A few years ago, my esteemed colleague Pete Rogers challenged me on a podcast to create a WAR (Wins Above Replacement) rating for the NFL to recreate the famous baseball metric. The quarterback position always seemed like the best place for this to fit given the quarterback’s influence on every game, and by manipulating my QPI data (Quarterback Passing Index), I have been able to create both a WAR and also WAA (Wins Above Average) rating to show how the players stack up against each other.
I have also been able to translate the data in a version for fantasy scoring called FPAR (Fantasy Points Above Replacement), showing how many additional points each has scored vs the league average and replacement quarterback.
2020 Quarterback WAR Rankings
|Gardner Minshew II||JAX||9||1.09||23||-0.37||24|
From a WAR perspective, it was a spectacular season for Aaron Rodgers, who finished with a WAR rating of +8.72 games, meaning the Packers would have seen a record closer to 4-12 had he not played last season. I’ve record WAR ratings back to 2012 and the previous best was Matt Ryan’s MVP season from 2016 where his WAR rating was “only” 4.91 games.
At the bottom of the ratings were two quarterbacks who find themselves in a new location for 2020, Sam Darnold and Carson Wentz. Darnold’s -2.08 games rating was rough but was Wentz finished with a WAR rating of -2.85 games, the fourth worst I’ve rated behind Blake Bortles in 2015 (-3.24), Brock Osweiler in 2016 (-3.34) and DeShone Kizer in 2017 for the 0-16 Browns with -4.25. Good luck Colts fans!
2020 Quarterback FPAR Rankings
|Gardner Minshew II||JAX||9||2.65||19||0.05||15|
When we look at quarterback play from a fantasy perspective, Rodgers again was top of the list with an FPAR of 11.78 points, though this time he was left than 0.1 points per game ahead of Josh Allen, with Patrick Mahomes, Kyler Murray and Deshaun Watson all within a point per game of Rodgers.
With Russell Wilson (FPAR 10.1 points) rounding out a top 5 who all scored more than 10 points per game more than a replacement player scored, it shows what a wild year 2020 was for quarterback play. Before last year, I had only recorded a single instance of FPAR being above 10 points, coming from Patrick Mahomes in his 2018 MVP season where he finished with a record 11.81 points above replacement. I have to project that with a more regular offseason in 2021 that fantasy scoring from quarterbacks will trend back to the average.
The above ratings are some of the work I’m most proud of in analyzing the NFL and I hope that others find them helpful. If you have any questions, you can hit me up on Twitter @PaddiCooper and I’ll be happy to help any way I can.