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32 Fantastic Fantasy Football Facts

One historical note per team that could inform your decisions going forward.

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

That famous quote from writer and philosopher George Santayana is as true now as it was when he uttered it in 1905. It’s true in all walks of life, even for those of us who love fantasy football. Learning from the past, looking at statistics and trends, can make us better and more knowledgeable drafters, and that’s something we all strive to become.

With that said, I took a look at a prominent player or players from each of the NFL’s 32 teams and added an historic stat(s) that should help accomplish the goal of becoming a better fantasy manager and decision maker. Some of these stats may surprise you, but be sure they’re all real and can help you draft your best fantasy team this season.

Arizona Cardinals
James Conner scored 18 total touchdowns with the Cardinals in 2021. It’s the second-most touchdowns scored by an Arizona back in the team’s history behind only David Johnson’s 20 in 2016. Conner’s 257.7 PPR fantasy points is third-most scored by a Cardinals runner behind Johnson (407.8) and Larry Centers (270.1) since 1990.

Atlanta Falcons Cordarrelle Patterson

Atlanta Falcons
Cordarrelle Patterson, a wide receiver converted to running back, scored 234.6 fantasy points last season. Believe it or not, that’s the fifth-most points recorded in a single season by a Falcons running back since 2000. Jamal Anderson leads the team in fantasy points at the position when he scored 337.5 points during the 1998 season.

Baltimore Ravens
Among the Ravens’ 20 best PPR fantasy seasons in franchise history among wide receivers, Marquise Brown (2021) is the lone one who has made that list in the last five years. Furthermore, no other wideout has produced a top-10 season for the team since 2015. Rashod Bateman remains a breakout player, but history shows he has a ceiling.

Buffalo Bills
Josh Allen has finished as the No. 1 quarterback in fantasy points in each of the last two seasons. Can he do it for a third straight year? Well, only two other quarterbacks have accomplished the feat in the Super Bowl era. Steve Young finished first in 1992, 1993 and 1994, and Brett Favre finished first in 1995, 1996 and 1997. Can Allen join the list?

Carolina Panthers
Christian McCaffrey ranks third in fantasy points per game average (21.8) at his position in the last two years. Unfortunately, he’s also played just 10 games during that time due to injuries. CMC’s high level of statistical success will keep him in the first round, even in the top five overall, but there might not be a bigger risk-reward pick.

Chicago Bears
The Bears have had just three quarterbacks (Mitchell Trubisky, Jay Cutler, Erik Kramer) score more than 200 fantasy points in a single season in the Super Bowl era. That’s just three quarterbacks in 56 years! Couple that trend with the lack of elite-level talent the team has in the current pass attack, and Justin Fields could be in for a difficult season.

Cincinnati Bengals
Ja’Marr Chase is coming off the second-best rookie season from a wide receiver based on PPR points (304.6), falling just shy of Randy Moss’s record-setting 304.7 points back in 1998. Three of the top five fantasy seasons ever posted from rookie wideouts have come out of LSU: Chase (2021), Odell Beckham Jr. (2014) and Justin Jefferson (2020).

Cleveland Browns
The Browns traded for Amari Cooper in the offseason, and he’ll serve as the No. 1 wide receiver in the offensive of coach Kevin Stefanski. While the system should include a bigger focus on the passing game with Deshaun Watson in the mix, it’s still notable that no wideout in a Stefanski offense has finished better than 20th in PPR fantasy points.

Dallas Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Cowboys
Ezekiel Elliott finished seventh in fantasy points among running backs last season, and he’s now finished no worse than ninth at the position in every NFL season in which he’s played at least 15 games. Still, his second-half struggles and the emergence of Tony Pollard have Elliott’s 2022 ADP in the third or fourth round. He could be a steal.

Denver Broncos
In his 10 seasons in Seattle, Russell Wilson helped fuel a total of nine 200-plus point campaigns from his wide receivers. That includes DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett, who both had over 265 points in 2020. That’s good news for Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton and the Broncos wideouts, who have had just two wideouts with 200 points since 2016.

Detroit Lions
The Lions added two field stretchers in D.J. Chark and rookie Jameson Williams this offseason. For them to succeed, however, Jared Goff needs to improve his downfield passing stats. Last season, he ranked 25th in attempts of 20-plus air yards (3.3 PG) and tied for 22nd in big plays (20-plus yards) among quarterbacks with at least 12 starts.

Green Bay Packers
Davante Adams had 669 catches and 73 touchdowns in his 116 career games with the Green Bay Packers. He was traded to the Las Vegas Raiders this offseason. Without him, the Packers’ top three wideouts are Allen Lazard, Christian Watson and Randall Cobb. The trio has produced a combined 700 catches and 66 touchdowns in the NFL.

Houston Texans
The Texans will head into this season with Davis Mills as their starting quarterback. He won’t bring much fantasy fanfare in drafts, but he did finish his rookie year strong. Mills actually ranked 10th in fantasy points among signal-callers over the final five weeks and outscored Matthew Stafford, Kirk Cousins and Jalen Hurts during that time.

Indianapolis Colts
During Matt Ryan’s 14 years in Atlanta, the Falcons had 16 instances of wide receivers scoring 200-plus fantasy points. That includes Julio Jones and Roddy White, who each had at least one season with more than 300 points. That’s positive news for Michael Pittman Jr., who had a near 26 percent target share in the Colts offense last season.

Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars signed Christian Kirk to a four-year, $72 million contract in the offseason. Over the last decade, the Jags have had just three receivers record more than 200 fantasy points and just one since 2016. Those wideouts, Allen Robinson, D.J. Chark and Allen Hurns, are also the lone receivers to post 1,000-plus yards during that time.

