Fantasy Football: 25 QB Statistics from the 2022 Season
For the SEVENTH(!) year in a row, our 25 Statistics series recaps each position with some of the most meaningful and eye-popping statistics of the year. For context, I started writing this series way back in 2016 when Obama was still president, Andy, Mike, & Jason still were working out of a spare bedroom, and JayGriz didn’t have a job yet.
My goal is to start by giving the broad scope of QB scoring from a league-wide view, work through the elite tier of QBs before finding the odd and quirky stats of 2022 that might help reframe and give context to a number of questionable signal-callers.
Stayed tuned as the TRUTH podcast episodes roll on to QBs this week!
Note: All scoring is 4-point standard QB scoring per the Ballers Consistency Charts found at JointheFoot.com.
1. Every year I track the stat of how top-12 performances we saw at the QB position. It’s stayed fairly steady over the last couple of years since collecting this data. But in 2021, we saw a massive jump to nearly 50 QBs hit that QB1 mark.
Just to jog your memory a bit, here are some of those 45 QBs who might’ve slipped your mind including Jameis Winston, Joe Flacco, Teddy Bridgewater, Bailey Zappe, Gardner Minshew, Jarrett Stidham, and a number sneaking in for Week 18 such as Sam Ehlinger, Davis Webb, Desmond Ridder, & Sam Howell.
2. Despite having a 17th game to the schedule (minus Week 17’s BUF/CIN contest), this was the 2nd fewest combined passing TDs over the last decade. Over half the league finished with fewer than 25 total passing TDs including 14(!) teams with under 20 passing TDs. Let’s give some context for some of the downturn
- Some of this can be chalked up to continuity. Only 16 teams (half the league) had their QB start more than 14 games while teams like the Ravens, Jets, Dolphins, Cardinals, 49ers, Titans, Colts, Commanders, Panthers, and Rams all started at least three different QBs this year. After Week 10, those ten teams combined for two total games of 3+ passing TDs (Sam Darnold in Week 17 and Brock Purdy in Week 18)
- Across the league, we saw 88 fewer passing TDs from QBs than 2021. If you compare to 2020, it was 119(!) fewer passing TDs.
- In terms of fantasy points per pass attempt, this year tied 2017’s QB wasteland for the lowest (1.96) in the last decade.
3. If you had a rushing QB for fantasy, you understand how incredible it was to not only have a weekly floor but true ceiling outcomes to beat your opponent each week. 2022 marked the first time QBs surpassed 10,000 rushing yards league-wide in the modern NFL era. You can see the progression over the last decade…
|Year||Total Rush Att.||Total Rush Yards||Total Rush TDs|
Five different QBs totaled 700+ rushing yards. Take it back to 2018 and we had ZERO hit that mark.
4. Part of the regression in QB production can be pointed to the lack of efficiency in throwing the ball downfield. We saw the fewest 20+ yard completions over the last seven years and just north of 37 percent of 20+ yard attempts were completed.
|Year||Total Att.||Deep Att.||Deep Comp||Deep Comp %||Deep TDs||% Of Att.|
Surveying a top-10 list of which QBs completed the most 20+ yard passes will also make you roll your eyes. Russell Wilson, Davis Mills, Mac Jones, and Aaron Rodgers all might’ve hit the deep ball but for fantasy, their WRs were basically irrelevant for the most part.
5. How good was Patrick Mahomes? Finishing as the QB1 overall doesn’t really do justice to how unbelievably consistent he was. He set the record for most top-12 performances in a season with 15. The previous record (14) was held by Peyton Manning (2013), Patrick Mahomes (2018), and Lamar Jackson (2019). The only two finishes outside that top-12 number? QB13 in Week 2 & QB13 in Week 18. In other words, this was arguably the most consistent fantasy season ever for a QB.
