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Columnist
Time to cast your ballots for fantasy winners, losers
By John Dietz | Daily Herald Columnist
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Published: 12/18/2009 12:00 AM

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They've thrilled you. They've wowed you. They've infuriated you.

And now it's time for your voices to be heard.

Welcome to the ballot sheet for the 2009 Daily Herald fantasy football awards. Vote for your winners in each category, including a comment if you wish.

The only rule is to stay objective: Just because a player was on your team doesn't mean he was necessarily the biggest dud, biggest surprise or the MVP. All we're asking is to stay objective. Write-in candidates are also welcomed.

Deadline for submission is Tuesday, Dec. 29. You can vote by sending an e-mail to jdietz@dailyherald.com. The preseason rank is where I placed each player in August.

And away we go -

MVP

Really, there are only two choices: Saints QB Drew Brees (3,832 yards, 34 TD passes and only four games with zero or 1 TD pass) or Titans RB Chris Johnson (1,626 rushing yards, 42 catches for 391 yards and 13 total TDs). Both players have been amazing; it's just who you believe helped our teams more.

Biggest surprise

• Vikings QB Brett Favre (3,341 yards, 27 TDs, 6 INTs). Preseason rank: 14. Favre has eight multiple-TD games, including two 4-TD performances. We thought of him as a backup on draft day, but he's instead turned into a savior for many teams.

• Jets RB Thomas Jones (1,167 yards, 11 TDs). Preseason rank: 21. Leon Washington or Shonn Greene was supposed to trample over Jones this season, but the hard-nosed veteran has six 100-yard games and has double-digit fantasy points in every game since Week 3.

• Dolphins RB Ricky Williams (975 rush yards, 24 catches for 225 yards, 12 TDs). Preseason rank: 63. All Williams has done the last eight games is score nine times and rack up four 100-yard games.

• Cowboys WR Miles Austin (58-999-10). Preseason rank: NR. Miles has been unconscious since bursting onto the scene in Week 5 at Kansas City. Including that monster performance, he has 917 yards in just nine games, which would work out to a 1,630-yard pace over a full season.

• Niners TE Vernon Davis (66-815-11). Preseason rank: 14. The once petulant child became a transformed player and a transformed man - and he's certainly given us all a pleasant shock this season.

Biggest dud

• Bears RB Matt Forte (685 rush yards, 51 catches for 455 yards, 4 TDs). Preseason rank: 5. Other than big games against Detroit, Cleveland and St. Louis, Forte did not score a single TD and averaged a laughable 38.3 yards on the ground.

• Eagles RB Brian Westbrook (2 TDs). Preseason rank: 7. You'll have to decide yourself whether or not to blame Westbrook for his injuries that led to a completely wasted season.

• Cowboys TE Jason Witten (77-793-1). Preseason rank: 2. One score? Seriously? Witten currently sits eighth among tight ends - just 2 points above Owen Daniels, who has been out for six weeks.

• Bears TE Greg Olsen (51-463-6). Preseason rank: 5. Other than his monster 3-TD game against Arizona, Olsen has been a total waste. He hasn't scored in seven of the last eight games.

• Bears QB Jay Cutler (3,023 yards, 20 TD passes, 22 INTs). Preseason rank: 10. Since Week 5, Cutler has just 10 TD passes and 17 INTs, ranking him 15th in fantasy points scored, barely ahead of Tennessee's Vince Young.

• Packers WR Greg Jennings (57-862-3). Preseason rank: 5. Two scores and 65 yards per game since Week 3? Those are not the kind of high-end numbers we expected when taking Jennings.

Comeback player

• Colts RB Joseph Addai. After just 7 TDs and 750 yards last season, most of us thought Addai was an extremely risky pick as a second running back. Well, he held off rookie Donald Brown and has produced a solid 12-TD campaign that's left fantasy owners smiling.

• Brett Favre. After a 22-TD, 22-INT season with the Jets, Favre has shown he's still got it.

• Ricky Williams. Before this season, the last time Williams was an effective fantasy player was 2000-03 when he averaged 10.75 TDs per season. Williams' 12 TDs are the second-highest of his career.

Rookie of the year

• Vikings WR Percy Harvin (48-681, 113 rush yards; 6 TDs). He's been a headache all season for opposing defenses.

• Giants WR Hakeem Nicks (38-685-6). Nicks has been inconsistent, but score in Weeks 4-7 and has added 2 more scores the last two weeks.

• Broncos RB Knowshon Moreno (837 rush yards, 6 TDs). If Moreno rips through the Raiders on Sunday, he may sew this award up. As it is, he's averaged 82.8 ypg with 3 TDs the last five games.

My teams: In my first-round, unit-league game, I won 70-51 thanks to two major factors: A) My opponent sitting Dallas Clark (3 TDs) in favor of Robert Meacham; and B) The Tennessee defense (5 INTs, TD) and Rob Bironas (19 points) going absolutely nuts for my squad. - Had a bye in the DH expert league.

Good bets

• Texans RB Arian Foster and the Texans' defense at St. Louis. The second-year man out of Tennessee is going to get most of the carries against the worst team in football. Watch for 20 touches, 110 yards and at least 1 score.

• Redskins QB Jason Campbell vs. the New York Giants. The Giants have allowed 19 passing scores over the last eight weeks. Campbell's been hot lately (8 TDs last three) and figures to throw for at least 2 TDs.

Bad bets

• Falcons WR Roddy White at New York Jets. With CB Darrelle Revis all over White, it adds up to a 3-catch, 40-yard afternoon.

• Vikings QB Brett Favre at Carolina. This game will reek of Favre playing game manager while Adrian Peterson attempts to shred the Panthers on the ground. Watch for a 175-yard, 1-TD game from Favre.

• For more Good and Bad bets, log on to fantasyfootball.dailyherald.com. A subscription is good for 365 days.