Kansas City Chiefs
Travis Kelce needs just 46.34 fantasy points to become only the seventh tight end in the Super Bowl era to score over 2,000 points in his career. He’ll reach that total faster than any other player at the position. Kelce is still far behind the career leader in fantasy points among tight ends, as Tony Gonzalez holds the record with over 3,510 points.

Las Vegas Raiders
The Raiders made a huge move to acquire Davante Adams, who scored more than 320 fantasy points in each of his last three full seasons in Green Bay. In the last 20 years, no Raiders wideouts have scored more than 259.1 fantasy points in a single season. That was Hunter Renfrow, who hit that mark just last season. Bad news for Adams?

Los Angeles Chargers
Justin Herbert has scored 713.6 fantasy points in his first two seasons in the NFL. That is the most points scored by a quarterback in his first two years in league history. His 69 touchdown passes is also a record, which was previously held by Dan Marino (68). Herbert also has more passing yards (9.350) than any other quarterback in Years 1-2.

Los Angeles Rams
Cooper Kupp is coming off the greatest fantasy football season of all time among wide receivers, scoring 439.5 points. That passed the previous record set by Jerry Rice in 1995 when he scored 414.04 points. However, Rice did play one less game, and his 25.88 points per game average is still slightly higher than Kupp’s 25.85 fantasy points.

Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins acquired Tyreek Hill this offseason in a blockbuster deal. In his last three full seasons in Kansas City, he scored at least 296.5 fantasy points and was over 300 points twice. Since 2002, the Dolphins have had just one wideout (Jarvis Landry, 2015) score more than 265 fantasy points in a single season. That’s a pretty bad trend for Hill.

Minnesota Vikings
Justin Jefferson has recorded 604.6 fantasy points in his first two seasons in the NFL. That is the second-most points scored by a wide receiver in his first two years behind only Odell Beckham Jr.’s 614.3 points. However, Jefferson’s 196 catches and 3,016 yards are the most posted by a wideout in Years 1-2. He’s a first rounder in fantasy drafts.

New England Patriots
Damien Harris had 15 touchdowns and finished with 210.1 fantasy points last season. The only Patriots back to score more touchdowns in a single season in the last 20 years is LeGarrette Blount (18 touchdowns in 2016). Only James White (2018), Corey Dillon (2004) and Blount have scored more points than Harris for New England in that time.

New Orleans Saints
Alvin Kamara is coming off a 2021 season that saw him produce career lows in yards per carry average (3.9), targets (67), catches (47), receiving yards (439) and fantasy points (234.7). However, he did average 20.2 fantasy points in five full games played with Jameis Winston. That includes four games with 18-plus and one with 30-plus.

New York Giants
In his first two seasons in the NFL, Saquon Barkley averaged 4.8 yards per rush and produced a combined 3,169 scrimmage yards in 29 games. In his last two seasons, he has averaged a mere 3.5 yards per rush with a combined 950 scrimmage yards in just 15 games. Barkley is still going in the top three to four rounds in most fantasy drafts.

New York Jets
Over the last 20 seasons, NFL tight ends have scored 200-plus fantasy points 65 times. None of those tight ends played for the Jets. In fact, New York has never had a player at the position score more than 174.5 points in a single season. That was Dustin Keller (2011). He and Johnny Mitchell (1994) are the lone Jets tight ends with 150-plus points.

Philadelphia Eagles
In the first six weeks of last season, the Eagles offense ranked 10th in pass percentage and 23rd in rush percentage. Over their final 11 games, however, they ranked dead last in pass percentage and were tops in the league in rush percentage. With the addition of A.J. Brown, fantasy fans have to hope the team uses a more balanced attack in 2022.

Pittsburgh Steelers
Steelers coach Mike Tomlin has always liked to use a featured running back, and that trend continued last season with Najee Harris. He led the position with 381 touches and also played 972 offensive snaps. That led the league among backs and was 173 more snaps played than the next best runner (Ezekiel Elliott). Harris is a top-five pick.

San Francisco 49ers
Elijah Mitchell led all 49ers running backs with 963 rushing yards during his rookie year, but can he do it again? The team has had a different rushing leader in each year under head coach Kyle Shanahan (2017-2022), though four of those runners were undrafted free agents. Unless injuries occur, I see Mitchell breaking this trend.

Seattle Seahawks
As the starting quarterback in Denver in 2020, Drew Lock’s top wide receiver averaged barely more than 10 fantasy points per game. In three starts for the Broncos in 2021, his top wideout averaged 9.6 fantasy points per game. If he ends up winning the top spot, fantasy fans should be very concerned about DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Leonard Fournette saw a near 30% touch share and averaged a career-high 18.3 fantasy points in his 14 games last season. He figures to get a big workload again in 2021, as the Buccaneers let Ronald Jones walk as a free agent. Even with Giovani Bernard and rookie Rachaad White in the mix, Lombardi Lenny will be a top-30 overall pick.

Tennessee Titans
Derrick Henry rushed the ball 219 times in eight games last season before getting hurt. That pace would have resulted in a full-season total of 465 carries, which would have shattered Larry Johnson’s NFL record 416 carries (2006). Between the regular season and playoffs, Henry has a league-high 1,021 carries since 2019. That’s a ton of work.

Washington Commanders
Antonio Gibson finished 10th in fantasy points among running backs last season, but he was terribly inconsistent. In fact, he scored fewer than 12 points seven times and was limited to single digits in six of those games. With J.D. McKissic in the mix and the selection of Brian Robinson in the draft, Gibson’s 2022 touch share could decline.

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Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on Sports Illustrated and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. Click here to read all his articles here on SI Fantasy. You can follow Michael on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram for all of the late breaking fantasy news and the best analysis in the business!