You need to know these 75 fantasy football facts
I’m embarrassingly terrible with names. I’ve called a girl named “Amy” by the name “Stacy” for almost half of a first date once. I did a podcast the other week and had Rotoworld’s Evan Silva on. I’ve been reading Evan’s work for years now. I consider him one of my top fantasy football idols. I know his name. Still, I accidentally called him “Elvin Silva” not once, but twice. It was horrifying. I also proceeded to mispronounce almost a dozen different players’ names, including “LeGarrette Blownt” – a name I’ve gotten wrong hundreds of times now.
As bad as I am with names, for some reason, I’m amazing with numbers, stats, and facts. Jamaal Charles’ career yards per carry rate? Yeah, that’s 5.47 yards per carry – best all-time among running backs. Eli Manning’s consecutive game streak? He’s at 183, or 194 if you’re including postseason. The only players with more than 12 receptions and 250 yards in a single game? Calvin Johnson, Antonio Brown, Terrell Owens, Andre Johnson and Brian Hartline.
My favorite fantasy article each season since at least 2011 has been Matthew Berry’s 100 facts piece. Here’s the link to 2016’s article. In an attempt to pay homage to Mr. Berry and to flex my own stat knowledge, here’s a list of 75 unique stats and facts I compiled myself to help you in your 2016 fantasy season.
Notes: All references to fantasy points are PPR unless otherwise stated. Not all stats are an argument for or against a player – some are just really interesting.
1. Something Not Surprising: Last season, among all TEs, Tyler Eifert ranked first in fantasy points per target.
2. A lot of this had to do with 13 receiving touchdowns in 13 games and league leading touchdown conversion rates inside both the 10 and 20 yard lines.
3. Actually, Eifert’s red-zone-target-to-touchdown conversion rate of 68.75 percent (11/16) in 2015 is the highest of any player since (at least) 1999.
4. Something Surprising: Take away every touchdown from every tight end last season and Tyler Eifert still ranks first in fantasy points per target (min. 50 targets).
5. This is because, in addition to an insane touchdown rate, Eifert also ranked third in yards per target and first in receptions per target.
6. In standard leagues, since Week 5 of 2013, Jordan Cameron has played 37 games and scored more than nine fantasy points in just four of them.
7. Last season, Travis Kelce ranked 36th in red-zone targets and 46th in targets inside the 10-yard-line. He played in all 16 games.
8. Since 2007, the active wide receiver with the highest percentage of touchdowns per targets inside the 10-yard line (min. 20 such targets) is Jeremy Maclin (15 of 28).
9. Only once over the last 17 seasons has an Andy Reid wide receiver (Kevin Curtis in 2007) reached at least 130 targets. 18 players saw at least 130 targets last year.
10. Since 2007, Andy Reid’s RB1 (in games they played) has averaged 78 percent of the team’s running back snaps, 77 percent of the team’s running back carries, and 81 percent of the team’s running back targets.
11. Since 2007, Andy Reid’s RB1 has averaged 15.6 carries, 5.0 targets, 105.1 all-purpose yards, 0.84 touchdowns and 19.7 fantasy points per game.
12. Among all 20 active RBs with at least 700 career carries, Matt Forte ranks second-worst in career yards per carry (4.23).
13. Forte is also, arguably, the worst goal-line back of the last decade.
14. Among the 707 running backs with at least 300 career carries, Andre Williams’ 3.207 yards per carry rate ranks ninth-worst all-time
15. Full list of NFL running backs (all-time) with more than 300 career rushing attempts and fewer than 1,000 career rushing yards: 1. Williams 2. Louis Carter
16. Since 2002, of the 92 cases of a running back amassing 260 carries and 35 receptions in a season, Latavius Murray’s 2015 ranks dead last in fantasy points scored.
17. Among all 38 running backs to see at least 50 percent of their team’s snaps, Murray ranked bottom-five in both yards per route run and PFF receiving grade. DeAndre Washington led all draft-eligible running backs in targets last season.
18. Murray finished top-two among all running backs in percent of their team’s running back snaps, carries and targets.
19. Only two running backs (Murray and Devonta Freeman) finished the season owning over 70 percent of their team’s total running back fantasy points last season.
20. Last season, Freeman ranked top-three among all running backs in rushing attempts per game, targets per game, and carries inside the 10-yard-line per game.
21. If we took the scores from whichever running back led the team in snaps that game, then DeAngelo Williams and Le’Veon Bell combined for 324.3 PPR points — or, just 5.4 points more than the 318.9 Freeman scored in only 15 games.
