The Carolina Panthers placed a league-best 10 players in the 2016 Pro Bowl presented by USAA, which will be played on Sunday, January 31, 2016 and televised live on ESPN at 7:00 PM ET from Aloha Stadium in Honolulu, Hawaii.
The Pro Bowl players were determined by the consensus votes of fans, players, and coaches. Each group’s vote counted one-third toward determining the 86 Pro Bowl selections. Two additional “need” players will be chosen by each head coach and must be long snappers. The NFL is the only sports league that combines voting by fans, coaches and players to determine its all-star teams.
Players will be assigned to teams through the Pro Bowl Draft, which will air on Wednesday, January 27 on ESPN2. Before Pro Football Hall of Famers Michael Irvin and Jerry Rice make their picks for their teams, we polled the office to see which players we’d want to be on Team QE for our Fantasy Pro Bowl.
Here’s how/why we picked our team. Did your favorite make the cut? Did we miss anyone?
CAM NEWTON (QB – PANTHERS)
Wondering why Cam Newton has a Superman celebration AND a Green Lantern warm-up? That’s because Newton has unofficially become Carolina’s own indestructible superhero. At 245 pounds, Cam, who’s built like a defensive end, runs like The Flash with ease. It’s no doubt Team QE wants this hero to head the team. Also, #GoPANTHERS.
ADRIAN PETERSON (RB – VIKINGS)
Brett Favre, Peterson’s Vikings teammate during the 2009 and 2010 seasons, told Sports Illustrated, “This is another example of how super elite AP [Adrian Peterson} is. It can be magical to watch him run. I’d put him in the top few teammates I’ve ever played with. Guys like him and Reggie White.” Quite the glowing recommendation.
MIKE TOLBERT (FB – PANTHERS)
Mike Tolbert is one of the league’s best fullbacks. He has been voted to the Pro Bowl for the second time in two years. What he can do as a runner, receiver out of the backfield and blocker is invaluable. Plus, when it comes to “Dancing With The Stars” in the Carolina locker room, Tolbert plays second to none. Again, #GoPANTHERS.
CALVIN JOHNSON (WR – LIONS)
While Calvin Johnson’s future in the NFL is unclear, there’s no denying that he has been a force to be reckoned. It’s crystal clear we want that star power on our fantasy team. Johnson collected 1,214 yards and 9 touchdowns on 88 receptions this season, which is an outstanding year for any top ten receiver.
ODELL BECKHAM (WR – GIANTS)
While the Giants have recently been in the media for reasons other than their performance on the field, we’ve been looking at Odell Beckham Jr. and his achievements. The man has set numerous records, dazzled fans with incredible catches, and won the cover vote for this year’s edition of Madden.
JOE STALEY (OT - 49ERS)
This is Staley’s fifth consecutive Pro Bowl, which also illustrates that the nine-year pro is still at the top of his game. The 49ers have had a rough season this year, but Staley is confident in being able to overcome that. Staley’s record proves that when push comes to shove, the man is unmovable.
JASON PETERS (OT – EAGLES)
The final grades for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2015 aren’t very good, as most fans can guess. However, the Eagles’ offensive line did play better in the second half of the season than the first. There are some questions of Jason Peter’s durability, but against the remaining pool of OT’s, I think he’ll be fine.
TRAI TURNER (OG – PANTHERS)
Because the Panthers had a historic 2015 NFL regular season, it’s no surprise Turner was selected among his fellow teammates to join our Fantasy Pro Bowl team. The Panthers also finished 2015 as the highest-scoring offense in the NFL. #KeepPounding
DAVID DECASTRO (OG – STEELERS)
David DeCastro has earned his first Pro Bowl and many agree it was long overdue. After a lackluster start in his NFL career, 2014 was finally his breakout year. DeCastro showed what he was capable of. He ranked as the 18th best guard in the NFL under Pro Football Focus’s mysterious grades.
RYAN KALIL (C – PANTHERS)
The 30-year old earned his fifth Pro Bowl selection after clearing the way for the NFC South champions to rush for 2,282 yards, second-most in the NFL. Kalil and the Panthers have a bye this week after earning the NFC’s top seed. Panthers’ Ryan Kalil was among six of the players that were named to the Associated Press All-Pro First Team. #KeepPounding
GREG OLSEN (TE – PANTHERS)
Tight End Greg Olsen set a new career high in receiving yards with 1104 yards, a new high for average yards a game at 69 and average yards per catch with 14.3 yards. Olsen also tied his longest career reception with 52 yards (also had a 52 yard reception in 2008 with the Chicago Bears). #PantherNation
Congrats to my guys for making the Pro Bowl. Hopefully they will need to fill 10 spots! pic.twitter.com/5szTcg2mAV— Greg Olsen (@gregolsen88) December 23, 2015
J.J. WATT (DE – TEXANS)
J.J. Watt is a definite shoo-in for our fantasy team. Watt was awarded the legendary Deacon Jones Award yesterday and here’s why; Watt led the league with 17.5 sacks and became the seventh player since the statistic became official in 1982 to lead the league in sacks twice.
