100 fantasy facts from the 2013 football season

If you've immersed yourself in the world of fantasy sports, whether you want to admit it or not, there's a good chance you're a stats geek. (It's alright, geeking out about sports stats is a heck of a lot more macho than getting excited about the new season of "American Idol"). As a slave to the stat myself, I went back into the depths of the 2013 fantasy football season and beyond to unearth 100 interesting little nuggets. Some of them you might know, some of them you probably don't. It's a pretty long read as far as fantasy columns go, so give yourself some time and indulge your inner stat geek.

  1. Peyton Manning's 46.28 fantasy points were the most scored in a Week 1 contest since 1960. He went on to set new NFL records in passing yards (5,477) and passing touchdowns (55) while putting up 409.98 fantasy points. That's the second-most points scored in a single season since 1960, behind LaDainian Tomlinson (425.1 in 2006).
  1. Denver is the new fantasy capitol, as the Broncos became the first NFL team to have five players score at least 10 touchdowns in the same season -- Demaryius Thomas (14), Knowshon Moreno (13), Julius Thomas (12), Eric Decker (11) and Wes Welker (10). No other team has had more than three players with at least 10 end zone visits.
  1. In the history of the National Football League, there have been seven quarterbacks who have thrown for 40 or more touchdowns in a single season. Of those seven quarterbacks, Drew Brees is the only player to throw for at least 40 touchdowns the following season. Manning was the lone signal-caller with 40-plus touchdowns in 2013.
  1. The New York Jets finished the 2013 season with a mere 13 touchdown passes. Manning threw 14 touchdowns passes in the fourth quarter alone. Manning's 55 scoring strikes (an NFL single-season record) are also two more than the Jets have had in the last three seasons combined.
  1. Geno Smith threw 21 interceptions while finishing 20th in fantasy points among quarterbacks in 2013. As bad as he was, Smith just missed finishing among the top 10 rookie signal-callers based on points since 1960. On a positive note, he did post the fifth-most fantasy points at the position over the last four weeks.
  1. In 2012, the average fantasy points scored among the top 10 quarterbacks was 311.81. Seven of those players scored 300-plus fantasy points. In 2013, Manning and Brees were the lone players at their position to finish with 300-plus fantasy points. What's more, the average among the top 10 quarterbacks fell to 300.77.
  1. In 2010, a total of eight quarterbacks finished the season with 250-plus fantasy points. That total has increased in each of the last three NFL campaigns, culminating in 2013 with an impressive 13 field generals hitting the 250-point tier. It would have been 14 quarterbacks, but Matt Ryan missed the mark by 1.90 points.
  1. Since 2007, there has been just one instance (2011-2012) where two quarterbacks have finished in the top five in fantasy points in back-to-back seasons. Two quarterbacks went back-to-back in 2012-2013, but one of them wasn't Manning. In fact, those two field generals were Brees (1st, 2nd) and Cam Newton (4th, 3rd).
  1. Proving that the NFL has indeed become a passing league, six of the top 11 fantasy seasons at the quarterback position have occurred since 2011. That list begins with Peyton Manning (2013) and includes Aaron Rodgers (2011), Brees (2011), Tom Brady (2011), Newton (2011) and Brees (2013) again.
  1. Heading into 2013, Rodgers finished no worse than second in fantasy points among quarterbacks for five consecutive seasons. He was 22nd this season, as he missed seven games with a broken collarbone. If we project the numbers Rodgers posted in his seven full starts, he would have finished third in fantasy points at his position.
  1. Brady ranked 14th in fantasy points among quarterbacks in 2013, and he failed to throw for 30-plus touchdowns for the first time since 2009. It was also the first time in his last six full seasons that Brady finished worse than seventh in fantasy points at the position. His passer rating has also declined in three straight years.
  1. Brady's numbers with and without Rob Gronkowski this past season are interesting to say the least. In his nine starts while Gronkowski was out of action, Brady averaged a less-than-stellar 13.9 fantasy points. In the other seven contests where Gronkowski was active (even if he didn't finish the game), Brady averaged over 18 fantasy points.
  1. Brees has thrown for 5,000-plus yards and at least 39 touchdowns in each of the last three seasons. He has also finished no worse than second in fantasy points among quarterbacks in five of the last six years. The one season he missed out was 2010 -- that was the year Brees was featured on the cover of the Madden game.
