If you’ve just started listening to the Fantasy Footballers, perhaps you are puzzled, enamored or downright confused as to why the number 55 is obsessed upon and unapologetically celebrated on the Fantasy Footballers podcast. Maybe you’re like a fellow listener, who asked in early January during show #682’s AMA, “Where does that godly 55 drop come from?” to which Mike was able to explain the origins of said Footballers tradition.
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1. There were 23 rushing plays that went for 55+ yards in 2018. Saquon Barkley had three of those plays… also known as more than over HALF the league had COMBINED. Barkley is the Ballers 1.01 as revealed in the top-10 countdown in early July.
2. Unsurprisingly, the Chiefs led the way in the number of total drives of 55+ yards on the season. Patrick Mahomes and his colleagues orchestrated 67 such drives that resulted in… you guessed it, 55 total touchdowns. The Chiefs and the rest of the AFC West were discussed in our divisional breakdowns in mid-July.
3. In the Tyreek Hill reinstatement news aftermath, the upside of Hill was discussed and his reinsertion in the rankings as a top-5 WR. The big-play ability was unreal last year as he had 5 TDs of 55+ yards in 2018.
5. Eight QBs completed a pass of exactly 55 yards in 2018. Tom Brady completed three such passes and two of which went to Josh Gordon. Gordon was recently reinstated and his fantasy outlook charted on the podcast.
6. Mike loves him some James Conner this year and he brought it up at the NYC Live Show in Hold’Em or Fold’Em. Conner gathered 55 receptions on the year but his 1st round draft cost was brought into question by Andy who said to fold him as a high-end RB1.
6. Nick Chubb looks like an absolute fantasy force heading into 2019 after an incredible 2nd half run during his rookie year. Mike made Chubb one of his Fantasy Wildcards bringing up the fact he had PFF’s highest elusive rating for players with 55+ attempts (he had 192).
7. As brought up on the Shocking Stats from 2018 Show, Tyler Lockett was drafted as the WR55 on the year but balled out to finish as the WR15. He was the WR11 from Weeks 10-13. Russell Wilson had a perfect passer rating (158.3) when targeting Lockett on 71 targets, which is basically mathematically impossible. The previous perfect passer rating combo had only 15 targets.
8. Ryan Fitzpatrick is a national treasure at this point and beloved by the Footballers. His insane 3-game stretch to start the season was highlighted in 25 QB Stats from 2018 when Fitz was on pace for over 6,000 yards and 55 TDs. Fitzmagic feasted on terrible opponents as he averaged 30.55 fantasy points in four weeks versus bottom-16 defenses.
9. After giving their Super Bowl reactions, it was clear Todd Gurley‘s future fantasy appeal was in doubt. Despite the cloud over his end of season fantasy output and C.J. Anderson‘s emergence, it might be easy to forget how dominant Gurley still was. If you took away 55 percent of Todd Gurley’s fantasy points in 0.5-point leagues last year, he still would’ve been the RB9 in fantasy, just ahead of Joe Mixon. (Props to former TFFB writer Matt Okada for this one)
10. O.J. Howard is bent to breakout in 2019 and was trumpeted by Jason on the top-10 TE ranks episode. He posted some elite per game totals last year despite being a part-time player. This preseason Howard has played 55 of Jameis Winston‘s 58 snaps this preseason.
11. As recently mentioned on the podcast as one of Mike’s Breakouts for 2019, Vance McDonald only saw 55 percent of the team’s snaps last year. While tag-teaming with the outlaw Jesse James, Mr. Vance Dance himself still finished as the TE10 in 0.5 PPR.
12. On the Trending or Ending podcast, Aaron Jones was highlighted as he’s averaged 5.5 yards per carry for two years in a row. He was the league leader last year (min 130 attempts) and hopefully, he can be fully unleashed under new coach Matt LaFleur. It makes perfect sense that Mike McCarthy is 55 years old.
