Fantasy football owners who drafted Kyler Murray in 2020 know how good he’s been. Anyone who’s played against Murray knows, too.
But maybe it’s not obvious just how good, so let’s sum it up: Entering Week 11, Murray is on pace to break the single-season record for fantasy points (non-PPR) going back to 1970. The current record is held by LaDainian Tomlinson, who scored 427.1 non-PPR points in 2006. The quarterback record is held by 2018 Patrick Mahomes just ahead of 2019 Lamar Jackson, at 417.1 (all data via Football Reference). Murray’s pace through nine games: 468.3 fantasy points.
Murray’s done it running and passing at a dual-threat rate even Lamar Jackson didn’t have through this point in 2019. Jackson had 21 combined touchdowns through nine games, while Murray’s got 27 (17 passing and 10 rushing). That goes along with 2,375 passing yards and 604 rushing yards.
It wouldn’t be shocking if Murray keeps his pace up (or better) against the worst defense fantasy-wise against quarterbacks, the Seahawks, in Week 11 on Thursday Night Football. It’s yet another national stage for Murray to show how dominant he’s become in just his second year out of Oklahoma, only days after his miraculous “Hail Murray” pass to DeAndre Hopkins.
To emphasize just how impressive Murray’s 2020 has already been from a fantasy perspective, we’ve broken his stats down into the most notable.
Kyler Murray rushing stats
It’s never been a secret that rushing quarterbacks are fantasy goldmines (because in most leagues, rushing yards and rushing touchdowns are worth more points than passing yards and passing touchdowns). Murray is no exception, and in fact, he’s taking that to new levels.
Murray has averaged more than a rushing touchdown per game in 2020 through nine games with his 10 scores on the ground. His 604 rushing yards rank eighth in football among all players, too.
In 2019, Murray rushed for 544 yards. He’s already past that. Josh Allen led QBs in rushing touchdowns in 2019 with nine. Murray’s beyond that total, too. His 6.9 yards per carry entering Week 11 leads the entire NFL.
The best way to sum Murray’s rushing dominance up by itself, though, is this: If Murray could only get fantasy points for his rushing and was RB-eligible, he’d be the sixth-highest ranked running back behind Dalvin Cook, Alvin Kamara, Derrick Henry, James Robinson and Josh Jacobs.
Kyler Murray’s passing improvement
Murray wouldn’t be on such an extraordinary pace if he hadn’t picked up his passing numbers from his rookie season, though. After Kliff Kingsbury started to unleash full Murray near the end of the 2019 season, the addition of DeAndre Hopkins during the offseason turned out to be the only thing Murray needed for a total breakout.
In 2020 entering Week 11, Murray’s completion percentage is up from his rookie season, to 68.2 percent from 64.4. His touchdown percentage is up to 5.5 percent from 3.7. His QBR, calculated by ESPN, has risen from 58.0 to 77.6, and his classic quarterback rating is up from 87.4 to 98.2.
Murray has been intercepted eight times, a slightly higher rate than last season but not by enough to offset all the gains he’s made overall. A lot of the gains are probably attributable to Hopkins, but Murray has also made more of an effort to drive the ball down the field.
A popular metric, air yards, measures how far the football travels before it reaches its intended targets. The higher average intended air yards, the further down the field a quarterback is looking to make completions. As a rookie, Murray’s intended air yards per pass attempt was 7.4. It’s up to 8.2. That 7.4 wasn’t a bad mark, but raising it to 8.2 puts Murray right among his strong-armed rushing competitors Josh Allen and Patrick Mahomes.
2019 Lamar Jackson vs. 2020 Kyler Murray
While Mahomes slightly holds the edge over Jackson in best fantasy season ever by a quarterback, he did that by throwing 50 touchdowns and rushing for just two. That’s not how Murray’s doing it, so we’re going to compare the pace that Murray is on through nine games in various stats to the final stats Jackson put up in his MVP 2019.
Best fantasy season ever by a quarterback
If you’re feeling math-inclined, you can figure out the odds that Murray makes this table. Through nine games, Murray has 263.4 fantasy points. Here’s the current top-10 list of QBs, which could also see the 2020 seasons of Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes and Russell Wilson possibly make it into the leaderboard.
Source: Read Full Article