6. The Chiefs had to adjust their game plan this year with no Tyreek Hill. Mahomes had the lowest play-action rate and lowest percentage of deep throws in his career and.. it didn’t matter! He led the league in Passer Rating, QBR, and Expected Points Added. Let’s overwhelm you with some more Mahomes statistics just to give you an idea of how great he was:
- His 5,250 passing yards rank 4th all-time in a season. If you add in his rushing yardage, it’s the most total offensive yards (5,608) in NFL history.
- He became the 2nd QB ever to lead the league in passing yardage without a 1,000 wide receiver alongside Drew Brees.
- He said before the season “I’ll be able to spread the ball around more this year” and maybe we should’ve taken him at his word. 11 different pass-catchers caught a TD from Mahomes.
- Heck, he even completed a pass to himself for six yards against the Jaguars.
- 34 of his 41 of his passing TDs came inside the Red Zone. That’s an astounding 83 percent and for comparison, in his 50-TD MVP season of 2018, only 70 percent came inside the 20.
7. After finishing as the QB1 overall in both 2020 and 2021, Josh Allen technically beat Patrick Mahomes in points per game but finished lower in total points with one fewer game played. Josh Allen led all QBs in top-5 performances (11) which outpaced both of the previous two years. He led all QBs in 20+ yard completions and PFF’s Big-Time Throws.
8. Allen‘s career-high 20 turnovers almost didn’t even matter. In nine games with an INT, he averaged 25 fantasy points per game and 58 rushing yards. In seven games without an INT, he was slightly worse averaging 24 fantasy points per game and 34 rushing yards. He seems like a lock to be the QB1 in both redraft and dynasty startups yet again heading into 2023.
9. Jalen Hurts‘ season needs to be given some context after missing Weeks 16 & 17 with a shoulder injury. He technically finished as the QB1 in expected fantasy points and was a road warrior averaging 27 fantasy points per game, the highest among all QBs. Some of his metrics show just how dynamic he was simply as a passer ranking #1 in passer rating versus zone coverage and 3rd in yards per attempt (8.0). Here is the shortlist of QBs to average 8+ yards per attempt, complete more than 66 percent of their passes, and rush for more than seven TDs in a season: Jalen Hurts. End of list.
10. As a runner, Hurts was downright unstoppable with 13 rushing TDs averaging 11 carries per game, and leading all QBs with 43 red-zone carries. That number is the most by a QB (hold on.. wait for it…) all-time(!), or at least since we started tracking red-zone statistics in 1994. 43 red-zone carries would’ve tied Josh Jacobs for 5th most among running backs this year.
11. After a Super Bowl run last year, Joe Burrow followed that up by ranking 2nd in passing TDs, 4th in fantasy points per game, and 5th in passing yards. He joins Patrick Mahomes and Josh Allen as the only QBs with multiple seasons of 34 passing TDs and 4,400+ passing yards before their age 27 season. He was the only QB to finish #1 overall on a week three times including doing it back-to-back in Weeks 6 & 7. But the real story was how Zac Taylor and the coaching staff got out of the way after Week 2. From that point on, the Bengals ranked 2nd in pass rate over expectation, 2nd in expected points per play, and threw the ball on 1st down at a higher rate than any other team.
12. Trevor Lawrence came onto the scene in a big way after a dumpster fire of a rookie year that led everyone to question if he was a lost cause. He finished with ten top-12 fantasy performances and from Weeks 9-16, Lawrence became a weekly must-start as the Jaguars transformed into an unstoppable offensive force. In that span, they ranked 5th in passing yards per game, 3rd in Expected Pts per Pass Attempt, and 9th in points per game. Lawrence finished as one of two QBs in NFL history to put up 4,000+ passing, 25 passing + 5 rushing TDs as a sophomore joining fellow Clemson alum Deshaun Watson.
13. Let’s geek out for a second on Justin Fields… From Week 6 on, he was a wrecking ball for fantasy averaging 24.8 fantasy points per game. He tied Lamar Jackson’s 2019 season for most games (7) of 80+ rush yards and averaged 7.1 yards per carry, the highest in the NFL. In terms of rushing fantasy points (rush yards + rush TDs- fumbles), he ranked 12th among all players. Think about that… if Fields was inserted in your lineup purely as a runner, he was basically an RB1.
