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Fantasy scoring levels from the past 20 years (1 Viewer)

David Yudkin

Footballguy
Setting the bar (0 PPR) at:

340 points for QB

250 points for RB

200 points for WR

100 points for TE

# of each in the listed season (QB/RB/WR/TE)

09 9, 4, 2, 10

08 5, 2, 3, 5

07 3, 2, 5, 6

06 1, 6, 1, 7

05 0, 7, 4, 8

04 3, 5, 5, 6

03 2, 7, 2, 2

02 2, 9, 3, 3

01 3, 4, 4, 2

00 5, 5, 7, 3

99 2, 4, 4, 3

98 2, 5, 3, 3

97 1, 3, 1, 4

96 2, 4, 2, 4

95 4, 4, 8, 4

94 3, 4, 3, 4

93 1, 1, 2, 3

92 1, 4, 1, 0

91 0, 3, 2, 0

90 2, 2, 1, 2

What jumps out at you?

 
Tight End in the 3rd/4th is a dying strategy. The value isn't there anymore. I wonder what happened specifically from '03-'04? Is it a permanent thing or have we just experienced an influx of extremely talented TE's in the last 4-6 years?

ETA: Would be curious to see how much the # of RB's would spike in PPR and if RB receiving is having a negative impact overall on the WR position? Feels like RB is slowly garnering a bigger slice of the team targets pie.

 
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Well, 2004 was the breakout seasons (2nd season) for both Jason Witten and Antonio Gates, so yes, I would say that 2004 was the year when the TE talent levels jumped up. Shannon Sharpe had just retired, but the introduction of Gates, Witten, Shockey, and others made the position much more deep right around that time.

 
Tight End in the 3rd/4th is a dying strategy. The value isn't there anymore. I wonder what happened specifically from '03-'04? Is it a permanent thing or have we just experienced an influx of extremely talented TE's in the last 4-6 years?ETA: Would be curious to see how much the # of RB's would spike in PPR and if RB receiving is having a negative impact overall on the WR position? Feels like RB is slowly garnering a bigger slice of the team targets pie.
not necessarily - if you set the bar at, say, 150 for a TE, you'd probably see more value at the top end and therefore it would still justify a high selection.
 
Here's something interesting - between 1990 and 2007, there were more or equal WR's than QB's scoring at the "bar". In 2008, the ratio started to tip (5:3), and in 2009 it was way different (9:2). That's a pretty huge shift.

 
Separate from the TE conversation, 2009 was 25% higher than the next highest season's output in terms of meeting these criteria (25 total players meeting the criteria, vs 20 at most in past seasons: 2000, 1995). Was 2009 an outlier, or a sign of things to come. My gut tells me that given the current state of the rules - which offer an advantage to offenses - we'll likely see more of the same moving forward.

 
Here's something interesting - between 1990 and 2007, there were more or equal WR's than QB's scoring at the "bar". In 2008, the ratio started to tip (5:3), and in 2009 it was way different (9:2). That's a pretty huge shift.
My guess is that this is the effect of:-more passes to the #2/#3/#4 WR-more passes to TEs-more passes RBsDoes anyone know if stats like "number of passes thrown to TEs in 2008" is available or would I have to do the leg work?
 
Tight End in the 3rd/4th is a dying strategy. The value isn't there anymore. I wonder what happened specifically from '03-'04? Is it a permanent thing or have we just experienced an influx of extremely talented TE's in the last 4-6 years?ETA: Would be curious to see how much the # of RB's would spike in PPR and if RB receiving is having a negative impact overall on the WR position? Feels like RB is slowly garnering a bigger slice of the team targets pie.
not necessarily - if you set the bar at, say, 150 for a TE, you'd probably see more value at the top end and therefore it would still justify a high selection.
Agree. 100 pts for a te is like 6 pts a game. The elite TE's are scoring a lot more than that.
 
Random thoughts by me.

QB - was 2009 an anomoly? With relatively few injuries at the position this is possible, but one could argue the NFL is becoming a passing oriented league and that's why. If so, then why aren't there more WR's in the top category? Maybe an increase in TE scoring explains it.

RB - my gut says we'll continue to see a low level of RB scoring, but I'm not sure if it's because of a shift to RBBC or just lack of top talent at this position in the league. Maybe the lack of top talent is why teams are going to RBBC. I just get the feeling that we'll never see a year like 2002 again with guys like LT, Priest, Ricky, Portis & Alexander all in their prime at the same time.

WR - seems relatively stable as far as scoring, pretty consistently between 2-5 at the top even with an increase in QB scoring the last couple years.

