[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]We all know just how important it is to have a stud QB at your disposal in college fantasy football, but having that one guy who is truly special could be what puts your team over the top in pursuit of that elusive championship reign.
In this article, we will take a look at the best of the best, the cream of the crop over the past decade. Here at CFBDynasty however, we are always looking to take it to the next level, so instead of just regurgitating the stats alone, we will also examine whether or not those elite performances translated into NFL success.
[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/4″][vc_single_image image=”5610″ img_size=”medium” alignment=”center”][/vc_column][vc_column width=”3/4″][vc_column_text]A couple of things to consider before continuing:
* This article is based on raw stats, regardless of the number of games in that player’s season.
* There could be a slight skew because ALL games in a player’s season were taken into account, including conference championships and bowl games, that are never a part of the actual college fantasy season.
* Scoring system is yards/10 and TDx6, no negative points for INT/sacks.
* When AVERAGE points per game are considered, the current #1 (Case Keenum in 2011) would be overtaken by Patrick Mahomes 2016 season for that top spot. Mahomes only played 12 games that season, and had a whopping 70.8 PPG average
* After looking at the QBs on this list, I will wrap this article up with a few evaluations of my own.
So let’s get down to it, shall we?[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]
|5||Patrick Mahomes II||Texas Tech||JR||851.7|
|6||Derek Carr||Fresno St||SR||832|
|8||Dwayne Haskins||Ohio State||SO||817.9|
|11||Brandon Doughty||Western Ky||SR||805.5|
|14||Johnny Manziel||Texas A&M||FR||793.6|
|15||Brandon Doughty||Western Ky||SR||789|
|17||Patrick Mahomes II||Texas Tech||SO||786.9|
|18||Robert Griffin III||Baylor||JR||781.2|
|19||Mason Rudolph||Okla St||SR||775.9|
|21||Johnny Manziel||Texas A&M||SO||763.3|
|22||Jordan Lynch||N Illinois||SR||763.2|
|23||Jordan Lynch||N Illinois||JR||759.3|
[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]For analysis purposes, we will break them down into 4 groups (top 25 ordered list w/ stats is after this section):
1) High Expectations/Draft Status – Realized those pro expectations
2) High Expectations/Draft Status – Expectations not realized in the pros
3) Low Expectations/Draft Status – Have experienced success in the pros
4) Low Expectations/Draft Status – No or low success in the pros[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_text_separator title=”High Expectations/Draft Status – Realized Pro Expectations”][vc_column_text]To be considered for this designation you had to not only have a stellar college fantasy season, but you also had to have been drafted high into the NFL *and* have seen your career produce CONSISTENTLY. If you are a first or second-year pro player, you cannot have had a dud season.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][info_list font_size_icon=”24″][info_list_item list_title=”CAM NEWTON – Auburn”]Season Rank: 25th Best (JR) 2010 (STATS of note: 2854yds, 30TDs, 7INTS – 1473 rush yds 20 rush TDs) 732.7 total points
NFL Draft Position: 1st Round – 1st ovr (2011) Carolina Panthers
Synopsis: Although he barely cracked this top 25, Newton has been the most successful QB on this list, with a resume’ unmatched by anyone else. He is the only person on this list to have a Heisman Trophy Campaign, lead his team to a BCS National Championship, receive NFL MVP Honors, and also lead his team to a Superbowl.
