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8 of the Top 16 Rookie Fantasy Seasons by QB in Past 3 Years (1 Viewer)

Anarchy99

Footballguy
Something obviously changed compared to other eras. "Back in the day," rookie QBs on both an NFL and fantasy level could not be counted on to do very much. Clearly, that's now changed, but the question is . . . why? What changed? Are the new breed of QBs that much smarter? More talented? Put in better situations? What's happened to make rookie QBs (and young QBs in general) IN DEMAND and so productive?

Cam Newton 2011 426.9

Robert Griffin III 2012 360.9

Andrew Luck 2012 348.2

Russell Wilson 2012 322.8

Jim Kelly 1986 270.6

Peyton Manning 1998 269.2

Andy Dalton 2011 251.8

San Bradford 2010 244.9

Vince Young 2006 242.2

Matt Ryan 2008 241.4

Ryan Tannehill 2012 231.4

Warren Moon 1984 228.0

Joe Flacco 2008 226.9

Rick Mirer 1993 225.0

Chris Weinke 2001 220.4

Brandon Wheeden 2012 218.5

 

Concept Coop

Footballguy
Rushing production is a large part of it, and will continue to be; even Luck and Wilson got major bumps from rushing production. The average rookie QB is more mobile than in the past.

Rule changes aid young QBs, too.

Volume is steadily increasing as well; it's becoming more and more of a passing league.

 

Ace Matherton

Footballguy
I'd also add to Coop's thoughts HC's are more willing to run what the QB does well rather than pushing the square peg into a round hole.

 
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lod01

Footballguy
#1. You can't touch a QB anymore. Rookie QBs, especially those that take off running, did not fare well because they would get planted into the ground and carted off. Now days, if they screw up and hold onto the ball too long, either the defense gets a flag for crushing the QB or they lay the QB down like a baby. In the old days, that rookie gets destroyed and then gunshy or out of the game.

10 years ago I would have never considered a running QB, because of the injury factor, but now I would. I like having a QB that plays 16 games a year, year in and year out.

 
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Grigs Allmoon

Footballguy
The college game becoming so much more complex is a big reason, too.

Another, is the pressure to "win now." Back in the day rookies didn't get thrust into the starting lineup nearly as much.

 

FUBAR

Footballguy
#1. You can't touch a QB anymore. Rookie QBs, especially those that take off running, did not fare well because they would get planted into the ground and carted off. Now days, if they screw up and hold onto the ball too long, either the defense gets a flag for crushing the QB or they lay the QB down like a baby. In the old days, that rookie gets destroyed and then gunshy or out of the game.

10 years ago I would have never considered a running QB, because of the injury factor, but now I would. I like having a QB that plays 16 games a year, year in and year out.
Randall Cunningham is the only running QB I remember being relevant.

 

Adam Harstad

Moderator
Opportunity is a lot of it. Since the NFL expanded to a 16-game season in 1978, 29 QBs have appeared in 15 games and gotten at least 100 attempts. From 1978 to 2010, there were an average of 0.66 such QBs a year. Over the last two years, there have been 8. There simply haven't been a lot of chances in history for a rookie to accumulate fantasy stats.

 

KellysHeroes

Footballguy
Something obviously changed compared to other eras. "Back in the day," rookie QBs on both an NFL and fantasy level could not be counted on to do very much. Clearly, that's now changed, but the question is . . . why? What changed? Are the new breed of QBs that much smarter? More talented? Put in better situations? What's happened to make rookie QBs (and young QBs in general) IN DEMAND and so productive?

Cam Newton 2011 426.9

Robert Griffin III 2012 360.9

Andrew Luck 2012 348.2

Russell Wilson 2012 322.8

Jim Kelly 1986 270.6

Peyton Manning 1998 269.2

Andy Dalton 2011 251.8

San Bradford 2010 244.9

Vince Young 2006 242.2

Matt Ryan 2008 241.4

Ryan Tannehill 2012 231.4

Warren Moon 1984 228.0

Joe Flacco 2008 226.9

Rick Mirer 1993 225.0

Chris Weinke 2001 220.4

Brandon Wheeden 2012 218.5
Luck, RGIII and Wilson are the most impressive rookie QBs I've seen. Cam was also very impress and a TD machine, is rookie yr was pretty much a video game where you are always trying to get the QB a TD Rushing or Throwing). Dalton, Bradford Tannehill and especially Weeden are examples of how the NFL game has changed. More passing attempts and more rules to favor the QBs and offense has allowed players of their talent level to put up such good numbers.

 

Anarchy99

Footballguy
Opportunity is a lot of it. Since the NFL expanded to a 16-game season in 1978, 29 QBs have appeared in 15 games and gotten at least 100 attempts. From 1978 to 2010, there were an average of 0.66 such QBs a year. Over the last two years, there have been 8. There simply haven't been a lot of chances in history for a rookie to accumulate fantasy stats.
This doesn't tell me much of anything. Why now are rookies getting the chances they weren't getting before? And why are they so successful? If the rules changed or defenses changes, wouldn't the established QBs still be better equipped to benefit than the rookies?