22. Freeman’s 244.4 fantasy points in standard leagues, last season, is the fewest by any top overall fantasy running back since 1987.
23. Last year, there were eight RBs taken in the first three rounds of the NFL draft. Tevin Coleman was the only one not to lead his team in carries or fantasy points.
24. If we took the scores from whichever back led the team in snaps that game, Dion Lewis and James White combined for 236.1 points in 2015, only 1.2 fantasy points less than Doug Martin’s 2015 total (when he finished No. 5 overall).
25. On only one more target, White had three fewer drops, four more receptions, 22 more receiving yards, and two more receiving touchdowns than Lewis.
Intermission 1: Hey, still with me? We’re just about a third of the way done. Reading stat after stat can be tedious, I know, but just think of the edge you’ll have over your opponents after reading all 75 of these. To break up the monotony, here’s a gif of Mike Tolbert doing “the Carlton”.
26. Andrew Luck has four more 300-yard passing games than Andy Dalton, in 22 fewer games.
27. Among a quarterback’s first two seasons in the NFL, Derek Carr ranks sixth all-time in passing yards and second in passing touchdowns.
28. In 2008, when Tom Brady missed 15 games with a torn ACL, Matt Cassel ranked top-10 in pass attempts, passing yards, passing touchdowns and fantasy points. (Brady is suspended for his team’s first four games this year.)
29. Through the first eight weeks of last season, Brady led all quarterbacks in fantasy points per game with 29.77. This was 5.35 PPG more than the next closest quarterback.
30. Prior to last season, the last time Tony Romo finished worse than a top-12 quarterback in fantasy points per game was 2006 – his first year as a starter. (Romo is currently going undrafted in most leagues after reports that he could be out 8-10 weeks with a broken bone in his back.)
31. The last time Drew Brees finished outside of the top-five quarterbacks on a fantasy-points-per-game basis was 2010, when he finished sixth.
32. Cam Newton may be due for regression, but take away 13 passing touchdowns from his last season totals and he still would have been the No. 1 quarterback in fantasy. Take seven passing touchdowns away from Newton’s 2015 and he would have tied Luck’s league-leading 2014 in total fantasy points.
33. Newton’s 2015 season ranks third-most all-time in total fantasy points in a season by a quarterback. He was one six-yard run from finishing with the second-most.
34. Newton is the only quarterback with two of the top-six highest scoring fantasy seasons all-time by a quarterback. He is 27 years old.
35. Dez Bryant and Odell Beckham Jr. both have 15 career 100-yard games. Bryant has played in 57 more games.
36. A.J. Green has five multiple-touchdown games in his career. Beckham has six, in 49 fewer games.
37. The top fantasy seasons by a wide receiver (all-time): 1.) Jerry Rice (1995) 2.) Antonio Brown (2014) 3.) Randy Moss (2007) 4.) Antonio Brown (2015)
38. Brown’s 240 fantasy points over the second half of last season is the most a wide receiver has ever totaled in his team’s final eight games.
39. Julio Jones had three more targets than Brown last season. Brown had 50 more targets against PFF’s top-30 graded cornerbacks.
40. Allen Robinson averaged 0.68 fantasy points per target (32 targets) against our top 20 graded cornerbacks. He averaged 3.1 fantasy points per target (23 targets) against our bottom 25 graded cornerbacks.
41. Last season, 57 percent of Nelson Agholor’s routes came against Darelle Revis or one of our top-16 graded cornerbacks.
42. Last season, 41 percent of Torrey Smith’s targets came against our top-30 graded cornerbacks, which was second-most at the position (Antonio Brown was first).
43. In 2015, 35 percent of Smith’s total fantasy points came on just three plays.
44. 68 percent of DeSean Jackson’s fantasy points last season came on deep targets (targets traveling 20 yards or more) — most in the league.
45. Only three players ranked top-10 in targets per game, red zone targets per game and deep targets per game last year: Antonio Brown, DeAndre Hopkins and Alshon Jeffery.
46. Golden Tate has led all wide receivers in missed tackles as a receiver (excluding running plays) in each of the last three seasons. However, Jarvis Landry’s 28 missed tackles last year ranks second most since 2008.
47. Last season, Landry and Mike Evans combined to convert only five of their 40 red-zone targets into touchdowns.
48. Among all 50 WRs to receive at least 75 targets, Evans ranked second-worst in fantasy points per target, behind only Davante Adams.
