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Top 10 fantasy QB seasons of the PFF era

at MetLife Stadium on October 12, 2014 in East Rutherford, New Jersey.

The draft is still a month away, and the crew here has kept busy breaking down the fantasy implications of every offseason transaction to date.

Wait, did he just say offseason?

Yes, well, the 15 minutes or so of the NFL calendar year when we’re not processing new developments also presents a good time to review historical PFF data for some useful context and trends, which we can keep in our back pockets while preparing for the 2018 season. And so, that’s been more or less my objective here in taking a look back at the top fantasy seasons of the PFF era (i.e. since 2007) for running backs and wide receivers. Today, we’ll tackle the top-10 fantasy quarterback seasons.

Further illustrating a league-wide trend in the pass-run balance that we’ve touched on throughout this series, four QBs from the 2011 season made the list, but you won’t find the past two league MVPs here (Tom Brady 2017, Matt Ryan 2016). You also won’t see the 2017 campaign that Russell Wilson just put together as fantasy’s overall QB1. Aaron Rodgers’ 2014 MVP season? Fuhgettaboutit. In fact, did you know that Brady’s 4,577 passing yards this past season were the fewest to lead the league since 2006 (Drew Brees, 4,418)?

Now that we’ve got some precursors out of the way, here is a quick refresher of the unique PFF terms and acronyms found below.

PFF Glossary

FPPG: fantasy points per game
PPDB: fantasy points per dropback
PFF RATING: PFF passer rating model; accounts for drops, throwaways, yards in the air
DEEP RTG: passer rating on pass attempts targeted 20 yards or more downfield
PRESSURE RTG: passer rating when under pressure
ACC %: completions + drops per aimed throw i.e. adjusted completion percentage

10. Drew Brees, New Orleans Saints (2013)

446-of-650 (68.6%), 5,162 yards, 39 TD, 12 INT / 35 rushes, 52 yards, 3 TD

FANTASY POINTS FPPG FPPDB PFF RATING DEEP RTG PRESSURE RTG ACC %
374 23.4 0.54 94.06 114.3 69.7 77.0

Brees was a mere mortal in fantasy this past season, finishing his age-38 season as the QB11. Still, he did lead the league in completions (386), completion percentage (72.0), and yards per attempt (8.1) while tossing 23 TDs and only eight interceptions, the latter being the lowest 16-game total of his career. With four of the top-25 fantasy quarterback seasons of the PFF era to his name, Brees has finished as a QB1 every single year in that span, including six in the top-two. One of those seasons was 2013. He was just as accurate as Peyton Manning that year, yet he had more success on the deep ball (20-plus air yards) with a league-high 15 TDs and only two picks.

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