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Season In Review: 2020 QB When It Counts

As the 2021 season approaches @Glosser13 takes a look back at how dynasty QBs performed during the 2020 fantasy postseason.

Welcome, my fellow Dynasty Nerds. This will be a small writing series that I thought of years back but never took anywhere. This series will stress the importance of the players on your dynasty roster that produce in the most clutch moments. I don’t need to tell you how important consistency is when building a dynasty championship team. Regardless of your strategy, you’re looking for the highest production on the most consistent basis as a dynasty manager. I’ve built rosters emphasizing previous season’s points per game (PPG), and I’ve also constructed rosters of high upside players. At the end of the day, what you’re looking for is a dynasty roster that gets you into the playoffs for that potential to take home the championship.

Most dynasty managers don’t pay attention enough to how their teams perform in the playoffs and use that data to help facilitate trades and roster moves heading into the next season. To some degree, we are all guilty of this even when watching our own personal favorite sports teams. We get so wrapped up in the moment of winning or losing that we forget about the individual players’ performances. Now, multiple factors can go into one game’s performance, and we can’t base decisions on one game. However, we can use the available data and help create an alternate way of thinking that goes deeper than ADP and rookie pick value for any one player.

This is very similar to determining if a player is a “hit” or “miss.” What we are looking for is elite production from our top-end players at their respective positions. We start this off with the one position that seemingly can swing a matchup one way or another very quickly, quarterback. I’ve put together a small list of QBs from the 2020 season and how they performed down the stretch of the fantasy playoffs compared to their peers. Take a second to get your comfy Dynasty Nerds t-shirt on, and let’s see what QBs have the clutch factor and performed when it counted in 2020.

Josh Allen

  • Fantasy Pros: QB1
  • Weeks 13-16: 30.1, 19.3, 37.7, 32.2 = 119.4 FP in playoffs
  • Averaged 29.82 FPPG during the postseason
  • Averaged 25.66 during the 2020 season

Josh Allen delivered one of the most consistent fantasy seasons in 2020. The Buffalo Bills quarterback had an offense that had been dreadful for most of the past two decades, firing on all cylinders in 2020. The third-year QB put dynasty managers on notice last season. He improved in nearly every major statistical category, including a huge leap from being a sub 60% completion percentage passer to an almost 70% mark. Allen also increased his passing touchdowns by 17 from the previous season while still rushing for at least eight scores in his third straight season.

Looking back at multiple dynasty startup drafts from a season ago, Josh Allen was selected from the beginning of the 2nd round to mid 3rd round. Per Fantasypros 2021 Superflex ADP, he is currently the QB2 behind only Patrick Mahomes and holds an average draft position of 3. There have been multiple instances this year where some have selected Josh Allen ahead of Patrick Mahomes, and while it may seem a bit crazy to me, it can be justified.

Credit: buffalorumblings.com

Listed above is comparing Josh Allen’s 2020 season to recent MVP seasons. Josh Allen started the 2020 season as hot as can be, with at least 25 fantasy points in each of his first four games, including 30+ points in two of those four games. Unfortunately for the Bills, they were hit with schedule changes due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It started with a rare Tuesday night game against the Titans, followed by a Monday Night game against the defending Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs.

Those accounted for two of the team’s three total losses on the season. Bills fans and dynasty managers feared we saw the best of Josh Allen over the first four games as he struggled in four straight. Allen recorded fewer than 20 fantasy points per game in that stretch. He accounted for only four passing touchdowns, three interceptions, and one rushing touchdown. The Bills star QB would bounce back strongly, finishing with 28 points or more in five of his last seven games, including four 30+ point weeks. Josh Allen delivered in 2020, which resulted in a huge contract extension for him to stay in Buffalo. Allen averaged the most fantasy points of any QB in the fantasy postseason. He finished with the most total touchdowns while also delivering a 36 point performance in week 16 to lead dynasty managers to a championship.

Kyler Murray 

  • Fantasy Pros: QB2
  • Weeks 13-16: 17.4, 18.5, 34.1, 16.4 = 86.4 FP in playoffs
  • Averaged 21.6 FPPG during the postseason
  • Averaged 25.8 FPPG during the 2020 season

When Kliff Kinsbury took over as the Arizona Cardinals Head Coach and drafted Kyler Murray, dynasty managers had hoped this “air raid” style offense could work. Despite Murray being sacked 48 times as a rookie, he still managed 20 passing touchdowns and over 3,700 passing yards. The Addition of All-Pro WR DeAndre Hopkins last season saw his touchdowns and passing yards both increase.

