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Repeatability - Quarterbacks
David Dorey
August 15, 2006
Quarterbacks | Running Backs | Wide Receivers | Tight Ends | Kickers

Each season the cheatsheet and rankings are prepared and the greatest single indicator of a player's success is always what they accomplished the previous season. Freshest on the mind, easiest to remember and hey - it's only nine months since they've been playing. But how often do players actually repeat great fantasy performances? How much stock can we put in the previous season? If there are players who demonstrate "repeatability", who are they and how reliable are they?

All player listings to follow were created using the standard performance scoring as seen on The Huddle statistics. Points were determined awarding 1/20 per pass yard, 3 point passing TD's and 6 Point rushing TD's with 1/10 rushing yardage. While other scoring scenarios will have different rankings to some degree, the repeatability of the players remains intact.

  2001 Pts 2002 Pts 2003 Pts 2004 Pts 2005 Pts
1 K Warner 297 D Culpepper 314 D Culpepper 269 D Culpepper 351 C Palmer 258
2 J Garcia 283 R Gannon 291 P Manning 252 P Manning 323 T Brady 254
3 P Manning 272 M Vick 283 M Hasselbeck 246 D McNabb 275 M Vick 238
4 S McNair 260 P Manning 268 T Green 242 T Green 260 P Manning 237
5 A Brooks 259 D Bledsoe 257 M Bulger 241 J Plummer 256 E Manning 235
6 B Favre 257 A Brooks 254 S McNair 231 B Favre 251 D Bledsoe 228
 
7 R Gannon 255 S McNair 249 J Garcia 229 J Delhomme 248 D Brees 225
8 D McNabb 250 T Brady 244 A Brooks 228 A Brooks 247 M Hasselbeck 224
9 K Stewart 239 J Garcia 244 B Johnson 225 M Bulger 238 K Collins 219
10 J Fiedler 232 T Green 239 B Favre 225 M Vick 227 B Favre 218
11 D Culpepper 216 D McNabb 222 J Kitna 222 T Brady 225 T Green 218
12 T Green 211 B Favre 222 T Brady 217 D Brees 223 J Delhomme 216
 
13 M Brunell 208 K Collins 217 D McNabb 214 M Hasselbeck 210 J Plummer 213
14 K Collins 205 J Plummer 202 Q Carter 206 D Carr 206 M Brunell 200
15 J Plummer 205 Pennington 200 J Delhomme 185 K Collins 198 A Brooks 194
16 B Griese 197 J Kitna 195 T Maddox 184 V Testaverde 198 S McNair 191
17 D Flutie 196 D Brees 190 B Leftwich 169 J Harrington 184 G Frerotte 178
18 B Johnson 196 B Johnson 188 J Harrington 169 B Leftwich 182 D Carr 173
19 C Weinke 188 Hasselbeck 185 K Collins 165 D Bledsoe 173 B Roethlisberger 169
20 T Couch 174 B Griese 178 J Plummer 161 C Palmer 171 D McNabb 158
21 J Kitna 170 T Maddox 175 D Bledsoe 152 B Roethlisberger 165 B Leftwich 144
22 E Grbac 166 M Brunell 172 J Blake 148 C Pennington 163 K Warner 143
23 T Brady 164 T Couch 168 C Pennington 137 B Volek 159 M Bulger 133
24 C Chandler 162 D Carr 165 J Fiedler 137 B Griese 158 T Dilfer 127
The Following season: Remained Top 6 Became 7-12 Became 13-24 Not in next Top 24

Top 6 became Avg. 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004
Top 6 2 2 2 2 3 1
7 to 12 2 3 3 1 1 2
13 - 24 1 1 0 1 1 2
Duds 1 0 1 2 1 1
7 to 12 became Avg. 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004
Top 6 2 1 2 2 1 2
7 to 12 2 0 2 3 2 2
13 - 24 1 2 0 1 0 1
Duds 2 3 2 0 3 1
Top 6 was Avg. 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005
Top 6 2 2 2 2 3 1
7 to 12 2 1 2 2 1 2
13 - 24 1 2 0 1 1 2
24+ 1 1 2 1 1 1

The Top 6 each year always had two returnees but last year injuries really shook up the top with Culpepper, McNabb and bulger all missing time. The top tier fell to only one repeater - Peyton Manning. The tumble downward by other quarterbacks were mostly from missing time while injured rather than by bad play.

Thanks to those injuries, the top ten had three players who were there for the first time - Palmer, Brady and Eli Manning. And Bledsoe had not been there for many years. That massive turnover leads to uncertainty this year and as a result the quarterbacks have been falling deeper than ever in most fantasy drafts.

Every season, there is one and possibly two players in the 7 to 12 range that rise up into the top 6. Conventional wisdom loves Hasselbeck as the most likely to advance to the top tier this season. Since two players almost always rise, Hasselbeck appears almost as a lock to be one of them.

  Repeat Reliability 2002 2003 2004 2005
1 P Manning 4 2 2 4
2 T Green 10 4 4 11
3 T Brady 8 12 11 2
4 D Culpepper 1 1 1 31
5 A Brooks 6 8 6 15
6 M Vick 3 21 10 3
7 B Favre 12 10 7 10
8 C Palmer     20 1
9 M Hasselbeck 19 3 14 8
10 J Delhomme   15 8 12
11 D McNabb 11 13 3 20
12 M Bulger   5 9 23
13 D Bledsoe 5 21 19 6
14 J Plummer 14 20 5 13
15 S McNair 7 6 32 16
16 D Brees 17 25 12 7
17 B Leftwich   17 18 21
18 B Roethlisberger     21 19
19 D Carr 24 31 13 18
20 C Pennington 15 23 22 50
21 K Warner 41 47 30 22

The table to the right shows the year end ranking for each of the listed players and is sorted in a manner to suggest the most reliable "repeaters" in fantasy drafts over the last five years. It's obvious that Manning is in a class of his own now that Culpepper tanked last year and was injured and now goes to a new team still without Randy Moss or OC Scott Linehan. With Palmer, McNabb, Culpepper and Bulger returning from injury, there has never been more risk at the top than ever before and with that the rare consistency of Manning propels him into being considered as the main star of the position.

Top 12
Quarterback Repeatability
66% - 0%

Over the last five seasons, the chance that a quarterback was in the Top 12 the previous season and returned to the Top 12 the next year was 6 of 12 on average. Since you only start one quarterback in virtually every league, this is an important characteristic to remember when deciding when to take your starter. As the yearly results show - there is not a lot of difference between the 7th and 12th best player either. Other than Manning and Brady, no other quarterbacks have historic consistency and yet return to a similar situation this year. Rest assured that overall fantasy points by quarterbacks this year will be similar to those of prior seasons. Getting that player right will be a challenge and beyond Uber-Manning, there are other positions that make more sense to select in the initial rounds of fantasy drafts.