  1. Newton has scored a combined 990.46 fantasy points in his first three NFL seasons, which is the most for any player in his first three years at the pro level since 1960. He has seen his fantasy point totals decline in each of those three seasons, though, culminating in a career-low 297.66 fantasy points this past season.
  1. Robert Griffin III started his NFL and fantasy football career with a bang, scoring six rushing touchdowns in his first six pro contests. Unfortunately, that trend has done a 180-degree turn. Over his next 22 contests, the versatile quarterback out of Baylor has rushed for just one score -- including none during the 2013 campaign.
  1. In 2012, three different rookie signal-callers (Griffin III, Andrew Luck, Russell Wilson) finished among the 10 best players at their position based on fantasy points. Geno Smith was the highest-scoring rookie quarterback this season, and he ranked a mere 20th. Smith also went five straight weekends without a touchdown pass.
  1. Wilson ranked just 16th in passing yards (3,357) and ninth in touchdown passes (26), but he still finished among the eight-best quarterbacks in the league based on fantasy points (270.18). That's due in large part to his finishing third among signal-callers in rushing yards (539). Wilson also threw just nine interceptions all season.
  1. In 2009, not a single quarterback rushed for 350-plus yards and one (Rodgers) rushed for five touchdowns. Six different signal-callers rushed for over 400 yards this past season, a list that includes Newton, Terrelle Pryor, Wilson, Colin Kaepernick, Griffin III and Alex Smith. Five had four or more rushing touchdowns.
  1. Kaepernick started 11 games this season without star wide receiver Michael Crabtree, averaging just over 15 fantasy points in those contests. In the other five games he started since Crabtree's return from a serious Achilles' procedure, Kaepernick scored 20-plus fantasy points three times and averaged 19.0 fantasy points per game.
  1. Proving that you can find good value in drafts at the quarterback position, only two of the top 10 signal-callers based on fantasy points (Manning, Brees) were picked in Round 3 or higher based on average draft position. Seven other field generals who reached that level of success were drafted in the fifth round or later on NFL.com.
  1. Andy Dalton ranked fifth in fantasy points among quarterbacks and sixth overall in 2013. However, he wasn't at all consistent in the stat sheets. Dalton recorded fewer than 16 fantasy points in half of his starts. Furthermore, 18 of his touchdown passes and more than 50 percent of his 288.14 fantasy points came in five contests.
  1. Based on average draft position (ADP) numbers, Philip Rivers was by far the best value in fantasy football among quarterbacks. Despite not being drafted until the 15th round (145.52) in most NFL.com leagues (Josh Freeman was drafted higher on average), the N.C. State product finished sixth in fantasy points among quarterbacks.
  1. Remember the comparisons some scouts made between Wilson and Brees? Well, you can throw those out the window. Wilson has passed for 300-plus yards just twice in 32 career NFL starts and had 210 passing yards or fewer nine times this season. In contrast, Brees has thrown for 210 or fewer yards just once in his last 48 starts.
  1. In his first 12 games of 2013, Wilson averaged 18.7 fantasy points and was on pace to finish with 299.31 points -- that would have ranked him third among quarterbacks. His statistics tumbled in the final four weeks, though, as Wilson averaged 11.4 fantasy points and finished with 270.18. That ranked him eighth at the position.
  1. In the 10 games that Nick Foles started and led the Eagles in pass attempts, he averaged an impressive 23.8 fantasy points. Projected over a full 16 starts, he would have finished with just over 380 fantasy points on the season. That would have ranked him ahead of every single player in the entire league not named Peyton Manning.
  1. Over the last three years, a combined 33 quarterbacks have thrown for over 3,900 yards including 11 this season. In the history of the Chicago Bears franchise (1920-present), no quarterback has thrown for even 3,850 yards. Based on his numbers from the 11 games he played in 2013, Jay Cutler was projected to finish with 3,812 passing yards.
  1. Matthew Stafford finished seventh in fantasy points among quarterbacks this season, but he struggled big time down the stretch. In fact, he threw for 235 yards or less in each of his last four games. Prior to that forgettable stretch, the veteran out of Georgia had thrown for 235-plus yards in 25 of his previous 26 games.
  1. Eli Manning recorded one or fewer touchdown passes in 13 of his 16 starts in 2013. He also had more touchdowns than interceptions in a game just three times. Furthermore, Manning's touchdown pass total declined for the third straight season. He's also been picked off 83 times since 2010 -- that's 11 more than any other player.