The most intriguing thing about his 2010 Auburn campaign is how it seemingly came out of nowhere, statistically. After only throwing a combined 12 passes in two years at Florida, Newton got himself into some legal and academic trouble and went the JUCO route for one season at Blinn College. A hot recruiting cycle saw him go to Auburn where his one season starting season at the FBS level produced stellar results.[/info_list_item][info_list_item list_title=”PATRICK MAHOMES – Texas Tech”]Season Rank: 5th Best (JR) 2016 (STATS of note: 5052yds, 41TDs, 10INTS – 285 rush yds, 12 rush TDs) 851.7 total points
Season Rank: 17th Best (SO) 2015 (STATS of note: 4653yds, 36TDs, 15INTS – 456 rush yds 10 rush TDs) 786.9 total points
NFL Draft Position: 1st Round – 10th ovr (2017) Kansas City Chiefs
Synopsis: Mahomes is the only QB from the high powered juggernauts of Houston or Texas Tech in recent memory to obtain a high draft status and then take the NFL by storm. After sitting behind Alex Smith for a single season, Mahomes picked up right where he left off in college and is well on his way to rewriting the NFL record books if his career trends the way it did in the 2018 NFL season.[/info_list_item][info_list_item list_title=”LAMAR JACKSON – Louisville”]Season Rank: 9th best (SO) 2016 (STATS of note: 3543yds, 30TDs, 9INTS – 1571 Rush yds, 21 Rush TDs) 817.4 total points
Season Rank: 13th best (JR) 2017 (STATS of note: 3660yds, 27TDs, 10INTS – 1601 Rush yds, 18 Rush TDs) 796.1 total points
NFL Draft Position: 1st round – 32nd ovr (2018) Baltimore Ravens
Synopsis: Jackson took the ACC by storm with his blazing fast speed and ability to create as much with his legs as with his arm. NFL brass weren’t sure where he would land, and even on draft day it was a surprise to see the Baltimore Ravens trade back up into the 1st round to procure his services. After a midseason injury saw entrenched starter Joe Flacco go down, Jackson got his chance, revitalizing the team’s offense and giving them raised prospects for the future.[/info_list_item][info_list_item list_title=”DESHAUN WATSON – Clemson”]Season Rank: 7th Best (JR) 2016 (STATS of note: 4593yds, 47TDs, 17INTS – 1105 Rush yds, 10 Rush TDs) 822.2 total points
Season Rank: 12th Best (SO) 2015 (STATS of note: 4104yds, 35TDs, 13INTS – 629 Rush yds, 9 Rush TDs) 802.2 total points
NFL Draft Position: 1st Round – 12th ovr (2017) Houston Texans
Synopsis: Watson put two incredible seasons in at Clemson (a Heisman Trophy finalist during both), as well as a national championship performance in 2016. His rookie NFL season was cut short by injury with the Houston Texans. His first full campaign in 2017 showed that the stud performances he produced in college were only a glimpse of what he could do in the pros, passing for over 4000 yards and leading his team to the playoffs.[/info_list_item][info_list_item list_title=”BAKER MAYFIELD – Oklahoma”]Season Rank: 16th Best (SR) 2017 (STATS of note: 4627yds, 43TDs, 6INTS) 788 total points
NFL Draft Position: 1st Round – 1st ovr (2018) Cleveland Browns
Synopsis: Mayfield amazingly got his start as a walk-on at Texas Tech. Knowing that the NFL normally doesn’t take Texas Tech or Houston QBs seriously, he transferred to the power 5 school Oklahoma (don’t get all up in arms, I know that wasn’t his ONLY reason). There were a lot of skeptics when the Cleveland Browns decided to draft Mayfield 1st overall in 2018, but by the end of the season the Browns had the last laugh, as he led them to their best season since 2007.[/info_list_item][info_list_item list_title=”MARCUS MARIOTA – Oregon”]Season Rank: 3rd Best (JR) 2014 (STATS of note: 4454yds, 42TDs, 4INTS – 770 rush yds 15 rush TDs) 864.4 total points
NFL Draft Position: 1st Round – 2nd ovr (2015) Tennessee Titans
Synopsis: Mariota won the starting job at Oregon in 2012 as a redshirt freshman. After a stellar 2014 season (that got him into this article), he won the Heisman trophy. Mariota then took his talents to the NFL where his career has had not seen the same success as his Duck days at Oregon. So why is he in this ELITE category? Because he is the entrenched starter on a young Tennessee team, and his career is trending upwards, even if the statistics don’t bear witness to that assertion.[/info_list_item][info_list_item list_title=”DEREK CARR – Fresno State”]Season Rank: 6th Best (SR) 2013 (STATS of note: 5083yds, 50TDs, 8INTS) 832 total points
NFL Draft Position: 2nd Round – 36th ovr (2014) Oakland Raiders
Synopsis: Carr was the top FBS QB in 2013 at Fresno State, throwing for over 5000 yards and 50TDs. He had a trio of 1000 yard receivers, including current NFL stud Davante Adams.
