101 interesting fantasy facts from the 2014 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 2014 fantasy football season and beyond to unearth 101 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 stats.

Special thanks to NFL research extraordinaire Careen Falcone for her help with this column. You can follow her at @FalconeC.

  1. A total of four players (Ben Roethlisberger, Marshawn Lynch, Jonas Gray, Le'Veon Bell) scored 40-plus fantasy points in a single game this season. In two of those four contests (Roethlisberger, Gray), the opposing team was the Indianapolis Colts.
  1. A total of 12.57 percent of fantasy owners who had the sixth overall pick in their NFL.com drafts won their league, which was the highest of any draft slot. A total of 73 percent of owners who took a running back in the first round won their league, with the next closest being quarterback (11 percent). The lesson here ... take running backs early and wait on quarterbacks.
  1. Giants rookie wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. was the player who appeared on the most NFL.com fantasy championship rosters (40.5 percent), followed by Broncos running back C.J. Anderson (29.8 percent). In an ironic twist, both of those players were added off the waiver wire rather than in drafts.
  1. The Philadelphia Eagles set single-season franchise records in points scored (474) and total touchdowns (54). The team scored 11 return touchdowns, the third-highest total in NFL history. Ten different Eagles scored a return touchdown in 2014, the most in a single season in NFL history.
  1. J.J. Watt became the only player in NFL history with three touchdown receptions, an interception returned for a touchdown and a fumble recovery touchdown in the same season. His three receiving touchdowns are more than Vernon Davis, Larry Fitzgerald, Vincent Jackson and Wes Welker in 2014.
  1. The value of fantasy quarterbacks continued to rise in 2014. Sixteen signal-callers reached the 250-fantasy point plateau, which marks the fourth consecutive season that number has increased. That number has also doubled since 2010, when there were eight quarterbacks with 250-plus fantasy points. A total of 17 quarterbacks finished in the top 25 in fantasy points in 2014, which is the second-most since 2009.
  1. Nine different quarterbacks threw for at least 30 touchdowns in 2014, the most ever in a single season. The NFL is truly a passing league.
  1. There have been eight quarterbacks who have thrown for 40 or more touchdowns in a single season. Of those eight quarterbacks, Drew Brees is the only player to throw for at least 40 touchdowns again in the following season (2011-12). Andrew Luck was the lone quarterback with 40 touchdown passes in 2014.
  1. Although Luck led the NFL in fantasy points through the first nine weeks of the season (25.5 PPG), his production dropped significantly in the second half. He averaged 17.4 points over the final seven weeks, which ranked 19th overall. In the fantasy playoffs (Weeks 14-16), Luck averaged 13.1 PPG ... that ranked 23rd among quarterbacks. Luck was also second in giveaways with 22, trailing just Jay Cutler.
  1. Cutler threw eight touchdown passes in the Bears' first three games this season, breaking Sid Luckman's previous franchise record (seven in 1946). Despite his hot start, this was still arguably Cutler's most disappointing year of his career ... one that saw him benched for Jimmy Clausen at the end of the season. Cutler still managed to finish 14th among quarterbacks in fantasy points (255.58), though.
  1. Aaron Rodgers has finished no worse than second in fantasy points among quarterbacks in five of the last six seasons. The only season he finished outside of the top two was in 2013, when he missed seven games with a broken collarbone.
  1. Rodgers did not throw an interception at home this season. His 36 touchdowns and 418 pass attempts without an interception on his home field are both NFL records. Since 1960, only one field general has started all eight home games in a single season and not thrown a single interception. That quarterback was Tom Brady in 2003.
  1. At the age of 38, Peyton Manning is the oldest player in NFL history to score 300-plus fantasy points in a single season. He had 312.68 points in 2014 ... that was almost 100 fewer points than he scored in 2013, however.
  1. In his first 11 games of 2014, Peyton Manning averaged 23.96 fantasy points and was on pace to finish with 359.35 points. That would have ranked him first among quarterbacks. His production declined in the final four weeks, however, as Manning averaged 10.19 fantasy points and finished with 312.68.
