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Weirdest season ever

Posted by Doug on October 13, 2006

I've been playing fantasy football for a long time. And the only thing I can predict with absolute certainty is that every year, people will claim that this is the wildest, craziest, wackiest fantasy football season ever. It's as regular as the tides. But this year they might just be right. Let's take a position-by-position look at fantasy scoring.

Except for Donovan McNabb, fantasy scoring is down at the quarterback position this season. In this table, we see the average (2000--2005) fantasy point total of the player ranked X through five weeks. For example, on average the top-ranked QB through five weeks has 130.5 points. McNabb has 149.8. The 20th-ranked QB through five weeks has accumulated, on average, 66.9 points while this year's 20th-ranked QB, Drew Bledsoe, has 66.0. The asterisks indicate slots where the 2006 performer is outproducing the historical average, and there aren't many of them.


00--05
RANK AVG 2006 player 2006 FPT
==========================================
qb 1 130.5 Donovan McNabb 149.8 *
qb 2 118.5 Peyton Manning 107.0
qb 3 112.5 Rex Grossman 98.9
qb 4 107.4 Jon Kitna 94.0
qb 5 104.0 Marc Bulger 91.3
qb 6 99.1 Byron Leftwich 90.8
qb 7 96.4 Eli Manning 89.1
qb 8 93.3 Charlie Frye 87.9
qb 9 87.7 Brett Favre 86.2
qb 10 85.2 Tom Brady 83.2
qb 11 83.4 Alex Smith 80.8
qb 12 80.9 Drew Brees 79.4
qb 13 79.4 David Carr 78.2
qb 14 77.7 Chad Pennington 77.9 *
qb 15 74.9 Michael Vick 75.4 *
qb 16 73.3 Mark Brunell 69.1
qb 17 71.0 J.P. Losman 68.5
qb 18 69.7 Brad Johnson 66.4
qb 19 68.4 Carson Palmer 66.3
qb 20 66.9 Drew Bledsoe 66.0

Now I know that some teams have had their bye and some haven't, so total points might not be the best way to rank players at this point, but that was true of the previous seasons as well, so at least we're comparing apples to apples.

The QB list tells a simple story: QB production is generally down this year. But the running back story is a little more complex. If you have a typical team, then odds are your #1 RB is doing worse than last year, but your #2 is doing better.


00--05
RANK AVG 2006 player 2006 FPT
==========================================
rb 1 118.4 Brian Westbrook 86.6
rb 2 100.2 Frank Gore 81.2
rb 3 92.8 Larry Johnson 77.9
rb 4 84.7 Steven Jackson 70.9
rb 5 82.9 Deuce McAllister 67.3
rb 6 77.7 Clinton Portis 67.0
rb 7 76.0 Rudi Johnson 63.9
rb 8 73.3 LaDainian Tomlinson 62.6
rb 9 71.7 Kevin Jones 61.4
rb 10 69.8 Ronnie Brown 61.1
rb 11 64.1 Chester Taylor 59.9
rb 12 61.0 Fred Taylor 59.5
rb 13 58.4 Edgerrin James 58.9 *
rb 14 56.2 Laurence Maroney 58.8 *
rb 15 55.2 Julius Jones 56.9 *
rb 16 53.7 Willie Parker 56.3 *
rb 17 51.9 Willis McGahee 55.1 *
rb 18 49.4 Thomas Jones 54.1 *
rb 19 48.1 Dominic Rhodes 51.5 *
rb 20 46.6 Maurice Jones-Drew 50.8 *
rb 21 45.0 Tiki Barber 49.6 *
rb 22 44.4 DeShaun Foster 49.5 *
rb 23 43.9 Joseph Addai 47.6 *
rb 24 42.5 Corey Dillon 42.3
rb 25 41.1 Tatum Bell 42.0 *
rb 26 39.9 Reggie Bush 42.0 *
rb 27 38.1 Ladell Betts 41.9 *
rb 28 36.6 Ahman Green 41.3 *
rb 29 35.6 Marion Barber III 39.2 *
rb 30 34.7 Warrick Dunn 38.7 *

Every year you hear people complain about the fact that more and more teams are moving toward running back by committee (RBBC) systems. The facts tell a different story, as the past few years have, as a whole, featured far less RBBC than at any point in history. However, there may have been a slight shift toward RBBC just last year (I need to write up a full post or two on this), and it may be continuing (and accelerating) this year.

