Matthew Berry, the most famous fantasy football analyst in the world, released his 100 facts for the 2021 season. The release of this list is a sign that fantasy football is still alive and well after all these years.
Matthew Berry is an American football writer. He has been writing about the NFL since 1997 and is considered to be one of the most knowledgeable analysts in the game. Read more in detail here: matthew berry.
There are only two kinds of individuals in the world, as far as I can tell. Those who like the program “Ted Lasso” as well as those who have yet to watch it. I’m in the former camp, and my favorite moment is “the darts scene,” which is from Season 1.
Skip ahead to the next picture if you haven’t seen it yet and don’t want the moment to be ruined for you.
Ted gets challenged to a game of darts by Rupert, Ted’s employer Rebecca’s ex-husband, in this scene. Rupert is a jerk, to put it mildly, and there are major emotional stakes at play, particularly for Rebecca.
Rupert takes out his own — very beautiful and costly — set of darts after they agree to play. Ted is being hustled by him.
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We cut to the conclusion of the game, when Rupert says something especially unpleasant to Rebecca. Ted begs Rupert to remain quiet before approaching the bartender and asking what he needs to win.
He’ll need two triple-20s and a bull’s-eye, he’s been informed. Three shots that were very difficult. The ex-husband chuckles quietly to himself. He dismissively adds, “Good luck.”
And it’s at that point that Ted nods, walks up to the dartboard, and says…
“Guys have always underestimated me, Rupert, and I’ve never understood why for years. It used to irritate me greatly. But then, one day, while I was taking my little son to school, I came upon a Walt Whitman quotation. ‘Be inquisitive, not judgemental,’ it read, and it was painted on the wall. That appeals to me.”
(Ted throws a 20-yard triple.)
“So I get back in my vehicle and go to work when it finally dawns on me. None of the guys who used to make fun of me were even somewhat interested. They believed they had it all figured out, so they judged everything and everyone. And I understood it had nothing to do with their underestimating me — who I was. Because if they were interested, they would have inquired. ‘Have you played a lot of darts, Ted?’ for example.”
(Ted throws a third triple-digit pitch.)
“Which I would have replied, ‘Yes, sir.’ From the age of ten until my father’s death at the age of sixteen, I spent every Sunday afternoon in a sports bar with him.’”
(Ted locks his gaze on the whiteboard for a moment.)
“Barbecue sauce,” says the narrator.
(To win, Ted throws a flawless bull’s-eye.)
As a veteran TV writer, I can tell you that in terms of writing, acting, and direction, it’s about as excellent as it gets, and my words don’t do justice to how brilliantly Jason Sudeikis portrays that. However, there are a slew of publications touting Ted Lasso’s brilliance. You didn’t come here for a repeat performance.
“Be inquisitive, not judgemental,” says Jason Sudeikis’ Ted Lasso. Walt Whitman’s quote EPA-EFE/Shutterstock/Etienne Laurent
There’s a lot I’d want to explore in that speech, but I selected it for this column because of the Whitman quotation.
There needs to be a lot more curiosity in fantasy football. There are a lot more questions. Because they are all full of judgment, whether they are experts or fantasy gamers. They believe they have it all figured out. They believe they know which players will succeed and which will fail, when to pick which positions, which NFL coaches are excellent and which are terrible, and which fantasy experts are clever and which are idiots. They pass judgment on everyone and everything.
It’s an excellent life lesson as well as a nice fantasy football one. Rather of passing judgment and assuming you know everything, be inquisitive. Pose a query.
Which of these two quarterbacks would you like to have in your fantasy lineup this year?
Quarterback A: One of your first concerns should be whether or not Quarterback A will even be on the field. QBA has only played all 16 games in a season once in his NFL career, after missing 18(!) games in the last four seasons (almost 30% of his games). You have to be worried about his offensive line after all of his missing games. His offensive line allowed the 10th-highest rate of pressure in the NFL last season. How terrible did it get? When the opponent did not blitz, the line permitted the third-highest rate of pressure. That’s a concern, since QBA’s off-target rate when blitzed was higher than Dwayne Haskins’ and Mitchell Trubisky’s, among others.