  1. Over the final four weeks of the NFL's regular season, no quarterback scored more fantasy points than Tony Romo (85.98). In fact, his point total was more than double the output of Peyton Manning (36.60 points) during that time span. Romo had 12 touchdown passes and one interception, while Manning tossed just three scoring strikes and had six picks.
  1. Blake Bortles, Shaun Hill, Kyle Orton, Derek Carr, Teddy Bridgewater and Geno Smith were among the 26 quarterbacks who scored more fantasy points than Peyton Manning from Weeks 14-17.
  1. Carr was the highest-scoring rookie quarterback this season, ranking a mere 20th at his position based on fantasy points. That makes this the second year in a row that the top rookie signal-caller finished 20th, with Geno Smith finishing in that slot in 2013. In 2012, three different rookie signal-callers (Robert Griffin III, Luck, Russell Wilson) finished among the 10 best players at their position.
  1. Wilson ranked just 15th in passing yards (3,475) and 16th in touchdown passes (20), but he still finished third among quarterbacks in the league based on fantasy points (327.60). That's due in large part to his finishing first among all signal-callers in rushing yards (849) and rushing touchdowns (6). Wilson also threw just seven interceptions all season long.
  1. Wilson has seen his fantasy point ranking among quarterbacks increase in each of his first three seasons. He finished third, with a career-high 327.60 fantasy points, in 2014. Wilson had three games with at least 100 yards rushing, joining Vick as the lone quarterbacks with at least three 100-yard rushing games in a single season in the Super Bowl era (since 1966).
  1. Proving that you can find good value late in drafts at the quarterback position, only three of the top 10 signal-callers based on fantasy points (Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Rodgers) were picked within the first two rounds based on average draft position (ADP). Six other field generals who reached that level of success were drafted in the sixth round or later on NFL.com.
  1. Roethlisberger finished fifth in fantasy points among quarterbacks this season, but he wasn't very consistent in the stat sheets. In fact, he recorded fewer than 16 fantasy points in half of his starts. Furthermore, more than 50 percent of his 306.18 fantasy points came in a mere five games.
  1. Big Ben recorded 522 passing yards, six touchdowns and no turnovers in Week 8 against the Colts, totaling 44.78 fantasy points. That number is the highest in a single game this season. He also became the first player in NFL history with six touchdown passes in back-to-back games (Weeks 8-9). Roethlisberger also had two 500-yard passing games, the first player in NFL history to achieve that feat.
  1. Based on average draft position, Roethlisberger was the best value in fantasy football among quarterbacks. Despite not being drafted until the 13th round (129th overall) in most NFL.com leagues, Big Ben finished fifth in fantasy points among quarterbacks.
  1. Brees failed to finish among the top two in fantasy points for the first time since 2010, which was the year he was featured on the cover of the Madden video game. Although he tied Roethlisberger for the most passing yards in the NFL (4,952) and finished sixth in fantasy points, Brees had his worst statistical campaign in the last four years.
  1. Colin Kaepernick had a strong start to the fantasy season, ranking 6th among quarterbacks in the first six weeks (18.8 PPG). He struggled over the final ten weeks, however, averaging 12.9 fantasy PPG (22nd among QBs) despite posting 27.66 points in Week 16. He also finished without throwing a touchdown pass in the fourth quarter all season. The last quarterback to start 16 games and fail to throw for a score in the fourth quarter was Michael Vick (2006).
  1. Ryan Tannehill threw for a career-high 4,045 yards this season. He is the only Dolphins quarterback other than Dan Marino to throw for 4,000 yards in a single NFL campaign. Marino accomplished the feat six times during his Hall of Fame career.
  1. Eli Manning finished the season with 4,410 passing yards and 30 touchdown passes (both second-best in his career), but he still finished outside of the top 10 in fantasy points among all quarterbacks with 269.5. In 2010, that would have been good enough to finish sixth overall at the position.
