Teddy Bridgewater had a better 2015 than fantasy owners think

The Minnesota QB didn't do as much as fantasy owners hoped last season, but the Vikings didn't exactly give him many chances.

| 12 months ago
(Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

(Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Teddy Bridgewater had a better 2015 than fantasy owners think

(Editor’s note: Our Crazy Fantasy Stat of the Day is an occasional free PFF Fantasy offering, highlighting something that catches our eye and helps us learn something for the 2016 fantasy season.)

Popular opinion would have that Minnesota Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater suffered a pretty bad sophomore slump. After all, he averaged 14.5 fantasy points per game as a rookie in 2014, and not only did that number not grow in 2015, it actually fell to 13.3. On the other hand, he had a higher passer rating in 2015 than 2014, fewer interceptions despite more games played, and raised his number of rushing scores from one to three.

Bridgewater didn’t make the leaps in his second year that some foresaw for him, that’s true. But he also didn’t get the chance to do much. As a rookie, Bridgewater had Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata as his primary running backs, and while they are fine for what they are, neither guy is Adrian Peterson, whom Bridgewater and the Vikings got back in 2015.

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A lot of it adds up to our Fantasy Stat of the Day: Despite a disappointing reputation, Teddy Bridgewater actually led all qualified quarterbacks in adjusted completion percentage in 2015, at 79.3 percent. Adjusted completion percentage is a quarterback’s completion percentage that also gives him credit for receiver drops. Bridgewater’s 79.3 percent rate was tops, just ahead of Kirk Cousins and Russell Wilson.

He did this on only 32.4 dropbacks per game, the fewest of any full-time quarterback (only Nick Foles, Johnny Manziel, Matt Cassel and Case Keenum had fewer among quarterbacks playing 25 percent of their teams’ snaps). He also had the fewest pass attempts of any quarterback who played all 16 games.

Basically, once the Vikings got Peterson back, they didn’t need Bridgewater nearly as much. Minnesota running backs ran the ball 336 times in 2014. Peterson ran the ball almost that many (327) by himself last year, and McKinnon, Asiata and Zach Line divided another 87 among them. That’s almost five extra plays again with the Vikings’ running backs doing the work instead of the quarterback.

[Will the Vikings let Bridgewater throw more in 2016, and if so, will that hurt Peterson’s value? Try a mock in our new fantasy Draft Master tool and see if Peterson is worth the pick it will cost.]

Bridgewater drew some buzz before 2015 as a quarterback set to make a leap, and he didn’t do that. But by most measures, he also didn’t fall off that much. His adjusted completion percentage rose from Year 1 to Year 2. His interceptions and sacks fell. He put up 0.40 fantasy points per dropback as a rookie, 0.41 in his second year. It was just that he didn’t have many dropbacks.

With Adrian Peterson getting ever older, and rookie wide receiver Laquon Treadwell in the fold, there’s a chance that the Vikings to be slightly more Bridgewater-heavy in 2016. Bridgewater is the No. 26 quarterback in our staff consensus rankings, between Brock Osweiler and Geno Smith, but if he gets more usage in 2016 than he did in 2015, he has a shot at exceeding that. As for the rest of the relevant Vikings, Peterson is our No. 6 RB, Treadwell is our No. 38 WR and second-year receiver Stefon Diggs is our No. 42 WR.

Draft Guide 2016

| Fantasy Editor

Daniel Kelley is the fantasy editor for Pro Football Focus. He has previously appeared at SB Nation.

  • Don Barcome, Jr

    Thanks for the entertainment. It’s good that there’s a lot of purple Koolaide produced!

    Too bad your Vike’s actually have to take the field: between Paul Allen & “writers” like you, the only way they lose a game is if they actually play.

    Vegas has them at 9 wins for the o/l line. People like you are sucking Viking fans into the over. With their schedule, it looks like 8 wins: if TB doesn’t take another step back & if AP doesn’t continue down his “it’s all about me” path.

    • enai D

      Welcome to La La Land, we’d like you to meet our mayor, Mr. Barcome.

    • Pat Infante

      you are a moron… that is all… 8 wins… lol… man ur stupid

      • Don Barcome, Jr

        Tough guy with a keyboard.

        I’ll go with Vegas, you can go with, well, whatever you have.

        There’s a chance of 9-10 wins, there’s a chance of it snowing inside US Bank Stadium…

        • enai D

          We’ll take the facts and common sense, thanks. Taking the over on 9 wins under the circumstances is a no-brainer- better take that easy money before Vegas inevitably bumps that up to a more realistic number.

          • Don Barcome, Jr

            That’s why it’s called “betting” & Vegas Bookies are loaded with cash.

            You might have a winner, or not.

