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2022 Touchdown Regression Candidates - Quarterback

Throwing a lot of touchdowns? Good! Throwing a lot of touchdowns at a rate that surpasses either your average level or the league average level? Good when it happens, but maybe not so good the next year, when you can come crashing back down to Earth.

Not every quarterback is going to throw for Aaron Rodgers-like numbers every season. If a player tosses touchdowns at a rate that seems surprising, there's a good chance that the next season will see those numbers regress back toward their normal levels. And on the flip side, some quarterbacks who suddenly struggle could see their numbers positively regress toward their career averages.

So, which players are candidates to see regression this year? Let's find out.

Editor's Note: Our incredible team of writers received five total writing awards and 13 award nominations by the Fantasy Sports Writers Association, tops in the industry! Congrats to all the award winners and nominees including Best NFL Series, MLB Series, NBA Writer, PGA Writer and Player Notes writer of the year. Be sure to follow their analysis, rankings and advice all year long, and win big with RotoBaller! Read More!

 

Jameis Winston, New Orleans Saints - 8.7 TD%

I shouldn't need to use many words to convince you of how Winston's numbers are inevitably going down next season. As much as I hate that, it is just what will happen because these types of numbers are just totally unsustainable. Since the turn of the century, there have only been nine player-seasons with 100+ passing attempts and a TD rate of 8.5%+. The ones who achieved it: Peyton Manning, Deshaun Watson, Aaron Rodgers, Lamar Jackson, Tom Brady, Patrick Mahomes... and Nick Foles. Of course, Watson/Winston/Foles were the only ones throwing fewer than 400 passes, boosting their rates.

Also, only Aaron Rodgers was good enough to post a mark above 9% in 2011 and then another 7%+ in the following season. All of the other ones flopped. Winston will, too. Winston will be playing in New Orleans for the third season in 2022, though he's only started seven games (all last year) either because of injury or playing a secondary/backup role. That will undoubtedly change next season with Winston the clear-cut best quarterback in tow. The receiving corps is incredible (Michael Thomas, Chris Olave, Jarvis Landry--and even Alvin Kamara) but there is little to no chance Winston improves or even keeps his numbers relatively up.

 

Joe Burrow, Cincinnati Bengals - 6.5 TD%

While a 6.5% touchdown rate isn't that unusual, the truth is that there are fewer than three player seasons per year in which that mark is reached by 100+ pass-attempt QBs part of it. Maybe the most concerning or worrying or call-it-what-you-want thing about Burrow's potential regression has more to do with his receiving corps than Burrow himself. In fact, not even his receiving corps but exclusively WR1 Ja'Marr Chase's ridiculous rookie-season numbers.

Chase's 13 touchdowns in his first season as a pro were absolutely ludicrous. He caught 83.3% of his targets in the RZ and turned tons of those into scoring plays. Tee Higgins put up a good enough six TDs himself with Tyler Boyd scoring five more TDs. Everybody ate big time, and of course, Burrow benefited by going from a rookie season of a 3.2 TD% to a mark twice that one at 6.5% (!!!) while throwing 116 more passes. I love myself some Burrow shares, but you bet I will surely tame my expectations when it comes to his touchdown passing.

 

Dak Prescott, Dallas Cowboys - 6.2 TD%

Prescott is phenomenal, yet it still feels he's wildly underappreciated in both the real and the fantasy worlds. That has changed a bit of late (back-to-back season with an overall ADP around 50) and makes all of the sense: barring his injury-lost 2020 season, Prescott has finished as a top-10 QB in all of his other five campaigns in Dallas. His 2021 touchdown rate of 6.2%, although not unreasonable, is still a career-high mark after he had topped at 5% both as a rookie and a four-year pro three years ago. In fact, Prescott has always fluctuated between a 4.1 and a 5.0 touchdown rate.

Going from that high to a 6.2% meant a 25% raise on Prescott's career-wide numbers, which screams regression to me--even more if we consider he tied his career-high in passing attempts with 596 over 16 games in 2021. Dallas had four players getting paydirt with a rate above 10% with Cedrick Wilson falling just short of it at a 9.8 TD%. That's hard to see happening again next season, even more, considering Dallas is waving goodbye to its tied-leading TD-scorer Amari Cooper.



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