There was hesitation leading up to the NFL draft because his older brother, David, also produced big numbers at Fresno State, but fizzled out in the pros. The Raiders took a chance on him and he has produced at a high level in his five seasons there. Oddly enough, 2018 saw him eclipse 4000 yards for the first time in the pros, but in doing so he had his least number of TDs (19) and it is believed there is tension between him and new head coach John Gruden. Where he will be in 2019 is anyone’s guess.[/info_list_item][/info_list][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_text_separator title=”High Expectations/Draft Status – Expectations NOT Realized”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][info_list font_size_icon=”24″][info_list_item list_title=”ROBERT GRIFFIN III – Baylor”]Season Rank: 18th Best (JR) 2011 (STATS of note: 4293yds, 37TDs, 6INTS – 699 rush yds 10 rush TDs) 781.2 total points
NFL Draft Position: 1st Round – 2nd ovr (2012)
Synopsis: Art Briles’ Baylor offense was in full swing in 2011 and no player embodied his breakneck style of play more than RGIII. His performance in 2011 ushered in a new era for QBs like Deshaun Watson, Lamar Jackson, and Patrick Mahomes.
Expectations could not have been any higher for RGIII entering the NFL draft in 2012. A revitalized DC fanbase thought they had their QB of the future when they drafted the dual-threat QB from Baylor. Unfortunately, those meteoric expectations came crashing back down to earth when RGIII suffered numerous injuries that he was unable to overcome, seeing his stardom relegated to the 3rd team and then eventually being released in 2016.
Griffin, however, has found new life, backing up another QB on this list, Lamar Jackson, in Baltimore.[/info_list_item][info_list_item list_title=”JOHNNY MANZIEL – Texas A&M”]Season Rank: 14th Best (FR) 2012 (STATS of note: 3706yds, 26TDs, 9INTS – 1410 rush yds 21 rush TDs) 793.6 total points
Season Rank: 21st Best (SO) 2013 (STATS of note: 4114yds, 37TDs, 13INTS – 759 rush yds 9 rush TDs) 763.3 total points
NFL Draft Position: 1st Round – 22nd ovr (2014)
Synopsis: The most famous flameout in recent memory, rivaled only historically by Ryan Leaf. Manziel took the college fantasy world by storm in 2012 as a freshman. He became a better passer in his sophomore year (2013), but saw his rushing production, and overall value, drop off.
Manziel did absolutely nothing noteworthy (good) as a pro with Cleveland, and helped contribute to their stretch as the worst franchise in the NFL for many years. His entire NFL career amounted to 1,675 pass yards, which is a small fraction (numerically) of the amount he was fined for poor conduct over the same period of time.[/info_list_item][/info_list][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_text_separator title=”Low Expectations/Draft Status – Experienced Success In The Pros”][info_list font_size_icon=”24″][info_list_item list_title=”CASE KEENUM – Houston”]Season Rank: #1 BEST SEASON (SR) 2011 (STATS of note: 5631yds, 48TDs, 5INTS) 872.6 total points
Season Rank: 2nd best (JR) 2009 (STATS of note: 5632yds, 44TDs, 15INTS) 867 total points
NFL Draft Position: Undrafted (2012)
Synopsis: There was once a time when Case Keenum was THE untouchable commodity in college fantasy football. If you had him, you revered him. If you didn’t have him, you were willing to mortgage the farm just to try get him.
No one has ever produced like he has, throwing TWICE for over 5600 yards. To put this in perspective, only 4 other QBs threw for over 5000 yards in this 10-year span (once each) with Derek Carr’s 5083 nearly 600 yards below Keenum’s output, twice.
