10 Shocking Stats from the 2020 Fantasy Football Season

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Each February, the Fantasy Footballers put together a list of shocking stats from the previous season to tantalize, to stimulate the senses, and, above all else, to make you question if this whole thing was made up.

This article is a recap from the Shocking Stats from 2020 episode and a dive deeper into some of the notes from our “Show Doc”.

1. Running Through the Air

2020 marked the fewest RB receiving fantasy points (“running through the air” as Jason coined it) since 2012. RBs averaged just 1.48 fantasy pts per reception. RB receiving yards hit rock bottom averaged 7.4 yards per reception, the lowest in the last decadeOn the other hand, RBs averaged 0.66 fantasy points per rush, the highest in the last 10 years. (Note: Fumbles were not taken into account with these league-wide configurations.)

If you drafted RB early, you likely felt the impact as Christian McCaffrey and Saquon Barkley, two RB pass-catching extraordinaires, were both hurt. In 2019, seven different RBs had 65+ receptions… in 2020, only two (Alvin Kamara & J.D. McKissic). Four of the top-7 in RB receptions were McKissic, Nyheim Hines, Mike Davis, and Chase Edmonds… not exactly difference makers in fantasy.

2. Oh… How the Mighty Have Fallen!

OK, so that was a bit of a setup to say that Michael Thomas failed to see an end-zone target after seeing a league-leading 26 red-zone targets in 2019. According to Andy, Mike, and Jason, Thomas is still an elite WR although we will wait and see if his QB is Taysom Hill or someone else in 2021. You can find out where Thomas stands in the Footballers’ Dynasty Startup Rankings found only in the new Dynasty Pass.

3. Mr. LIMMMMMMMITED

Seattle, despite being 12-4, finished 27th in 3rd down conversion percentage. That’s the lowest for a 12-win team since Peyton Manning’s final noodle-armed year in 2015. Seattle was somehow awful on 3rd downs all season long.

Russell Wilson completed just 60 % of his passes on 3rd down… tied for 21st among QBs. On other downs, he completed 71% of his passes. I mean the dude slayed on 1st and 2nd. Here are some players who had more fantasy points on 3rd down than Russ

Perhaps this is just a fluke in Russell’s splits but he’s completed less than 60% of passes on 3rd down in his entire career. Regardless, the off-season drama of Wilson’s status with the Seahawks is something worth monitoring moving forward. The guys think Wilson still has it in him (at age 32) to make another Super Bowl appearance.

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4. Red-Zone Warriors

In 2020, three players had double-digit TDs inside the red-zone: Davante Adams (14), Adam Thielen (13), & Travis Kelce (10). That’s the MOST since 2015.

Year Players with Double-Digit Red-Zone TDs
2020 Davante Adams (14), Adam Thielen (13), & Travis Kelce (10)
2019 None
2018 Eric Ebron (11) & Davante Adams (10)
2017 Jarvis Landry (10) & Jimmy Graham (10)
2016 Jordy Nelson (11)
2015 Allen Robinson (12), Brandon Marshall (10), Eric Decker (10), Tyler Eifert (11) & Jordan Reed (10)

2015 was truly peak Footballers if you listened way back then.

The guys followed up the discussion playing a short “mini-game” of who (minus Adams, Thielen & Kelce) could gather double-digit red-zone TDs in 2021.

5. 🎵UNDER PRESSURE 🎵

Justin Herbert was the ONLY QB whose Passer Rating under pressure was higher (99.4) than his total Passer Rating (98.3).

This was despite being behind PFF’s 32nd ranked offensive line and constantly being under duress. As a rookie, Herbert had the most completions under pressure in the NFL; we also need to take into account that his receivers were also credited with 10 drops on pass attempts under pressure. He was basically the opposite of Russell Wilson leading the NFL with 15 passing TDs on 3rd down.

Herbert was mentioned on Tuesday’s Rookie Review show and his consistency metrics were discussed in the QB Truth Part 2 episode earlier.

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6. ‘Bout to Get That Bag

From Weeks 1-5, Curtis Samuel had 34 total fantasy pts… He stunk. He was the WR61. He was likely sitting on your waiver wire.

From Week 7 on (including his bye), he was the WR10 with as many WR1 weeks as Stefon Diggs and twice as many as Justin Jefferson

David Eulitt/Getty Images

With Christian McCaffrey out for the majority of the season, Samuel was the hybrid RB/WR that the team turned to in tough situations. The team manufactured touches for him as he had the 2nd most 3rd down “touches” among all WRs. The timing was perfect as Samuel enters 2021 as a free-agent likely to secure a sizeable bag of cash.

Andy mentioned Washington as an intriguing free-agency spot. San Francisco would be an absolute train-wreck for fantasy given players with similar skillsets at WR. Jason was less bullish on Samuel’s 2021 fantasy outlook. Mike also threw out New England as a possible destination where Bill Belichick could maximize his playmaking ability.

7. JuJu, MapleTron and Sir Dropsalot

The Pittsburgh Steelers WRs scored the 2nd MOST combined fantasy points in the NFL. They had three WRs in the top-24 (Juju Smith-Schuster– WR18, Chase Claypool– WR19, Diontae Johnson– WR22). That all sounds nice.

Yet they totaled only FOUR 100-yard receiving games as a WR group. That’s also known as ONE fewer than COLE FREAKIN BEASLEY had.

With Juju out of the way, the guys stated that Diontae and MapleTron both look destined for the top-24 in 2021.

BONUS!

Editor’s Note: These were not mentioned on the show but I thought you could peer into some of the other stats that almost made the list from our Show Doc.

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8. ROBS RULE

Since 1992 (when targets became a stat) there have only been TWO pass-catchers (i.e. RB/WR/TEs) to have double-digit TD receptions in a season with fewer than 60 targets:

Player Year Games Targets Rec Yards TDs Fantasy Finish
Rob Gronkowski 2010 16 59 42 546 10 TE8
Robert Tonyan 2020 16 59 52 586 11 TE3

Tonyan was discussed in more length on the TE Truth Episode, specifically his insane efficiency and what it could mean moving forward.

9. LOGAN RUUUUUNS… HE RUNS SO FAR AWAAAAY

Washington TE Logan Thomas ran 3rd most routes run EVER among TEs since PFF starting tracking in 2006. In case you were curious, #1 was Jason Witten-DAL (2012) and #2 Jordan Cameron-CLE (2013).

The former college QB’s 611 total routes run were 247 more than the previous four years in the league COMBINED. He saw 404 snaps in the slot, the most among TEs and the 6th most among all pass-catchers. Heck, that’s more than Tyreek Hill had.

The question is this a Gary Barnidge situation? Was this just opportunity and impeccable timing? Is it possible we saw the best season of his career?

10. Patriot Games… The non-Harrison Ford Version

Please tell me you’ve read or seen Patriot Games people…

Ok, back to the final stat. Four different DSTs (Colts, Rams, Ravens & Bills) scored as many TDs (4) as the Patriots WRs.

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Woof.

Yes, it was a total disaster if you decided you wanted to go all-in on the Patriot passing game especially if N’Keal Harry was where you wanted to call your shot.

Moving forward, the question is if they matter at all in 2021 and who will be Uncle Bill’s QB in Foxboro?

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