TE - pretty safe to say more teams are utilizing the TE position, I don't see this trend decreasing anytime soon.

 
Call me crazy, but wouldn't more teams using West Coast Offence = more short passing = more TE's getting FF points?

 
Here's something interesting - between 1990 and 2007, there were more or equal WR's than QB's scoring at the "bar". In 2008, the ratio started to tip (5:3), and in 2009 it was way different (9:2). That's a pretty huge shift.
My guess is that this is the effect of:-more passes to the #2/#3/#4 WR-more passes to TEs-more passes RBsDoes anyone know if stats like "number of passes thrown to TEs in 2008" is available or would I have to do the leg work?
This. the new PI rules make it easier to pass the ball. The new QB protect rules make it harder to "intimidate/scare" them too. Both of these are going to lead to more pts for wr/te/qb, especially if that team has a "stud WR' who demands a lot of attention from the defense. The real question is how to adjust ones drafting startegy. In the last few years people have been toying with WR WR WR as a way to do this.Also playing into this somewhat is the advent of RBBC. However it has led to a premium being placed on the "stud RB's". If you can land a "stud RB" you prolly should take him (even if only for trade value) but it seems that picking the wes welker/pierre garcon's" of the world a round before you think they will go might be the shark play here. Good topic though.
 
David, can you give some insight as to where and why you choose the values for the benchmarks. The way I see the league is that TE and RB are now required to have receiving skills. This was the exception now it is the rule. Also teams want to use multiple running backs to keep them healthy. I think in the near future we will continue to see QB's reach the bench mark #'s because they have so much more opportunity to pass the ball to highly skilled pass catchers.

 
Tight End in the 3rd/4th is a dying strategy. The value isn't there anymore. I wonder what happened specifically from '03-'04? Is it a permanent thing or have we just experienced an influx of extremely talented TE's in the last 4-6 years?ETA: Would be curious to see how much the # of RB's would spike in PPR and if RB receiving is having a negative impact overall on the WR position? Feels like RB is slowly garnering a bigger slice of the team targets pie.
not necessarily - if you set the bar at, say, 150 for a TE, you'd probably see more value at the top end and therefore it would still justify a high selection.
I hear ya. The stats aside, I think a bit of common sense backs up my original statement. 4-5 years ago there was Gonzalez, Gates and then everyone else. Today? I don't think you'd get a big argument for listing any of roughly 6-9 names among your top 3 TE's.
 
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Tight End in the 3rd/4th is a dying strategy. The value isn't there anymore. I wonder what happened specifically from '03-'04? Is it a permanent thing or have we just experienced an influx of extremely talented TE's in the last 4-6 years?ETA: Would be curious to see how much the # of RB's would spike in PPR and if RB receiving is having a negative impact overall on the WR position? Feels like RB is slowly garnering a bigger slice of the team targets pie.
not necessarily - if you set the bar at, say, 150 for a TE, you'd probably see more value at the top end and therefore it would still justify a high selection.
I hear ya. The stats aside, I think a bit of common sense backs up my original statement. 4-5 years ago there was Gonzalez, Gates and then everyone else. Today? I don't think you'd get a big argument for listing any of roughly 6-9 names among your top 3 TE's.
IMO, the one thing is for sure, is that we won't return to people literally ignoring the position to late in the draft. when I started playing FF 10-12 years ago, it was a common strategy to see players not even worry about the position before round 10 if not later. Good luck with that now. Although the numbers may keep you from reaching on the one or two good guys, they as indicate that an owner needs to get a good one because everyone will have a scoring advantage over you, if an owner just tapes the position to together hoping tio get lucky.
 
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1. Why are these valid benchmark levels?

2. Assuming that they are, it's obviously apparent that there is major shift from RBs cracking the bar in a downward trend and TEs cracking the bar in an upward trend.

3. Adjustments to your drafting strategy may not change at all though without other data. Most importantly, how predictable or reliable are those top players at each position to finish at the top of their position before and and after the season. It's probably much more predictable at the QB and TE position than it is for RBs.

