THERE ARE PLENTY of awards that will mark Tom Brady's outstanding season. This could be the most prominent.
Daily News readers have named Brady the Most Valuable Player in fantasy football, an honor that has to rank right up there with his Super Bowl MVPs and Sportsman of the Year honors.
Seriously, though, Brady has been a monster this year.
The New England quarterback started hot and maintained his ridiculous pace throughout the season. He set an NFL record with at least three touchdown passes in his team's first 10 games and is only two away from setting the all-time record for most touchdown passes in a season. He won our voting in a landslide.
Brady, who garnered 86.6 percent of the votes, has thrown 48 touchdowns and needs two against the Giants tomorrow to break Peyton Manning's 2004 record. With New England having locked up homefield advantage throughout the playoffs, it's uncertain how much Brady will play. But you have to figure the Pats will give him a half.
Brady's only hiccup came in Week 15, when most fantasy leagues were in the playoffs. Inclement weather was the big reason Brady managed zero touchdowns and one interception. He responded with three touchdowns on Sunday.
Teammate Randy Moss, who needs two touchdown receptions to break Jerry Rice's 1987 mark of 22, was named our fantasy-football top receiver.
Two Eagles received top mentions at their positions. Brian Westbrook, who leads the NFL in yards from scrimmage, was resoundingly voted the best running back, with 68.2 percent of the votes. Reggie Brown was named on 49.3 percent of ballots as the worst wide receiver.
Kansas City running back Larry Johnson was named the least valuable player of the fantasy-football season.
Daily News reader George Paladino, of Newfield, N.J., was randomly selected to win a pair of tickets to the Philadelphia Sports Writers Association annual dinner on Jan. 28. Thanks to all who participated.
MOST VALUABLE PLAYER: 1. Tom Brady 86.6; 2. Randy Moss 7.5; 3. Tony Romo 5.9.
LEAST VALUABLE PLAYER: 1. Larry Johnson 53.0; 2. Steve Smith 25.8; 3. Shaun Alexander 21.2.
Quarterback: 1. Tom Brady 86.6; 2. Brett Favre 10.4; 3. Tony Romo 3.0.
Running back: 1. Brian Westbrook 68.2; 2. Adrian Peterson 21.2; 3. LaDainian Tomlinson 10.6.
Wide receiver: 1. Randy Moss 70.6; 2. Terrell Owens 26.5; 3. T.J. Houshmandzadeh 2.9
Tight end: 1. Jason Witten 61.2; 2. Antonio Gates 22.4; 3. Tony Gonzalez 16.4.
Kicker: 1. Mason Crosby 43.9; 2. Nick Folk 34.8; 3. Stephen Gostkowski 21.3.
Defense/Special teams: 1. Patriots 47.8; 2. Vikings 38.8; 3. Chargers 13.4.
Quarterback: 1. Marc Bulger 47.7; 2. Donovan McNabb 28.4; 3. Philip Rivers 23.9.
Running back: 1. Larry Johnson 44.8; 2. Laurence Maroney 28.3; 3. Shaun Alexander 26.9.
Wide receiver: 1. Reggie Brown 49.3; 2. Steve Smith 35.8; 3. Chad Johnson 14.9.
Tight end: 1. Todd Heap 47.8; 2. Vernon Davis 28.3; 3. Randy McMichael 23.9.
Kicker: 1. Neil Rackers 61.2; 2. Adam Vinatieri 25.4; 3. David Akers 13.4.
Defense/Special teams: 1. Raiders 40.3; 2. Ravens 38.8; 3. Eagles 20.9.
BIGGEST SURPRISE: 1. Adrian Peterson 53.7; 2. Tony Romo 26.9; 3. Randy Moss 19.4.
WORST INJURY: 1. Marvin Harrison 50.7; 2. Ronnie Brown 28.4; 3. Javon Walker 20.9.
Vikings running back Adrian Peterson set the NFL record with 296 rushing yards in Week 9. In the 7 weeks since, he's missed two games and has only 269 yards rushing.
-- Eagles defense: Watching the Giants score twice on interceptions and register three sacks and a fumble recovery against Buffalo makes the Eagles a must play. Of course, the Birds might drop those interceptions, but that's another story.
-- Najeh Davenport, RB, Steelers: Pittsburgh is still jockeying for the third seed and the right to avoid Jacksonville in the first round and New England until the conference championship.
-- Kenny Watson, RB, Bengals: With Rudi Johnson out, a big day is in store for Watson against Miami's league-worst run defense.
-- Joseph Addai, RB, Colts: Aside from that three-touchdown game against Baltimore, Addai hasn't done much since the first week of November. His backup, Kenton Keith, is worth a start as a No. 2.
-- Nate Kaeding, K, Chargers: He has a bruised leg and, although he should play, could be limited. Hopefully, you have a Plan B.
-- Matt Hasselbeck, QB, Seahawks: Want a sneaky Week 17 starter? Seneca Wallace, who should get some decent playing time while Hasselbeck sits, because Seattle already has the No. 3 seed locked up.
Mother Nature seems to be taking it easy this weekend. Detroit at Green Bay could see some snow, but not enough to consider benching players. Showers are expected for Dallas at Washington and Pittsburgh at Baltimore. Wind could be a problem for Minnesota at Denver, so start the respective kickers at your own risk.