Peyton Manning will be the top fantasy football QB in 2014


(AP Photo/Ed Andrieski, FIle)

It was a record-breaking year for Peyton Manning in 2013. He threw 55 touchdowns, five more than Tom Brady’s record of 50 during the 2007 season. He also threw for 5,477 yards, one yard more than Drew Brees’ 2011 campaign, the previous record.

Manning had nine games where he threw for four TDs, three more than the previous record set by Dan Marino in 1984 and tied by Manning a decade ago (2004). He also threw two TDs in 15 games, tying Marino’s 1984 season.

Manning also set the franchise records for most completions in a single season (450) and most passing attempts (659) plus set a career high in passer rating (115.1).

Using NFL.com’s default fantasy scoring system, Manning is the only QB to amass more than 400 points in a season.

And he did this at the age of 37.

But here is the kicker: He will probably be the best quarterback next year too, at least according to Ultimate Adjusted Yards per Attempt.

This is a way of combining our Adjusted Net YPA formula with a QB’s rushing stats and fumbles. The 18-yard bonus for rushing TDs comes from Chase’s post on the value of TDs, and the -25 for fumbles comes from the Hidden Game of Football‘s 50-yard penalty for fumbles lost + the fact that a fumble is 50-50 whether it will be recovered by the QB’s team or the opponent.

In other words, it tries to isolate everything a quarterback could be responsible for and less for what is left to chance, such as interceptions. Here is the top 10 list for last season (minimum 200 plays).

We can then project Ultimate Adjusted Yards per Attempt for 2014 using the following formula:

uAYA_y+1 ~ 8.7679986 * cmp/play + 15.8060293 * td/play – 0.6723578 * skyd/play + 1.2431414 * ryds/play

Here is the top 15 QB list based on their projected 2014 uAYA along with their average draft position based on 1,019 mock drafts between July 21, 2014 and July 23, 2014.

2015uAYA

A few names stand out aside from Manning,who is in the No. 1 spot:

Josh McCown

Despite being snubbed in Ron Jaworski’s most recent QB ratings, McCown did great for the Bears as Jay Cutler’s backup. Now with Tampa Bay, he appears to be a low-risk fantasy football backup option.

Phillip Rivers

Not only was Rivers the most clutch QB last season, we could see another top performance by the 32-year-old. If he comes close to even a top 10 performance he would be a steal in the 10th round.

Andrew Luck

The Colts added two receivers in the offseason, Hakeem Nicks via free agency and Donte Moncrief in the draft, however, Luck still projects to be a fringe fantasy starter despite being the fifth QB taken in mock drafts.

Neil Greenberg analyzes advanced sports statistics for the Fancy Stats blog and prefers to be called a geek rather than a nerd.
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