QBA’s yards per attempt has dropped for three seasons in a row, and who wants a fantasy dunk? Take a look at this: Last season, he threw 23.3 percent of his passes at or behind the line of scrimmage. This summer, his club made no major pass-catcher additions, and he just lost the 1,000-yard receiver with whom he had the greatest catch rate. His career is obviously on the decline (I mean, his touchdown passes are down a whopping 24 percent from even just two years ago).
Quarterback B, on the other hand, has repeated ninth-place finishes at the position and is on track to have his greatest fantasy season ever. Why? He’s got a new playcaller, who gained 72 percent of his offensive yards via the air with his last club (the sixth-highest rate in the NFL over that stretch). Last year, the coach’s offense had its greatest season in terms of passing yards per game, quickest pace, TD/INT ratio, and fantasy points per red zone attempt throughout his career.
QBB scores points with both his arm and his legs; he’s coming off a season in which he had the most running attempts of his career, quadrupled his rushing yards and touchdowns, and did it in one less game than the year before. He’s appeared in multiple Pro Bowls and won multiple NFL Player of the Week awards. He’s coming off career highs in completion percentage and on-target percentage, a career low in bad-throw percentage, and a big step forward from 2019 with a higher touchdown percentage and lower interception percentage.
So, you’ve learned all there is to know, right? This preseason has been spent researching, mock drafting, reading, listening, and observing. So, let me ask you this question once more:
Do you have a preference for a quarterback?
Please understand that what I said about each player is 100% accurate.
I just provided you almost 500 words of in-depth information on them. Is there anything more you require? Don’t you have a good idea which one to choose?
The time is ticking on the draft clock. My obnoxious voice may be heard yelling at you from the computer screen. “Please hurry! Make a decision!” I need to make a phone call. And you know which one you want — I mean, you know which one you want. It is self-evident. Isn’t that Quarterback B? The man with numerous top-nine finishes and a playcaller who is fantasy-friendly?
So, before you respond, I think you should ask me a question.
“Hey, Matthew, what are the names of those guys?”
“Well, Quarterback B is Jared Goff,” I would respond.
“Oh, and Quarterback A’s name is Patrick Mahomes,” says the narrator.
Be inquisitive rather than pessimistic.
I mean, I just managed to talk Patrick Mahomes down. I accomplished it by utilizing his rookie season, in which he missed 15 games, to make it seem as though he was injury-prone, while also disregarding the fact that the Chiefs typically secure a bye by Week 16 or 17. I went into detail about the Chiefs’ offensive line problems without mentioning last year’s injuries or opt-outs, or the fact that the club believes it addressed all of it over the summer.
I didn’t add that one reason to throw a lot of short bubble screens is to take advantage of Tyreek Hill, who is one of the quickest players in the NFL. I disregarded the fact that the Chiefs didn’t need to make any big offseason moves for a pass-catcher, and it took me a long time to come up with a decent Sammy Watkins stat to make it appear like his departure would be a problem. By the way, his 1,000-yard season came in 2015 with the Buffalo Bills. Finally, by comparing last season’s numbers to his amazing 50-touchdown 2018 season, I was able to trend Mahomes down.
Goff, on the other hand, has had two acceptable fantasy seasons in which he ended in the top nine, but not last season, and there wasn’t much else with which to work to make Goff seem good. Instead, I went with Anthony Lynn, his new offensive coordinator, and utilized all of Justin Herbert’s amazing numbers to make Lynn and Goff seem a lot better. Last season, Goff scored four running touchdowns after scoring two the year before. He’s not Lamar Jackson, but if worded well, he can seem like a dual threat.
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The purpose of having Goff seem amazing while making Mahomes sound washed out is to demonstrate how I can make numbers say anything I want. For the task, all I have to do is choose the appropriate numbers and ignore the rest. Or, as I did at different times while writing and researching this column, ask my pals “Thirsty” Kyle Soppe of the Fantasy Focus 06010 podcast or Damian Dabrowski — The Stat-a-Pillar from The Fantasy Show with Matthew Berry on ESPN+ — to provide me the appropriate stat for the job.