  1. Tom Brady averaged a mere 9.31 fantasy points (four TD passes) in his first four games. Over his next five starts, he averaged 27.2 points (18 TD passes). He would go on to record 17-plus fantasy points in four of his last six games, though he did post a 10.28-point stinker in fantasy championship week.
  1. The 2014 fantasy playoffs were not memorable for Brady and some of the other top quarterbacks. In Weeks 14-16, Rodgers (16.2), Luck (13.1), Peyton Manning (9.4), and Matthew Stafford (13.5) all fell out of the top ten among quarterbacks (based on points). The signal callers who came through in the playoffs were Wilson (25.7), Matt Ryan (23.3) and Romo (22.7). All three were drafted in the eighth round or later in most NFL.com leagues.
  1. The Cleveland Browns finished what was a dreadful 2014 season for their signal callers. In the final six weeks, their quarterbacks threw for a combined one touchdown and were intercepted 11 times. In that same time frame, Romo threw 16 touchdown passes.
  1. A total of 16 running backs reached the 150-fantasy point plateau this season, the lowest number since 2009 (13). Top fantasy back DeMarco Murray had 294.10 fantasy points, which was the lowest for a leading runner since DeAngelo Williams (2008). Not a single back scored 300 fantasy points either. That hadn't happened since 2011 (Ray Rice).
  1. Murray played in all 16 games for the first time in his NFL career during what was an historic 2014 season. He finished with an NFL-best 1,845 rushing yards and rushed for 100 or more yards 12 different times, passing Emmitt Smith in both categories to set new single-season franchise records.
  1. Murray rushed for 605 more yards than the Oakland Raiders, and more than 20 different NFL teams this season.
  1. Murray finished with 392 carries on the season. In the Super Bowl era, nine other running backs have carried the football 390 or more times in a single campaign (Eric Dickerson did it twice). Almost all of them saw a decline (some of them significant) in production the following season.
  1. Murray led the NFL in touches (449) and scrimmage yards (2,261), but he averaged just 0.66 fantasy points per touch during the course of the 2014 season. That was the lowest point-per-touch average among running backs who led their position in fantasy points since Charles White in 1987 (0.60).
  1. While Murray was the best running back in fantasy football, he doesn't have much of a chance to finish first in fantasy points at his position once again in 2015. In fact, no running back has ranked in that top spot in back-to-back seasons since LaDainian Tomlinson in 2006-2007.
  1. Of the top 16 running backs based on rushing yards in 2013, only two players saw an increase in rushing yards this season. Those two players were Murray and Marshawn Lynch.
  1. Lynch finished third among running backs in fantasy points this season, and has now finished no worse than fifth at the position in each of the last four NFL campaigns. The last running back to do that was Adrian Peterson (2007-2010).
  1. Lynch has recorded 1,305 combined touches over the last four seasons. That is the most of any running back in the league (LeSean McCoy and Matt Forte rank second and third) during that time. The California product, who will turn 29 in April, has also led the league in rushing yards (5,357) and rushing touchdowns (48) since 2011.
  1. Lynch has rushed for 14 more touchdowns than any other running back in the league over the last four seasons. McCoy and Peterson are tied for second with 34 rushing touchdowns, though the latter missed the entire 2014 campaign.
  1. McCoy was one of the bigger disappointments in fantasy football, finishing 12th in fantasy points among running backs despite a first-round ADP. He totaled five touchdowns, while backfield mates Darren Sproles and Chris Polk combined for 10 scores. McCoy also failed to reach 20 fantasy points in any single game this season. His 171.40 fantasy points were less than C.J. Anderson, Jeremy Hill, Lamar Miller and Justin Forsett.
  1. Hill is the lone rookie to finish in the top 20 in fantasy points among running backs this season (10th). Four rookie running backs finished in the top 20 at the position in 2013, while three ranked in the top 20 in 2012. Hill is also the third rookie in NFL history to rush for 140-plus yards in four different games, joining Eric Dickerson (five in 1983) and Curtis Martin (four in 1995). He also led the league in rushing yards (929) since Week 9.