 
Here's something interesting - between 1990 and 2007, there were more or equal WR's than QB's scoring at the "bar". In 2008, the ratio started to tip (5:3), and in 2009 it was way different (9:2). That's a pretty huge shift.
My guess is that this is the effect of:-more passes to the #2/#3/#4 WR-more passes to TEs-more passes RBsDoes anyone know if stats like "number of passes thrown to TEs in 2008" is available or would I have to do the leg work?
This. the new PI rules make it easier to pass the ball. The new QB protect rules make it harder to "intimidate/scare" them too. Both of these are going to lead to more pts for wr/te/qb, especially if that team has a "stud WR' who demands a lot of attention from the defense. The real question is how to adjust ones drafting startegy. In the last few years people have been toying with WR WR WR as a way to do this.Also playing into this somewhat is the advent of RBBC. However it has led to a premium being placed on the "stud RB's". If you can land a "stud RB" you prolly should take him (even if only for trade value) but it seems that picking the wes welker/pierre garcon's" of the world a round before you think they will go might be the shark play here. Good topic though.
:) the immediate thought is simply QBs are spreading their passes more.
 
David, can you give some insight as to where and why you choose the values for the benchmarks.
You can pretty much draw the line wherever you want, so for the most part my benchmarks were arbitrary except for QB. I wanted to use 350 for a QB (as that is a very high number), but I went with 340 because there were a number of QBs between 340 and 350.IMO, winning at fantasy football is derived from having more top performers than your opponents do. So to list how many QBs hit 200 points a year might make for an ok debate, it's not really all that helpful fantasy wise.As for some of the other questions, the best way to compare NFL seasons by position would be to total all the scoring for each individual season league wide to see what trends have be in vogue in recent years.As far as RBs go, I don't think there are many true bell cow backs anymore, so guys with 350 carries and another 50 receptions are becoming a rare breed. I've posted in the past that there was not a lot of evidence to support a massive switch to RBBC based on raw fantasy numbers, but I'd have to run the numbers again to see if still holds true. In the 70s, teams did use more of a RBBC approach, even if there were guys with 300+ carries.
 
Here's something interesting - between 1990 and 2007, there were more or equal WR's than QB's scoring at the "bar". In 2008, the ratio started to tip (5:3), and in 2009 it was way different (9:2). That's a pretty huge shift.
My guess is that this is the effect of:-more passes to the #2/#3/#4 WR

-more passes to TEs

-more passes RBs

Does anyone know if stats like "number of passes thrown to TEs in 2008" is available or would I have to do the leg work?
This. the new PI rules make it easier to pass the ball. The new QB protect rules make it harder to "intimidate/scare" them too. Both of these are going to lead to more pts for wr/te/qb, especially if that team has a "stud WR' who demands a lot of attention from the defense. The real question is how to adjust ones drafting startegy. In the last few years people have been toying with WR WR WR as a way to do this.Also playing into this somewhat is the advent of RBBC. However it has led to a premium being placed on the "stud RB's". If you can land a "stud RB" you prolly should take him (even if only for trade value) but it seems that picking the

wes welker/pierre garcon's" of the world a round before you think they will go might be the shark play here.

Good topic though.
:lmao: the immediate thought is simply QBs are spreading their passes more.
My site has been generating these grids the last two years. http://www.fantasyfootballtrader.com/2009_...es_by_Team.html

Wish we had them for the last 4-5. Would be interesting to go back and look at leaguewide average % of team targets for the #1 option, #2 option, #3, etc. See if #2 RB's, #3 WR's, etc. really are gaining looks in terms of the team total percentages.

 
Here were the average fantasy scoring per team per position from the past 20 years. Simply listing total points scored wouldn't work, as the number of teams in the NFL has changed several times over that time . . .

YR, QB, RB, WR, TE, TOTAL

09 285.2, 313.9, 319, 112.7, 1030.8

08 273.5, 320.5, 313.7, 96.4, 1004.1

07 281, 295, 329.7, 105.5, 1011.2

06 267.9, 308.1, 311.3, 94.7, 982

05 264.8, 301.3, 312.6, 93.2, 971.9

04 283.1, 310.7, 329.6, 98.4, 1021.8

03 265.7, 312.4, 311.5, 80.6, 970.2

02 259.6, 312.4, 333.8, 81.7, 987.5

01 275, 292.2, 320, 81.3, 968.5

00 272.4, 304, 314.2, 79.8, 970.4

99 280.5, 294.2, 331.1, 76.3, 982.1

98 279.6, 302.6, 328.3, 79.4, 989.9

97 273.5, 308.4, 310.3, 79.5, 971.7

96 268.3, 305, 325.3, 67.2, 965.8

95 287.4, 305.2, 343.1, 73.3, 1009

94 272.9, 305.8, 322.9, 73.8, 975.4

93 251.6, 296.5, 297.4, 75.2, 920.7

92 242.9, 305.5, 295.3, 57.8, 901.5

91 243.5, 301.6, 309.7, 61.9, 916.7

90 266.5, 318.4, 304.2, 65.5, 954.6

I stink at formatting, so if someone wants to copy and repost in a clean format that would help review the numbers . . .