Kyler Murray was electric to start the 2020 season. He totaled at least 20 fantasy points in his first ten games with 29 total touchdowns. Murray accounted for nearly 1,400 yards on RPO’s (run-pass option) in 2020. According to pro-football-reference, he also posted a 77.1% on-target throw percentage, a welcoming stat for those dynasty managers who continue to acquire pass-catchers in this offense.

Kyler Murray finished as the QB2 on the season. He holds a Dynasty GM value of 9,430 in super-flex leagues according to the best dynasty tool on the market. That’s the fourth-best for all QBs behind Mahomes, Allen, and Prescott. The Cardinals face of the franchise increased his value tremendously in 2020 with his legs; he rushed for 819 yards with 11 touchdowns, including 52 first downs. Dynasty managers should continue to draft Murray as a top 5 dynasty QB. He averaged 248.1 passing yards per game and 51.2 yards per game rushing last season. His floor is extremely safe.

Murray stumbled a bit down the stretch as the wear and tear of the season seemed to get to him and the Arizona offense. His points per game average dropped by nearly four points per game from the regular season to the fantasy playoffs. This is expected as the games towards the end of the NFL season have a playoff-type feel, especially in a division as tight as the NFC West. Murray delivered his dynasty managers his best performance in week 15, scoring over 34 fantasy points with four total touchdowns. If you can get a huge performance from your first-round dynasty startup pick in the fantasy playoffs, that’s all you can ask for.

Credit: theathletic.com

Aaron Rodgers

  • Fantasy Pros: QB3
  • Weeks 13-16: 23.5, 30.9, 18.3, 26.1 = 98.8 FP in playoffs
  • Averaged 24.7 FPPG during the postseason
  • Averaged 24.1 FPPG during the 2020 season

Aaron Rodgers put the dynasty community and football world on notice last year. He’s still a very bad man. Rodgers took home the NFL MVP last season with 48 passing touchdowns and nearly 4,300 yards. It’s a common theme to fade aging QBs in dynasty leagues, but history has proven how effective elite level QBs can be even in their late 30’s. Aaron Rodgers was being drafted as the QB8 to QB14 in multiple startups I participated in last season. He currently has an ADP of 40 according to Fantasypros.com and can still be a significant value in Superflex leagues.

Amid off-season controversy with rumors of retirement, Green Bay and Rodgers have found peace, at least for this season. Whether this is his last season or not, the fact remains Aaron Rodgers is the reigning MVP and is back with a head coach and offense in which he’s thrown for 74 touchdowns and just 9 interceptions over his past two seasons. Rodgers continued to deliver with his top target DaVante Adams who finished as WR1 in PPR scoring. The emergence of Robert Tonyan (TE4), along with depth at WR in Allen Lazard, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and the addition of Clemson rookie WR Amari Rodgers should help #12 deliver another high-end QB1 season.

The Green Bay passing offense was top 10 in passing yards while finishing first in passing touchdowns in the NFL last season. Rodgers delivered all season, finishing with under 20 fantasy points three times all season, and he threw at least two TD passes in every game except a Week 6 blowout loss in Tampa Bay (4 sacks, two interceptions). Rodgers posted a TD% of 9.1, the highest of his career and a huge leap from 4.6% in 2019. Last season he had 3 touchdown passes or more in 11 of 16 games; he delivered a floor of at least three touchdowns 68.75% of games at an absolutely unreal rate.

It’s truly a guessing game for dynasty players to predict how much longer Aaron Rodgers plays beyond the 2021 season. There’s plenty of rumors that it won’t be in Green Bay, but I wouldn’t rule out him suiting up for a new team next season and still delivering respectable fantasy production. Drew Brees and Tom Brady found a way to play solid football into their age 40 seasons; there’s no reason to think Rodgers can’t do the same.

Patrick Mahomes 

  • Fantasy Pros: QB4
  • Weeks 13-16: 19.3, 21.6, 25.9, 20.2 = 87 FP in playoffs
  • Averaged 21.75 FPPG during the postseason
  • Averaged 25.35 FPPG during the 2020 season

The consensus QB1 in both Superflex and 1 QB leagues finished as the QB4 last season. You have many options as a dynasty manager building a team in a startup. If you land on wanting an elite QB, the pick is almost always Patrick Mahomes. The marriage of Mahomes with Andy Reid and all the speed on their offense is just a recipe for success for a long time.