  1. Alex Smith scored 20-plus fantasy points seven different times this season. That's more than Newton, Luck, Stafford and Rivers -- they all finished ahead of Smith in points at the position. However, in the eight games where he put up fewer than 20 fantasy points, the Utah product averaged a mere 9.13 fantasy points.
  1. Luck finished an impressive fourth in fantasy points among quarterbacks this past season, scoring 292.58 points -- that's an average of 18.3 points per game. Surprisingly though, the Stanford product scored 19-plus fantasy points just four times in his 16 starts. Luck reached the 30-point mark in two of those starts (Week 7, Week 14).
  1. Of the top 16 running backs based on rushing yards in 2012, only one player saw an increase in rushing yards this season: Matt Forte. The Tulane product posted a career-high 1,339 yards on the ground, while setting personal bests in rushing touchdowns, receptions and receiving yards as well. Forte is a lock top-five selection in 2014.
  1. Since 2007, no more than two running backs have finished in the top five in fantasy points in back-to-back seasons. Adrian Peterson did it in four straight years (2007-2010) and five of his last seven years overall. The fantasy superstar hasn't finished worse than eighth in fantasy points among runners during any of those seasons.
  1. Peterson rushed for 2,097 yards in 2012, one of just seven running backs to reach the 2,000-yard mark. Much like the previous six runners, A.D. saw a decided decrease in stats across the board the following season. He missed two games with injuries, rushed for 831 fewer yards and had 103.7 fewer fantasy points compared to his 2012 totals.
  1. The highest rushing total a running back has ever had after a 2,000-yard season is Barry Sanders, who followed up his 2,053-yard campaign in 1997 with 1,491 yards the following season. The biggest drop in terms of yards was Terrell Davis, who missed all but four games the year after running for 2,008 yards on 392 carries in 1998.
  1. Jamaal Charles recorded 215 scrimmage yards (195 as a receiver) and found the end zone five times in Week 15 against the Oakland Raiders, totaling 51.50 fantasy points. That number is the third-best in a single game by a running back since 2000, trailing Clinton Portis (55.40 - 2003) and Shaun Alexander (53.10 - 2002).
  1. Over the last two seasons, a total of six players (Foles, Peyton Manning, Tony Romo, Charles, Doug Martin, Eric Decker) have scored 40-plus fantasy points in a game. In five of those contests, the opposing team came from the AFC West. Also, three of those performances (Martin, Foles, Charles) came against the Oakland Raiders.
  1. Heading into 2013, only three quarterbacks had thrown seven touchdown passes in a single game. It happened twice this year, as Peyton Manning (Week 1) and Nick Foles (Week 9) hit the mark. Neither quarterback threw an interception, either. Only Y.A. Title had seven touchdown passes and no picks in an NFL game before 2013.
  1. The second-best 2013 performance from a runner went to Bobby Rainey, who rushed for 163 yards, scored three touchdowns and 34.70 fantasy points in Week 11 against the Atlanta Falcons. LeSean McCoy was a very close third, rushing for 217 yards with two touchdowns while scoring 34.10 fantasy points in Week 14 against the Detroit Lions.
  1. Charles was the lone back to reach 300 fantasy points in 2013, following in the footsteps of Peterson (2012), Arian Foster (2010) and Chris Johnson (2009) as backs in the last five years to reach that mark. The only season during that time a runner didn't record at least 300 points was 2011, when Ray Rice missed by a mere 3.16 points.
  1. Rice was one of the biggest disappointments in fantasy football, finishing 28th in fantasy points among running backs despite a first-round ADP (5.45). He totaled 75-plus rushing yards once in a game all season, and his 3.6 yards-per-touch average ranked a miserable 52nd in the NFL. Rice's 3.1 YPC average was also a career low.
  1. Of the top 10 running backs based on fantasy points in 2013, only four had an average draft position (ADP) of Round 1. Those players are Charles, McCoy, Marshawn Lynch and Peterson. Four other backs (DeMarco Murray, Eddie Lacy, Fred Jackson, Knowshon Moreno) weren't drafted until the fifth round or beyond on NFL.com.
  1. Charles led all running backs in targets (104), receiving yards (693) and receiving touchdowns (seven). Four of those touchdown catches came in one game (Week 15), where he finished with 51.50 fantasy points. Danny Woodhead was second in receptions (76), receiving yards (605) and touchdown catches (six) among all running backs in 2013.
