As we move into shifting focus to the 2020 NFL season and early drafts and dynasty content, we’re taking a slight look back at what just transpired in the 2019 campaign to see if there’s anything we can pry from the wreckage that could aid us moving forward.
The first of those looks back is on the quarterback position from this past season. Coming off a historic 2018 season in which the league set all-time records in passer rating and passing touchdowns, the 2019 season had large shoes to fill. While it didn’t live up to those lofty record-breaking standards from the year prior, leaguewide passing performance still didn’t disappoint.
Leaguewide Passing Output Over The Past 10 Years
|Year||Att/Gm||Comp%||PaYd/Gm||Y/A||PaTD||PaTD%||Int%||Rating||Pass FF Pts|
This past season stayed in line with the high-end output from this era, notching the second-highest collective passer rating ever, the third-highest touchdown rate since the 1970 merger and the fifth-most passing touchdown in any season.
The impressive part of this season’s output is the league suffered a number of injuries and rollover at the position yet still sustained high-level output, unlike the 2017 season that also had a number of injuries. 57 different quarterbacks started a game in the 2019 season, the most in a season since 2010 when 62 different signal-callers made a start. The league’s passing efficiency still withstood despite the abrupt retirement of Andrew Luck in the preseason and multiple games missed from each of Patrick Mahomes, Ben Roethlisberger, Matthew Stafford, Drew Brees, and Cam Newton.
For fantasy football, passing production is just one side of the coin. While the league’s passing tide has collectively risen with the era of improved passing efficiency, the fantasy landscape has also been impacted by the ongoing elevation of rushing productivity from the quarterback position.
Leaguewide Quarterback Rushing Over The Past 10 Years
|YEAR||RUATT||NFL ATT%||RUYD||NFL RUYD%||RUTD||NFL RUTD%||RUSH PTS|
Overall rushing volume from quarterbacks didn’t stay at 2018 levels, but on the strength of a season-high in rushing touchdowns, quarterbacks set a new high in collective rushing fantasy points for the third consecutive season. 14.4% of the fantasy output scored by the quarterback position this past season stemmed from rushing output, the highest rate in any season. Even if those touchdown totals decline in 2020, the rates in the attempt and yardage fields over the 2010-2017 seasons are signal that the league is just currently filled with more athletic players at the position than ever before.
Yesterday, we highlighted how much of an all-time advantage Lamar Jackson provided for fantasy this past season as he averaged a quarterback record of 27.7 fantasy points per game. 10.8 of those points per game came from rushing production alone, a mark that would have ranked 11th among running backs this past season. It was the most rushing points per game for a quarterback in league history and just the third time a passer had averaged double-digit rushing points per game in a season, joining Bobby Douglass in 1972 (10.3 points) and Mike Vick in 2010 (10.1).
All of that rushing output wasn’t from Jackson, however. Of the top-10 scoring quarterbacks on the season in 2019, eight of them had at least 10% of their fantasy production come from rushing output while four of them had at least 25% of their scoring come solely from the ground.
On a per-game basis, there was a season record of 104 individual games this season in which a quarterback added the equivalent of a passing touchdown (4.0 rushing points) to their score and 46 times a passer added the equal to multiple touchdown passes (8.0+ rushing points) to their totals.
Of the top-12 quarterbacks in rushing points per game, only Ryan Fitzpatrick, Daniel Jones, and Jacoby Brissett finished outside of the top-12 in overall fantasy points per game at the position. When selecting a fantasy passer, you should always consider options who can elevate their floors and enhance their ceilings with rushing output as it is a component not often priced in equally to weekly and seasonal fantasy impact.