14. Fields set a record for QB scrambles (undesigned QB runs) with 70, or roughly 16 percent of his dropbacks. There was a drastic shift in the Bears’ offense once they started designing run plays for their best player… imagine that.
Rush Attempts – (Scrambles + Kneel Downs) = Designed Runs
|Weeks||Team PPG||Scrambles||Designed Runs|
|1-6||15.5 (31st)||5.5 per game||2.17 per game|
|7- 18||21.2 (17th)||4.1 per game||5.33 per game|
15. But it’s not all sunshine and happy days for Fields. The poor guy didn’t have an offensive line at all getting pressured on 46 percent of his dropbacks, the highest in the league. You’ll see a theme here because it was bad news bears… He took a league-worst 55(!) sacks in 15 games played. That equated to a 14.7 percent sack rate, which is the highest of all-time (min. 10 games started) and light-years ahead of the 2nd worst QB in 2022 (Russell Wilson– 10.22%). Oh and the fumbles! He “led the league” with 16 fumbles but only lost two of them.
16. It was probably a blur for you but Geno Smith ended up with the 4th most passing TDs in the league and the QB5 on the year! Imagine telling someone that before the season… From Week 3 on, he had ten top-12 finishes, which was as many as Joe Burrow. He led all QBs with 14 TDs of 20+ yards accounting for an astounding 47 percent of his passing TDs! He ranked 2nd in PFF’s Big-Time Throws and
17. Maybe you didn’t look up and realize Daniel Jones finished as the QB9 in points per game this season. Yes, that Daniel Jones! He led the league with a 1.1 % INT rate and an 81.1 % adjusted completion rate (subtracts drops) but finished with only 15 passing TDs. How did he do it? His fantasy production can be traced back to what he accomplished on the ground. He became one of 12 QBs since 1973 to rush for 700 yards and seven TDs in a season and he now has four games of 2+ rushing TDs in his career, as many as Lamar Jackson. His Week 17 monster performance (36.2 fantasy points) won people championships as a streaming option.
18. Kirk Cousins and the Vikings’ passing offense took off this year under new HC Kevin O’Connell. Cousins led the league in total air yards, most completions in the intermediate area of the field (10-19 yards), and passing TDs (14) on 3rd down. The Vikings went an insane 11-0 in one-score games when Captain Kirk was at his best. Check out these splits:
|Games||Fppg||Pass Att.||Pass Yards||Pass TDs|
Over the last two years, Minnesota has played 35 games (including their recent playoff loss to the Giants) and 25 were one-score! He led all QBs in 2023 in 4th quarter comebacks and game-winning drives.
19. All year long there was a constant theme with the Lions and Jared Goff: buckle up when they play at Ford Field. Lions’ home games averaged 58.4 combined pointed per game, the highest in the NFL. Goff was elite at home averaging 21.3 fantasy points, 274 passing yards, and 2.6 passing TDs compared to splits of just 11.5/246/0.8 on the road. Goff also had 16 passing TDs inside the 5-yard line, 2nd most in NFL (one behind Mahomes) & the 4th most of any QB over last five years. The Lions made their mark when they got in close with 32 of their 52 offensive TDs coming inside the 5, a whopping 62 percent.
20. Justin Herbert and Tom Brady morphed into Checkdown Charlies in 2022. Brady set the NFL record for completions (490) breaking his own record (485) he set last year. Herbert came in 3rd all-time with 477 but both players were not so effective for fantasy. Brady submitted only five top-12 performances thanks to the lowest yards per attempt (6.4) of his career with the lowest average time to throw in the NFL. The GOAT did save his best for last as his Week 17 explosion (37.7 fantasy points) was tied for the 3rd highest in his career and his most fantasy points in a game since 2007! Herbert did lead the league in completion percentage under pressure (57.6) but that is another hollow statistic when you consider the dink-and-dunk nature of this Chargers offense in 2022.
