Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise
Sports News Without Fear, Favor or Compromise

Presenting The Deadspin Fantasy Football Almanac: An Unofficial Record Book For 1970-2011Last week, Drew suggested someone compile a record book for fantasy football. Here's a start: I looked at NFL player stats since the AFL-NFL merger (1970) and came up with some retroactive awards.

No fantasy scoring system is more valid than any other, but I used the following, from Pro Football Reference's fantasy stats page: 1 point per 25 yards passing, 1 point per 10 yards rushing/receiving, 6 points per touchdown, and -2 points per interception. The raw stats are also based on PFR's numbers.

The Brady Award: Given to the quarterback with the highest point total. Named after Tom Brady for his record-breaking 2007 performance.

1970John Brodie257
1971Greg Landry230
1972Greg Landry263
1973Roman Gabriel250
1974Ken Anderson238
1975Fran Tarkenton267
1976Bert Jones284
1977Roger Staubach230
1978Roger Staubach270
1979Steve Grogan308
1980Dan Fouts334
1981Dan Fouts362
1982Joe Montana202
1983Lynn Dickey332
1984Dan Marino457
1985Joe Montana315
1986Dan Marino408
1987Joe Montana302
1988Randall Cunningham363
1989Don Majowski361
1990Randall Cunningham417
1991Jim Kelly328
1992Steve Young352
1993Steve Young356
1994Steve Young420
1995Brett Favre415
1996Brett Favre390
1997Brett Favre357
1998Steve Young440
1999Kurt Warner409
2000Daunte Culpepper412
2001Kurt Warner371
2002Rich Gannon357
2003Daunte Culpepper333
2004Peyton Manning460
2005Carson Palmer332
2006Peyton Manning371
2007Tom Brady498
2008Drew Brees373
2009Aaron Rodgers405
2010Tom Brady373
2011Aaron Rodgers487

The Emmitt Smith Award: Given to the running back with the highest point totals. Named after Emmitt Smith, who won the award four years in a row.

1970Ron Johnson223
1971Steve Owens199
1972Ron Johnson247
1973O.J. Simpson279
1974Otis Armstrong253
1975OJ Simpson362
1976Chuck Foreman256
1977Walter Payton308
1978Walter Payton254
1979Walter Payton296
1980Billy Sims288
1981Billy Sims279
1982Marcus Allen196
1983Eric Dickerson341
1984James Wilder308
1985Marcus Allen316
1986Eric Dickerson275
1987Charles White216
1988Eric Dickerson294
1989Dalton Hilliard293
1990Barry Sanders274
1991Barry Sanders288
1992Emmitt Smith319
1993Emmitt Smith250
1994Emmitt Smith315
1995Emmitt Smith365
1996Terry Allen281
1997Barry Sanders320
1998Terrell Davis361
1999Edgerrin James316
2000Marshall Faulk375
2001Marshall Faulk341
2002Priest Holmes373
2003Priest Holmes373
2004Shaun Alexander307
2005Shaun Alexander364
2006LaDanian Tomlinson431
2007LaDanian Tomlinson310
2008DeAngelo Williams284
2009Chris Johnson347
2010Arian Foster330
2011Ray Rice303

The Rice Award: Given to the wide receiver with the highest point total. Named after Jerry Rice, who won the award eight times in 10 years.

1970Dick Gordon/Gene Washington182
1971Paul Warfield177
1972Gene Washington164
1973Harold Carmichael170
1974Cliff Branch187
1975Mel Gray159
1976Cliff Branch184
1977Nat Moore163
1978John Jefferson179
1979Steve Largent178
1980John Jefferson214
1981Alfred Jenkins214
1982Wes Chandler160
1983Mike Quick219
1984Mark Clayton248
1985Louis Lipps193
1986Jerry Rice261
1987Jerry Rice251
1988Henry Ellard202
1989Jerry Rice254
1990Jerry Rice228
1991Jerry Rice205
1992Sterling Sharpe225
1993Jerry Rice253
1994Jerry Rice249
1995Jerry Rice292
1996Michael Jackson204
1997Rob Moore206
1998Randy Moss234
1999Marvin Harrison239
2000Randy Moss234
2001Marvin Harrison243
2002Marvin Harrison239
2003Randy Moss267
2004Muhsin Muhammad238
2005Steve Smith237
2006Marvin Harrison209
2007Randy Moss287
2008Larry Fitzgerald215
2009Andre Johnson212
2010Brandon Lloyd209
2011Calvin Johnson265

The Christensen Award: Given to the tight end with the most points. Named after Todd Christensen, who won the award four years in a row.

1970Jerry Smith114
1971Bob Tucker103
1972Ted Kwalick130
1973Charlie Young130
1974Rich Caster117
1975Rich Caster106
1976Dave Casper130
1977Walter White97
1978Dave Casper140
1979Ozzie Newsome133
1980Kellen Winslow183
1981Kellen Winslow168
1982Kellen Winslow108
1983Todd Christensen197
1984Todd Christensen143
1985Todd Christensen135
1986Todd Christensen163
1987Mark Bavaro135
1988Keith Jackson123
1989Rodney Holman128
1990Ernest Givens Brent Jones105
1991Ernest Givens Marv Cook99
1992Ernest Givens Jay Novacek99
1993Shannon Sharpe154
1994Ben Coates159
1995Ben Coates128
1996Shannon Sharpe166
1997Shannon Sharpe129
1998Shannon Sharpe137
1999Wesly Walls154
2000Tony Gonzalez174
2001Tony Gonzalez130
2002Todd Heap123
2003Tony Gonzalez152
2004Antonio Gates174
2005Antonio Gates170
2006Antonio Gates146
2007Jason Witten157
2008Tony Gonzalez166
2009Vernon Davis175
2010Jason Witten154
2011Rob Gronkowski241

