Separating the Names from the Numbers: QB Edition

Matthew Berry, whether you like him or not, always does this little exercise in his “Draft Day Manifesto” each and every year where he’ll list a couple of lines of fantasy stats without names attached to them and have readers try and guess which stat line belongs to whom.

Simple enough, right? Often times in this hobby of ours, we get caught up in the name value associated with a particular player and not the actual production.

I’m guilty as shit of doing it. I’m sure you are, too.

Separating names from numbers is a concept that seems to really take off especially during playoff time (see: WDIS: Keelan Cole or Mike Evans in Week 15?)

While I wouldn’t recommend doing it on a week-to-week basis, looking back on it at the end of the season will definitely raise some eyebrows and be somewhat of a rude awakening for you.

So let’s dive in.

——-

Quarterback A:

  • 385 completions
  • 581 attempts
  • 66.3% completion percentage
  • 4,577 passing yards
  • 32 touchdowns
  • 8 interceptions

Quarterback B:

  • 371 completions
  • 575 attempts
  • 65.7% completion percentage
  • 4,446 yards
  • 29 touchdowns
  • 10 interceptions

On the surface, you can see that Quarterback A takes the cake in all categories, albeit a slim margin. 131 more yards on six more attempts, few more TDs, couple less interceptions.

Quarterback A is none other than Tom Brady, while Quarterback B is Matthew Stafford.

The point here is this – Tom Brady came into the season as nowhere below the QB3 in ADP, while Matthew Stafford was hovering around the QB12 to QB15 area.

For a little less production, in hindsight, waiting on your QB here seemed to have been the right call.

In standard scoring leagues with six points for TDs, Brady finished as QB2 and Stafford finished as QB6.

——

Quarterback A:

  • 308 completions
  • 490 attempts
  • 62.9% completion percentage
  • 3,324 passing yards
  • 22 touchdowns
  • 13 interceptions

Quarterback B:

  • 342 completions
  • 529 attempts
  • 64.7% completion percentage
  • 4,095 passing yards
  • 20 touchdowns
  • 12 interceptions

We all know that the Dallas Cowboys offense was insanely inefficient during the six-game stretch Zeke Elliott was suspended. Couldn’t move the ball through the air, couldn’t move the ball on the ground.

But if Quarterback A here is Dak Prescott, what excuse does Matt Ryan, Quarterback B, have?

Throwing almost half as many touchdowns and almost double as many picks as he did in 2016, sure you can blame it on scheme, a new offensive coordinator, and the decreased usage of Devonta Freeman in the passing game (54 receptions for 462 yards in 2016 vs. 36 receptions for 317 yards in 2017 with most coming in Week 17).

But, at the same time, you have to point fingers at the one taking the snaps.

In standard scoring leagues with six points for TDs, Prescott finished as QB12 and Stafford finished as QB15.

—–

Quarterback A:

  • 281 completions
  • 453 attempts
  • 62.0% completion percentage
  • 3,232 passing yards
  • 13 touchdowns
  • 15 interceptions

Quarterback B:

  • 276 completions
  • 469 attempts
  • 58.8 completion percentage
  • 3,098 passing yards
  • 13 touchdowns
  • 7 interceptions

What if I told you that Quarterback A had a preseason ADP of anywhere from QB6 to QB11, and Quarterback B was a backup in the preseason for a different team and completely off the draft board radar?

What if I told you that you probably just read that in the “30 for 30” intro voice?

Anyway, Quarterback A is Marcus Mariota, and Quarterback B is Jacoby Brissett.

You can make the argument that Mariota had more to play with but didn’t bring out any production from his assets – Corey Davis was widely underwhelming in his rookie campaign, Delanie Walker had a decent year, Eric Decker was worthless.

Compare that to just T.Y. Hilton and Jack Doyle.

With a backup taking snaps.

#BlameMularkey

In standard scoring leagues with six points for TDs, Mariota finished as QB21 and Brissett finished as QB22.

——

You can go all up and down the board and find interesting stats like these – any other QBs surprise you when you remove the name from the numbers?

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