  1. Based on his 2014 numbers, Forsett was one of the best waiver wire adds in fantasy football. Despite being undrafted in most NFL.com leagues, he finished eighth in total fantasy points at his position. His 5.4 yards-per-carry average led all running backs in the NFL and was also the highest in Ravens history.
  1. Le'Veon Bell led the NFL in yards after the catch this season with 841, followed closely by Matt Forte with 837. The last running back to lead the league in this category was McCoy (760) in 2010. Both Bell and Forte finished in the top five in fantasy points among running backs.
  1. Bell also joined Walter Payton (1977) as the only players in NFL history with 200-plus scrimmage yards in three consecutive games. Bell averaged 29.8 fantasy points per game during that span (Weeks 11-14).
  1. Forte had 102 receptions this season, which is the most by a running back in a single season in NFL history. He joined Tomlinson and Larry Centers as the only backs with 100-plus receptions in a single NFL season. Forte also had 1,038 rushing yards, joining Tomlinson as the lone runners in NFL history with 100-plus receptions and 1,000-plus rushing yards in a single season.
  1. Arian Foster missed three games in 2014 due to injuries, but he still finished fifth in fantasy points (235.50) at his position. If you project his totals over a full 16 games, he would have recorded 289.85 points ... that would have been good enough to finish second overall among running backs.
  1. Foster has finished no worse than fifth in fantasy points among running backs in each of his last four full seasons. Since 2010, he has ranked third in touches (1,556), third in scrimmage yards (8,000) and second in rushing touchdowns (50). Foster missed a combined 14 games during that span. He'll turn 29 in August.
  1. Eddie Lacy rushed for 1,139 yards and scored 13 scrimmage touchdowns, becoming the first player in Packers franchise history to rush for at least 1,000 yards and score 10-plus scrimmage touchdowns in each of his first two seasons. Lacy has also finished in the top six in fantasy points among running backs in each of his first two seasons.
  1. Mark Ingram led the New Orleans Saints with 964 rushing yards, making it eight straight campaigns that this franchise has been without a 1,000-yard rusher. Ingram finished his breakout 2014 ranked 15th in fantasy points among running backs despite missing three games with a broken hand. His 964 yards are the most for a Saints running back in a season since Deuce McAllister (1,057) in 2006.
  1. The best 2014 performance by a running back was by Jonas Gray, who rushed for 201 yards, scored four touchdowns and piled up 44.10 fantasy points against the Colts (Week 11). Gray was not activated until Week 7, and did not have a rushing touchdown in his career prior to the game. He is the fourth player in NFL history to score his first four career touchdowns in the same game.
  1. The week after Gray scored 44.10 fantasy points, he failed to see a single touch and finished with zero points. That's just more proof that Bill Belichick hates our fantasy football teams.
  1. Gray led the New England Patriots with a mere 412 rushing yards in just eight games played this season, the fewest of any team leader at the position. In contrast, Murray had 534 yards on the ground after the first four weeks of the 2014 campaign.
  1. Matt Asiata finished the season with nine rushing touchdowns, which tied for third in the NFL and were more than McCoy, Reggie Bush and Zac Stacy combined. In weeks where Asiata received double-digit carries (10 games), he averaged 12.88 fantasy points per game in standard leagues. He also had two games with three rushing touchdowns, and now has three career games with three rushing touchdowns. That is the most of any undrafted player in his first three seasons in the common draft era (since 1967).
  1. Despite their offensive struggles, the Cleveland Browns were fourth in the NFL in rushing touchdowns (17) this season. Rookie running backs Isaiah Crowell (607) and Terrance West (673) became the first rookies in franchise history to run for at least 500 yards apiece in the same season. Both fell short of cracking the top 25 in fantasy points at their position this season, however.
  1. The Oakland Raiders finished the 2014 season with a mere four rushing touchdowns. Lynch (Week 10) and Gray (Week 11) each rushed for four touchdowns in a single game this season.