 
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David, first this is a great thread. Second, how easy would it be for you to post how many players at each position finished one standard deviation above the mean for that position? As someone who doesn't use the typical scoring format for any of the leagues I am in, I think that would provide more insight into the data and allow for easier comparisons between the positions. (I also realize it may be more work than you're up for, but I just thought I would ask.) Either way, thanks for posting this. ;)

 
David Yudkin said:
Here were the average fantasy scoring per team per position from the past 20 years. Simply listing total points scored wouldn't work, as the number of teams in the NFL has changed several times over that time . . .[snip]I stink at formatting, so if someone wants to copy and repost in a clean format that would help review the numbers . . .
Here you go David...
Code:
YR	QB	  RB	  WR	   TE	  TOTAL09   285.2   313.9   319.0	112.7	1030.808   273.5   320.5   313.7	 96.4	1004.107   281.0   295.0   329.7	105.5	1011.206   267.9   308.1   311.3	 94.7	 982.005   264.8   301.3   312.6	 93.2	 971.904   283.1   310.7   329.6	 98.4	1021.803   265.7   312.4   311.5	 80.6	 970.202   259.6   312.4   333.8	 81.7	 987.501   275.0   292.2   320.0	 81.3	 968.500   272.4   304.0   314.2	 79.8	 970.499   280.5   294.2   331.1	 76.3	 982.198   279.6   302.6   328.3	 79.4	 989.997   273.5   308.4   310.3	 79.5	 971.796   268.3   305.0   325.3	 67.2	 965.895   287.4   305.2   343.1	 73.3	1009.094   272.9   305.8   322.9	 73.8	 975.493   251.6   296.5   297.4	 75.2	 920.792   242.9   305.5   295.3	 57.8	 901.591   243.5   301.6   309.7	 61.9	 916.790   266.5   318.4   304.2	 65.5	 954.6
 
Random thoughts by me.

QB - was 2009 an anomoly? With relatively few injuries at the position this is possible, but one could argue the NFL is becoming a passing oriented league and that's why. If so, then why aren't there more WR's in the top category? Maybe an increase in TE scoring explains it.

RB - my gut says we'll continue to see a low level of RB scoring, but I'm not sure if it's because of a shift to RBBC or just lack of top talent at this position in the league. Maybe the lack of top talent is why teams are going to RBBC. I just get the feeling that we'll never see a year like 2002 again with guys like LT, Priest, Ricky, Portis & Alexander all in their prime at the same time.

WR - seems relatively stable as far as scoring, pretty consistently between 2-5 at the top even with an increase in QB scoring the last couple years.

TE - pretty safe to say more teams are utilizing the TE position, I don't see this trend decreasing anytime soon.
Chris Johnson, Jones-Drew, Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, and maybe even some more. That's pretty special.
 
To me it seems like this season there are more lead backs to choose from than last season, mostly because there's less question marks. Last season there were questions about MJD being able to carry the load, CJ would Lendale vulture too many TDs, could Ray Rice have another good year, LT is he done? Jackson a lead back but can he stay healthy and the offense is terrible. Seemed like the only lead backs we could be fairly certain of were Peterson & Turner. This season, in no particular order we have :

Peterson, Turner, Jackson, MJD, CJ, Gore, Moreno, Grant, Benson, Rice, Green, Wells, McCoy, and K.Smith and Mendenhall might be in there too.

 
To me it seems like this season there are more lead backs to choose from than last season, mostly because there's less question marks. Last season there were questions about MJD being able to carry the load, CJ would Lendale vulture too many TDs, could Ray Rice have another good year, LT is he done? Jackson a lead back but can he stay healthy and the offense is terrible. Seemed like the only lead backs we could be fairly certain of were Peterson & Turner. This season, in no particular order we have : Peterson, Turner, Jackson, MJD, CJ, Gore, Moreno, Grant, Benson, Rice, Green, Wells, McCoy, and K.Smith and Mendenhall might be in there too.
That list is mostly 200-pt guys. Only 7 of them have ever scored over 250, and only did it once. Sure there are plenty of "lead backs" but very few "workhorses" compared to 5-10 years ago. Nearly every team has a backup RB (or a stable of backups) that gets 100-200 carries.
 
