Fantasy points per touch: 2017 quarterback recap

Fantasy football is all about points. The more you score, the better chance you have to win.

(It ain't rocket science, folks).

While the final scoring leaders offer a look at how well a player performed in the stat sheets, it fails to offer us a complete picture on how good the player really was for fantasy fans. Case in point, Deshaun Watson ranked 26th in points among quarterbacks this past season. However, he averaged more points per completion and rush attempt than every other quarterback in the league. So, the rookie from Clemson was the most prolific player every time he stepped onto the gridiron. In fact, his full-season projections (based on his seven games) would have put him ahead of every other signal-caller in the entire NFL.

So, let's take a deeper look at the numbers to see how our heroes performed when the football was in their hands. In the case of the quarterbacks, here are the position's top 20 players (minimum of seven games) ranked based on a combination of completed passes, rush attempts and the positive points they gained via passing and rushing yards in addition to total touchdowns.

1. Deshaun Watson, Houston Texans (1.04 FPPT): Watson's numbers based on the games he played were nothing short of ridiculous. In fact, his point-per-game average in his six starts would have been more than LaDainian Tomlinson's record total of 427 standard points in 2006. The Clemson product averaged 1.14 points per rush attempt, which led all quarterbacks, and he was also the lone signal-caller to average more than a point per touch. While he is coming off his second ACL tear since 2014, Watson's upside is going to be tough to pass on if he drops out of the top 50 overall selections in 2018 fantasy drafts.

2. Carson Wentz, Philadelphia Eagles (0.86 FPPT): Some might forget about Wentz's high level of success prior to injuring his knee because Nick Foles went on to lead the Eagles to their first Super Bowl in franchise history. However, it's hard to overlook the fact that he averaged 21.7 points per game and was on pace to be better than every quarterback in the league outside of Russell Wilson. Watson was the lone player to average more points per touch, but one could argue that Wentz was more impressive because he sustained that level over 13 games. His return from knee surgery will be a big storyline this offseason.

3. Russell Wilson, Seattle Seahawks (0.80 FPPT): The highest-scoring player in fantasy football this past season, Wilson ranked second in points via completion (295.32) and points per rush attempt (76.6) among qualifying quarterbacks. The fact that he was the entire Seahawks offense (he led the team in passing yards, passing touchdowns, rush attempts, rushing yards, rushing touchdowns ... you get the point) made him a fantasy superstar, and Wilson now figures to be one of the first quarterbacks off the board in 2018 drafts. With that said, you almost have to expect some level of regression after a career year.

4. Jared Goff, Los Angeles Rams (0.79 FPPT): Raise your hand if you saw this one coming in the preseason. (Alright, Sean McVay, you can put your hand down). Goff's fourth-place finish is impressive, as he was 17th in pass completions among quarterbacks. Of course, you can understand that stat when you consider what Todd Gurley was doing out of the backfield. Goff simply didn't need to throw the football as much as Matthew Stafford or Kirk Cousins, for example. The California product will be on the radar as a No. 2 fantasy quarterback next season, but a major jump in his statistical success shouldn't be expected.

5. Alex Smith, Kansas City Chiefs (0.74 FPPT): Another stunner, no one predicted the statistical success Smith had in what would be his final season in Kansas City. He blew most of his previous career bests out of the water, posting better than 4,000 passing yards for the first time while accounting for 27 touchdowns. Smith, who ranked 13th in pass attempts, also had an average of 0.75 points per completion. That ranked eighth among qualified quarterbacks and sixth among those with at least 13 starts. Still, he won't be drafted as more than a No. 2 quarterback with Washington in 2018.

6. Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers (0.73 FPPT): Rodgers missed nine games due to injuries last season, but he was as good as expected when he was out on the gridiron. Just five quarterbacks averaged more fantasy points per completion among those with at least seven games, and just two (Watson, Wentz) beat his average by more than 0.08 points. While the Packers core of wide receivers could look different next season if the team decides to release veterans Jordy Nelson or Randall Cobb in the coming months, but Rodgers will remain one of the first (if not the first) signal-caller picked in all 2018 re-draft leagues.

T-7. Tom Brady, New England Patriots (0.72 FPPT): Father Time has nothing on Brady, who basically broke every record for a quarterback at his extended age of 40. No signal-caller in the league scored more points off completions (299.08), which shouldn't be a surprise when you consider his lack of mobility. Brady, who will turn 41 in August, is going to go down as the greatest (fantasy) player ever take a snap at the pro level. The doubters will be out there ahead of 2018, but I won't be one of them.

T-7 Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers (0.72 FPPT): Rivers and Brady were almost carbon copies of each other when it came to fantasy points scored, as the former ranked fourth in points via completion and 59th in points per rush attempt. In fact, he had the lowest total in that category (-0.2) among quarterbacks with at least eight games played. Rivers, who ranked just behind Brady and Rodgers in points per completion (0.76), should be just as productive next season in an offense that should get a bigger impact from Mike Williams. He'll be a nice target for fantasy fans at some point in the late rounds.

9. Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys (0.71 FPPT): It was a tale of two seasons for Prescott, who averaged 20 fantasy points in games with Ezekiel Elliott but finished in the top 10 among quarterbacks just once in six games without him. While his passing totals suffered and his interceptions went from four as a rookie to 13 last season, Prescott was still effective as a rusher. In fact, he ranked third at the position in terms of points scored via rushing attempts (71.7). With Zeke's suspension now served in full and a new season ahead, I like Prescott to emerge as one of the better fantasy draft bargains of 2018.

T-10. Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers (0.70 FPPT): Newton, despite a rough start to the season, finished second in fantasy points among quarterbacks. But here's the real stat you need to know ... 38 percent of his fantasy points (111.4) came via rushing attempts. In fact, no other quarterback scored even 80 points on the ground. On the flip side, 16 signal-callers had more points via pass completions than the player we know as Superman. Panthers quarterbacks coach Scott Turner won't discourage Newton from running the ball next season, however, so he'll remain a dual threat and a top-five option at his position.

T-10. Kirk Cousins, Washington Redskins (0.70 FPPT): The 2017 campaign was the last for Cousins in a Redskins uniform, but I doubt it was his last as a top-10 fantasy quarterback. The sixth-rated field general based on points, he finished sixth in points via pass completion (271.72) but was also a solid ninth in points per rush attempt (0.81). Of course, it helps when you score four touchdowns on the ground.

Michael Fabiano is the senior fantasy analyst for NFL Digital Media and NFL Network and a member of the Fantasy Sports Writers Association (FSWA) Hall of Fame. For the most up-to-date fantasy football news, updates and analysis, follow Michael on **Twitter**, **Facebook** and **Instagram**!

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