Extra Yards 2022 – Rushing Quarterbacks
In this final part of the Extra Yards series, we look at the Quarterbacks. More specifically, the focus is on those who use their legs to get those extra yards and extra fantasy points.
The Usual Suspects
The last time this series appeared, there was a decent list of familiar faces. Josh Allen, Kyler Murray and Lamar Jackson all featured close to the top. And, further down the list, we saw players like DeShaun Watson and Dak Prescott. There was even room for Gardner Minshew!
But we are a few years down the line from that article. So who tops the rushing Quarterback list from 2022?
If there was one Quarterback who became the ‘cheat code’ this season, it was Jalen Hurts. The Eagles set up a strong offensive unit, with Hurts at its centre, and fantasy players reaped the benefits.
2022 passing stats: 460 attempts, 306 completions for 3701 yards, 22 touchdowns and 6 interceptions
Last year produced better overall stats compared to his first season as starter. More attempts, more completions, yards and touchdowns. Fewer interceptions came from better offensive weapons (A.J. Brown anyone?) and careful play.
But there was a particular area where Hurts shone brightest. The Philly short yardage and redzone offense leant itself to Hurts’ skillset. And it had lethal results.
2022 Rushing Stats: 165 carries, 760 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Goal line scrum push? No worries. 5 yard designed run? Absolutely. Although he didn’t top the QB table in yards, the Eagles’ Quarterback scored 13 rushing touchdowns in the regular season. That’s a huge bonus to your fantasy squad, especially if those rushing TDs are worth 6 points over 4 for a passing TD!
Miles Sanders has departed for the Panthers, so the removal of the established Running Back could mean more designed runs. And, with the NFL deciding against the ‘scrum push’ becoming illegal, it’s great news for anyone looking for a repeat in 2023.
But, despite this obvious bonus, there are still those who doubt whether Hurts can be the true QB1. Fantasy experts, and sites such as PFF.com, are among them. In fact, the stats website consider Hurts to be behind both Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes in the draft rankings.
Personally, Hurts is a preference for my first quarterback off the redraft board. But, if people are to take the rankings above as wrote, you can expect Mahomes and Allen to be taken first. So your timing would need to be right. And if you can squeeze in some skill players before him (two – or three at a stretch if towards the end of the round), then stock up!
Not too far behind Hurts was another of the recent additions to the league. One of the Quarterbacks picked up in the 2021 draft class, Justin Fields’ legs have certainly earnt some extra points in 2022.
2022 Passing Stats: 318 attempts, 192 completions, 2,242 yards and 17 touchdowns
Looking at the college stats, it would seem like Justin Fields could offer more in the throwing department, with a better final regular season passing accuracy (77.5%) than all of his fellow first round Quarterback picks. This sample was based upon 5 games, but the sample size seemed solid enough.
But the NFL has been a tough lesson for Fields. The step up in competition has led to a natural stats drop – accuracy chief among them. Not only that, but he finds himself 27th of all Quarterbacks in pass attempts. That’s much lower than even those who played fewer games.
If Fields were to develop further as a fantasy asset, this pass rate would need to rise. And the Bears’ acquisition of D.J. Moore could help there. As part of their ‘first overall pick trade-off’ package, Moore can provide a consistent outlet to go alongside Darnell Mooney and Cole Kmet. And those holding on to shares in Fields can hope that the Bears invest in their offensive line for 2023.
Rushing Stats – 159 attempts, 1,143 yards and 8 touchdowns
Speaking of offensive lines, we moved from one of the best offensive lines in Philly – to one of the worst in Chicago. There were plenty of videos cropping up about how the Bears’ linemen crumbled like feta. The slightest excess of pressure but a boatload on Justin Fields. And the Chicago Quarterback had to zip out on more than several occasions.
Therefore, it’s no wonder that Fields recorded the largest number of Quarterback scrambles (70) in 2022. They accounted for 721 yards of that total amount, as well as 4 of his 8 touchdowns.
The expectation of an improved passing offense can come with offensive line investment. And, in turn, this could affect Field’s rushing output. But, if the money doesn’t go into the line, we could see Fields wizard out of trouble and produce the same again on the ground.
As a result, PFF have Fields ranked as QB4 – behind Mahomes, Allen and Hurts. While this seems slightly high, this could be good news if your league mates want to look in other directions. Higher-popularity picks like Burrow and Herbert should go before Fields, and you may fall on him a round later than you expect! If you pull the trigger, consider a ‘safe floor’ option like Kirk Cousins to go alongside him just in case the hopes don’t pan out!
First, we had Jalen. Then we had Justin. And now we complete the list with another J. And Josh Allen is no stranger to the list of Quarterbacks doing well on the ground.
2022 passing stats – 567 attempts, 359 completions for 4,282 yards and 35 touchdowns
Compare this stat line to Justin Fields – they’re worlds apart.
Something noticable, however, is that Allen’s passing stats don’t have him in the top 5 in many categories. He grazes the top ten in pass attempts and completions and ranked 7th in yards. He is way down on accuracy compared to his peers, somewhere in the 20s.
But it’s the touchdowns that are the real fantasy point producer, and he ranks second in the touchdown list, behind only Patrick Mahomes. Three 2022 games had Allen pass for four scores, and three more where he put up three passing touchdowns. For winning fantasy weeks, Allen will have been a huge asset to count on.
2022 rushing stats – 124 attempts, 762 yards and 7 touchdowns
It’s a tale as old as time.
Josh Allen runs a whole bunch. The Bills management say he won’t run as much next season. Game time comes around. Josh Allen runs a whole bunch. Rinse and repeat.
And lo and behold – the same has been said once again. Head coach Sean McDermott spoke to the NFL Network and said he was worried about the hits taken by his Quarterback during those planned (and unplanned) runs. As such, there are rumours that the Bills’ offensive scheme will cap Allen’s running.
Even a little bit of capping could have a big effect on Allen’s fantasy proficiency. But it’s easier said than done. PFF graded 57 of Allen’s attempts as scrambles – second in the league. And, as much as planning to stop the guy from running can help, even the best laid plans can come to naught.
As a result, he’s still being touted in the top two Quarterbacks off many redraft boards – which means drafters aren’t that worried. And, until he proves them all wrong, then he should be taken as one of the first passers off the board.