Fantasy Football: History of the Running QB
I have always been infatuated with the dual-threat quarterback. Watching Randall Cunningham and Steve Young toy with defenses in the 90’s was comical. The concept of getting two for the price of one usually resonates with me. I’ve drafted and owned them all. For better or for worse, till death do us part.
Read Rich Hribar’s article here on the impact that running quarterbacks have on the game of fantasy football. Hribar also delved into the history of the running quarterback here, so I pay homage to him.
I recently wrote a Predicting the Top 10 series. In my quarterback edition, I wrote that Tyrod Taylor could finish as a top 10 quarterback in fantasy. I received a lot of criticism for that, so I wanted to go back in history and look up all the running quarterbacks. Cam Newton and Michael Vick weren’t slated to be top 10 quarterbacks, yet there they were at the end of the year.
For the below exercise, I will be using the Football Guys historical data. The furthest the data goes back is 1960. I will use an arbitrary number of 500 rushing yards. That comes out to 31 yards-per-game. Not an outlandish number but one that distinguishes a running quarterback from a pocket quarterback that escapes pressure from time to time. Let’s see how many of those quarterbacks ended as a top 10 option at quarterback.
|NAME||YEAR||PYD||COMP %||PTD||RUSH YD||RUSH TD||FANT PT||FINAL QB RANK|
|Robert Griffin III||2012||3211||66%||20||833||7||360.9||#7|
So, in the past 55 years, the NFL has produced 36 seasons in which a quarterback rushed for 500 or more yards. There were 10 instances the player finished outside the top 10:
- 2004 Michael Vick. Finished #12. Missed one game due to injury.
- 2011 Tim Tebow. Finished #19. Did not play two games. Passing completion percentage was 46%.
- 2014 Colin Kaepernick. Finished #16.
- 2011 Michael Vick. Finished #11. Missed three games due to injury.
- 2006 Vince Young. Finished #12. Missed one game due to injury.
- 1986 Randall Cunningham. Finished #19. Only started five games.
- 2014 Cam Newton. Finished #17. Missed two games due to injury.
- 1973 Bobby Douglass. Finished #12. Threw 174 passes all season.
- 2013 Colin Kaepernick. Finished #11.
- 1961 Billy Kilmer. Finished #19. Threw 34 passes all season.
Analysts always say that it’s common to skew stats to best fit your theory. It’s my article so you are at my mercy.
If we break down the above numbers further, only five players finished outside the top 12. Two of those players threw less that 175 passes, one started only five games, and one was Tim Tebow. Seven of the 36 ended as the No. 1 quarterback and 21 finished in the top five. Only 13 had a passing completion percentage over 60%.
Now you see why I love the running quarterback?