            I see Over is now -140, Under +110

            So, Vegas is kinda seeing 10 wins. I’ll take under. Good luck!

          • enai D

            Sure. If you think multiple core players will suffer season-ending injuries (maybe you figure US Bank Stadium collapses on several Vikings payers celebrating mid-field after beating the Packers) then the under becomes slightly less wildly irrational.

          • Don Barcome, Jr

            There’s a reason the Vike’s are 9.5 & +140 & the Packeds are 10.5 & +150: overall talent & schedule

            GB does not travel west of MSP next year; bonus.

            MN has an unproven QB. No matter how you sell it: TB is a game-manager right now, at best. Until he proves otherwise. Too many annual excuses
            If you like the over, there’s a guy who will take your bet!

            I’m taking the Vike’s under & the Pack over. Just a good bet in my mind. Good luck betting with your heart!

            I remember a buddy putting $100 on the Twins in ’89 & an idiot who didn’t. 250:1!!! Damn, I blew that one :)))

          • enai D

            Packers got the better shake with strength of schedule, that’s certainly true. Probably don’t come out on top in terms of overall talent by any objective measure, but then again elite talent at QB does make up for deficiencies elsewhere. And in any case still quite a leap of faith to under 9 wins, against the 18th strongest schedule, whereas they won 11 last year against the 12th strongest. And lost no one of any significance in the offseason. And are very young across the board (about half the starters are 26 or younger) so age-related regression/decline isn’t a factor. Of course, anything’s possible so you may get lucky, but you’re obviously looking for a miracle or a serious injury or something for the under to be even remotely reasonable. As you say, good luck betting with your heart!

          • Don Barcome, Jr

            I’m betting with Vegas on the Viking line. Against it on the Packer line. I see the Packers winning 11-12 games. I see the Vike’s winning 8-9 games. That leads to my Over on GB & Under on MN. If I’m right on MN, I win $240 for each $100. For many reasons, I feel good about both bets. Facts, not heart.

            Don’t you understand that the line is based upon many areas? Odds of injury are numerically built-in to pricing module. And, then the money line moves to attract betting.

            I’ve done well, other than last year, on the Vike’s with the under.

          • enai D

            And of course, therein lies the problem, since projecting that same team from last year to win 2-3 less games, inexplicably (i.e. since all the facts- age, roster composition, schedule strength, etc.- would suggest they post a similar record at worst) is the football equivalent of closing your eyes and plugging your ears.. clearly either banking on magic, or more likely, betting from the heart. Essentially the gambling equivalent of cheering for the home team and booing the away team. Nothing wrong with that, if that’s what floats your boat.

          • Don Barcome, Jr

            Vegas puts money behind their numbers. The o/u number is consistent with how the Vike’s played last year. So is GB factoring in their injuries.

            Vegas can’t afford “home/away team attitudes”. It’s about money for them.

            Bet on the over on the Vike’s, in my mind, and you have a 10-20% chance of cashing. My over bet on GB: I figure about a 60-70% chance of winning. I’m not betting to project my needs/heart, it’s about winning the bet. You seem very hung-up on “betting from the heart”: that’s how Vegas makes money. And how Paul Allen keeps his ratings up! He nailed the win number last year: 1st time since befor Favre!!! Nuff Said! :)))

          • enai D

            Vegas puts money behind their numbers, and occasionally get the figures wrong. Even so, the inconsistency between the O/U number and the Vikings play last year (as well as all relevant facts to projecting 2016- age, roster, schedule, etc.) is pretty striking in this case. You can stick your fingers in your ears and shout “la la la la!”, but it doesn’t make the facts go away. And when you’re betting from the heart, the financial equivalent of cheering for your home team, naturally you’re going to try to rationalize it (for instance, coming up with arbitrary win % numbers to reassure yourself). Then again, there isn’t anything wrong with taking the over on the Packers and under on the Vikings simply because you’re a Packers fan, so there’s no reason not to just be honest about it- both with yourself and others.

          • Don Barcome, Jr

            How are you the judge of I’m being “honest with myself”? Maybe you throw money out to appease yourself, but I bet money to win.

            Your use of one stadard for yourself: you are smarter than Vegas & one for me “I’m being dishonest with myself” proves that you are basically stuck in a purple world. If I thought there was a better chance of the Viking’s winning more than 9.5, than less, I’d bet it or not bet.

            I happen to put numbers out because I relate, and bet, better by putting down outcomes. Kinda takes the “heart” out of it. You, on the other hand, can only see the 11 wins from 2015. Bet away! I’m happy with my choices & money that I bet.

