In Part 1 of this series, we looked at “What Makes a QB1?” by reviewing 2015 and diving into the weekly QB1 performances. Each week provided some variety, intrigue, and downright humbling statistics as we saw. But moving beyond the fact you probably didn’t start Matt Cassel in Week 9 or bench Tom Brady in favor of Teddy Bridgewater in Week 11, let’s take a look at who could truly call themselves a QB1 in 2015.

It would be easy for us to look at the final leaderboard and peruse who was part of the elite top 12 group.

QB Final Rank Player Standard Pts. Per Game Average
1 Cam Newton 389.1 24.3
2 Tom Brady 343.7 21.5
3 Russell Wilson 336.4 21.0
4 Blake Bortles 316.1 19.8
5 Carson Palmer 309.2 19.3
6 Drew Brees 306.5 20.4
7 Aaron Rodgers 301.3 18.8
8 Kirk Cousins 293.5 18.3
9 Matthew Stafford 289.7 18.1
10 Eli Manning 287.6 18.0
11 Ryan Fitzpatrick 285.1 17.8
12 Philip Rivers 284.3 17.8

However, the final numbers do not paint for us a perfect picture. End of season totals don’t show week-to-week consistency but rather raw totals. For instance, Aaron Rodgers’ name will show up 7th in standard leagues (4 points per passing TD) last year but the Packers QB was also atrocious during the fantasy playoffs of Weeks 15 and 16.

To see which QBs stand out among Andy, Mike, and Jason, check out their 2016 QB Rankings.

Here is actually how 2015 turned out in order total number of QB1 performances:
(Note: Green represents a top 12 finish, White 13-19, and Red 20-35 along with the number of times each quarterback finished as a QB1 respectively.)

Screen Shot 2016-07-31 at 10.10.17 PM

The chart clearly delineates the upper tier QBs with mostly great to neutral performances for most of their season. As you go down the chart, it’s clear there is a greater variation in week-to-week QB finishes for some of the other QBs. Let’s take out a couple of nuggets from this data that pops out.

-Overall the QB position was more volatile than 2014 as the QB1 average for this group was 14.29 compared to last year’s 13.44.

-After Week 1’s dud, Cam Newton was unbelievable. You probably already knew that given that Superman won the MVP last year. It’s clear he failed to turn in a week that cost his owners dropping only far down as QB18 in Week 16. His QB1 average of 8.25 narrowly edged out Andrew Luck’s 8.38 of 2014.

Russell Wilson was the only QB to not register a “bad” performance all year narrowly dodging bullets in Weeks 5 & 7. Wilson was on fire the second half (along with Doug Baldwin) as he turned in 7 top-7 finishes in a row to end the season the best such stretch of any QB all year. All of this after Wilson’s mediocre start of coming in at QB14 through the first 8 games.

-He may not have been the sexiest name at draft time as he was selected in the double digit rounds, but Carson Palmer was as steady as they come all year with a 12.31 QB1 average. He was an expected breakout performer as his 2014 QB1 average of 12.5 was an indicator, with a clean bill of health, of a late-round QB steal.

-For some comparable numbers, Jameis Winston’s QB1 average of 14.88 paced him with other well-known fantasy commodities such as Philip Rivers. The rookie certainly held his own as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ signal caller and should give prospective drafters something to build off of in 2016.

-Andy Dalton made a giant leap forward from 2014’s wildly maddening campaign. If we take out the game he broke his hand in Week 13 with a QB34 finish and in turn ending his 2015 season, Dalton would’ve had a 12.25 QB1 average, good enough for 5th best ahead of Palmer, Rodgers, and Roethlisberger.

In the final part of this series we will look forward to 2016 and project who could lead this group, who could surprise, and who is being hyped a little too much as a QB1.


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