With the 2019 NFL season right around the corner, NFL Fantasy guru Matthew Berry shares 100 (actually 140) stats and facts you need to know before the season begins.
Whether you are into fantasy sports or sports handicapping – or both – listed below are eye-opening stats on key players and teams that are noteworthy entering the season ahead.
1. If you took 15 touchdown passes away from Patrick Mahomes last season, he still would have been the No. 1 QB in fantasy.
1a. Or take away 950 passing yards and six touchdown passes.
1b. Or 1,000 passing yards, four passing touchdowns and one rushing touchdown.
1c. Or 62 fantasy points.
1d. He still would have finished as the No. 1 QB in fantasy.
2. The connection of Mahomes to Tyreek Hill last season scored 2.168 points per target.
3. Mahomes to all other Chiefs scored 2.052 points per target.
3a. Matt Ryan was QB2 last season and he averaged 1.942 points per target.
4. Since 2004, there have been six instances in which a QB threw 40-plus TD passes and was not hurt the following season. All of them regressed in terms of fantasy points the following season.
4a. The average of their drop in production was 16.39%.
5. If Mahomes' point total from last season dropped by 16.39%, he would have 348.7 points.
6. Among QBs last season, only Mahomes and Ryan scored more than 348.7 points.
7. In Andy Reid's final decade in Philadelphia (2003-12), his Eagles ranked fifth in the NFL in QB fantasy points (behind only the Packers, Patriots, Saints and Colts) with 273.76 fantasy points per season.
8. In 2012, the Chiefs' final season before Reid, they ranked dead last in QB points with 122.58.
8a. For reference, 2018 Arizona Cardinals QBs scored 136.58 points.
9. From 2013-17 (the pre-Mahomes era), Reid's Chiefs averaged 264.96 QB points per season.
10. Only three quarterbacks in NFL history have passed for 4,000 yards and rushed for 500 yards in a single season: Cam Newton (2011), Russell Wilson (2015) and ... Deshaun Watson (2018).
11. In Week 9 of last season, Freddie Kitchens took over the play-calling duties for the Cleveland Browns.
12. From Week 9 of last season on, Baker Mayfield led the NFL in deep
completions per game.
12a. And he was second in yards per attempt.
12b. He also was second in deep attempts per game.
12c. He was 10th in QB fantasy points.
12d. And he just added Odell Beckham Jr. and a full offseason in Kitchens' offense.
13. In 2014, Eli Manning's first year playing with Beckham, Manning scored 99.2 more fantasy points than he did in 2013.
14. If you added 99.2 fantasy points to Mayfield's total from last season, he would have been the fourth-best QB in fantasy.
15. Last year, Mayfield had a 5.6% TD rate (ranked 11th).
16. Manning's TD rate over the past three seasons is 3.8% (ranked 31st).
17. Last year, there were 14 QBs who had at least three games of 25-plus points, including Kirk Cousins and Ryan Fitzpatrick.
17a. None of the 14 were named Russell Wilson.
18. In his first three NFL seasons, Wilson rushed for 11 TDs and averaged 102.7 carries per season.
19. In his four NFL seasons since, Wilson has run for just five TDs and averaged 84.3 carries per season.
20. From 2012-17, Wilson averaged 0.501 fantasy points per pass and had a 5.7 TD%.
21. In 2018, Wilson averaged 0.618 fantasy points per pass and had a TD% of 8.2.
21a. In other words, his 2018 season, despite Seattle leading the NFL in rush percentage, represented a 23.4% spike in points per pass and a 43.9% spike in percentage of passes resulting in a TD.
21b. Doug Baldwin retired during the offseason.
22. From the time Amari Cooper joined the Cowboys until the end of the season, Dak Prescott was eighth in the NFL in passing yards.
23. He was fifth in completion percentage.
24. And ninth in QB fantasy points.
25. Prescott has six rushing touchdowns in three straight seasons.
25a. He is currently being drafted as QB12 on ESPN.com, in the 11th round.
26. In his nine starts last season, Jameis Winston averaged 4.6 deep completions and 11.1 deep attempts per game. Both would have led the NFL if he qualified.
26a. For reference, Mahomes led the NFL with 4.2 deep completions per game and Mayfield led with 8.8 deep attempts per game.
27. In those nine starts last season, Winston averaged 294.2 passing yards per game.
28. That would've been fourth most among all QBs last season, behind only Roethlisberger, Mahomes and Ryan.
29. Since the start of 2017, Winston has 11 games with at least 300 passing yards (tied for third most).
30. The only three QBs with more such games in that span are Jared Goff (13), Ryan (12) and Roethlisberger (12).
30a. Ryan has started 32 games in that span, Big Ben and Goff 31.
30b. Winston has started just 22!
30c. In other words, over the past two seasons, Winston has thrown for at least 300 yards in half of his starts.