13. After averaging 5.5 yards per carry his freshman year, Darrell Henderson went on a tear at Memphis averaging 8.9 yards per carry over his next two seasons. Henderson was a hot topic on the NFL Draft Preview episode and subsequently, when he was drafted by the Rams, he shot up draft boards given Todd Gurley’s mysterious injuries. He has performed poorly in preseason and seems to be behind Malcolm Brown as the RB3 in Los Angeles.
14. In 2018, we saw 10 QBs rush at least 55 times on the season including everybody’s favorite Blake “The Snake” Bortles. Lamar Jackson almost tripled that total to set the single-season record for rushing attempts by a QB (146) despite only starting seven games for the Ravens. On the recent Values episode, Andy liked his chances the break the single-season QB rushing record of 1,026 set by Mike Vick in 2006.
15. Currently going as the 55th overall pick on FantasyFootballCalculator.com, Calvin Ridley finished as the WR20 in wide receiver rankings despite busting 56 percent (so close) of the time. Ridley’s fluky 10-TD fantasy season was talked about on the TRUTH about WRs in 2018: Part 2.
16. D.J. Moore has been a favorite of Jason’s all off-season and was mentioned in the Explain Yourself! Podcast. Coming off an encouraging rookie campaign of 55 receptions of his 82 targets. I also highlighted his Path to a WR1 Fantasy Season in late May.
17. Joe Mixon stepped it up in his sophomore campaign as the AFC’s leading rusher despite playing on a god-awful Bengals team. Mixon had exactly 55 targets on the season. For an in-depth look at Mixon for 2019, check out writer Jeff Greenwood’s Fantasy Profile article.
18. As mentioned in the Overreaction Episode, Juju Smith-Schuster faced man coverage only 55 percent, an extremely low rate compared to Antonio Brown‘s 70+. Juju was only doubled 0.8 percent of his routes last year. One of the only knocks on Juju will be on how he adjusts to seeing a team’s top cornerback and defenses keying in on him.
19. Last year in 0.5-point PPR, ALL of the top-10 RBs had at least 55 Targets. Mike mentioned on the 10 Tips & Tricks podcast that workhorse RBs Chris Carson and Derrick Henry slightly missed that upper echelon because of the lack of target volume.
20. Speaking of Derrick Henry, we all remember his beastly finish to the end of last season. It was brought to our attention at the San Francisco Live Show in mid- July that 55 percent of his total rushing yards in final 4 games.
21. Leonard Fournette saw 155 touches on the season but was a major bust for those who drafted him in the first round. His pass game upside was highlighted in the AFC South divisional breakdown as he could legitimately see 60 targets as the only RB in town.
23. On show 755 during the mailbag, @jdhulme pointed out the fact that Dwayne Haskin’s first TD pass in the preseason went for… you guessed it, 55 yards!
24. In an article I wrote in late March entitled Projecting Offenses & Who Owns the Targets, I looked at teams and how they distributed their targets in 2018. 20 of the 32 teams in the league ran 3-WR sets on OVER 55% of their snaps.
25. Christian McCaffrey had the highest receiving success rate of any qualifying RB, 55.6%. McCaffrey was a usage monster last year missing only 30 snaps for the ENTIRE SEASON. CMC’s usage was brought up in the early top-10 RB rankings episode in April.
26. Kenyan Drake was a fantasy enigma last year (I know I owned him!). He had seven games under 55 TOTAL yards and scored a total of 1 TD in those 7 games. Drake’s up-and-down season was highlighted in the TRUTH about RBs: Part 2 podcast.
27. The Seahawks took it back to old school 1980s football as they ran the ball 168 more times than their opponents In NFC West Divisional Preview, the Ballers discussed how the Seahawks had the highest run ratio at 55.6% of their plays. It was the highest in the NFL since 2012 when the Seahawks led the league with 56.96%.
28. Recently highlighted by Matthew Betz in his Early-Round TE Injury History article, 55% of TEs drafted in the first find rounds of Fantasy Football drafts missed time because of injury from 2015-2018.