  1. Heading into the 2014 season, only one wide receiver had finished in the top five in fantasy points among their position in three straight seasons (Calvin Johnson 2011-13) since 2009. This season, Demaryius Thomas became the second, when he finished with 229.90 points (3rd). Thomas set a Broncos franchise single-season record with 1,619 receiving yards, surpassing Rod Smith (1,602 in 2000).
  1. A combined 11 wide receivers scored 10 or more touchdowns this season. That ties for the most in a single season in NFL history (1995). A total of 10 different wideouts scored at least 10 touchdowns in 2004, 2007, 2010 and 2013.
  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 (Odell Beckham Jr., Emmanuel Sanders, Jeremy Maclin, Mike Evans) who ranked among the top 10 weren't selected until the eighth round or beyond.
  1. Based on 2014 (ADP) numbers, Maclin was one of the best values in fantasy football among wide receivers. Despite not being drafted until the 11th round (103.68) in most NFL.com leagues, he finished ninth in fantasy points at his position. Maclin set career highs in receptions (85) and receiving yards (1,318), and tied a career high in touchdowns with 10. It was the first 1,000-yard season by an Eagles wide receiver other than DeSean Jackson since Kevin Curtis had 1,1110 yards in 2007.
  1. The 2014 campaign was the year of the rookie wide receiver. Three youngsters posted at least 1,000 receiving yards this season ... Beckham Jr. (1,305), Evans (1,051) and Kelvin Benjamin (1,008). It's the most rookie wideouts to reach that milestone in a single season in NFL history. All three players also finished top 20 among wide receivers in fantasy points.
  1. Based on fantasy points among rookie wideouts since 1965, Beckham Jr. finished second (204.00) while Mike Evans finished fifth (177.10) all time. The rookie wide receiver with the most fantasy points since 1965? That would be Randy Moss, who had 231.70 points in 1998.
  1. Beckham Jr. and Evans each had 12 touchdowns receptions this season ... that's the first time two rookie wide receivers have had at least 10 touchdowns catches in the same season.
  1. Evans became one of only six players (along with Beckham Jr.) in the last 30 seasons with at least 10 touchdown catches in his rookie campaign (12). In Week 11, Evans became the youngest player in NFL history to record a 200-yard receiving game (209) at 21 years, 87 days old.
  1. Beckham Jr's 204.00 fantasy points through his first 12 career games are a record for a wide receiver. His 91 receptions, 1,305 receiving yards and 12 touchdowns are the most through a player's first 11 games in the Super Bowl era. He also had 90-plus receiving yards in nine consecutive games, joining Michael Irvin as the only players in NFL history to accomplish this feat.
  1. Beckham Jr. and Jarvis Landry, who were college teammates at LSU, became the first rookies from the same college to lead their teams in receptions in the same season since the 1970 merger.
  1. If Dolphins offensive coordinator Bill Lazor increases Landry's role in 2015, he could be a major weapon for fantasy owners. He hauled in 84 receptions this season, which led the team. It is also the most in team history for a rookie, passing the mark set by running back Terry Kirby (75) in 1993.
  1. Martavis Bryant debuted for the Steelers in Week 7 and made an immediate impact for fantasy owners, catching 14 passes for 310 yards (22.1 YPC) with six touchdowns in his first four contests. That set a record for the most scoring catches of any NFL player in his first four career games. Bryant, also a rookie, had 67.3 fantasy points during that span. That was second-most among wide receivers.
  1. Antonio Brown's 251.90 fantasy points were the 8th-most in a season among wide receivers in NFL history. His 129 receptions are the second-most in a season in NFL history, marking the first time a Steeler has led the NFL in receptions in a season. Brown's 1,698 receiving yards makes him the second Steelers player to ever lead the NFL in receiving yards.
  1. Dez Bryant has the most receiving yards of any Cowboys player in their first five seasons (5,424). He also has 56 receiving touchdowns since entering the league in 2010, which is the most in the NFL.