31. Last season, Winston threw for a league-high 10.7 air yards per pass attempt.
32. From 2013-17, the Arizona Cardinals under Bruce Arians were second in air yards per pass attempt.
32a. Bruce Arians is now the coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
33. Alvin Kamara is one of 10 players with 80-plus catches in each of the past two years.
34. The rest of the list includes eight wide receivers and Christian McCaffrey.
35. Last season, Kamara became only the third player in NFL history with consecutive seasons of 700-plus rushing yards and 700-plus receiving yards.
35a. The other two are Marshall Faulk and Herschel Walker.
36. Last season, in Weeks 1-4 without Mark Ingram II, Kamara averaged 22.8 touches per game, 152.8 yards per game and 34.0 fantasy PPG.
37. In fact, Kamara has had 17 career games in which he received at least 15 touches. In those games, he is averaging 26.0 fantasy PPG.
37a. Todd Gurley II was RB1 on a per-game basis last season with 26.6 fantasy PPG.
37b. Ingram is now with the Baltimore Ravens.
37c. Last season, in games in which Dalvin Cook was active, Latavius Murray averaged 7.5 touches per game.
38. Since 2016, there have been only five instances in which a player was responsible for at least 70% of his team's carries: Gurley (2016), Le'Veon Bell (2017), Saquon Barkley (2018) ... and the past two seasons that David Johnson has been healthy (2016 and 2018).
39. With Kliff Kingsbury as the head coach at Texas Tech from 2013-18, the Red Raiders passed 61.5% of the time, the second-highest rate in FBS.
40. During Kingsbury's tenure, Texas Tech RBs caught 363 passes, 10th-most in the nation.
41. The Red Raiders were actually sixth in FBS in RB receptions in 2018.
42. In his past two healthy seasons, David Johnson has averaged 65 receptions (and 275 carries).
43. He has scored in 55.1% of his career NFL games.
44. That's the fourth-highest rate since he entered the league (minimum 30 games played) and includes his rookie season, when he was mostly a backup.
45. As of this writing, Johnson is being drafted in the second round in ESPN leagues.
46. Since Andy Reid took over as head coach in Kansas City in 2013, Chiefs RBs have ranked top-four in the NFL in: yards per carry, rushing touchdowns, yards before first contact per rush, red zone rushing touchdowns, yards per catch, red zone targets, receiving touchdowns and fantasy points.
47. In the six games Damien Williams got double-digit touches last season, including playoffs, he averaged 24.4 fantasy points per game.
48. Last season, 24.4 points per game would have ranked third, just ahead of McCaffrey.
49. During those six games (146.2 points), Williams averaged 1.39 fantasy points per touch.
50. Some other 2018 fantasy points-per-touch rates: Kamara (1.29), Melvin Gordon (1.22), McCaffrey (1.18), Gurley (1.18), Barkley (1.10).
51. In those six games, Williams averaged 4.7 catches per game and 4.88 yards per carry.
52. Behind him on the depth chart are 29-year-old Carlos Hyde, who is on his fourth team in two years, 2019 sixth-round pick Darwin Thompson and undrafted free agents Darrel Williams, Marcus Marshall and Josh Caldwell.
53. Williams is currently being drafted as RB19, in the fifth round, in ESPN leagues.
54. In five of the six years Adam Gase has been an NFL head coach or offensive coordinator, his teams have been 21st or worse in terms of RB receptions.
55. The one year his offense was better than 20th in this category was 2013 in Denver, when Peyton Manning threw 55 touchdown passes.
55a. And even that season, Denver RBs were just 19th in target share.
56. In 2015, under Gase, Matt Forte averaged just 3.4 catches per game.
57. In the two seasons prior to Gase showing up, Forte averaged 5.5 catches per game.
58. During Gase's three seasons in Miami, the Dolphins ranked dead-last in offensive snaps per game.
59. In Le'Veon Bell's two best fantasy seasons (total points) the Steelers ranked in the top 10 in offensive snaps per game.
60. The only time Bell has played in all 16 games in a season was in 2014.
61. Last season, the Seahawks ran the ball an NFL-high 49.5% of the time.
62. In fact, they have run the ball at the highest rate in the NFL since Russell Wilson came into the NFL.
63. On the run-heaviest team in the NFL last season, Rashaad Penny averaged 6.1 carries per game.
64. Last season, in the Seahawks' final seven games (including playoffs), Penny got zero targets.
65. Meanwhile, on a per-game basis, only Ezekiel Elliott and Gurley averaged more rushing attempts last season than ... Chris Carson.
66. Carson lost yardage on just 6.5% of carries, the fifth-lowest rate among qualified RBs.
67. Last season, there were only three running backs with at least 1,100 rushing yards and nine rushing touchdowns: Barkley, Gurley ... and Carson.