29. As mentioned on the Shocking Stats from 2018 episode in early February, 6 WRs drafted beyond WR55 in drafts had stretches of at least 4 games (a whole month) as a WR1 in 0.5 scoring.
- Desean Jackson (WR58) – The WR8 from Wks 1-4
- Tyrell Williams (WR65) The WR11 from Wks 5-9
- Albert Wilson (WR91) The WR11 from Wks 3-6
- Dante Pettis (WR96) The WR5 from Wk 12-15
- Adam Humphries (WR100) The WR11 Wks 9-15
- Tyler Boyd (WR118) The WR11 from Wks 2-15
30. As brought Corey Davis averaged 55.7 receiving yards per game. He also added in 55 rushing yards, about the only good thing going for him in 2018. Davis is basically being left for dead as the Consensus WR45.
31. On 94 targets, Allen Robinson aka the former Target Monster caught 55 receptions for 754 yards and four TDs in a mostly disappointing season. He was discussed in the This or That ADP episode along with Robby Anderson.
32. Antonio Brown averaged 17.55 fantasy points per game on the road in 2018 finishing as the WR4 in 0.5-point scoring. He’s also been in the news section of almost every single show over the last two weeks as his helmet saga continues. At the Phoenix Live Show, Jason compared Brown to the Wizard of Oz.
33. In the TRUTH about QBs: Part 2, the Ballers discussed how Tom Brady the NFL QB must be separated from Tom Brady the fantasy QB. “Plant Man” threw for 4,355 passing yards but registered only one top-12 performance over the last 8 games of the season as he was basically unusable.
34. Matthew Stafford had 555 pass attempts on what was the worst fantasy season of his career. Brought up on the NFC North divisional breakdown, it was rough sledding. From Week 9 on, Stafford averaged less than 200 passing yards per game and had only one QB1 performance on the entire season.
35. Jameis Winston averaged 19.55 versus top-16 defenses last year, a more than 8-point dip from how he played against low-level teams. He also had a major 9-point difference in his home/road splits. Winston’s range of outcomes was talked about at length on the NFC South Divisional Breakdown.
36. The last time we saw Le’Veon Bell play on a football field, the year was known as 2017. He caught 85 passes for 655 receiving yards on 107 targets. His involvement in the Jets’ passing game under new coach Adam Gase was discussed on the Free-Agent Frenzy show in mid-March.
37. Somehow, Theo Riddick became a relevant fantasy conversation this offseason when discussing Kerryon Johnson and his potential three-down workload. Riddick had 555 all-purpose yards last year but was basically worthless for fantasy. After being cut by the Lions, Riddick was signed by the Broncos before injuring his shoulder as noted on the August 12th news and notes section.
38. Leading up the NFL Draft, the speculation over the Cardinals trading Josh Rosen was all over the place. The rookie led a dreadful offense that was dead last in almost every category as he completed 55 percent of his passes. Rosen’s fantasy outlook was discussed in the NFL Draft Winners & Losers episode.
39. Cooper Kupp and Sammy Watkins had exactly 55 targets. The former Los Angeles Rams teammates have very different reactions from the Footballers this season. Kupp was a Mid-Round Madness target in drafts while Watkins, aka The Lizard King, was one of the Fantasy Wildcards brought up by Jason in early June.
40. Super Kamario was one of the top RBs discussed on The TRUTH about Fantasy RBs in 2018. Alvin Kamara averaged 4.55 yards per carry last year and came out on fire at the beginning of the season. From Weeks 1-4 without Mark Ingram, Kamara was the RB1 overall, averaging 28.7 fantasy points per game.
41. Old man Philip Rivers averaged 255 passing yards per game, the 10th best in the league. In the AFC West divisional breakdown, Rivers’ fantasy consistency was brought up amid the Melvin Gordon holdout uncertainities.
42. Jimmy Graham felt like an old busted in 2018 as he caught 55 receptions on the season. His major drop from his top-5 preseason ADP to outside the top-15 finish was highlighted in the top-10 TE ranks episode on August 14th.