You see, there isn’t much I’m really excellent at in this world, but there is one thing I’m a world-class master at? Stats are being manipulated to give you the narrative I want you to hear.
I want you to remember that as we approach the last ten days of drafting and the start of the 2021 season. It’s something I do all the time. In reality, it happens every time. Podcasts, television, articles, Twitter, and so on… I’ll just tell you a portion of the tale. And anybody who does this for a job or as a pastime and tells you why this person is great and this one is terrible, why this guy is underrated and why you should disregard this other guy is doing the same thing. It’s all a matter of personal preference.
What is the nature of your work? Watch the games, do the math, and find out whose experts you can trust and whose ideas you like. Finally, and most importantly, be inquisitive rather than judgemental.
Do everything and then make your own decision at the end of the day.
These are the top 100 facts you should know. It’s entirely up to you what you do with them.
1. Only two quarterbacks have thrown multiple touchdown passes in more than 30 games in the last three seasons. Russell Wilson and Patrick Mahomes With 34 points, they are tied.
2. Wilson is the only quarterback in the last two seasons to throw at least 30 touchdown passes.
2a. He’s done it for four seasons in a row.
3. Only Lamar Jackson and Cam Newton have rushed for more yards than Wilson in the last four seasons.
4. In his NFL career, he has never missed a game.
5. Mark Sanchez, Josh Freeman, and Tim Tebow were all starting quarterbacks in the NFL the previous time Wilson didn’t finish in the top-10 fantasy QB rankings in total points.
6. Wilson is top among quarterbacks in total points and fourth in points per game over the last four seasons.
6a. He was selected as the seventh quarterback in the draft.
7. Ryan Tannehill was designated the Tennessee Titans’ starting quarterback in Week 7 of the 2019 season. Since then, he’s done the following:
8. The fourth-highest number of games with a minimum of 25 fantasy points.
9. The third-highest number of throwing touchdowns.
10…. and the second-highest number of total touchdowns (tied with Josh Allen).
He has averaged 21.7 points per game during that time.
That’s 0.6 points per game less than Allen and 0.9 points per game less than Mahomes.
He is the fourth-best fantasy quarterback in total points since becoming the starter.
14. In the summer, his club signed Julio Jones.
QB10 is Tannehill’s position in the draft.
16. Jalen Hurts began his first of four consecutive games as the Philadelphia Eagles’ quarterback in Week 14 of the season.
17. Rookie Jalen Reagor, who played his eighth career NFL game in Week 14, and former college quarterback Greg Ward, who played wide receiver for the now-defunct AAF’s San Antonio Commanders in 2019, were the wide receivers with the most routes run over that four-game span.
18. These would be Doug Pederson’s last four games as head coach of the Eagles.
With his legs alone, Hurts passed for 919 yards on 133 attempts, ran for 272 yards, and scored 10.3 points per game.
He scored 23.0 points per game on average.
20a. 23 points per game would have been QB7 last season.
With his legs, he’d have 532 pass attempts and 164.8 fantasy points over the course of a 16-game season.
22. Only five quarterbacks threw at least 400 passes and scored at least 60 points with their legs last season.
Allen (QB2), Kyler Murray (QB4), Deshaun Watson (QB5), Wilson (QB6), and Tannehill (QB6) were the five quarterbacks (QB9).
In ESPN leagues, Hurts gets drafted in the 11th round.
Sure, Jalen Hurts has a long way to go as an NFL quarterback, but in his four late-season starts as a rookie, he put up excellent fantasy statistics. Getty Images/Mitchell Leff
Ryan Fitzpatrick has thrown at least 35 passes in a game 15 times in the last three seasons.
He has averaged 313 passing yards and 21.7 fantasy points in those games.
26. With a 21.7 rating, he would have been a top-10 quarterback last season, only 0.8 points behind QB6, Wilson.
27. Last season, current Steelers backup Dwayne Haskins, current Washington backup Kyle Allen, and current ESPN analyst Alex Smith were Washington’s starting quarterbacks.