  1. Bryant had six receiving touchdowns in the last three weeks of the season, which was tied for most in the NFL. The month of December is when Bryant seems to heat up, recording at least one end-zone visit in seven of his last eight games. Overall, Bryant has 19 December touchdowns since he entered the league in 2010 ... that is five more than any other player.
  1. Julio Jones had the best season of his career, setting a single-season franchise record with 1,593 yards and hauling in a career-high 104 receptions. In the first 11 weeks, he averaged 10.92 fantasy points. In the last five, however he averaged 22.50 fantasy points. He also had more receiving yards per game (153.3) than any other player during that span.
  1. Since 2009, there has not been two wide receivers from the same team to finish in the top six among wide receivers in fantasy points in the same season. That changed this year with Jordy Nelson (second) and Randall Cobb (sixth). Thanks to this duo, the Packers became the first team in NFL history to have two players with 1,200-plus receiving yards and 12-plus touchdown catches in a season.
  1. Steve Smith Sr. started his career as a Baltimore Raven with a bang, recording 429 receiving yards (107.3 YPG) and 60.9 fantasy points in his first six contests, both good enough to rank third among wide receivers. Unfortunately that trend did a 180-degree turn. Over his next 12 contests, the veteran wideout totaled just 636 yards (53.0 YPG) in the air.
  1. At least one tight end has recorded 1,000-plus yards in each of the last eight seasons (eight different players). Rob Gronkowski achieved the feat in 2014, posting 1,124 yards. In the previous eight seasons, just two tight ends (Tony Gonzalez, Antonio Gates) were able to reach the 1,000-yard mark.
  1. Gronkowski finished first in fantasy points among tight ends with 184.40 points, 30.3 more points than the second-best tight end, Antonio Gates. He scored at least one touchdown in 11 games, including three in a Week 8 win over the Bears. In that contest, Gronkowski scored 32.9 fantasy points to lead all tight ends in a single-game performance.
  1. Gronkowski's 32.9 points in that game were more than Vernon Davis scored in the last 15 weeks of the season combined.
  1. Davis was a monumental disappointment in both fantasy and reality this season. He finished 36th among tight ends in fantasy points (36.90) after being drafted in the fifth round in most NFL.com leagues (49th overall).
  1. Davis scored two touchdowns and 16.4 fantasy points in the Week 1 opener in Dallas. He would go on to score zero touchdowns and a combined 20.5 points the rest of the season.
  1. Gates was one of the top draft bargains in fantasy football, as he finished second in points among tight ends despite being picked in Round 13 on average on NFL.com. It was the first time the future Hall of Famer had broken into the top-five tight ends based on fantasy points since 2010, when he finished second behind Jason Witten.
  1. Jimmy Graham finished third in fantasy points among tight ends, but he scored 72.6 fewer points than he did in 2013. Also, Graham (144.9 points) finished with fewer fantasy points than any of the other members of the top 10 overall selections on NFL.com based on average draft position.
  1. A total of 23.17 percent of Graham owners lost their fantasy championship because of his fumble on the goal line in Week 16, as opposed to if the play had been called a touchdown.
  1. Julius Thomas had seven touchdowns through Week 4, the most by a tight end in his team's first four games to begin a season in NFL history. He also became the first tight end ever to record back-to-back 12-touchdown seasons.
  1. Unfortunately, Thomas would score just three touchdowns the rest of the 2014 campaign. He was slowed by injuries for much of the season, which was a big reason he dropped to seventh in fantasy points among tight ends at season's end. Although Thomas is a touchdown machine overall, he ranked a mere 20th at his position in both targets and receptions, and 19th in yards.
  1. Greg Olsen is coming off the best statistical season of his career, posting 84 catches for 1,008 yards and six touchdowns while finishing fourth in fantasy points at tight end. He's been the model of consistency when it comes to finding the end zone too, as Olsen has put up at least five touchdowns in seven consecutive seasons. Not bad for a player with an ADP of Round 8 on NFL.com.