QB VBD levels (100, 75, 50, 25)

09 1, 2, 8, 9

08 1, 5, 7, 8

07 2, 3, 7, 9

06 1, 4, 6, 8

05 0, 0, 2, 4

04 3, 3, 7, 11

03 0, 0, 2, 6

02 1, 2, 6, 10

01 2, 4, 8, 9

00 4, 6, 6, 8

99 2, 5, 7, 8

98 2, 3, 5, 8

97 1, 4, 6, 9

96 6, 6, 6, 8

95 3, 6, 8, 11

94 3, 4, 5, 10

93 2, 2, 2, 5

92 1, 3, 4, 9

91 4, 5, 9, 9

90 2, 3, 5, 9

I realize VBD as a comparison tool has limited utility for a number of reasons, but people were asking me for this type of data.

 
RB VBD levels (100, 75, 50, 25)

09 4, 6, 9, 14

08 3, 9, 12, 18

07 4, 6, 9, 15

06 5, 7, 9, 13

05 6, 8, 11, 16

04 6, 7, 9, 18

03 7, 10, 12, 18

02 9, 9, 16, 21

01 5, 9, 12, 17

00 3, 10, 15, 19

99 5, 7, 12, 18

98 6, 10, 14, 18

97 3, 6, 13, 17

96 6, 8, 12, 16

95 5, 8, 14, 17

94 5, 6, 9, 18

93 1, 5, 10, 19

92 7, 11, 13, 16

91 3, 4, 5, 13

90 3, 3, 11, 18

 
I wonder how much the 2009 QB points had to do with poor defenses. I haven't looked, but it sure seemed that there were more really bad defenses last year than in past years.

 
I wonder how much the 2009 QB points had to do with poor defenses. I haven't looked, but it sure seemed that there were more really bad defenses last year than in past years.
I think the officiating probably contributed as well. With QBs now with two hand touch/flag football rules, more drives got extended and more QBs stayed healthy. NFL starter getting drives that were extended and also playing a higher % of overall downs compared to a backup = higher scoring.
 
WR VBD levels (100, 75, 50, 25)

09 1, 5, 14, 19

08 0, 2, 10, 17

07 3, 6, 11, 18

06 0, 2, 10, 20

05 1, 4, 9, 18

04 1, 4, 9, 21

03 2, 7, 15, 19

02 2, 3, 9, 19

01 2, 3, 7, 16

00 4, 8, 14, 21

99 1, 4, 11, 17

98 2, 3, 7, 17

97 0, 3, 10, 20

96 0, 2, 11, 19

95 7, 8, 13, 19

94 2, 6, 11, 17

93 2, 3, 7, 10

92 1, 4, 8, 16

91 1, 4, 11, 16

90 1, 1, 3, 12

 
I wonder how much the 2009 QB points had to do with poor defenses. I haven't looked, but it sure seemed that there were more really bad defenses last year than in past years.
Rule changes could have also played a factor- this was the year that a defensive player on the ground could no longer dive/lunge at a QB's lower legs. I would think this might make a QB a tad more comfortable in the pocket.
 
TE VBD levels (100, 75, 50, 25)

09 0, 1, 3, 4

08 0, 1, 1, 4

07 0, 1, 5, 6

06 0, 0, 1, 5

05 0, 1, 1, 7

04 1, 2, 3, 8

03 0, 1, 2, 3

02 0, 0, 2, 4

01 0, 0, 1, 2

00 1, 1, 2, 6

99 0, 2, 3, 3

98 0, 0, 1, 3

97 0, 0, 3, 6

96 1, 1, 3, 5

95 0, 0, 1, 6

94 1, 1, 4, 6

93 0, 1, 3, 9

92 0, 0, 0, 3

91 0, 0, 3, 6

90 0, 0, 0, 4

Even with TE scoring way up, in start 1 TE leagues, still not a lot of hay to make with TEs.

 
For QBs at least, I think the 2009 high number of QBs above Yudkin's benchmark is just an outlier, and the QBs should regress to the mean soon. When totaling all years, the mean for QBs above benchmark is 2.6, and the standard deviation is 2.1. The only value on the entire QB list that's more than 2 SDs from the mean is 2009. If you re-run the numbers without that outlier, the mean is 2.2, SD is 1.4, and no values are outliers.

To think about it another way, if we were having this discussion in March of 2007, we'd be worrying that only 1 QB in the previous 2 seasons had beat the benchmark, and we'd all be talking about how offenses coordinators are devaluing QBs (perhaps by focusing more on rushing attacks).

I have not run similar numbers for the other positions, but I'm curious whether they'd tell a similar story, or instead might signal a trend.

 
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