The Tomlinson Award: Given to the player who has the highest value with respect to his position. The award is named after LaDanian Tomlinson for his 2007 2006 season. Value is measured in VBD, which stands for "Value Based Drafting." VBD takes the player's point total and subtracts the point total of the baseline starter at that position. PFR's VBD calculation uses the 12th best QBs and TEs, the 24th best RB, and the 30th best WR as the baseline starters. It also adjusts the totals for years with shorter schedules. While the exact value of VBD can vary depending on the baseline level, the important thing is that it allows us to compare across positions. It's the best stat for a basic MVP award.

1970Ron Johnson136
1971Paul Warfield121
1972Ron Johnson137
1973OJ Simpson177
1974Otis Armstrong170
1975OJ Simpson282
1976Chuck Foreman152
1977Walter Payton217
1978Walter Payton112
1979Walter Payton150
1980Billy Sims161
1981Billy Sims133
1982Marcus Allen208
1983Eric Dickerson191
1984Dan Marino245
1985Marcus Allen165
1986Dan Marino212
1987Jerry Rice215
1988Randall Cunningham155
1989Dalton Hilliard173
1990Randall Cunningham204
1991Barry Sanders166
1992Emmitt Smith209
1993Steve Young152
1994Steve Young209
1995Emmitt Smith225
1996Brett Favre197
1997Barry Sanders185
1998Terrell Davis233
1999Edgerrin James188
2000Marshall Faulk216
2001Marshall Faulk206
2002Priest Holmes220
2003Priest Holmes231
2004Peyton Manning199
2005Shaun Alexander221
2006LaDanian Tomlinson270
2007Tom Brady241
2008DeAngelo Williams135
2009Chris Johnson197
2010Arian Foster192
2011Aaron Rodgers215

The Beuerlein Award: Given to the player who provided the most value with respect to where fantasy owners drafted him. I used My Fantasy League's average draft position (ADP) records, which date back to 1999, to estimate the draft spot, and VBD to estimate value. The award is named after Steve Beuerlein, the first winner.

1999Steve Beuerlein98168
2000Jeff Garcia125167
2001Priest Holmes61142
2002Priest Holmes10220
2003Priest Holmes5231
2004Peyton Manning13199
2005Larry Johnson78192
2006LaDanian Tomlinson3270
2007Tom Brady23241
2008DeAngelo Willians88135
2009Chris Johnson12197
2010Arian Foster59192
2011Rob Gronkowski104143

The Goodell Award: Given to the player who was the biggest bust by the same logic as that of the Beuerlein Award. Named after Roger Goodell, for obvious reasons.

YearNameADPTotal Points
1999Terrell Davis336
2000Terrell Davis741
2001Fred Taylor613
2002Kurt Warner657
2003Corey Dillon2073
2004Marshall Faulk20132
2005Daunte Culpepper1095
2006LaMont Jordan1363
2007Laurence Maroney13131
2008Braylon Edwards21105
2009Michael Turner4151
2010Randy Moss1569
2011Jamaal Charles615

To get some context for the awards and point totals, here are some graphs that show how fantasy point totals have changed over time.

Presenting The Deadspin Fantasy Football Almanac: An Unofficial Record Book For 1970-2011 Presenting The Deadspin Fantasy Football Almanac: An Unofficial Record Book For 1970-2011 Presenting The Deadspin Fantasy Football Almanac: An Unofficial Record Book For 1970-2011 Presenting The Deadspin Fantasy Football Almanac: An Unofficial Record Book For 1970-2011 Presenting The Deadspin Fantasy Football Almanac: An Unofficial Record Book For 1970-2011 Presenting The Deadspin Fantasy Football Almanac: An Unofficial Record Book For 1970-2011 Presenting The Deadspin Fantasy Football Almanac: An Unofficial Record Book For 1970-2011

That 12th overall wide receiver line is nearly flat over the last decade: For all of the unpredictability and variance of individual players, the patterns remain the same.

Here are some more hypothetical awards for which data exist but I don't have easy access:

The Eckstein Award: Given to the player on the greatest number of rosters of teams that win their fantasy championship. Because each league is independent, being on a bunch of winning teams in fantasy football is more indicative of value than being on a winning team in real football. Named after David Eckstein, a baseball player whose presence on championship teams was used as evidence of his value.

The Cannon Award: Given to the player with the best single-game point total on the season. Named after Billy Cannon.

The Vick Award: Given to the player with the best single-game point total in a Monday Night Football game. Named after Michael Vick.

The Kicker Award: Given to the highest-scoring kicker. Named after Kicker.

The Flatline Award: Given to the player who has the least week-to-week variance in point totals.

The Variance Award: Given to the player who has the highest week-to-week variance.

The Horseshit Award: Given to the play whose outcome changed the result of the greatest number of fantasy matchups.

The Hall of Fame: A lifetime fantasy achievement award. Chase Stuart at Football Perspective added up career totals for NFL players since 1950. Jerry Rice was the best by a long shot.

Any other ideas? Let me know in the discussion.

Image by Jim Cooke.


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