21. Tua Tagovailoa burned so bright. He led the league in yards per attempt (8.9), yards per completion (13.7) and tied Patrick Mahomes for the highest TD rate (6.3%) and 1st down rate (62.5% of completions) in the NFL. Despite playing only 13 games, he actually led the league in passing yards on play-action (1,431) accounting for over 40 percent of his total passing yards. He looked like a lock to be a top-10 QB after a month-long stretch from Weeks 7-10 when he finished as QB11, 1, 4, and 3. However, after the Dolphins’ Week 11 bye, he never finished as a top-12 QB ever again and his season was cut short due to a concussion.
22. Dak Prescott‘s end-of-season numbers might look off but we didn’t see him fully back in action until Week 7. He certainly was a stable fantasy presence after as the QB6 in points per game (19.6) from Week 8 on including a league-leading 70.2 percent completion rate inside the red zone. But it was a night-and-day difference in Cowboys wins versus losses completing 74 percent of his passes in Ws and a lowly 55.5 percent in losses. The lows were quite low. Despite only playing 12 games, Dak set a career-high with 15 INTs and his percentage of turnover-worthy plays (4%). In fact, opposing defenses were more opportunistic on Dak’s turnover-worthy plays (83% turned into INTs) than any other QB in the NFL including three pick-sixes. For example, Patrick Mahomes (66%), Aaron Rodgers (66%), and Kyler Murray (39%) all had the same amount of turnover-worthy plays but were fortunate to not come out on the wrong side as much as Dak did.
23. I’ve waited to finally cross this bridge til the end as Russell Wilson was an absolute bust this year. Despite having the highest percentage of tickets and money bet for NFL MVP at BetMGM, it was a disaster. He had a 6-week stretch where he completed three total red-zone passes and infamously had more passing TDs than bathrooms in his house until Week 17. That didn’t keep the dude from chucking it deep as 16.1% of his attempts were 20+ yards downfield, the highest rate in the NFL (min. 8 games). He did complete the 2nd most 20+ yard passes and had four top-5 finishes, twice as many as Justin Herbert. But curiously, apart from those four performances, he had zero other finishes between QB6-QB13.
24. Let’s finish with some other QB oddities:
- Despite shifting through three different QBs (Tua Tagovailoa, Teddy Bridgewater & Skylar Thompson), the “Miami QB” would’ve finished as the QB7 on the year.
- Colts QB Matt Ryan had as many top-5 finishes (2) as Justin Herbert.
- Steelers QB Kenny Pickett posted the lowest TD rate (1.8%) of any rookie QB (min. 12 starts) since 1990. Diontae Johnson is somewhere crying…
- 38-year-old Joe Flacco started the first three games of the year for the Jets. He had 59, 44, and 52 pass attempts in that span. Remember? He became the first player to surpass 150 pass attempts in the first three games of the season according to Pro Football Reference.
- It was a small sample size but Baker Mayfield actually finished the year leading all QBs with a 52.2 percent deep ball completion rate. Congrats, Baker.
25. I’m always curious how many non-QBs attempt passes each year. Not counting Taysom Hill, we had 14 different non-QBs complete a pass in 2022.
- Four non-QBs threw a TD pass: Christian McCaffrey, Chase Claypool, Braxton Berrios, and yet again, the Yeti, Derrick Henry. He threw a 3-yarder in the 2019 playoffs, a 5-yarder last year, and a 3-yarder in 2022. For his career, Henry has attempted seven passes and completed six of them for three TDs.
- The Jets had six different players (four QBs, a WR & Punter) complete a pass for them in 2022. Yeah, it was a QB controversy all year long.
- Justin Jefferson got in the mix with two completed passes. He also now has the 2nd fewest postseason passing yards in NFL playoff history thanks to a -2 yard completion against the Giants.
- Tyler Boyd became the 5th WR over the last eight years to be “sacked” as a QB on a play.