  1. Charles was a fantasy point-scoring machine, averaging almost one full point per touch (0.94) during the course of the 2013 season. That is the highest point-per-touch average among running backs who led their position in fantasy points over the last five years. The closest is CJ2K, who averaged 0.84 points per touch in 2009.
  1. Peterson's 2012 season was considered one of the most memorable among running backs, as he scored an impressive 307.40 fantasy points. Charles was actually better from a statistical standpoint though, as he scored 308 fantasy points despite the fact that he didn't play in Week 17. His points per game average was just over 20 in 2013.
  1. Charles was the best running back in fantasy football this season, but he doesn't have much of a chance to finish first in fantasy points at his position once again in 2014. In fact, no running back has ranked in that top spot in back-to-back seasons since 2006-07. The runner who accomplished that impressive feat was Tomlinson.
  1. LeSean McCoy finished second in fantasy points among running backs, scored 11 total touchdowns and led the National Football League with 1,607 rushing yards. That total also set a new franchise record for the Philadelphia Eagles. Furthermore, McCoy rushed for 360 more yards than the Atlanta Falcons and more than 10 NFL teams this season.
  1. C.J. Spiller was seventh in fantasy points among running backs and averaged 0.85 points per touch during what was a breakout campaign in 2012. This past season, the Clemson product failed to rank in the top 25 at his position, and his fantasy points per touch dropped to 0.52. His backfield mate, Fred Jackson, averaged 0.71 per touch.
  1. Ryan Mathews proved that he isn't a failure in fantasy football leagues in 2013, but he did most of his damage in the second half of the season. In fact, he recorded 100-plus rushing yards in six of his last 11 games. Believe it or not, Mathews had reached the century mark five times in the 43 games prior to that stretch of success.
  1. A total of four rookie running backs finished in the top 20 at the position based on fantasy points, including Lacy, Le'Veon Bell, Giovani Bernard and Zac Stacy. Lacy led the charge, despite the fact that he saw 15 or fewer carries in four of his 15 starts. Stacy started 12 total games, averaging better than 13 fantasy points.
  1. Between 2009-2011, not a single rookie running back finished better than 17th (Moreno) in fantasy points at the position. Over the last two seasons, six rookie backs have ranked among the 18 best players at the position based on fantasy points -- that includes Martin, Alfred Morris, Trent Richardson, Lacy, Stacy and Bernard.
  1. Lacy started the 2013 season with a combined 15 carries in his first three games, due in large part to a concussion that cost him some playing time. From Weeks 5-17, he averaged 20.7 carries per game -- that total projects to 331 attempts over 16 games. Lacy also scored more rushing touchdowns (seven) than any other player since Week 10.
  1. Stacy carried the football once for the St. Louis Rams over the first four weeks, scoring a combined 0.40 fantasy points. During the final 12 games, all of which he was the starter, Stacy averaged better than 13 fantasy points. Projecting those numbers over 16 games, Stacy would have finished as the sixth-best running back in fantasy football.
  1. In 2012, three rookie running backs finished in the top 10 in fantasy points at the position: Martin, Morris and Richardson. The trio combined for 37 touchdowns. In 2013, Morris finished highest (15th) of the three backs. Their combined touchdown production this past season was 12, less than a third of their rookie totals.
  1. Morris had a down statistical season compared to his breakout rookie campaign of 2012, rushing for 338 yards and six fewer touchdowns. However, the Redskins runner did lead all running backs with 678 yards after contact this season. That's more than both Rice (660) and Richardson (563) recorded in total rushing yards.
  1. Bell is going to be a popular breakout candidate in 2014, due in large part to the success he had a rookie. In 13 games, he averaged better than 13 fantasy points and was projected to record 211.57 fantasy points over a full season of work. That would have been more fantasy points than Lacy, Murray and Peterson.
  1. Based on 2013 (ADP) numbers, Moreno was far and away the best value in fantasy football among running backs. Despite not being drafted until the 15th round (144.06) in most NFL.com leagues (Mikel Leshoure was drafted higher on average), the veteran runner still finished an impressive fifth in total fantasy points at his position.
  1. Quarterback values are on the rise, leaving the running back position on the back burner. In 2010, 11 of the top 25 players based on fantasy points were runners. That number shrunk to six in both 2011 and 2012, and last season just five backs (Charles, McCoy, Forte, Lynch, Moreno) were among the best 25 players in the fantasy world.