Patrick Mahomes started just one game as a rookie and failed to throw a touchdown. Over his last 45 games, he’s accounted for 120 total touchdowns while also being named league MVP, Super Bowl MVP, and becoming a Super Bowl Champion. The Chiefs superstar QB posted an eye-popping 316 passing yards per game while also posting career highs in rushing attempts (62) and rushing yards (308) last season.

Credit: NFL.com

Patrick Mahomes was as good as advertised last season. Prior to the Week 10 bye, he had 25 TDs and 1 INT with only one performance under 19 fantasy points. Over the course of the season, his lone performance under 19 points was a 43-16 blowout win in Denver, in which he only attempted 23 passes.

Patrick Mahomes will continue to be the gold standard for QB in Superflex leagues. He’s a young QB in his prime in an offense that fits him perfectly, and he has the arm talent, big-play ability, and clutch genes to make plays that just blow you away as a fan. While he may not be the QB1 overall every season, he still is by far the most valuable QB in dynasty fantasy football for my money.

Russell Wilson

  • Fantasy Pros: QB6
  • Weeks 13-16: 16, 23.1, 13, 19.9 = 78.1 FP in playoffs
  • Averaged 17.98 FPPG during the postseason
  • Averaged 23.63 FPPG during the 2020 season

Russell Wilson continues to be one of the most disrespected QBs in dynasty fantasy football. He finished as the QB6 last season after another hot start. In the first eight games, Wilson accounted for 29 total touchdowns with five games of 300+ passing yards. Wilson really struggled towards the end of the season from weeks 10-16. He only surpassed 20 fantasy points twice in seven games and passed for 1 TD or less in five of seven games.

A season ago, Russell Wilson consistently went off the board at the end of the first or middle of the second round of dynasty Superflex startup drafts. Combining the past two QB classes will likely push him further down draft boards, and he will become even more of a value than he already is. The Seahawks QB is entering his mid 30’s but still playing a very high level of football. The Seattle quarterback has been very good over his past six seasons, surpassing 4,000 yards four times while recording at least 30 passing touchdowns in five of the last six seasons. Wilson had a career-high 40 touchdowns in 2020 while also posting the second-highest TD% rate (7.2) of his career.

Russell Wilson continues to prove his worth among the best dynasty QBs in the game. Although he saw a near 6 points per game drop from the regular season to playoffs in 2020, he still did plenty enough for dynasty managers to get them into the playoffs. The Seattle Seahawks passing offense ranked 16th in yards last season. They added veteran TE Gerald Everett and rookie WR D’Wayne Eskridge to an already solid pass-catching group. Dynasty managers should have zero issues relying on Russell Wilson for another 5+ years of top-tier QB production.

BEST VALUE

Credit: baltimoresun.com

Lamar Jackson 

  • Fantasy Pros: QB10
  • Weeks 13-16: 26.70, 34.9, 30.2, 21.3 = 71.9 FP in playoffs
  • Averaged 28.27 FPPG during the postseason
  • Averaged 21.1 FPPG during the 2020 season

Lamar Jackson had a down year in 2020, after finishing as the QB1 overall in 2019, averaging nearly six points per game higher than the next closest QB. His 421.7 fantasy points were nearly 73 points more than Dak Prescott’s 348.9. The most mind-blowing stat is he did this while finishing 26th in pass attempts and 22nd in passing yards. Jackson posted a TD rate of 9.0%, and surely I don’t have to tell you how good that is.

It would be nearly impossible to replicate those numbers in 2020 especially given the lack of off-season and preparation as the NFL prepared for a season under COVID-19 restrictions. The reigning NFL MVP struggled before the fantasy playoffs finishing with 20 points or more in just four games (40%). He was far too inconsistent to justify being a top-five pick in dynasty startups before the season. The fantasy football playoffs re-introduced us to how great Jackson is from a fantasy perspective. He increased his points per game by seven points and finished with at least 21 points in every game, topping 30+ twice.

The Baltimore Ravens QB still finished the season as QB10 overall despite missing a game and production dips in passing yards, touchdowns, completion percentage, and rushing yards. There should be little doubt in Lamar Jackson’s ability to produce fantasy points. He has accounted for 763.4 points in his last two seasons, the most of any QB over that span. His rushing upside will remain a huge part of his game, that combined with the fact the Ravens offense looks to be making an effort to add outside weapons should bode well for Jackson’s fantasy upside.