28. Despite having that trio at quarterback, Washington still attempted 37.6 passes per game, which ranks eighth in the NFL.
29. Fitzpatrick topped all qualifying quarterbacks in deep throw completion % last season.
30. In addition to Terry McLaurin (4.35), Antonio Gibson (4.39), and 6-foot-6, 250-pound Logan Thomas, Washington acquired Curtis Samuel (4.31 40 time) and selected Dyami Brown (4.46) this summer (4.61).
Fitzpatrick is going undrafted in almost 80% of ESPN leagues at the age of 31.
32. Last season, running accounted for at least 15% of the fantasy points for seven of the top ten quarterbacks.
Trey Lance ran for 1,100 yards and 14 touchdowns in his lone complete collegiate season.
34. The 49ers are tied for third in rushing touchdowns, fifth in rushing attempts, and sixth in rushing yards since the start of the season.
Jimmy Garoppolo has missed 23 games in the last three seasons.
Lance’s ESPN ADP is now 157.7. (QB19).
37. Since the start of the season, 31 running backs have had at least 300 touches.
Christian McCaffrey ranks third among the 31 qualifying running backs, averaging 1.17 fantasy points per carry.
With 1.20 fantasy points per touch, Alvin Kamara is in second place.
Austin Ekeler is number 40, with 1.21 fantasy points per touch.
Ekeler averaged 18.6 touches per game in his nine healthy contests last season.
Over the course of a 16-game season, it translates to 297.6 total touches.
Ezekiel Elliott got 296 total touches last season, which was sixth most in the NFL.
44. From Week 12 on, when he returned from injury and was paired with Justin Herbert, no running back had a greater target share than Ekeler’s 19.9%.
45. Ekeler only had three touchdowns last season.
46. He has 11 touchdowns this season.
46a. Mike Clay’s list of players who are projected to score more touchdowns this season includes him.
47. Only three times between 2011 and 2019 did a running back have at least three 70-yard rushes in a single season.
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Adrian Peterson, Jamaal Charles, and Chris Johnson were the top three running backs in 2012.
49. None of them did it again the next year, or ever.
Miles Sanders had three rushes of 70 yards or more last season.
Sanders was 41st among running backs in fantasy points per touch last season after excluding those runs.
In his two-year career, Sanders has never had a game with more than 20 carries.
Last season, he did have three games with ten or less total touches.
54. Sanders only appeared in 12 games last season, to put it another way. He only had 10 or less touches in 25% of them.
Nick Sirianni, the next head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles, was the offensive coordinator for the Indianapolis Colts from 2018 to 2020.
56. During those three seasons, no one running back played more than half of the Colts’ snaps.
Multiple running backs played at least 30% of the snaps in each of the three seasons.
58. In each of the last three seasons, a third Colts running back has played more than 15% of the team’s snaps.
59. No running back with at least 50 targets had a catch rate lower than Sanders’ 52.8 percent last season.
Miles Sanders has the potential for huge plays, but his use hasn’t been as constant as you’d expect from a running back with his ADP. Icon Sportswire/Andy Lewis
60. Kenyan Drake was signed to a hefty two-year, $14.5 million deal by the Las Vegas Raiders this year.
Josh Jacobs has never scored 10 or more fantasy points in a game when he has less than 15 touches in his career.
Jacobs averaged 10.5 fantasy points per game in the 16 games with less than 20 touches in his career.
62a. A game with twenty touches is… a lot.
63. Rex Burkhead, RB31, averaged 10.5 fantasy points per game last season, which was lower than his counterpart, RB31 Rex Burkhead, who averaged 10.8 points per week.
Jacobs was 46th in fantasy points per touch among running backs with 100 or more touches last season. Forty-sixth.
RB43 was Kalen Ballage, 64a. Same category, same qualification.
Brian Hill (RB44) was 64b.
64c. Devontae Booker was RB45.
Booker, Hill, and Ballage are all backups for their respective NFL clubs this season.