  1. Reggie Bush led all Detroit Lions running backs in fantasy points in 12 of 16 games this season. Joique Bell was the team's backfield leader in the other four contests. Adding up those fantasy-point totals for the full season, Bush and Bell would have finished with 252.7 points. That would have ranked fourth among running backs.
  1. Pierre Thomas led the New Orleans Saints with 549 rushing yards this season, making it seven straight campaigns that this franchise has been without a 1,000-yard rusher. In fact, the Saints haven't had a single running back rush for at least 800 yards since the 2006 campaign, when Deuce McAllister recorded 1,057 yards on the ground.
  1. Who said age 30 is a definitive statistical death sentence for all running backs? Fred Jackson (32 years old) and Frank Gore (30 years old) both finished among the 13 best players at their position based on fantasy points in 2013. Furthermore, Gore led all NFL running backs with a solid 57 red zone carries for the Niners.
  1. Darren Sproles, 30, did see a decline in statistical success in standard fantasy leagues and has experienced a drop in overall production for three consecutive seasons. He still finished in the top 25 at the position in PPR leagues, though, and no running back in the entire NFL averaged more yards per touch (6.6) than the veteran.
  1. Steven Jackson rushed for fewer than 85 yards in each of the 12 games he played for the Atlanta Falcons this past season. Furthermore, he has rushed for 85-plus yards just twice in his last 29 games. Jackson also finished 2013 with a career-worst 3.5 yards per carry and failed to rush for 1,000-plus yards since his rookie year (2004).
  1. Willis McGahee led the Cleveland Browns with 377 rushing yards this season, which was the fewest of any team leader at the position. How bad is that statistic? Well, McCoy had 395 yards on the ground after Week 3. Also, a total of four running backs (including McCoy) had more rushing yards in the final four weeks of the year.

Playoff schedule

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The first two rounds of the NFL's postseason schedule for the 2013 season were released Sunday night. More ...

  1. Jets defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson rushed for two touchdowns this season. That's more touchdowns than Foster, Martin and David Wilson rushed for during their injury-shortened 2013 campaigns. Foster (3.23) and Martin (6.22) had average draft positions (ADP) in the first round, while Wilson was a fifth-rounder.
  1. This past season was one of the most consistent at the wide receiver position. Three of the top five, six of the top 10 and seven of the top 12 wideouts (based on fantasy points) from 2012 also reached that same mark in 2013. From 2006-2011, no more than two wideouts per season had gone back-to-back among the top five at the position.
  1. Heading into the 2013 season, no more than two wide receivers had finished in the top five in fantasy points in back-to-back seasons. Three wideouts accomplished that feat in 2012-13, as Calvin Johnson, Brandon Marshall and A.J. Green went back-to-back at the position. Josh Gordon and Demaryius Thomas rounded out the top five.
  1. Despite the fact that he missed the first two games of the season, Gordon still led the National Football League with 1,645 receiving yards. He also scored at least one touchdown in five straight games (Weeks 11-15) -- that was the most for a Browns player since Paul Warfield in 1976. Gordon also averaged 24.7 fantasy points in that time.
  1. For the first time since 2010, Calvin Johnson failed to finish as the top-scoring wide receiver in the league based on fantasy points. He ranked third this season behind both Gordon and Thomas. However, the man nicknamed Megatron did have more 20-plus point fantasy performances (five) than any other wide receiver in the NFL.
  1. In standard 10-team NFL.com leagues, five of the top 10 fantasy wide receivers based on points were picked in one of the first three rounds based on average draft position (ADP). Four other wideouts (Gordon, Alshon Jeffery, Decker, DeSean Jackson) who ranked among the top 10 weren't selected until the ninth round or beyond.
  1. Julio Jones has three 100-yard performances and has scored six touchdowns in 17 career home games. In 17 career games away from the Georgia Dome, however, Jones has posted nine games with 100-plus yards and an impressive 14 touchdown catches. In his last 14 contests on the road, Jones has averaged 98.1 yards per game with 14 touchdowns.
  1. In five games with Jones in the starting lineup for the Falcons, Matt Ryan averaged 19.8 fantasy points and was on pace to finish with 317.3 points. That would have ranked him third among quarterbacks in 2013. Once Jones was lost for the season, however, Ryan averaged a meager 13.5 fantasy points in his remaining 11 contests.
  1. Andre Johnson saw 181 targets this season, which ranked him second among wide receivers behind Pierre Garcon. He also had 90 more targets than any other member of the Texans (DeAndre Hopkins -- 91). All of those targets didn't equate to touchdown production, though, as Johnson found the end zone in just two of 16 games.
