From Brady to Rice: Fantasy footballs greatest seasons in the past 50 years

The NFL schedule expands to 17 games beginning in 2021, and with the extra game, a number of single-season fantasy football scoring records might fall.

Fantasy dominance, however, is all about value relative to replacement, and today’s game is much more passing-oriented than ever. Who, then, had the best fantasy seasons, accounting for the league environment?

To determine this, we used the value-based drafting (VBD) method, to compare a player’s seasonal output to the best available player who wouldn’t have qualified for a league’s starting lineup spot. This means that, using a standard 10-team ESPN league, a quarterback’s final total was compared to the 11th-ranked quarterback’s total, a running back’s total was compared to the 26th-ranked (20 starters and assuming half of the 10 “flex” spots go to the position), and so on.

Here are the current top-10s at each of the four fantasy skill positions, since the AFL/NFL merger in 1970:

Note: All fantasy point totals below are for point-per-reception (PPR) scoring formats, unless otherwise noted.


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