But the same thing is happening at the receiver positions. Here are the WR and TE lists.


wr 1 84.6 Bernard Berrian 65.8
wr 2 81.4 Torry Holt 61.2
wr 3 70.7 Santana Moss 59.4
wr 4 67.5 Keyshawn Johnson 55.7
wr 5 63.4 Marques Colston 55.4
wr 6 60.7 Reggie Williams 54.5
wr 7 58.7 Greg Jennings 54.4
wr 8 56.7 Andre Johnson 53.0
wr 9 54.9 Jerricho Cotchery 51.3
wr 10 52.8 Marvin Harrison 50.2
wr 11 51.6 Terry Glenn 49.2
wr 12 50.1 Laveranues Coles 49.1
wr 13 49.5 Anquan Boldin 48.7
wr 14 48.0 Reggie Brown 47.9
wr 15 46.7 Darrell Jackson 47.3 *
wr 16 45.7 Amani Toomer 46.8 *
wr 17 44.8 Plaxico Burress 46.6 *
wr 18 43.5 Larry Fitzgerald 45.6 *
wr 19 42.9 Javon Walker 45.2 *
wr 20 42.0 Roy Williams 45.1 *
wr 21 41.1 Reggie Wayne 44.2 *
wr 22 40.6 Donald Driver 41.8 *
wr 23 40.4 Braylon Edwards 41.1 *
wr 24 39.9 Chris Chambers 40.4 *
wr 25 39.5 Mike Furrey 40.3 *
wr 26 39.1 Isaac Bruce 40.3 *
wr 27 38.5 Joey Galloway 39.9 *
wr 28 38.2 Antonio Bryant 39.7 *
wr 29 37.4 Lee Evans 39.5 *
wr 30 36.7 Muhsin Muhammad 39.4 *
wr 31 36.1 Donte Stallworth 36.8 *
wr 32 35.7 Steve Smith 32.8
wr 33 34.9 Arnaz Battle 31.4
wr 34 34.4 Derrick Mason 31.0
wr 35 33.4 T.J. Houshmandzadeh 30.9
wr 36 33.0 Travis Taylor 30.8
wr 37 32.6 Greg Lewis 30.7
wr 38 31.8 Drew Bennett 30.5
wr 39 31.3 Wes Welker 29.9
wr 40 30.7 Chris Henry 29.7


00--05
RANK AVG 2006 player 2006 FPT
==========================================
te 1 47.9 Kellen Winslow Jr 40.3
te 2 42.4 Todd Heap 36.0
te 3 36.1 L.J. Smith 34.7
te 4 33.6 Desmond Clark 30.4
te 5 30.7 Antonio Gates 29.7
te 6 29.2 Dallas Clark 24.4
te 7 27.4 Tony Gonzalez 23.2
te 8 26.3 Heath Miller 22.8
te 9 24.2 Ben Watson 22.3
te 10 22.8 Bo Scaife 21.8
te 11 21.3 Daniel Wilcox 21.7 *
te 12 19.9 Jeremy Shockey 20.7 *
te 13 19.5 George Wrighster 20.1 *
te 14 18.8 Randy McMichael 19.7 *
te 15 18.3 Alge Crumpler 18.8 *
te 16 17.5 Eric Johnson 18.6 *
te 17 16.7 Dan Campbell 18.0 *
te 18 16.1 Chris Baker 18.0 *
te 19 15.5 Owen Daniels 16.7 *
te 20 14.5 Alex Smith 16.6 *

I don't know what to make of this, but there is some serious compression this season. From 2000--2005, the difference between WR#1 and WR#20 after five weeks has averaged 42.6 points. This season it's just 20.7. The TE position is seeing a similar shift, but not as drastic.

This entry was posted on Friday, October 13th, 2006 at 4:32 am and is filed under Fantasy. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.