  1. Garcon, the NFL's most-targeted wideout in 2013, had 10-plus targets in each of the last 10 games. The league leader in receptions (113) also posted at least five catches in every game this season. Furthermore, his 182 targets were 103 more than any other member of the Washington Redskins. Santana Moss was second with a mere 79.
  1. Larry Fitzgerald had finished no worse than fifth in fantasy points at wide receiver in three of four seasons entering 2012. He fell to 42nd in points that season, though, and was outscored by 69 other receivers over the final four weeks. Fitzgerald moved to 16th in points in 2013, but he failed to reach the 1,000-yard mark again.
  1. Of the 10 most-targeted wide receivers in the NFL last season, no one had a better reception percentage than Julian Edelman. Brady threw him the ball 151 times, with Edelman catching 70 percent of those pass attempts. The wideout with the lowest catch percentage among the top 10 was Vincent Jackson, who hauled in 49 percent of passes.
  1. In 51 total games from Week 4 (2009) to Week 14 (2012), Hakeem Nicks scored a combined 27 touchdowns. In his 18 games since then, the veteran out of North Carolina hasn't scored even once. Nicks also failed to score double-digit fantasy points in all but three of his games last season, while 51 wideouts had more fantasy points than him.
  1. In six games started by Michael Vick this season, Riley Cooper had 10 catches for 106 yards and no touchdowns with no catches of 25-plus yards. In the 10 games started by Nick Foles, Cooper put up 37 grabs for 729 yards and scored seven touchdowns. He also posted 11 catches of 25-plus yards (three catches, 56 yards came from Matt Barkley).
  1. It gets cold in a large portion of the United States in December, but that's when Dez Bryant starts to heat up. In fact, he had a touchdown in each of his last five games of 2013. In 2012, Bryant recorded at least one end zone visit in seven of his last eight games. Overall, he has one score in 11 of his last 13 games in December.
  1. Vincent Jackson finished a respectable 14th in fantasy points among wideouts this past season, posting 1,224 yards and seven touchdowns. He's a far more productive player at home, however. Jackson has found the end zone in eight of his last 15 home games, but has gone without a score in 10 of his last 11 games away from Raymond James Stadium.
  1. Roddy White dealt with injuries for most of the 2013 season, but his numbers rose once he was closer to 100 percent health. After putting up a combined 24.9 fantasy points (3.1 PPG) in his first eight contests, White averaged better than 12 fantasy points in his final four games. That includes three performances with 14-plus fantasy points.
  1. Fantasy owners looking for a sleeper candidate next season should remember the name Cordarrelle Patterson. No wide receiver scored more total touchdowns (five) or fantasy points (64.40) over the final four weeks of the season, including Gordon and Megatron. Patterson had just 33 fewer rushing yards than Reggie Bush in that time as well.
  1. In 2012, the average number of fantasy points scored among the top 10 tight ends was 123.04. No player put up more than 155 points, and just five scored 119-plus points. This past season, the average was 138.01 with three different tight ends scoring over 150 fantasy points. Another four tight ends finished with 119-plus fantasy points.
  1. Of the top 10 tight ends based on fantasy points in 2013, four (Jimmy Graham, Vernon Davis, Tony Gonzalez, Jason Witten) were picked in the first six rounds based on average draft position (ADP). Of the other six, five weren't even selected until Round 12 or later. Julius Thomas (Round 15) finished third in fantasy points at the position.
  1. Between 2006-2011, no fewer than six tight ends had finished in the top 12 based on fantasy points in back-to-back years. Over the last two campaigns, however, only four tight ends have accomplished that same feat. One of those players was Gonzalez, who is likely to announce his retirement after a great NFL career.
  1. Speaking of Gonzalez, we might not see a more consistent tight end in the stat sheets for such an extended period of time. From 2006-2013, the future Hall of Famer finished in the top five in fantasy points among tight ends seven times. His worst finish in the time came in 2010, when he ranked a respectable eighth in points at the position.
  1. Graham led the NFL in touchdown receptions this season with 16, making it the second time in three years a player from his position was the NFL leader in that category. Graham was also the highest-scoring player at his position based on fantasy points with a solid 217.50. He had 56.5 more points than the next-best tight end.
