Fantasy MVP: The early 2011 candidates

Updated: September 28, 2011, 5:35 PM ET
By Eric Karabell
Some of the players off to great statistical starts this season can be real-life MVP candidates, but not necessarily be considered for the same honor in the fantasy world. I took a look at Mike Sando's ESPN.com MVP watch recently and saw some of the normal suspects for the league's top individual honor, led by Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees and some guy on the New England Patriots named Tom Brady.

But in fantasy football, I view MVP candidates a bit differently. A year ago, Houston Texans running back Arian Foster and Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Michael Vick were the runaway choices. They finished 1-2 in standard scoring, by a long shot, and neither was highly thought of on draft day (though Foster was at least drafted). I chose Foster as the fantasy MVP because he won leagues in Week 16, though it could certainly be argued Vick, better on a per-game basis, was more critical to getting teams to meaningful postseason tilts.