Unfortunately for Keenum, the NFL did not trust the gaudy numbers he put up at Houston, and he went undrafted in 2012. He toiled on the fringes of NFL rosters until he got his big chance with Minnesota in 2017. Regardless of if he ever has a stellar NFL career or not, he will always be remembered at the QB behind one of the most improbable comebacks in NFL playoff history, the “Minneapolis Miracle” in 2018 vs the New Orleans Saints, the first NFL playoff game in history in end in a walk-off TD in regulation.[/info_list_item][/info_list][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_text_separator title=”Low Expectations/Draft Status – No or Low Success In The Pros”][info_list font_size_icon=”24″][info_list_item list_title=”MATT JOHNSON – Bowling Green”]Season Rank: 10th Best (SR) 2015 (STATS of note: 4946yds, 46TDs, 8INTS) 812 total points
NFL Draft Position: Undrafted (2016)
Synopsis: Matt Johnson led a high powered Bowling Green offense, capped off by his top 10 fantasy performance in 2015. Undrafted by the NFL and unable to make a CFL roster, Johnson is now a coach with Kent State.[/info_list_item][info_list_item list_title=”BRANDON DOUGHTY – Western Kentucky”]Season Rank: 11th Best (6th yr SR) 2015 (STATS of note: 5055yds, 48TDs, 9INTS) 805.5 total points
Season Rank: 15th Best (SR) 2014 (STATS of note: 4830yds, 49TDs, 10INTS) 789 total points
NFL Draft Position: 7th Round – 223rd ovr (2016) Miami Dolphins
Synopsis: Doughty led the NCAA in *both* passing yards and TDs in the 2014 and 2015 seasons. His performance, however, was not enough to get NFL teams to give him a real shot. He was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the 7th round of the 2016 draft, but never made it onto the field outside of preseason action. He was waived by Miami and then subsequently Arizona and is currently out of football.[/info_list_item][info_list_item list_title=”BRYANT MONIZ – Hawaii”]Season Rank: 20th Best (JR) 2010 (STATS of note: 5040yds, 39TDs, 15INTS) 772.2 total points
NFL Draft Position: Undrafted (2012)
Synopsis: Under June Jones leadership, Hawaii was once a treasure trove of top college fantasy football performers, none better than Moniz in 2010. His 5040 yards passing is one of only six performances in the past decade to break the 5000 yard mark. Unfortunately for the Rainbows, they have never produced a skill position player that saw success in college fantasy as well as the pros. A broken leg ended his 2011 season prematurely, and secured his status as being undraftable in 2012.
Once Jones left, the Hawaii the program faltered statistically, but it looks to be on the rebound after the 2018 season.[/info_list_item][info_list_item list_title=”JORDAN LYNCH – Northern Illinois”]Season Rank: 22nd Best (SR) 2013 (STATS of note: 2892yds, 24TDs, 8INTS – 1920 rush yds, 23 rush TDs) 763.2 total points
Season Rank: 23rd Best (JR) 2012 (STATS of note: 3138yds, 25TDs, 6INTS – 1815 rush yds, 19 rush TDs) 759.3 total points
NFL Draft Position: Undrafted (2014)
Synopsis: You’d think a guy that put up the gaudy numbers like he did would have found a place in the NFL, at minimum as a running back. That was the problem however. He was not enough of a passer to find room in the NFL, and his skills as a traditional running back were not enough to supplant anyone on the Chicago Bears preseason roster in 2014. After a short stint in the CFL, he is now coaching high school football.[/info_list_item][info_list_item list_title=”NICK FLORENCE – Baylor”]Season Rank: 24th Best (SR) 2012 (STATS of note: 4309yds, 33TDs, 13INTS) 745.7 total points
NFL Draft Position: Undrafted (left football) (2013)
Synopsis: After a 2012 campaign that saw Florence produce numbers similar to wunderkind RGIII the previous year, Florence decided that he was not going to pursue a professional football career and instead he worked towards completing his master’s degree.[/info_list_item][/info_list][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_text_separator title=”TBD”][info_list font_size_icon=”24″][info_list_item list_title=”MASON RUDOLPH – Oklahoma State”]Season Rank: 19th Best (SR) 2017 (STATS of note: 4553yds, 35TDs, 9INTS – 32 rush yds 10 rush TDs) 775.9 total points
NFL Draft Position: 3rd Round – 76th ovr (2018) Pittsburgh Steelers