  1. Graham's 217.5 fantasy points this past season were the second-most scored by a tight end behind only Gronkowski's 240.9 points in 2011. Based on 2013 totals, Graham would have been a stud regardless of position -- he would have finished as the sixth-best running back, the top-ranked wideout and the top-ranked defense/special teams unit.
  1. At least one tight end has recorded 1,000-plus receiving yards in each of the last seven seasons. Jason Witten (three), Jimmy Graham (two) and Gonzalez (two) have done it multiple times during that stretch. In the previous seven seasons (2000-2006), a mere two tight ends (Gonzalez, Antonio Gates) were able to reach the 1,000-yard mark.
  1. Gronkowski had the greatest fantasy season ever for a tight end in 2011, posting 18 total scores and an amazing 240.90 points. Since then, the talented tight end has missed a combined 14 games due to neck, back and knee injuries. Gronkowski missed more than half of 2013 ... and still finished 15th in fantasy points among tight ends.
  1. Gronkowski played in just seven games this season due to both back and knee ailments, but when he was active he did make an impact. In fact, the Arizona product averaged 11.9 fantasy points per game. Projected over a full 16 games, Gronkowski would have scored nine touchdowns and ranked second in fantasy points at the tight end position.
  1. Jared Cook recorded seven receptions, 141 yards, two touchdowns and scored an impressive 24.1 fantasy points in a Week 1 win over the Arizona Cardinals. Over his next seven contests, Cook scored a combined 23.4 fantasy points. He would finish the season with 95.1 fantasy points -- 60 percent of those points came in just four games.
  1. Over the last three seasons, at least one kicker has scored 160-plus fantasy points based on NFL.com standard scoring. Two kickers (Stephen Gostkowski, Matt Prater) reached that mark in 2013, while another seven scored at least 143 points. In 2009, the highest-scoring kicker based on fantasy points was David Akers -- he scored just 141 points.
  1. The 2013 season was a memorable one for kickers, both on the field and in fantasy football. An NFL-record 863 field goals were converted, and an all-time high of 96 field goals of 50-plus yards were made. The league also saw a new record for the longest field goal, as Matt Prater kicked a 64-yarder in a Week 14 win over the Tennessee Titans.
  1. Gostkowski finished with 168 fantasy points in 2013. That was more than Rice, Spiller, Fitzgerald, Wes Welker, Vernon Davis and Julius Thomas (to name a few superstar players). Gostkowski would have ranked an impressive 13th in fantasy points among wide receivers and second among tight ends based on his production.
  1. In Week 15, both Dan Bailey and Justin Tucker scored an amazing 22 fantasy points in their respective games. That was tied for the sixth-most fantasy points scored by a kicker since 1960. The best single-game fantasy performance from a kicker came in 2007, when Rob Bironas scored a ridiculous 28 fantasy points for the Tennessee Titans.
  1. Over the last five seasons, no kicker has finished No. 1 in fantasy points in back-to-back seasons. Akers ranked first in 2009, second in 2010 and first again in 2011 before falling to eighth in 2012 and 28th this past campaign. Gostkowski has finished no worse than second in three straight years, but he's only been first once.
  1. The Kansas City Chiefs defense led the league with 204 fantasy points this past season after finishing last in 2012 with a mere 54 points. Their defense ranked second in takeaways in 2013 with 36, while the Philadelphia Eagles finished third with 31. In 2012, the Chiefs and Eagles finished tied for last in the NFL with just 13 takeaways each.
  1. The Jacksonville Jaguars recorded 31 sacks this past season, which was the fewest for any team in the National Football League. It was also the second consecutive campaign that this unit finished dead last in that category. The Jags have now finished 25th or worse in sacking the opposition's quarterback in five consecutive seasons.
  1. During a 12-game stretch of 2013 (Weeks 4-16), the Chicago Bears surrendered an average of 19.9 fantasy points and no fewer than 11.3 points to the opposition's top-scoring running back. In five of the last 10 games during that stretch, an opposing running back scored his high single-game total in fantasy points for the entire season.
  1. Since 2009, no defense/special teams unit has finished No. 1 in fantasy points in back-to-back seasons. The San Francisco 49ers, who were the top fantasy defense in 2011, ranked seventh at the position the following season. That is the highest a defense has finished after ranking No. 1 the previous campaign during this time frame.

Michael Fabiano is an award-winning fantasy football analyst on NFL.com and NFL Network and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. Have a burning question on anything fantasy related? Tweet it to @Michael_Fabiano or send a question via Facebook!

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