43. As discussed in the AFC North Divisional Breakdown, the Ravens have 55.8 percent of their targets vacated from 2018, the 2nd highest in NFL. The opportunity is wide open for their rookie WRs, rookie Justice Hill or perhaps ….
44. Mark Andrews was one of Jason’s Sleeper picks for 2019. And what do you know but Andrews never surpassed 55 percent of the snaps in 2018. Despite not being a full-time player, Andrews posted the 7th most receiving yards by a rookie since 2000. He was behind only O.J. Howard’s rookie season for highest yards per reception (16.2) for rookie TE since 1990 (minimum 25 receptions)
45. Mike Williams scored 11 times on the season so it makes total sense that his longest reception of the year also went for a TD and also happened to be for… 55 yards. Williams, one of Andy’s favorite WRs, and his WR24 finish was broken down in terms of consistency in TRUTH about WRs in 2018: Part 2.
45. The 55th overall draft pick of the 2018 draft was the Texans’ selection of OT Max Scharping. This makes complete sense as Deshaun Watson took 62 sacks on the season, the most in more than a decade as discussed on the AFC South divisional preview.
46. In case you were curious, other notable famous 55th overall draft picks all happen to not shockingly be Mike Wright favorites: Vance McDonald, Tyler Boyd, and never forget, JEREMY HILL!
47. Josh Allen aka Josh Stallion had four games over 55 rushing yards. He was a revelation towards the end of the year as the QB1 from Week 12 on. On the AFC East Breakdown, Allen’s upside and rushing ability was brought to the forefront in the Bills section.
48. Duke Johnson has vaulted from a forgotten man in Cleveland to suddenly the RB1 in Houston after Lamar Miller‘s ACL tear was discussed in the news and notes section of the Phoenix Live show. Johnson never rushed above 55 yards in any game in 2018 as he was basically used as a glorified slot receiver.
49. 43 FGs were attempted of 55+ yards in 2o18 but only 26 were made. The Jets’ All-Pro Jason Myers went 5-of-5 on his attempts from 55+ yards, 4 of those were from exactly 55 yards out. Want more outrageous kicker stats that probably mean absolutely nothing to you? Check out my annual 25 Boom-Boom Kicker Stats article.
50. Dalvin Cook‘s end of season statistics doesn’t look all that impressive when you consider the injuries he fought through. He averaged 55.9 rushing yards per game but over the last five games of the season, he was the RB6 as noted on the top-10 RB rankings show.
51. There were 43 total TEs (and 133 perfomances) gathering 55 or more yards on the season. Travis Kelce led the way with 13 while George Kittle had 12. The two TEs along with Zach Ertz have been labeled as the “BIG-3” all offseason and praised in the top-10 TE Ranks.
52. There were only 2 games in which a wide receiver rushed for over 55 yards. Both of those games were by Cordarelle Patterson. Patterson has been getting some preseason pub while working in the backfield in Chicago per the news and notes section of an early August show.
52. There were 10 instances in which a QB attempted 55 or more passes in a game. Those QBs went 2-8 in those contests including Andrew Luck. The QB’s sudden retirement and its fantasy fallout was discussed at the Phoenix Live Show.
54. There were only 2 plays that resulted in a TD with 55 seconds left on the clock in 2018… and both of them occurred against the Chargers. Patrick Mahomes hit Anthony Sherman for a 36-yard TD and Jared Goff connected with Robert Woods for a 3-yard score. Robert Woods, in case you didn’t hear him shout it aloud and defend him 30 times this off-season, is one of Jason’s My Guys for 2019.
And last but not least…
55. If you listened ever so closely to the show this offseason, you would’ve noticed that Jason Moore uttered exactly 55 words on the podcast that are not found in Webster’s dictionary. If you are a subscriber on YouTube, you’ll notice that Mike Wright has exactly 55 tattoos on his body. Little known fact: Andy Holloway, as the elder statesman of the group, routinely uses his 55-and-older senior discount at the local IHOP.