  1. Martellus Bennett scored four touchdowns in September 2014 and has now found the end zone 10 times during the month during in his career (24 games). In the months of October, November and December, he has scored a combined 10 touchdowns (84 games). So ... 50 percent of his career visits to the end zone have come in the first month of the season.
  1. Out of the top 10 tight ends based on fantasy points in 2014, seven had an average draft position of Round 6 or later. Four of those seven tight ends weren't drafted until Round 12, a list that includes Bennett, Coby Fleener, Travis Kelce and Delanie Walker.
  1. Over the last three seasons, at least one kicker has scored 158 or more fantasy points based on NFL.com standard scoring. Two kickers (Stephen Gostkowski, Cody Parkey) reached that mark in 2014, while another five scored at least 141 points. In 2009, the highest-scoring kicker based on fantasy points was David Akers ... he scored 141 points.
  1. Since 2009, no kicker has finished first at the position in fantasy points in back-to-back seasons ... that is, until Stephen Gostkowski tied Cody Parkey for the top spot in 2014. His 158.00 fantasy points were more than Calvin Johnson, A.J. Green and DeSean Jackson recorded this season.
  1. Gostkowski and Parkey would have been the 16th-ranked running back, the 12th-ranked wide receiver and the second highest-scoring tight end based on their fantasy point production. Who says kickers can't help you win a fantasy championship?
  1. Parkey was tremendous both in fantasy in reality. Not only did he tie Gostkowski for the most fantasy points scored among kickers, but he also set the NFL record for most points scored by a rookie (150). Parkey was undrafted out of Auburn and acquired by the Eagles in an August trade with the Colts.
  1. In Week 12, Parkey scored an amazing 21 fantasy points. That was the seventh-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 28 fantasy points for the Tennessee Titans.
  1. Adam Vinatieri finished third in fantasy points among kickers, his best seasonal ranking as a member of the Colts. He made 30 of his 31 field goal attempts and posted a career-best 96.8 conversion percentage, to go along with an impressive 50 extra points (second-most in his career). Not bad for a 42-year-old.
  1. Since 2009, no defense has finished first at the position in fantasy points in back-to-back seasons. The highest a defense has finished after ranking No. 1 in the previous campaign during this time frame was the San Francisco 49ers, who ranked seventh in 2012 after finishing in the top spot the season prior.
  1. The top three fantasy defenses this season (Philadelphia Eagles, Buffalo Bills and Houston Texans) were all picked in the 14th round or later in NFL.com fantasy football drafts. The Seahawks, who had an ADP of 49th overall (5th round) finished sixth among defenses in fantasy points.
  1. The highest-scoring fantasy defense in 2013 was the Kansas City Chiefs with 204 points. The Eagles ranked 14th. In 2014, Philadelphia led all defenses with 177 fantasy points. The Chiefs ranked 15th, scoring 82 fewer points than the previous campaign.
  1. The Seattle Seahawks (15.9 PPG) led the NFL in fewest points allowed for the third consecutive season ... that's the first team to lead the league in scoring defense in three straight seasons since the Minnesota Vikings did it in 1969-71.
  1. The Chicago Bears have scored the most fantasy points among defenses in a single season since 2009, racking up an impressive 222 points in 2012. Over the last two seasons, however, the Bears defense has scored 216 fantasy points combined.
  1. The 49ers led all defenses in interceptions this past season with 23. That is the fewest team picks to lead the league since 1994, when the Arizona Cardinals also had 23 interceptions. The Niners and Cards now share the record for the fewest team interceptions to lead the league in the Super Bowl era.
  1. The Jacksonville Jaguars recorded 31 sacks in 2013, which was the fewest for any team in the National Football League. It was also the second consecutive campaign that this unit had finished dead last in that category. In 2014, however, Jacksonville ranked tied for sixth in sacks with 45 ... that was more than the Detroit Lions and the Seahawks.
  1. The defense that finished with the fewest sacks this season was the Cincinnati Bengals (20). That's quite a surprise for a team that had recorded 40-plus sacks in each of the previous three seasons. Not surprisingly, the Bengals finished 23rd in fantasy points among defenses.

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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