BIGGEST DISAPPOINTMENT

Matt Ryan

  • Fantasy Pros: QB12
  • Weeks 13-16: 12.9, 10.3, 27.8, 19.9 = 70.9 FP in playoffs
  • Averaged 17.73 FPPG during the postseason
  • Averaged 18.04 FPPG during the 2020 season

Matt Ryan is a former NFL MVP who has carried a few dynasty managers to Championships despite being undervalued for most of the past five years. The former Boston College product has passed for over 4,000 yards and 20 TDs in 10 straight seasons. Matt Ryan has been very solid for dynasty managers when you talk about consistency and knowing what you’re getting every year.

Although Ryan did turn in a QB12 finish in 2020, he was the biggest disappointment among the top quarterbacks when it mattered the most. The Atlanta Falcons QB averaged 18 points per game during the season and saw that drop to 17.73 during the fantasy playoffs. The most frustrating part was Ryan turned in two of his worst games of the season in the opening two rounds of the fantasy playoffs, failing to eclipse 13 points in either game.

Matt Ryan will bounce back, and I expect his 4,000 yards and 20+ touchdown streak to continue with new Head Coach Arthur Smith. Atlanta lost long-time WR1 Julio Jones this off-season but drafted KJyle Pitts, a dynamic TE from Florida who should be a fantasy stud. The future of the Falcons offense looks to be in good shape, and there’s no reason to think Matt Ryan can continue to be a great value in Superflex dynasty leagues even this late in his career.

Most Passing TD from weeks 13-16

  • Josh Allen – 12
  • Aaron Rodgers – 11
  • Ryan Tannehill – 9
  • Kirk Cousins – 9
  • Andy Dalton – 9

Aaron Rodgers delivered 11 of his league-leading 48 TD passes during the fantasy playoffs. The 2020 NFL MVP was a cheat code for dynasty managers last season and led many teams to a dynasty championship.

Andy Dalton was drafted or picked up off waivers as a QB3 or QB4 in most Superflex leagues. The idea of him throwing for 9 TDs in the fantasy playoffs would have got you laughed at prior to the season. This goes to show that taking those backup QBs late in startup drafts can give you such a bonus if you get lucky enough for them to take a starting role.

Most Rushing TD from weeks 13-16

  • Lamar Jackson – 4
  • Ryan Tannehill – 3
  • Derek Carr – 3
  • Tua Tualovioa – 3
  • Cam Newton – 3

The QBs with rushing upside are king in fantasy football. Lamar Jackson being on this list shouldn’t surprise anyone. Ryan Tannehill was the only QB with 30+ passing touchdowns on this list. He finished as QB7on the season.

Most Total TDs during fantasy playoffs

  • Josh Allen – 14
  • Lamar Jackson – 13
  • Ryan Tannehill – 12

There are many dynasty players who favor the points per game strategy when building their team. Well, the quickest way to rack up fantasy points is touchdowns. These three QBs averaged 20 points in both the regular season and postseason. There’s a good chance if you had a playoff team with either of these three on it, you took home some hardware in 2020.

Credit: bucsnation.com

Tom Brady only QB1 (QB8) without a turnover during fantasy playoffs – 934 yards 8 passing TDs

I know the wildest stats usually have Tom Brady’s name attached to them, and this one’s no different. Brady had the Buccaneers offense clicking towards the end of the season; he had 8 TDs with no interceptions in just three games played as the Buccaneers were on bye Week 13.

Conclusion 

It’s no secret how valuable having top-tier QB play can benefit a dynasty roster, at times even carry a team. The importance of having an elite fantasy-producing QB will allow you to be much more flexible with your roster build, knowing you have such an advantage at one of the highest-scoring positions.

As I’ve outlined above, it’s a great feeling when the QBs you are taking high in startup and rookie drafts are producing at such a consistent rate. All dynasty managers would love to see this continue, especially with the young QBs who have entered the league in the past two seasons. We just might be getting to a point where there may be 12 quarterbacks worth taking in the first two rounds of a startup draft.

I want to thank all you guys for continuing to support the Dynasty Nerds brand. We appreciate you all and love bringing you the best content that we can daily. Please keep checking out all the new features we are adding to the website and dynasty GM tool. We will be here to help you win your dynasty leagues with everything from dynasty rankings to weekly advice articles in season. Let’s get this season started and bring home some dynasty championships this season.

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