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Fantasy Football Today: Five quarterback regression candidates for 2024 you need to know before your drafts

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The 2024 Fantasy Football season is on its way and we’re ramping up content over at Fantasy Football Today. One of my personal favorite offseason shows is always the Regression Candidates show. It’s incredibly important to factor in regression when projecting for the next Fantasy Football season. Instead of leaning on past production and points scored, the goal is to figure out how and why the production came to be to project whether or not it will continue. Regression can come in many ways. There are both positive and negative regression candidates. One of the main areas of regression to focus on is touchdowns. They’re worth so much to our Fantasy Football game, but they are not so easy to project year after year.Β 

On Monday’s episode of Fantasy Football Today, Adam Aizer, Dave Richard, Jamey Eisenberg, and Heath Cummings dove into some of the key 2024 regression candidates at the quarterbacks. You’ll find that embedded below, and there will be a deeper dive on every player we mention here today plus more on the running back regression candidates. We’ll focus on five of those regression candidates below, but first, let’s kick things off with some Aizer stats (we’ll include two fun ones at the running back position, too)!

  • Jordan LoveΒ led theΒ PackersΒ in rushing touchdowns with four in 2023.
  • Over the last two seasons, the Lions running backs have scored 31 rushing touchdowns combined from inside the 5-yard line. Bills running backs, on the other hand, have scored just 27 rushing touchdowns from inside the 5-yard line over the last SIX seasons.
  • Alvin Kamara has 11 rushing touchdowns in 41 games over the last three seasons. The year before that, he scored 16 rushing touchdowns.

Here are five quarterback regression candidates for the 2024 season:

Jordan Love, QB, Packers

Love had the fifth-highest touchdown rate in 2023. He finished with the second-most touchdown passes in the NFL and the fifth-most pass attempts. A big factor in Love’s touchdown rate was his combination of efficiency and volume in the red zone plus his efficiency in the deep passing game. Love threw eight touchdown passes of 20 or more yards out which ranked ninth in the NFL. He also had the second-most pass attempts and touchdowns in the red zone and the second-most green zone touchdown passes. Will Love see some regression in those two areas in 2024? Don’t be so sure! Consider this: The Packers red zone pass rate over the last five seasons: seventh-highest, 15th-highest, sixth-highest, 12th-highest and sixth-highest. They’ve been top-15 all five seasons under Matt LaFleur and top-seven in three of five seasons.

Patrick Mahomes, QB, Chiefs

Not all regression candidates are negative regression candidates and Mahomes is the perfect example. Mahomes had a career-low yards per attempt and touchdown rate in 2023 while also suffering through a career-high interception rate. The situation has changed dramatically for Mahomes heading into 2024. Travis Kelce, who played through an injury last season and 200 fewer snaps than he typically would, is fully healthy heading into training camp. The Chiefs have also upgraded the wide receiver corps by adding Marquise Brown and first-round draft pick Xavier Worthy. Digging deeper into Mahomes’ 2023 numbers to project regression we see that he had the third-most red zone pass attempts — the touchdowns should regress to the career mean for Mahomes in 2024. He also took a major step back when it came to touchdown passes of 20 yards or more. Over the last six seasons, Mahomes has thrown touchdown passes of 20+ air yards 15 times in 2018, 15 in 2019, 15 in 2020, 11 in 2021, seven in 2022, and just three last season. The additions of Brown and Worthy should help him get back into the double digits in 2024.

Brock Purdy, QB, 49ers

Purdy was a surefire QB1 in 2023, but Fantasy managers will have to ask themselves how likely it is for him to maintain his hyper-efficiency in 2024. Purdy nearly averaged 10 yards per attempt (9.6) in 2023! The second-best YPA among quarterbacks was Tua Tagovailoa with 8.3 ypa. Only four quarterbacks have averaged more than nine yards per attempt in the last 10 seasons. This number typically tends to regress with examples over the last few years including Deshaun Watson, Joe Burrow, and others. Burrow averaged 8.9 yards per attempt in 2021 and that number fell to 7.4 in 2022. Matt Ryan averaged 9.3 ypa in 2016. That was a big outlier. He dropped back to 7.7 YPA in 2017 — this was closer to his career average. Purdy will have to remain this efficient on a per-pass basis to maintain his Fantasy production because the 49ers are still one of the run-heaviest teams in the NFL. Here’s where the 49ers have ranked pass attempts per game over the last seven seasons: 32nd; 20th; 29th; 16th; 29th; 26th; 32nd.

Josh Allen, QB, Bills

When it comes to Allen (and Jalen Hurts) the key question will be how much regression will each of these dual-threat quarterbacks see from a rushing production standpoint. Allen cashed in on 15 rushing touchdowns in 2023 after scoring eight, nine, eight, six, and seven rushing touchdowns in his first five NFL seasons. Nearly doubling his previous touchdown totals had a major impact on his Fantasy production and where he finished among quarterbacks. He had a career-high 11 rushing attempts from the 3-yard line or closer and he scored on eight of them. Allen only had a combined 30 carries from the 3-yard line or closer in the first five seasons of his career.Β 

Of course, when it comes to Allen, there is also the opportunity for positive regression when it comes to what he can contribute through the air. Allen also threw 35-37 touchdown passes in three straight seasons before throwing just 29 in 2023. His touchdown rate was the lowest it had been in four seasons.Β 

Jalen Hurts, QB, Eagles

Hurts now has two straight seasons with 16 carries from inside the 3-yard line but he scored nine touchdowns from that range in 2022 (13 overall) and 13 TDs from that range in 2023 (15th overall). Hurts’ rushing touchdowns over the last three seasons: 10, 13, and 15. It’s easy to assume this number will undergo regression, but it’s important to keep in mind that Hurts has been able to rush for touchdowns at a significant rate even though the Eagles running backs have racked up 15, 18, and seven rushing touchdowns over the last three seasons. The Eagles have never had a red zone back like Saquon Barkley during Hurts’ career and if the star back takes away enough of these red zone carries, Hurts could fall back into the back-end QB1 range in 2024.

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Author: Dan Schneier
June 10, 2024 | 3:05 pm

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