Synopsis: Rudolph had back to back 4000 yard seasons at Oklahoma State, culminating with the 19th best QB performance in 2017. He hasn’t had a chance to show what he’s got in the pros just yet, sitting behind future NFL Hall-of-Famer Ben Roethlisberger.[/info_list_item][info_list_item list_title=”KYLER MURRAY – Oklahoma”]Season Rank: 4th Best (JR) 2018 (STATS of note: 4361yds, 42TDs, 7INTS – 853 rush yds 11 rush TDs) 860.2 total points
NFL Draft Position: (Projected 1st Round Pick)
Synopsis: Murray was the 2nd consecutive Oklahoma QB to produce a season at the ELITE level, with only Keenum and Mariota producing better all time. Will Murray be able to fare better than those above him in the NFL? Will he even play in the NFL or will he pull a Nick Florence and decide his skills are better suited for a career off the gridiron?[/info_list_item][info_list_item list_title=”DWAYNE HASKINS – Ohio State”]Season Rank: 8th Best (SO) 2018 (STATS of note: 4831yds, 50TDs, 8INTS) 817.9 total points
NFL Draft Position: (Projected 1st Round Pick)
Synopsis: After his sophomore season, where he set records for both passing yards & TDs in the Big Ten, Haskins declared for the NFL draft. Mock Drafts have him going as high as the top ten, so expectations are soaring for him at the next level.[/info_list_item][/info_list][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Here are some observations based on the above data:
* Don’t expect a Freshman to put forth an elite college fantasy season. Of the top 25 performances, there was only ONE (Manziel in 2012) to crack the top 25. In fact, his is the only freshman performance to crack the top SIXTY.
* The NFL does not trust top-shelf college QB fantasy performances outside of the power 5 conferences: Only Derek Carr (Fresno State) was drafted in the top rounds of the NFL draft. Otherwise, it’s the late rounds or rookie free agency for ‘group of 5’ QBs that are college fantasy studs.
* It is RARE to see a QB that produced at an ELITE fantasy level exceed expectations in the pros. Only 1 undrafted or low round QB (Case Keenum) was able to parlay any level of success in the NFL, and at that he may be the NFL version of a ‘one and done’, seeing his only career-defining season with Minnesota in 2017, sharply declining in 2018 with the Broncos.
* BONUS NOTE: Pay attention to the guys that LEAVE the FLORIDA GATORS, not who is there. It is baffling to look at the guys that were once on the Florida roster, who didn’t produce much from a fantasy perspective there, but sought out greener pastures elsewhere and produced at an elite level. Cam Newton, Will Grier, and Jacoby Brissett all donned the orange and blue of UF before they became household names in the college fantasy scene. Florida doesn’t even put a QB on the top 100 list. So keep your eyes peeled. The next guy that leaves the Gators just might be your man.
* If your GOAL is uncovering ELITE fantasy performances, only concern yourself with where the NEXT hot school is, never look back. Coaches, systems and trends play as much a part in an elite fantasy performance as does personal talent. There was a time when having a Baylor, Fresno State or Oregon QB would assure you of high fantasy points. Houston and Texas Tech both had their heyday. At one point Bowling Green and Western Kentucky produced the fantasy top studs. This past season is the first time that ALL the top seasons came from power five schools (with Oklahoma, Ohio State, Washington State, and Oklahoma State putting QBs in the top 35). Understanding history is great, but if you go into your draft with a mindset stuck thinking about Art Briles’ Baylor teams, Chip Kelly’s Oregon teams, or June Jones’ Hawaii teams, you’ll probably find yourself at the bottom of the standings at season’s end.
What will the next trend be? What school will produce the next HOT commodity? Making that prediction is not the purpose of this article. It’s up to you to do your research (hopefully utilizing CFBDynasty pre-season analysis, college fantasy football rankings, and cheat sheets) to determine who you think that next stud will be, and how he could impact your college (or college to pro) success. Good luck.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
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