          • Robert

            Wow you are stupid u do know that Vegas is frequently wrong and that at the end of the day their opinion is just a guess it doesn’t mean jack shit

          • enai D

            I doubt he genuinely has as much faith in the Vegas line as he professes, it just happens to be a convenient rationalization for betting his rooting interests.

          • Don Barcome, Jr

            “Frequently wrong”? LMAO They are still in business. I seem to be betting with & against Vegas. Usually, betting with Vegas is the way to go. If you had reading comprehension skills, you would see I agree that there’s a chance of the Vike’s will, as they did last season, exceed the over. That’s why it’s called “Betting”! I just font see them through your Purple glasses. And as ymtgsrd how you see your team, you can only be expected to think that’s his everyone else is. Again: why would anyone bet to lose?

            You two are solid examples of too many Viking fans. But, you do provide entertainment for many, including me. Thanks for the laughs!

          • enai D

            No, you see through your green glasses, and like to pretend there’s any substantive difference. You like to bet your rooting interests, but then rationalize it as something else. And your utter lack of self-awareness or irony has provided a great deal of entertainment over the last few days, so as you say, thanks for the laughs!

          • Don Barcome, Jr

            So, you think/know that I bet on the Packers because of “green glasses”? Because that fits the image you see in your own mirror?

            If you told me today, that Rodgers was going to go down & miss 1/3 the season, I’d bet the under in a heartbeat.

            Your ignorance on how Vegas sets, and profits, on setting prop bets says a lot about you.

            Your amazing disconnect from having, and the ability to recognize, rational thought I’d sad to see. Then, again, hiding behind screen names was the proverbial “red flag”. Then there’s the parroting of repeating what you read to try & look intelligent. Reading through some of your posts, you are consistent with your “misplaced ego & I know what you think” attitude. A psychiatrist would have a field day with your rants!

            Last time: “bet with your wallet, not your heart”. Good luck on your season!

          • enai D

            You’ve made it extremely clear (even coming close to admitting it explicitly earlier in the exchange) that that’s exactly what you’re doing- your betting, and your posts here, amount to nothing more than “yay Packers, boo Vikings!”. And that’s cool, if that’s what you enjoy. And I honestly don’t really take issue with the self-deception and lack of irony in your comments, since it makes them deliciously amusing- probably would have got bored a long time ago here if your posts didn’t have high entertainment value. “Bet with your wallet, not your heart” he says… to someone else– lol!

          • Don Barcome, Jr

            I don’t think the Vioings have a solid QB. Neither do a lot of NFL “minds” therefore: Sell

            Not sure about you, but I respect the value of my money & placing a bet for “self-appeasement” is not in my thought process.

          • enai D

            Ironically enough, “solid” would probably be among the most common terms “NFL minds” would use to describe Bridgewater. But regardless, its the same QB, solid or not, as last year when they posted 11 wins, and QBs generally do not get substantially worse in their 3rd year, and 11 win teams generally do not field a better roster against a weaker schedule and then post 3+ fewer wins. I mean, its possible, but its unlikely. So, again, ad hoc rationalizations and hand-waving aside, clearly betting from your heart and praying it works out for your wallet. I’m not really a religious person, so blind faith isn’t my thing, but whatever floats your boat.

          • Don Barcome, Jr

            16. Minnesota Vikings
            Starter: Teddy Bridgewater

            Backup: Shaun Hill

            Key stat: Bridgewater led the NFL in adjusted completion percentage last season, at 79.3 percent.

            Minnesota’s situation may be the biggest example of scheme overriding talent in the NFL right now. In the right scheme, Teddy Bridgewater could be an excellent NFL QB, but the offense run by Norv Turner has so far been badly-tailored to his skill-set. In 2015, Bridgewater had the highest adjusted completion percentage in the NFL (after drops, etc., are taken into account, and in 2014, he was the most-accurate QB in the league under pressure. What he doesn’t do well is attack deep, with 22 QBs posting a better accuracy percentage than his 37.5 percent this past season. If the Vikings develop their offense to more suit Bridgewater’s strengths, he could drag them up this list quickly, but without it, he is likely mired in mediocrity overall.


          • enai D

            Ok, and? Lol.

          • enai D

            Tell yourself whatever you like, but don’t show me a donkey and try to convince me that its a horse. And you’re clearly just betting your rooting interests- post-hoc rationalizations notwithstanding- which is totally your business. I simply don’t see the point of all the (self) deception.

        • Bob

          U are one of the dumbest people I have ever heard

          • Don Barcome, Jr

            Enjoy your Purple Koolaide! The reality of espousing an opinion like yours, is that it shows a serious lack of braincell activity. Hey: doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy watching your Vike’s! Or, drinking Purple Koolaide! Never know, maybe Paul Allen will be right 2 seasons in a row. Hmmm… Lol