49. Since 2007, among all wide receivers to see at least 100 targets, Amari Cooper’s drop rate of 20.7 percent in 2015 ranks second-worst all time. Evans’ drop rate of 16.9 percent in 2015, ranks fifth-worst all time.
50. Last season, within 10 yards of the end zone, Derek Carr targeted Michael Crabtree eight times, Seth Roberts three times, and Cooper zero times.
Intermission 2: Only 25 stats left. I know having your mind blown 50 times in the span of only five or so minutes can be emotionally draining, so here’s a gif of Jared Oldrick doing “the Pee Wee Herman dance” after recording a sack.
51. Last season, among all wide receivers to see at least 60 targets, Doug Baldwin ranked first in fantasy points per target, while Tyler Lockett ranked fourth and Jermaine Kearse ranked seventh.
52. Jordan Matthews has only seven (of his 152) career catches outside of the slot. In 2014 and 2015, no wide receiver had a higher percentage of their routes run from the slot.
53. Last season, 51 percent of Matthews’ fantasy points came in the fourth quarter or overtime.
54. From 2008 to 2014, Aaron Rodgers averaged 22.0 fantasy points per game. He averaged only 19.3 fantasy points per game last year.
55. Randall Cobb averaged only 12.68 fantasy points per game last season, after averaging 17.24 over the three seasons prior.
56. Danny Woodhead ran more routes (396) than Sammy Watkins (390) last season.
57. Last season, Jeremy Langford recorded the worst drop-rate percentage (26.67) among all running backs with at least 30 targets dating back to 2007.
58. In Weeks 8-17, C.J. Anderson led the league in yards per carry (6.4) but ranked 31st in carries, while Ronnie Hillman ranked 42nd in yards per carry and 10th in carries.
59. Weeks 8-17, both Hillman and Anderson had 540 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns. Anderson had 56 fewer rushing attempts.
60. In 2015, Jeremy Hill had 69 more carries, but only 64 more rushing yards than Giovani Bernard.
61. In 2015, Rashad Jennings had one more carry and only nine fewer rushing yards than Lamar Miller.
62. In 2015, Thomas Rawls had 413 more rushing yards than Marshawn Lynch, on only 36 more rushing attempts.
63. Rawls’ 5.65 rushing yards per carry in 2015 ranks second-best among all rookies to ever receive at least 100 carries since 1965 – right in between Maurice Jones-Drew and Adrian Peterson.
64. Rawls led the league in yards per carry last season. If you remove Rawls’ three longest runs (69, 30, 23), he still would have ranked first in the league yards per carry.
65. In 2015, 26.4 percent of Matt Jones’ rushing attempts went for no gain or negative yards. This ranked third-worst, just behind Joique Bell and Andre Williams
66. In 2015, the running backs who had the highest percentage of runs for 10 or more yards: Karlos Williams, Thomas Rawls, Mark Ingram and C.J. Anderson.
67. In 2015, the running backs who had the lowest percentage of runs for zero or negative yardage: LeGarrette Blount, Thomas Rawls and Karlos Williams.
68. Williams ranked first last year among running backs in both rushing fantasy points per carry and receiving fantasy points per target. (He is currently a free agent.)
69. As a team, New Orleans’ running backs have ranked top-two in fantasy points scored in each of the last five seasons.
70. Despite playing in only 12 games last year, Ingram had the second-most top-12 weeks (eight) and the third-most top-24 weeks (11).
71. In games Bilal Powell played more than eight snaps, Ryan Fitzpatrick averaged 24.95 fantasy points per game, as opposed to only 19.24 when he did not. The Jets were 9-2 in games Powell played and 1-4 when he did not.
72. In his five seasons as an offensive coordinator, Greg Roman (Buffalo Bills) has never not finished top-three in red-zone rushing attempt percentage. On average, when in the red zone, opting to run the ball 60 percent of the time
73. In six of his nine seasons as an offensive coordinator, Greg Olson’s (Jaguars) offense has ranked top-six in the red-zone pass attempt percentage.
74. Over Hue Jackson’s (Cleveland Browns) last four years as offensive coordinator or head coach (with Cincinnati and Oakland), his team has never not ranked top-seven in the league in rushing attempts or rushing touchdowns.
75. As a receiver, Drew Brees has caught seven of eight targets for 73 yards and a touchdown. As a passer, Mohamed Sanu has completed all five of his pass attempts for 177 yards, two touchdowns, and a perfect 158.3 passer rating.