Originally posted on Football Nation  |  Last updated 12/12/11
Each week during the year, we'd wrap up the weekend looking at the Champs and Chumps from the action.  With the 2011 regular season coming to a close, here's a look at the "Champs" from the 2011 College Fantasy Football season - the players who lived up to their preseason hype and posted great stats.

For a look at this season's Chumps, click here.


CHAMPS

Quarterbacks:

1.     Case Keenum, Houston- While Keenum may not have finished out the season the way people expected with his disappointing performance in the C-USA championship game, the senior QB still justified his ranking as the top option at the position. Keenum finished the season with a whopping 45:5 touchdown to interception ratio and over 5,000 yards passing. That made his fantasy owners very happy, as he was most likely taken No. 1 overall.     

2.     Robert Griffin III, Baylor- We knew RG3 was good, as we had him rated the No. 2 overall QB in the preseason power rankings on CFG. We just didn’t know that he was Heisman good. Griffin showed off his athleticism and throwing ability week in a week out like most expected. What wasn’t expected was the accuracy and touch he displayed on many of his throws that only lead him to throw 6 INT’s on the year to go along with his 36 touchdown passes. I don’t think it will shock anyone to see him standing up in New York City holding the bronze trophy.

3.     Chandler Harnish, Northern Illinois- It wasn’t known for sure what type of offense NIU would be running this upcoming season. New head coach Dave Doeren was coming from a system at Wisconsin where it was the power run game with the tailbacks. But with Harnish in place at QB, Doeren knew what kind of player he had and made sure that he utilized his strengths. Harnish finished the season with 23 touchdowns and over 2,600 yards through the air. Add in 11 touchdowns and 1,350 yards on the ground and that is quite the senior campaign. *Hint for next season: Pick up players from the MAC.   


Running Backs:

1.     Montee Ball, Wisconsin- It seems like that dedication Ball made in the offseason to get in better shape really paid off for the junior back. Not only did he lead the nation in rushing yards with more than 1,700, but he also had the most rushing touchdowns of any player in college football. It was initially thought that he would have to share carries with another talented back in James White, but Ball was just a workhorse all year long and it was difficult for the coaching staff to keep him off the field because of the production. While Trent Richardson may get all the accolades as being the most talented running back, Ball was the better rusher in 2011.  

2.     Bernard Pierce, Temple- Pierce’s career so far at Temple had been slowed just a bit by injury, but everyone around the program knew the talent was there. Well Pierce was able to stay on the field this season and proved to the country why he should be known as one of the top backs in the country. He was another player coming into the season that would possibly have to share duties with a talented backup in Matt Brown. Pierce was the go-to guy for most of the year and got many of the carries around the goal line which is why he was third in the nation in rushing touchdowns. He also topped the 1,300-yard mark without playing in two games. He could be a top option in fantasy in 2012.  

3.     Trent Richardson, Alabama- Everyone knew just how talented a back Richardson was. Despite going up against 9- and 10-man fronts every week, added to the fact that he plays in the best defensive conference in the nation, Richardson still put up the gaudy numbers we expected coming into 2011. The junior back finished the year with nearly 1,900 yards of total offense and 23 touchdowns. Richardson just might be the best all-around player in the nation and lived up to his fantasy stock coming into the year.


Wide Receivers:

1.     Patrick Edwards, Houston- Hard not to lead the FBS in receiving touchdowns when you were your QB’s favorite target and he threw 9 TD passes in a game this year. Edwards was Keenum’s go-to guy the entire season that his stats proved it. Although he did have games where his production was limited—mostly because Houston was blowing out their opponent—Edwards made up for that with 5 multi-touchdown games, including a matchup against Rice where he caught 5 TDs.

2.     Jordan White, Western Michigan- It is quite the accomplishment when a player from Western Michigan makes it onto the first team All-America team. The award was much deserved as White led the nation in receiving yards, as well as adding 16 TD receptions to pad the fantasy numbers. This senior wideout may not have the top-end speed or height to be a top draft pick in the NFL, but he is a receiver that knows how to get the job done. He did so in 2011.    

3.     Kendall Wright, Baylor- It was very difficult to watch a Baylor football highlight this year and not see Kendall Wright. After not topping the 1,000-yard mark in any of his first three seasons, Wright burst onto the scene with highlight-reel catches and flashing his incredible speed in Baylor’s wide-open offense. Wright capped off his senior campaign with 4 straight games of which he topped 100 yards to finish with over 1,500 yards receiving on the year. What set him apart from others was his consistency the entire season. He did not have one game where he had less than 60 yards. Not to mention that in the two games Wright did have around 60 yards receiving, he was able to come up with touchdowns in both. Now that is production!
 

Tight Ends:

1.     Stanford TE’s- In CFG’s final rankings of tight ends, you could find 4 guys from Stanford. It’s hard enough to find a team with two tight ends that productive, but 4? Now you could say that they are the product of Andrew Luck or the system they run there in Palo Alto. But there is one common theme between Zach Ertz, Levine Toilolo, Ryan Hewitt and Coby Fleener; they all have talent. Combined the foursome racked up over 1,550 yards and 24 TDs.

2.     Tyler Eifert, Notre Dame- Eifert’s season went up and down just like Notre Dame was for much of the year. But in terms of total production with tight ends, Eifert was right up there with the best of them. While some may think he has the talent to outperform what he did this year, considering the fact that the Irish have a better receiving option and shaky QB play, this is right where Eifert should be in terms of production. The junior finished with 713 yards receiving and 5 TDs in his first full season as the starter.   

3.     Gavin Escobar, San Diego State- Considering that Escobar was bothered by injuries in 2011 that caused him to miss two games, this sophomore tight end maybe should have been placed higher on the list. His stats either matched or were better than many of the other top options at the position, and Escobar’s QB did not have a great season throwing the football making it all the more impressive. Look for Escobar to be a top option next year if the Aztecs find a replacement at quarterback.  
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