65. The Raiders’ offensive line lost starters Rodney Hudson, Gabe Jackson, and Trent Brown this summer.
Jacobs’ yards per run after contact dropped by more than 22% last season.
67. He has an average of 1.8 catches per game in his career.
68. The New England Patriots have had the second-highest red-zone rush rate in the NFL over the last five years.
The Patriots topped the NFL in red zone run percentage last season with 69.
70. The Patriots had 53 goal-to-go carries last season.
Cam Newton, Rex Burkhead, Sony Michel, and Damien Harris each had 49 of the 53 carries.
The Patriots have lost Newton (free agency), Burkhead (Texans), and Michel (Rams).
73. Last season, teams who were down 68 percent of the time threw the ball.
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74. The over/under for Detroit Lions wins this season is usually between 4.5 and 5 victories, according to most bookmakers.
75. No running back has caught a greater proportion of his targets in the last two years than new Detroit Lions RB Jamaal Williams.
76. The Chargers have the third-highest RB target share in the NFL from 2017 through 2020, according to head coach Anthony Lynn.
77. Under head coach Anthony Lynn, the Chargers have the second-most RB catches in the NFL from 2017 through 2020.
77a. Lynn is currently the Detroit Lions’ offensive coordinator.
Jamaal Williams averaged 13.1 points per game in his seven games with at least 10 touches last season, which would have made him RB25 on a points-per-game system.
Kerryon Johnson and Adrian Peterson combined for 231 touches for the Lions last season.
79a. Neither of them are on the team this season.
79b. ESPN is presently selecting Jamaal Williams as RB41.
Cooper Kupp averaged 13.9 fantasy points per game last season and ended as the WR30 on a per-game basis.
81. Here are the rookie receivers who have averaged less than 13.9 points per game in their first season since 2015: Terry McLaurin, CeeDee Lamb, A.J. Brown, and Tyreek Hill are among the players on the team.
On ESPN, Ja’Marr Chase is ranked as a borderline top-30 wide receiver.
Tyler Boyd was WR14 on a per-game basis in Weeks 1-11 last season with a healthy Joe Burrow as quarterback.
84. In college, Ja’Marr Chase was WR… nada in Weeks 1-11 last season. Last season, he did not participate in football.
Tyler Boyd is WR18 in total points since the start of the season.
86. Boyd is presently WR36 on ESPN, and he is frequently drafted several rounds after Chase.
86a. People, what are we doing here? Seriously.
What’s not to appreciate about Tyler Boyd’s dream profile with a high floor? Icon Sportswire/Ian Johnson
Brandin Cooks is sixth in receiving yards, tied for 11th in receiving touchdowns, and eighth in total fantasy points among wide receivers since 2015.
88. Cooks has only missed three regular-season games since 2015.
Cooks was WR17 last season, his first with Houston.
90. Randall Cobb, Keke Coutee, Darren Fells, Chad Hansen, Kenny Stills, Steven Mitchell, Kahale Warring, and Deandre Carter combined for 254 targets last season.
90a. As of Sept. 1, 2021, none of them are on the Texans’ 53-man roster.
Cooks has ten games last season with at least seven targets. He averaged 19.7 fantasy points in those ten games.
WR4 would have scored 19.7 fantasy points per game last season, slightly ahead of Calvin Ridley.
In ESPN leagues, Cooks is presently rated as WR33 in the 10th round.
93a. People, I’m talking about you. GET READY.
Only three tight ends had more red zone targets than Logan Thomas last season.
Only two tight ends had more double-digit fantasy point games last season than Thomas’ 10.
Only one tight end last season (Darren Waller) ran a route on a greater percentage of his team’s dropbacks (82.2%) than Thomas.
Last season, no tight end ran more overall routes than Thomas, who had a total of 97.
97A. And he did it with Dwayne Haskins, Kyle Allen, and Alex Smith as quarterbacks.
98. In the summer, Washington made a QB improvement by signing Thomas to a three-year, $24 million contract deal.
Thomas was the third-best tight end in fantasy football last season.
He is being selected as TE7 in the eighth round this year.
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