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Looking back at fantasy football season

Standard fantasy football leagues don’t compete beyond this weekend, so if you’re still interested, a tip of the cap to you. You’ve obviously maneuvered your way into your league final, or possibly a third-place game, and there’s nothing like an envelope filled with winnings to take some of the sting away from the holiday season.

It’s time to wrap up this space, so let’s take a look back and a look ahead by examining a few key items from this season.

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The notion that you needed a top-flight quarterback to be successful in 2012 turned out to be a myth. And I bought into it. In one league, I used a first-round pick on Aaron Rodgers. In another, I used a first-rounder on Matthew Stafford. Not necessary, and I ended up trading both. Quarterbacks still accumulate the most points, but if you waited to draft Matt Ryan or Peyton Manning, or if you were savvy enough to select Robert Griffin III, you’re probably still alive in your league.

I’ve advanced to my league final by using Brandon Weeden and Russell Wilson at quarterback during the playoffs. I’ve been lucky: Weeden didn’t do much two weeks ago and I still won, and Wilson was matched up against Buffalo’s terrible defense last weekend and had a big day. This weekend, I’ll match up Wilson against Drew Brees, who has the most fantasy points of any player this season. I’m probably in trouble.

The Most Valuable Player in fantasy football was a third-round pick. I’m talking about Adrian Peterson of the Vikings. Peterson slipped to the third round because he suffered a gruesome knee injury last season. He also ran into trouble with the law during the offseason. No one knew what to expect, but Peterson scored the most fantasy points of any running back and was fifth in scoring overall (behind four quarterbacks). He should be the top fantasy pick next season.

Where should you draft Cam Newton next season? The Panthers quarterback was drafted in the first or second round in many leagues but started the season slowly. Many owners traded or benched him. Now, with just two weeks remaining in the regular season, Newton has 18 touchdown passes, seven rushing touchdowns, and has quietly ascended to third overall in scoring. Getting Newton after the second round next season would be a steal.

Ed Ryan can be reached at ed_ryan@globe.com.
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