Top 30 fantasy quarterbacks ranked by 2015 FPPT

Points. Points. Points. Score a lot of them in fantasy football, and you're considered an elite player. But here's the thing ... point totals, high or low, can sometimes deceive us. To find the real truth about a player's value or production, you have to dig a bit deeper. Does a player produce with fewer attempts or touches? Does he need a lot of work to make an impact, or did injuries leave a player with potential from making a leap to the next level?

One method that I like to use to answer these questions is looking at which players scored the most (or least) fantasy points per touch. So in the case of a quarterback, we can break down what averages he produced by using total attempts (passes, rushes). In some cases, the results are obvious. In others, however, the FPPT (fantasy points per touch) average can paint a different picture than the simple overall fantasy point total.

Let's take a look at the top 30 fantasy quarterbacks from 2015 and rank them not by total points, but by their FPPT average.

1. Cam Newton, Panthers (0.62 FPPT): Newton ranked 20th in completions among quarterbacks, but he made those completions count with 35 touchdown passes or one touchdown strike for each 8.4 completions. Of course, Newton's point per touch total as a runner didn't hurt either. Superman averaged almost a full fantasy point (0.93) for each of his 132 rush attempts.

2. Russell Wilson, Seahawks (0.57 FPPT): Wilson, who had a slow statistical start to last season, finished with his best point-per-touch average at the NFL level. He also had more pass attempts, completions and a personal-best 68.1 completion percentage. Wilson averaged almost 0.60 fantasy points per rush attempt despite scoring just one rushing touchdown.

3. Tyrod Taylor, Bills (0.56 FPPT): Your fantasy radars should be going off with this stat. Taylor, who finished 16th in fantasy points among quarterbacks, did damage when he touched the ball. He also was a massive asset as a runner, averaging 0.77 fantasy points per rush last season. If he can avoid injuries, Taylor could turn into quite a nice draft bargain in 2016.

T-4. Carson Palmer, Cardinals (0.56 FPPT): One of the five best quarterbacks in fantasy football a season ago, Palmer completed 63.7 percent of his passes (his best total in the last eight campaigns). He also set a personal high with an 8.7 yards-per-attempt average. Surprisingly, Palmer didn't even rank in the top 12 in completions among NFL signal-callers.

T-4. Andy Dalton, Bengals (0.55 FPPT): Dalton was on pace to be a top-10 fantasy quarterback before a busted thumb cost him the final two-plus games of last season. He also made the most of his touches, averaging more than half a fantasy point when the football was in his hands. Now, let's see what the Bengals do to replace wideouts Marvin Jones and Mohamed Sanu.

6. Tom Brady, Patriots (0.52 FPPT): Brady ranked third in pass attempts and fourth in completions last season, which makes sense as the Patriots threw the football 63.5 percent of the time. The team needs to improve on their ground attack in 2016, but Brady is a virtual lock to throw the rock 580-630 times again in 2016. He'll be a top-60 overall draft choice.

7. Kirk Cousins, Redskins (0.51 FPPT): Cousins put up career bests across the board last season, but his numbers over the last three games of the regular season are nothing short of eye opening. In that time, Cousins had 11 touchdown passes with no interceptions ... and he scored 1.20 fantasy points per pass completion. "You like that" as a fantasy fan.

8. Marcus Mariota, Titans (0.50 FPPT): This one is interesting. Mariota missed four games due to injuries as a rookie, but he averaged better than 17 fantasy points per contest and would have projected to score 280 points over a full season. With DeMarco Murray now in the backfield, the Oregon product could turn into a solid sleeper/breakout candidate.

T-9. Blake Bortles, Jaguars (0.48 FPPT): Bortles finished eighth in the league in completions and sixth in pass attempts, which is no surprise when you consider the Jaguars threw the football 65 percent of the time. That total could decrease now that Chris Ivory is in the mix, but Bortles remains a true No. 1 fantasy quarterback once the elite are off the board.

T-9. Alex Smith, Chiefs (0.48 FPPT): Look at Smith's passing totals over the last two seasons, and you'll see almost identical totals in completions, attempts, touchdowns and interceptions. His problem is that based on his number of attempts, which ranked 21st last season, Smith is never going to be more than he is ... a serviceable No. 2 fantasy quarterback.

T-11. Aaron Rodgers, Packers (0.47 FPPT): Rodgers is coming off one of his worst statistical seasons, but he threw the football more than ever. Of course, his completion percentage (60.7) was his worst as an NFL starter. With Jordy Nelson back, look for Rodgers to rebound for the 2016 campaign.

T-11. Drew Brees, Saints (0.47 FPPT): Brees finished second in completions and pass attempts last season, and has now thrown the football 600-plus times in each of his last six campaigns. While he's not going to put up 5,000 passing yards or 40-plus touchdowns again, Brees is a solid starter.

T-13. Ryan Fitzpatrick, Jets (0.46 FPPT): The Amish Rifle is coming off the best fantasy season of his career, throwing a touchdown pass for every 10.8 completions. That makes sense when you have Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker at your disposal. Let's all hope that Fitzpatrick stays in New York.

T-13. Jameis Winston, Buccaneers (0.46 FPPT): Winston finished 13th in fantasy points last season and has some definite potential for 2016. It's good to see him find success when he threw the football, because he averaged more than a fantasy point per rush attempt. That will be tough to repeat.

T-13. Matthew Stafford, Lions (0.46 FPPT): Stafford was solid for fantasy fans down the stretch, as he averaged a tremendous 0.58 fantasy points per touch over his last six games. Of course, he'll be hard pressed to match that level of production in 2016 without Calvin Johnson in the offensive mix.

16. Eli Manning, Giants (0.45 FPPT): Manning put up career bests in pass attempts, completions and touchdown passes last season, not to mention a 62.6 completion percentage. He'll need to see 600-plus pass attempts next season to remain in the mix to rank as a top-10 fantasy quarterback, however.

T-17. Derek Carr, Raiders (0.44 FPPT): There's a lot to like about Carr in fantasy land, as he finished in the top 10 in pass attempts and completions last season. With Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree in the pass attack, he also increased his fantasy point per completion average by 0.16 points.

T-17. Ben Roethlisberger, Steelers (0.44 FPPT): Roethlisberger will be drafted as a top-10 fantasy quarterback, but keep this in mind. Since 2014, he averaged 0.49 fantasy points per touch with Martavis Bryant in the pass attack. Without him, Big Ben averaged 0.44 fantasy points per touch overall.

T-19. Jay Cutler, Bears (0.43 FPPT): Cutler posted 21 touchdown passes and finished a mediocre 21st in fantasy points among quarterbacks last season. He needs to throw the football more than 500 times under new offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains to be more than a matchup-based No. 2 fantasy quarterback in 2016.

T-19. Brian Hoyer, Texans (0.43 FPPT): Hoyer has lost his starting job to Brock Osweiler, but the fact that he averaged 0.43 fantasy points per touch tells you something about the Texans offense and its effect on quarterbacks. You also might want to look at Osweiler's FPPT average listed below.

T-21. Philip Rivers, Chargers (0.41 FPPT): Rivers led the NFL in pass attempts and completions, and he still finished outside of the top 10 fantasy quarterbacks.
T-21. Ryan Tannehill, Dolphins (0.41 FPPT): Tannehill saw a massive decline in FPPT average compared to 2015, but there's hope for him with Adam Gase now in town.

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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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