IT WAS that seven-game stretch starting in late September that probably clinched this year's fantasy football MVP award for Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
The man was a mountain of consistency the first 3 months of the season. Three touchdowns and 300 yards were as predictable as Packers players leaping into the stands after scoring touchdowns. In those seven games, Rodgers threw for 23 touchdowns and two interceptions.
Rodgers garnered nearly 70 percent of readers' votes to win fantasy MVP for the second time in 4 years. Rodgers also joined Peyton Manning as the only multiple winners since we first started handing out fantasy awards in 2003.
The fantasy football award ballot first was published on Dec. 12, 2 days before the clunker Rodgers had in Buffalo (185 yards, no TDs, two picks).
Pittsburgh running back Le'Veon Bell and Dallas RB DeMarco Murray finished second and third, respectively, though Murray was selected as the top running back. If we could explain the thinking of the masses, then we could figure out how Rob Ford keeps getting elected in Toronto.
Joe Dolan, managing editor for FantasyGuru.com, said this week that his MVP vote would have gone to the guy in Pittsburgh.
"Le'Veon Bell is No. 2 in the NFL in rushing with 1,341 yards," Dolan said. "But, as a receiver, he's posted 77/774/3. That alone would rank him No. 33 in total points in PPR leagues among WRs. So you got a No. 1 and a No. 3 WR all in one player."
Dolan did agree with Daily News readers that the 49ers' Vernon Davis was fantasy football's Least Valuable Player. A consensus top-5 preseason tight end, Davis is 30th among TEs with only 25 receptions. He hasn't scored a touchdown since Week 1, when he also set his high-water mark for the season with 44 yards. In 2013, Davis tied his career-high with 13 touchdowns.
Among the other award winners chosen by readers were Jordy Nelson as the top wide receiver and Rob Gronkowski as best tight end. Eli Manning (QB), Frank Gore (RB), Charles Clay (TE) and Eric Decker (WR) were among those who infuriated fans most at their respective positions.
"Decker caught four touchdowns in one game last year," with the Broncos, noted reader Eric Corcoran, from Delran, N.J. "He has four this whole year."
We promised fantasy football T-shirts to three randomly selected readers who participated in the balloting. Those winners are Joey Chambers, Eddystone, Pa.; Edward Maurer, South Philadelphia; and Maureen Cavaliere, Monroeville, N.J.
Thanks to all who participated.
Voting results from Daily News readers for various 2014 fantasy honors and dishonors:
Most Valuable Player
1. Aaron Rodgers, Packers 69.7
2. Le'Veon Bell, Steelers 18.2
3. DeMarco Murray, Cowboys 12.1
1. Aaron Rodgers, Packers 63.7
2. Peyton Manning, Broncos 24.2
3. Andrew Luck, Colts 12.1
Best Running Back
1. DeMarco Murray, Cowboys 71.8
2. Le'Veon Bell, Steelers 18.8
3. Arian Foster, Texans 9.4
Best Wide Receiver
1. Jordy Nelson, Packers 42.4
2. Antonio Brown, Steelers 39.4
3. Demaryius Thomas, Broncos 18.2
Best Tight End
1. Rob Gronkowski, Patriots 78.8
2. Martellus Bennett, Bears 12.1
3. Julius Thomas, Patriots 9.1
Least Valuable Player
1. Vernon Davis, 49ers 36.4
2. Kennan Allen, Chargers 33.3
3. Frank Gore, 49ers 30.3
1. Eli Manning, Giants 63.7
2. Matthew Stafford, Lions 24.2
3. Andy Dalton, Bengals 12.1
Worst Running Back
1. Frank Gore, 49ers 45.5
2. Doug Martin, Buccaneers 33.3
3. Zac Stacy, Rams 21.2
Worst Wide Receiver
1. Eric Decker, Jets 45.5
2. Michael Crabtree, 49ers 39.4
3. Keenan Allen, Chargers 15.2
Worst Tight End
1. Charles Clay, Dolphins 40.6
2. Vernon Davis, 49ers 34.4
3. Jason Witten, Cowboys 25.0
Most Valuable Player
2014 Aaron Rodgers, Packers
2013 Peyton Manning, Broncos
2012 Adrian Peterson, Vikings
2011 Aaron Rodgers, Packers
2010 Michael Vick, Eagles
2009 Drew Brees, Saints
2008 Kurt Warner, Cardinals
2007 Tom Brady, Patriots
2006 LaDainian Tomlinson, Chargers
2005 Shaun Alexander, Seahawks
2004 Peyton Manning, Colts
2003 Priest Holmes, Chiefs
Least Valuable Player
2014 Vernon Davis, 49ers
2013 Trent Richardson, Browns/Colts
2012 Darren McFadden, Raiders
2011 Any Indianapolis Colt
2010 Randy Moss, Patriots/Vikings/Titans
2009 Jay Cutler, Bears
2008 Edgerrin James, Cardinals
2007 Larry Johnson, Chiefs
2006 Randy Moss, Raiders
2005 Jamal Lewis, Ravens
2004 Steve McNair, Titans
2003 Rich Gannon, Raiders
Quarterbacks: In his last five games against Washington, Tony Romo has a pedestrian nine TD passes and seven picks. But the Redskins have given up 33 passing touchdowns this season, tied with the Bears for most in the NFL, so Romo enters the week as a top-3 fantasy play ... Philip Rivers (back) said he feels better this week than he did entering last week's game, when he torched the 49ers for 356 yards and four TDs. He's had five consecutive multiple-TD games against the Chiefs, this week's opponent.
Running backs: Even with DeAngelo Williams healthier, Jonathan Stewart deserves to stay in lineups as an RB2. Stewart has had 100-plus yards and a TD in two of his last three and gets a Falcons defense that has given up nine touchdowns to opposing RBs in the last five games ... Eddie Lacy owners won't love this, but the Lions haven't allowed a 100-yard rusher all season. Despite 36 yards on 11 carries vs. the Lions in Week 3, Lacy is still a strong RB2.
Wide receivers: Winning the unofficial "most frustrating" award this year is Cincinnati's A.J. Green, who just can't stay healthy. Green got hurt in Week 2 and was held to all zeros, missed Weeks 6-8 and then was injured again early last week and put up another doughnut. From Week 11-14, Green had three TDs and games with 127, 121 and 224 yards. Green was limited in practice yesterday and should be back in the lineups for the few fantasy owners who've survived his roller-coaster season ... Chip Kelly's reputation would take a major hit in his own locker room if pending free agent Jeremy Maclin gets injured in Sunday's meaningless game. From a fantasy perspective, this makes Maclin a shaky start.
2004. . . 5 18
2009. . . 10 15
2014. . . *10 *12
*Note: Assumes Philip Rivers (3,995) and Eli Manning (3,981) will reach 4,000 this weekend. Ditto for Matt Forte (987), Jamaal Charles (979) and Frank Gore (962) to get to 1,000.
DeMarco Murray has 1,745 rushing yards and needs 29 to break Emmitt Smith's 1995 Cowboys single-season rushing record. Murray is in his fourth season and, for the first time in his career, has not missed a game. He had missed 11 in his first three seasons.
Smith was in his sixth season in 1995, when he ran for 25 touchdowns and had a career-high 62 catches. (Murray has 12 TDs and 61 receptions). Further, Emmitt would go on to win his third Super Bowl that year and then reel off six more 1,000-yard seasons as part of 11 in a row.
Now that's greatness.
Ed Barkowitz, who would have sent Odell Beckham Jr. to the Pro Bowl ahead of A.J. Green, has been writing about fantasy football in the Daily News since 2001.