whatsoever at this point. Although it’s fun to talk about and these players deserve credit for what they’ve done so far. Not only will the studs of the league be mentioned, but we’ll also talk about some of the busts and disappointments as well. Teddy “The Bear” Tate, Daileas “Big D” Duclo and I will be giving out a lot of awards so let’s begin with the first of many.

*Reminder, all of these awards are through the first four games*

Rookie of the Quarter

Austin: Kansas City RB Chiefs – Kareem Hunt Daileas: Kansas City RB Chiefs – Kareem Hunt Teddy: Kansas City Chiefs RB – Kareem Hunt

  • Well that was an easy one. It looks like a sweep for the Toledo product. Hunt not only has looked like the best rookie in the 2017 class, but he’s also looked like a top running back in the league. Not too bad for a 3rd round rookie out of the MAC. Other Considerations: Deshaun Watson, Leonard Fournette and Dalvin Cook (pre-injury).

Most Valuable Player

Austin: New England Patriots QB – Tom Brady

Daileas: Kansas City Chiefs RB – Kareem Hunt

Teddy: Kansas City Chiefs RB – Kareem Hunt

  • It appears that my colleagues outnumber me, but that’s okay because there are no wrong answers here. Kareem Hunt went from backup to starter after a season-ending injury to Spencer Ware in preseason and he’s lit the league on fire. Hunt is a good selection, but Andy Reid is great at plugging in any running back into his scheme and being able to flourish. The Chiefs more than likely wouldn’t be 4-0 at this point, but they’d still be .500 at the worst. I selected Tom Brady because he literally is the team right now. Brady is getting an inside look at what Drew Brees has dealt with the last few season with a bad defense weighing the team down. I understand Bill Bilichick has done well with other quarterbacks in New England, but Tom Brady has the whole Patriots team, coaching staff, organization, fan base and state of Massachusetts on his back. Their record of 2-2 looks a lot better once you think about them being 0-4.

Most Overrated 1st Round Selection (Fantasy)

Austin: Miami Dolphins RB – Jay Ajayi

Daileas: Dallas Cowboys RB – Ezekiel Elliott

Teddy: Miami Dolphins RB – Jay Ajayi

  • Jay Ajayi’s season started off with a bye week due to Hurricane Irma and now he’s currently dealing with an injury that’s clearly limiting his production. Many questioned if he could repeat the amazing season he put up last year or if he’d flop. Personally I think he’ll bounce back eventually this season, but as your 1st round do it all player, it’s not the start many were hoping for. Daileas surprisingly selected last year’s rushing leader Zeke Elliott. Big D also went on to say “he’s really dropped off so far”. I know Elliott’s been dealing with legal issues and being called lazy, but his point total could be worse for a first round running back. If he in fact does get suspended then he for sure sky rockets into the first place.

Most Improved Player from Last Year

Austin: Los Angeles Rams QB – Jared Goff

Daileas: Jacksonville Jaguars QB – Blake Bortles

Teddy: Los Angeles RB – Todd Gurley

  • You could almost pick any player of the Los Angeles Rams and it considered a safe pick. For now though let’s just say Sean McVay is a miracle worker and he knows how to coach an offense. McVay has returned Todd Gurley back into a premier running back while unleashing Jared Goff’s 1st round talent. Blake Bortles is a bit puzzling as he’s always been the very least a solid fantasy option and he’s continuing that trend again this year as well. Blake Bortles seems like the same player, but the addition of Leonard Fournette has really helped take the pressure off him and make it easier for this offense to operate.

Biggest Surprise Player in Top 30 (Fantasy)

Austin: Washington Redskins RB – Chris Thompson

Daileas: N/A

Teddy: Kansas City Chiefs QB – Alex Smith

  • Regarding the N/A from Daileas, he said that everyone in the top 30 seemed to belong. I made it top 30 just so Chris Thompson would fit that category in both PPR and standard scoring leagues. There is always a surprise player no one expected to be good this year and Thompson fits the bill here. The Redskin’s running back has held some value the past few years in PPR formats, but now it appears he’s the main guy on campus and clearly the best overall play-maker in the backfield. Alex Smith has flirted with greatness before, but with the drafting of Patrick Mahomes, Smith knew he had to up his game. Top 30 I can see, but top 5 quarterback is shocking.

Best Waiver Wire Pick-Up (Fantasy)

Austin: Houston Texans QB – Deshaun Watson

Daileas: Chicago Bears RB – Tarik Cohen

Teddy: Buffalo Bills TE – Charles Clay

  • Oh the waiver wire how it can make or break you. Sometimes it’s better to lose your first game just so you can get the best player on the waivers and rid them to the playoffs. I see a lot of good names from the crew and each player deservedly needs to be considered. The tight end position is one that is slowly losing steam. There are only a handful of players that you can count on week in and week out regardless of matchups. Charles Clay is one of those players right now. With the less than spectacular weapons in Buffalo Clay has become Tyrod Taylor’s favorite and best option in the passing game. Clay might not get a lot of touchdowns, but he certainly gets the volume you’d want from a TE1. Tarik Cohen, the lightning to Jordan Howard’s thunder. After week one’s close loss to the Falcons, Mike Glennon said that their secret weapon has been revealed. Cohen has come onto the scene and just been the play-maker the Bears needed. His Darren Sproles-like features have surely benefited the Bear’s offense thus far. Deshaun Watson could give Kareem Hunt a run for offensive rookie of the year when it’s all said and done. Watson has looked very impressive both passing and running the ball for the Texans. Some compare him to Cam Newton and that’s scary to think about. He just might be considered a QB1 at this point of the year and a must start on a weekly basis.