 

FUBAR

Footballguy
Opportunity is a lot of it. Since the NFL expanded to a 16-game season in 1978, 29 QBs have appeared in 15 games and gotten at least 100 attempts. From 1978 to 2010, there were an average of 0.66 such QBs a year. Over the last two years, there have been 8. There simply haven't been a lot of chances in history for a rookie to accumulate fantasy stats.
This doesn't tell me much of anything. Why now are rookies getting the chances they weren't getting before? And why are they so successful? If the rules changed or defenses changes, wouldn't the established QBs still be better equipped to benefit than the rookies?
If the rules changed in such a way to reward pure athleticism and lessen the importance of quick-thinking and reaction (which usually is improved with experience), then this makes sense. The rules changes encourage the QB to run; which these rookie QBs do better than the vets. I'd be interested to see where these seasons stack up if you were to remove the rushing stats.

 

Biabreakable

Footballguy
I looked at the last 20 years of offensive plays-

2012 17788pa 13925ra 31713 plays
2011 17410pa 13971ra 31381 plays
2010 17269pa 13920ra 31189 plays
2009 17033pa 14088ra 31121 plays
2008 16526pa 14119ra 30645 plays
2007 17045pa 13986ra 31031 plays
2006 16389pa 14447ra 30836 plays
2005 16464pa 14375ra 30839 plays
2004 16354pa 14428ra 30782 plays -enforcement of 5yd rule

2003 16493pa 14508ra 31001 plays
2002 17292pa 14102ra 31394 plays

2001 16181pa 13666ra 29847 plays
2000 16322pa 13677ra 29999 plays
1999 16760pa 13548ra 30308 plays
1998 15489pa 13568ra 29057 plays
1997 15729pa 13639ra 29368 plays
1996 15966pa 13594ra 29560 plays
1995 16699pa 13199ra 29898 plays

1994 15056pa 12550ra 27606 plays
1993 14414pa 12684ra 27098 plays
1992 13408pa 12291ra 25699 plays

What is interesting is that total plays have gone up and rushing plays overall have not significantly declined. Offenses are just running a lot more plays overall since 2002 than they had been before.

31000 total plays looks like the floor in current nfl now, where 30000 had not even been cracked prior to 2002. Total plays rose by about 300 from 1992-2002 but held steady around 31000 since then with perhaps some modest increase in total plays.

Passing plays since 2002 have gone up by about 1000 pa or so while also increasing rushing attempts slightly over that same time frame.
 

Anarchy99

Footballguy
Here is a breakdown of all total rookie passing attempts by QB per season in the Super Bowl era:

2012 29032011 19432010 14522009 12092008 8862007 6442006 12992005 8892004 9792003 11162002 17412001 11222000 4841999 16381998 14551997 7871996 5711995 9081994 5691993 11501992 5301991 4581990 5671989 10341988 9641987 10081986 11931985 12921984 9451983 9421982 5291981 4901980 6231979 10611978 6311977 9181976 11071975 8951974 8231973 7581972 4391971 11381970 7431969 9181968 8801967 10061966 1158As I expected, the two mpst prolific passing seasons for rookie QBs in terms of attempts were the past two seasons. Some of that can be explained by having more teams, playing more games, and the game now involving more passing in general. But I don't think it can explain away everything.

Back in the day, the general consensus was that playing a rookie QB was taboo. Teams didn't want to do it by choice, and many times only played one due to injury. The common belief was that rookie QBs needed to sit and learn and develop. Those that did start arly were usually poor performers (look at Alex Smith or Troy Aikman as examples).

I find it hard to believe that the current vanguard of rookies coming into the league are that much stronger, can read complex defenses, fully learn complex offenses with 1,000+ plays and variations, can change up plays on the fly, and are generally more competent and talented than all their predecesors. Sure the rules enforcement and two-hand touch approach by the refs would help some, but if I knew nothing about football, it almost seems like the greatest young QBs in history played in the past few seasons. Maybe this recent group of QBs IS that talented, but I have a hard time believing it. Maybe colleges today produce more pro ready QBs and run pro style offenses better than in the past, but even so, the talent level in the NFL is way better than in college (and thus rookies should still have trouble transitioning).

 

cstu

Footballguy
Maybe this recent group of QBs IS that talented, but I have a hard time believing it.
We have had some very talented QB's come into the league (Cam, Luck, RG3, Wilson) but there have also been a lot of rookies thrown into fire due to necessity (Bradford, Dalton, McCoy, Weeden, Gabbert, Ponder, Tannehill, Clausen).

 

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