68. In the nine games he received at least 15 carries last season, Carson scored eight times.
69. Mike Davis had 146 touches for the Seahawks last season, or 9.7 per game.
69a. Davis is now with the Chicago Bears.
70. Last season, despite playing just 14 games, Carson finished as RB15 in total points.
71. As of this writing, Carson is being drafted as RB24, in the sixth round on ESPN.
72. In 2017, the New Orleans Saints were seventh in rush percentage, 10th in red zone rush percentage, 13th in rushes per game and ... first in rushing touchdowns.
73. In 2018, the Saints were third in rush percentage, fourth in red zone rush percentage, fifth in rushes per game and ... first in rushing touchdowns.
74. Only three running backs have scored at least six rushing touchdowns in each of the past four seasons: Todd Gurley of the Rams, former Saint Mark Ingram and ... new Saint Latavius Murray.
74a. As of this writing, Murray is being drafted as RB35, in the 11th round.
75. Last season, LeSean McCoy gained five-plus yards on just 25.5% of carries (among 47 qualified RBs, only LeGarrette Blount had a worse rate).
75a. McCoy was held to under 70 yards in 10 of 14 games last season.
75b. He averaged just 3.2 yards per carry, ranking him 46th out of 47 qualified running backs.
75c. He was RB45 on a per-game basis.
75d. From Week 12 on last season, Josh Allen accounted for 53.1% of the Bills' rushing yards, and even Chris Ivory was more efficient than McCoy when running the ball during that span
76. Odell Beckham Jr. ranks third in points per deep catch (5.52) among players with at least 50 deep receptions since he entered the league in 2014.
77. In the past three seasons, Eli Manning has a 39% deep completion percentage and a 5% deep touchdown rate, both in the bottom third of the NFL.
78. Last season, under the play calling of current head coach Freddie Kitchens, Baker Mayfield ranked fifth in deep completion percentage (52.1%) and 11th in TD rate on deep passes (8.2%).
79. On a per-game basis, Julian Edelman was the 12th-best WR in fantasy in 2018.
79a. He averaged 17.3 fantasy PPG, better than T.Y. Hilton, A.J. Green and Keenan Allen, among others.
80. He also averaged 1.67 red zone targets per game in 2018 (only Zach Ertz averaged more).
81. In Edelman's past 16 regular-season games without Rob Gronkowski, he has had 180 targets.
81a. He also caught 114 balls for 1,374 yards and three touchdowns in those games which works out to 269.4 points.
82. Last season's No. 10 WR, Stefon Diggs, scored 266.3 points.
83. Since 2017, Andy Dalton is 31st in completion percentage.
83a. He's 27th in deep completion percentage.
83b. He's 31st in yards per deep pass.
84. Week 10 of the 2017 season marks the last time A.J. Green had a 40-yard catch.
85. Green has missed at least six games in two of the past three years, played all 16 games just twice in five years and turns 31 this July.
86. The top pass-catcher (WR/TE) during the Cam Newton era (2011-18) has averaged 7.6 targets per game.
87. In DJ Moore's three career games with more than seven targets, he has averaged 19.4 fantasy PPG.
87a. On a per-game basis, that would have made him WR7 last season.
88. The first game Moore played more than half of the Panthers' offensive snaps came in Week 8.
89. From that point forward, Moore was a top-20 wide receiver in receptions, receiving yards, yards after the catch and fantasy points.
90. Devin Funchess and his 80 targets in 15 games last season are now on the Indianapolis Colts.
90a. As of this writing, Moore is currently being drafted at WR28, in the eighth round, on ESPN.
91. Over the past two seasons, Evan Engram has played in 14 games without Beckham. In those games, he has averaged 13.8 fantasy points per game.
91a. Last season, that would have made him TE5 on a per-game basis.
92. Last season, Engram played four games without Beckham but with Saquon Barkley.
93. Engram had at least 75 yards in all four of them and averaged 16.2 fantasy PPG.
93a. That would have been good enough for TE4 on a per-game basis last season.
94. During the past four seasons, only Tom Brady has thrown more TD passes to tight ends than ... Philip Rivers.
95. In 2018, O.J. Howard was a top-10 TE in seven of his 10 games played. Only Travis Kelce (81.3%) and Zach Ertz (75%) were better.
96. Howard had at least 50 yards in 80% of his games last season. Only Kelce and George Kittle had higher rates.
97. Last season, Vance McDonald was the 10th-best tight end in fantasy.
97a. His 3.8 yards per catch after first contact was third-highest in the NFL among all players last season.
98. Last season, the Steelers ranked eighth in TE targets.
99. The departures of Antonio Brown and Jesse James from the Steelers free up 209 targets from last season.
100. As of this writing, McDonald is being drafted as TE11, in the 12th round, on ESPN.
Matthew Berry is the the founder of the Fantasy Life app and the owner of RotoPass.com.
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