Best Kicker

Austin: Los Angeles Rams K – Greg Zuerlein

Daileas: New Orleans Saints K – Wil Lutz

Teddy: Los Angeles Rams K – Greg Zuerlein

  • Greg “The Leg” Zuerlein has been a great kicker ever since he came into the league, but the previous Rams poor offense didn’t give The Leg many chances to show case his talents. Now that the Rams can drive on offense and can put up points his skills are on full display. He has more than 20 points than the next kicker in most leagues. Wil Lutz is another good kicker that hasn’t disappointed owners. He comes in the top 3 in leagues and his offense definitely gives him plenty of opportunities to get points.

Best Real-Life Free Agent Addition

Austin: Philadelphia Eagles WR – Alshon Jeffery

Daileas: N/A

Teddy: Oakland Raiders TE – Jared Cook

  • The pickings are slim for this category as not many free agent additions have been all that earthshattering. Although there have been some bright spots and one of them has been Eagles wide out Alshon Jeffery. The stats might not be what they were in Chicago, but Jeffery has really help escalate the growth in Carson Wentz and gave the Eagles an offensive threat. Jared Cook may be overlooked by some, but fact is he’s been solid for the Raiders. Many would assume the best Raider free agent would be Marshawn Lynch, but that’s not entirely true. Some people believe Jalen Richard should be the teams lead back. Last I checked people are trying to replace Jared Cook. After all Cook leads the team in receptions and tied for first in receiving yards.

Worst Real-Life Free Agent Addition

Austin: New Orleans Saints RB – Adrian Peterson

Daileas: Miami Dolphins QB – Jay Cutler

Teddy: New York Giants WR – Brandon Marshall

  • In the words of Teddy “The Bear” Tate, “there are too many to choose from” as he give me a long list of players. That is true there has been many less than impressive players to help out their new teams. From what the SFT thinks though, these have been the least beneficial. Brandon Marshall was supposed to be this red-zone monster and give Eli Manning his best “big-man” since Plaxico Burress. Odell Beckham missed the first couple of games and Marshall and the Giants offense were nowhere to be found. Looks like Brandon Marshall is a complimentary wide receiver at this point of his career than a play-maker. Jay Cutler returned from retirement to be Jay Cutler. Seriously though, did you see him in the London game line up as a wide receiver? Hands on his hips and taking the play off is unacceptable. Adam Gase said the Dolphins offense is “garbage” and it all starts with their quarterback. I said from the beginning that Adrian Peterson requires a team that wants to run the ball and will dedicate the game through AP. Well, the Saints weren’t that team prior to the signing and they didn’t change to become that team after the signing either. He wasn’t a fit then still isn’t now.

Most Surprising “Winning” Team

Austin: Buffalo Bills

Daileas: Jacksonville Jaguars

Teddy: Buffalo Bills

  • Who saw any of these teams being atop of their division or least tied for first? Jaguars are a good surprise at 2-2 tied for first with the Titans and the Texans. The defense has stepped up in a big way and even earned them a nick name, Sacksonville. We’ll see if they can continue to be a force in the coming weeks. The Bills have played some stiff competition which is why Ted and I selected them. They beat the Falcons, Broncos and were inches away from beating the Panthers. You have to give the Bills credit for what they’ve accomplished.

Most Surprising “Losing” Team

Austin: Los Angeles Chargers

Daileas: Tennessee Titans

Teddy: Los Angeles Chargers

  • The Titans were supposed to be this year’s Oakland Raiders and just dominate the AFC. They’ve overwhelmed thus far and haven’t shown that they can turn it around with their blowout loss to the Texans. Once again Ted and I are on the same page as we picked the Chargers. We also were contemplated the New York Giants as well, but when it came down to it the Chargers once again have flopped in close games. It appears the move from San Diego to Los Angeles didn’t help that.

Coach of the Quarter

Austin: Los Angeles Rams HC – Sean McVay

Daileas: Kansas City Chiefs HC – Andy Reid

Teddy: Kansas City Chiefs HC – Andy Reid

  • Any Reid is the head coach of the last remaining undefeated team in the league; kudos to him, his staff and his players. Reid had to replace starting running back Spencer Ware after a season ending injury in preseason with a rookie; a rookie that’s played like an MVP and the best running back in the league mind you. Andy Reid has also transformed Alex Smith into a play-making quarterback playing the highest level of football in his career. Not to mention keeping his aged defense without Eric Berry a force to reckon with. Reid’s coaching this year has been outstanding and he deserves credit for what he’s accomplished. Sean McVay came to Los Angeles with a team that had 0 wins with Jared Goff as their starter and now the Rams are atop the NFC West while looking like a complete powerhouse. I like what he’s done in such little time with this team. It really has impressed me.
That’s it for our 1st quarter season awards. Let us know what you think in the comment section or if you have any awards you’d like to give out. Hope you enjoyed the read and we’ll see you Sunday at 9 A.M. eastern time. Don’t forget to like and share us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and connect with us on LinkedIn. As always have a great day!
Austin Thomas

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