CHANDLER JONES (DE – PATRIOTS)
Jones may have been out for Sunday’s season finale game against the Miami Dolphins with toe and abdomen injuries, but Jones does lead the New England Patriots with 12.5 sacks.
KAWANN SHORT (DT – PANTHERS)
Our first pick for defensive tackle goes to Panthers’ Kawann Short. Short was named to the Associated Press All-Pros Second Team. Kawann Short, along with the Panthers, have shown true grit in their regular season this year and it’s that ambition that lands him on our team.
GENO ATKINS (DT – BENGALS)
Atkins is no stranger to Hawaii. If he hadn’t made the Pro Bowl this year, then the entire selection process would have been a sham. In what has been a Defensive Player of the Year-caliber season, Atkins has been the real hero for the Bengals' defense.
VON MILLER (OLB – BRONCOS)
When Denver Broncos outside linebacker and sacker-extraordinaire Von Miller was asked if making the Pro Bowl gets old, he said, “No, it doesn’t get old. It’s a great award. You’re voted on by your peers, and the fans, and the coaches, it’s all great.” But he didn’t end it at that. Von Miller then said, “I plan on not being there; I plan on being in San Jose [For the Super Bowl].” The four time Pro-Bowler did promise that if for some reason he ends up in Hawaii for the Pro Bowl, that he would play hard.
THOMAS DAVIS (OLB – PANTHERS)
Thomas Davis is an obvious choice for our Pro Bowl Fantasy team. The Carolina Panthers’ linebacker has been chosen by his peers to receive “The Bart Starr Award,” one of the NFL’s most prestigious honors.
LUKE KUECHLY (ILB – PANTHERS)
LUUUUKE!! During Sunday’s victory over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in the regular-season finale at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, fans squirmed and wondered if Kuechly would be able to overcome an injury that sucked the air out of the athlete. Since the linebacker has had an impressive season this year, we’re convinced Kuechly will be just fine after a little TLC.
RICHARD SHERMAN (CB – SEAHAWKS)
It’s no surprise Richard Sherman makes our team. No team in the NFL did a better job against No. 1 receivers than the Seahawks, according to Football Outsiders’ rankings. And Richard was the reason why.
PATRICK PETERSON (CB – CARDINALS)
Patrick Peterson has become a true “shutdown” corner and should earn the title of best defensive player for the Arizona Cardinals.
CHARLES WOODSON (S – RAIDERS)
This past weekend, Charles Woodson was able to finally exhale a sigh of relief. This legend has to be on our team. After 18 season 254 regular-season games, 17 postseason appearances, 65 interceptions and well more than 1,000 tackles, his NFL career is over. Woodson finished his career with his ninth Pro Bowl selection and fifth as a Raider.
"No matter how long I play here, the foundation is going to be laid how Charles Woodson plays the game." https://t.co/UgpW0VwOv0— OAKLAND RAIDERS (@RAIDERS) December 22, 2015
KAM CHANCELLOR (S – SEAHAWKS)
We’re excited to see that Kam Chancellor is back on the field after missing Seattle’s last three games. Chancellor is a heck of a player and if given the opportunity to heal and return to form after his pelvis injury, he’ll come back stronger than ever.
SAM KOCH (P – RAVENS)
That’s so Raven(s)! Sam Koch earned his first Pro Bowl honor in his 10-year career and his response is why he lands on our team! The Baltimore Ravens Punter Sam Koch made sure to show his gratitude towards his teammates who helped him achieve this long-awaited accomplishment. Koch bought Apple watches for seven players and bought flight vouchers for two others. Talk about a humble brag!
STEPHEN GOSTKOWSKI (K – PATRIOTS)
Patriots’ Stephen Gostkowski was recognized and selected first-team by the Associated Press for their annual All-Pros honors. Gostkowski and Gronkowski are the only two Patriots on the first team, which is considered by some to be a greater honor than the Pro Bowl because there are fewer selections across the league.
DARREN SPROLES (RS – EAGLES)
Darren makes our team for his accomplishments during his time with the Eagles. He gained 1,171 all-purpose yards and led the NFL in punt-return yardage (446), punt-return TDs (2) and longest punt TD return (89). Sproles had 177 touches this year between rushing (83), receiving (55), punt returns (38) and kickoff returns (1).
JUSTIN BETHEL (ST - CARDINALS)
While there are some that believe Cardinals’ Justin Bethel may have succumbed to fatigue and may not recuperate, we believe we’ll be just fine! Richard Sherman plays special teams and cornerback; Bethel WILL get used to that too. Just a matter of time!
*No Players Available
Get to the Pro Bowl
Draft takes place: Wednesday, January 27th, ESPN2
Pro Bowl: Sunday, January 31st
Through NFL On Location and QuintEvents' Official Ticket Packages to the 2016 Pro Bowl, you can combine a one-of-a-kind vacation to Hawaii with one of the most epic NFL games imaginable. Official Packages offer a variety of exclusive inclusions only available through the NFL paired with luxurious accommodations and transportation. Get yours today!
TELL DA TRUTH!