A passer rating of 158.3 is considered a perfect passing efficiency
in the NFL. It’s a complicated formula (and at the end of
the piece for those who have never seen it).
But I’ve developed a simple rating for fantasy owners.
It’s Fantasy Points per Pass.
At the top of the chart, running quarterbacks like Lamar Jackson
and Josh Allen skew the results a bit, but I’m not here
to talk about the top of the chart. I’m more interested
in the bottom portion of the statistics where a number of well-known,
well-thought-of, and highly-ranked 2019 quarterbacks put up some
inefficient numbers last season.
Let’s look at the “Bottom 10” and see what
happened and whether it was a one-season issue or long-term. None
of the 10 quarterbacks averaged 23 FPts/G, none finished in the
top-10 in FPts/G, and only volume kept Rodgers and Cousins in
the 22 FPts/G range and from being completely unworthy of their
lofty salaries and draft positions.
Dalton, Cincinnati – The only reason Dalton wasn’t
a complete failure in 2018 was the Bengals schedule called for
them to play the NFC South and the worst group of pass defenses
in the league congregate there. Three of his four best games came
against Carolina, Atlanta and Tampa Bay. Unfortunately, they won’t
face any of those guys in 2019, so fantasy owners should probably
stay away, even as a backup option.
Rodgers, Green Bay – He’s a surprise this far down
the list and only throwing 597 passes saved him from being a fantasy
disaster. He’s already struggling for “control” of the offense
with his head coach/offensive guru Matt LaFleur who apparently
doesn’t want to give “A-Rod” full freedom to audible. I’m just
guessing that LaFleur wants to run the ball a lot more behind
rising star Aaron Jones than his quarterback and take some of
the pressure off Rodgers while Rodgers wants to continue to throw
the ball at will (he averaged almost 40 passing attempts per game
in the 15 games he played all the way through). Watch carefully
as to who wins the “battle of wills” because if Rodgers is only
throwing 30 passes per game he’s not going to earn his high draft
Cousins, Minnesota – Cousins had no excuse for averaging
just 22.1 FPts/G last season. He has three excellent pass catchers
in Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen and Kyle Rudolph along with a running
back with good hands in talented Dalvin Cook. He threw the ball
606 times, yet produced just .583 fantasy points per passing attempt.
Like, Rodgers, if the offense turns more to the running game,
Cousins not only won’t be worth the $28 million the Vikings are
paying him, but won’t be a good fantasy option. Fantasy owners
seem to have adjusted as he’s 20th off the board in recent mock
Darnold, New York Jets – Darnold gets an automatic
pass because he was a rookie last season and rookies simply don’t
produce in their first season while trying to adjust to life in
the professional leagues. The addition of talent on offense will
help. The threat of Le’Veon Bell will keep linebackers honest,
not to mention the 600-750 yards he can produce with his A+ pass-catching
ability. Jamison Crowder, Robby Anderson and a healthy Quincy
Enunwa would also help though they aren’t the long-term answer.
Darnold is still not “start-worthy” and won’t be until the team
drafts, or trades for, an elite receiver.
Manning. New York Giants – There is a reason the Giants
spent a top pick in 2019 on their quarterback of the future. It’s
the failure of Manning to produce despite a receiving corps of
Odell Beckham Jr. (first-round pick), Sterling Shepard (second-round
pick) and tight end Evan Engram (first-round pick). That’s a lot
of assets wasted on a 38-year-old QB who managed just 21 TD passes
last season. Beckham is gone and Manning will be too … by the
end of the season. Just avoid the entire situation.
Carr, Oakland – It wasn’t that long ago, 2016 in fact,
that Carr was putting on a show with 28 TD passes and just six
interceptions. But a broken finger in Week 12 and a broken leg
in Week 16 against the Colts ended that season and sent his career
in a tailspin. After 22 touchdown passes in 2017 and just 19 last
season, it’s put up or shut up time for the Raiders quarterback.
The good news is that John Gruden brought in the best possible
wideout to replace Amari Cooper in former Steelers receiver Antonio
Brown. Add in former Chargers speedster Tyrell Williams and a
new threat out of the backfield (Josh Jacobs) and Carr has the
tools to right the sinking ship. Of course, he’ll have to overcome
an underperforming OL which ranked 26th in 2018 according to PFF.
Currently the 23rd QB in mock drafts, there is upside if Gruden
can fix the offensive line.
Foles, Jacksonville – Foles moves to a new team, but
with a familiar face as offensive coordinator - John Defilippo.
Defilippo loved to throw the ball in Minnesota, a lot, and it
likely got him “canned” because of it. If he’s learned his lesson,
he’ll temper this “Andy Reid trait” and learn from his days with
Doug Pederson in Philadelphia where they won a Super Bowl with
a much more balanced offense. Is Marqise Lee, Keelan Cole and
Geoff Swaim as good as Diggs, Thielen and Rudolph or even Alshon
Jeffery, Nelson Agholor and Zach Ertz? Obviously not, so don’t
expect a lot from Foles this season. On a side note, watching
Foles the past two seasons, I can assure you he can’t throw in
Stafford, Detroit – Stafford’s numbers should not be
a surprise as he’s lost a lot of talent at the receiving corps
in recent years. No more Calvin Johnson. No more Golden Tate.
Marvin Jones was injured and Eric Ebron became a stud only after
leaving for Indianapolis. There will be no more seasons of 727
passing attempts and while Kenny Golladay had a nice rookie season,
this might be a tough year to use Stafford as anything other than
a backup plan.
Keenum, Washington – While Keenum took the first set
of snaps with the starters at the most recent OTA, he doesn’t
figure to be anything more than a backup for Dwayne Haskins.
Flacco, Denver – Flacco posted the lowest number of
any starter last season (.464 fantasy points per attempt) and
while that says a lot about the inept receivers in Baltimore,
it isn’t going to allow much confidence for fantasy owners
in his first season with the Broncos. Because Keenum’s numbers
in Denver with almost as bad (.491). Emmanuel Sanders, Courtland
Sutton and DaeSean Hamilton aren’t going to wow you with
their talent level and Flacco will spend much of 2019 looking
over his shoulder at Drew Lock. In 11 seasons, Flacco has never
produced a single 22 FPts/G season and 2019 won’t be one
The NFL Computation is as follows: ER = [((100 * PC/PA) - 30.0)
* 0.05] + [((TY/PA) - 3.0) * 0.25] + [20 * TD/PA] + [2.375 - (25
* I/PA)]/6.0 * 100
The four categories above, delineated by brackets, are capped
at 0.0 (min) to 2.375 (max).