This is the perfect time during the real-life playoffs to reflect and revisit the 2016 fantasy season. In our “25 Statistics” series, we will look into each position and grab 25 of the most meaningful and fantasy relevant statistics that ultimately reveal a bigger narrative of a player’s season. These are in no particular order or rank; simply stats for stats sake my friends. Stay tuned as we reveal a position each week over the next month.
QBs articles are especially “my baby” around here as I weekly write a QB1 Primer column as well as an offseason series entitled “What Makes a QB1?” Speaking of the off-season… stay tuned for player profile articles, season report card recaps as well as pre-season QB Rankings from Andy, Mike, and Jason on the podcast and the Ultimate Draft Kit.
Note: For statistics sake, standard leagues for QBs refer to 4 points per passing TD league which a majority of fantasy owners play in. I will also use 6 point leagues in statistics as well.
25 Statistics: QBs in 2016
1) In 2015, we saw 11 QBs top 30 passing TDs including first timers Cam Newton, Ryan Fitzpatrick, Russell Wilson, Blake Bortles, and Derek Carr. In 2016, we only saw 6 guys in the 30 Club, all of them previously with 30+ TD seasons.
2) The Browns are the only team in history to have 4 different QBs submit QB1 fantasy weeks in any given season. Despite 1 win all year, Cody Kessler (Week 6), Josh McCown (Week 7), Kevin Hogan (Week 8), and Robert Griffin III (Week 15) all were top 12 at some point. Now only if they had let Terrelle Pryor sling the rock.
3) Sam Bradford finished with the highest single-season completion percentage (71.6) of ALL TIME for qualified QBs. He also has the lowest net yards gained per attempt (6.11) for a league leader EVER.
4) Dak Prescott finished with an unprecedented 10 QB1 weeks in standard scoring, the highest total by a rookie QB since Cam Newton‘s monster 2011 campaign in which he ran for an unreal 706 yards and 14 TDs just on the ground. Prescott was the QB3 from Weeks 3-12 and did not finish lower than QB13 in that span. Think about that…
5) Marcus Mariota was a QB1 eight straight weeks from Weeks 5-12 averaging a league-leading 24.6 fantasy points per contest in that span. Aaron Rodgers was the only other QB to have a streak of eight on the season.
6) Through the first 8 weeks of the season, Cam Newton was fantasy’s QB8 on a per game basis in 4 pt per passing TD leagues. In the second half, he averaged out as QB22.
7) New England QBs (Tom Brady, Jimmy Garoppolo, and Jacoby Brissett) threw for more yards combined (4456) on the season than Aaron Rodgers.
8) Matt Ryan‘s 9.3 yards per pass attempt lead the league in 2016 and is the highest since Kurt Warner’s magical 2000 season. And yet it still lags behind franchise leader Chris Chandler’s 1998 Super Bowl campaign in which he had 9.6 yards per attempt.
9) Just another ho-hum Drew Brees season leading the league in passing yards with 5,208. He now owns 6 of the top 11 yardage seasons for QBs and ranks 3rd all-time.
10) Russell Wilson‘s 7 “bad” starts are the most ever by a player finishing the season as a QB1. Wilson was QB11 in standard leagues but was a head case to fantasy owners to start with 7 top 12 games to go with those trash ones.
11) Blake Bortles‘ 11 QB1 starts from 2015 seem like a weird dream after this year’s debacle in Jacksonville. The “Teenage Mutant Ninja Bortles” only had 6 this season. His completion percentage, rushing yardage and INTs remain eerily similar to the year before. However, Bortles’ passing TD regression from 35 to 23 was a near unanimous forecast by fantasy experts.
12) With 324.7 fantasy points in 6 point per TD leagues, Andy Dalton barely finished as a QB1 for the season at 12th overall. That is the lowest top 12 total in 3 years since the illustrious duo of Colin Kaepernick and Ryan Tannehill finished as QB11 and QB12 respectively in 2013.
13) Despite having a brief season cut short by a gruesome injury in Week 7, Brian Hoyer performed as QB1 3 straight games during Weeks 3-5. If you would’ve had the gumption to stream Hoyer, you would’ve had the 3rd overall QB in fantasy in that span.
14) Tyrod Taylor, one of my pre-season darlings, finished the year as QB8 in standard (4 pt. per TD) leagues. He also led all QBs with 580 yards rushing and 6.1 yards per carry, the highest of all rushers (QBs and RBs) with at least 70 attempts. He also was sacked 42 times, more than any other QB.
15) Colin Kaepernick, during his 11 games played/started, finished averaging 19.9 fantasy points per game in standard leagues. That put him ahead of Ben Roethlisberger, Dak Prescott, and Derek Carr on a per game average basis.
16) The Jets were the only team that failed to have 2 QB1 weeks. Ryan Fitzpatrick‘s Week 2 finish as QB9 seems like a distant memory in a poo-poo filled season in new York for QBs. Fitzpatrick, Bryce Petty, and Geno Smith led the league with 25 INTs and averaged a putrid 16.4 fantasy points per game in 6 point leagues, 3rd worst behind only the Texans and Rams.
17) Speaking of Texans QBs… offseason signing bust Brock Osweiler had a measly 2 QB1 starts in 2016 in 15 games. While backing up Peyton Manning last year for the Super Bowl champion Broncos, the “Brockness Monster” was a QB1 3 times in only 7 starts.
18) And Jared Goff, he waited until Week 11 to “wrestle” the starting job away from Case Keenum. Goff was sacked on a higher percentage of drop backs than any QB and “averaged out” as QB28 on a per game basis. Woof.
19) After Week 5, Philip Rivers failed to register another top 12 performance in standard leagues. Although he led the NFL with 21 INTs, Rivers somehow still finished 8th in 6 point leagues averaging 22.2 fantasy points per game.
20) Aaron Rodgers was the only QB to not register a “bad” start in which he finished outside the top 19 QBs for a given week. Russell Wilson was the only QB to accomplish that feat in 2015.
21) Alex Smith bookended his season nicely finishing as a top 4 QB in standard scoring in Weeks 1 and 17. That is as many top 4 performances as Dak Prescott, Cam Newton, and Eli Manning COMBINED.
22) Kirk Cousins finished as fantasy’s QB5 in 6 point leagues aided by a gargantuan 4,917 passing yards, 3rd most in the league. When you add in his 100 yards on the ground, he submitted the 11th most total yards (passing + rushing) for a QB in league history. Now about that big offseason contract, we’re not sure Washington will buy in without the playoff appearance.
23) Andrew Luck had an incredible 11 weeks as a top 12 option finishing as QB4 in standard scoring. Luck was almost as consistent on a per game basis as Matt Ryan but is getting little buzz as the Colts failed to make the playoffs. Remember, in his unbelievable 2014 season, he had 13 weeks as a top 12 guy, behind only Peyton Manning’s magical 2013 season for most in the past 5 years.
24) The NFC South led all divisions with 33 QB1 performances in standard scoring formats spearheaded by Matt Ryan (11) and Drew Brees (10).
25) In standard leagues, we saw 40 different QBs, including one-time wonders Matt Moore, Kevin Hogan, Jimmy Garoppolo, and Landry Jones, contribute a top 12 week. In 2015, we saw 40 as well including everybody’s favorites fantasy gunslingers: Geno Smith, Brandon Weeden, Matt Cassel, Kellen Moore and even Johnny Manziel.
Stay tuned for 25 Statistics on the other positions!