By Jesse Carrajat
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Before compiling any list that attempts to rank fantasy football players, it is crucial to first establish a very clear distinction between real football, and fantasy football. By way of www.dictionary.com, this is the official definition of fantasy football:
Fantasy football-(noun): a football competition with imaginary teams which the participants own, manage, and coach and with the games based on statistics generated by actual players or teams of a professional sport.
This is not the official definition of fantasy football:
Fantasy football-(noun): dungeons and dragons for meatheads
I have italicized two very important terms in the official definition, and now I will anquan boldin them for reiteration: imaginary and statistics. When judging the caliber of a fantasy football player, qualities which lead to NFL team success, such as attitude, leadership, and teamwork, are undeniably and utterly useless. Fantasy football is about personal STATISTICS, and that is all. When we argue over age-old questions such as “Who is the greatest NFL quarterback of all time?” the debate is so contentious and open to individually interpretation that it is impossible to arrive at an undisputable answer. However, if you asked me that same question with the term “fantasy” sprinkled in, after some very brief calculations, I could submit to you a factual, unbiased and accurate answer…
The information that follows is a factual, unbiased, and accurate list of the best New York Giant and New York Jet fantasy football players of all-time. To be included in this list, a player must have played for either the Giants or the Jets for at least three full seasons. To rank the players, a standard PPR scoring system was utilized: 1 point per reception, 1 point per 10 yards receiving or rushing, 6 points per any touchdown, 1 point per 25 yards passing, and minus 2 points for an interception. Fumbles were not factored in as this stat is not logged for historical players. To determine the 2010 Hall of Fantasy inductees, the sum of a player’s top three fantasy seasons was found. Then, to level the playing field, injury, suspension, and shortened seasons(for historical players) was factored in. After final calculations, I arrived at a stat that is a crystal clear gauge of a fantasy football player’s productivity and reliability: average fantasy points per game (fppg). Without further adieu: your 2010 NY Football Hall of Fantasy.
The New York Giants
Quarterback: 20.9 fppg, Y.A. Tittle, 1961-1964
In addition to setting the Giants single season touchdown record (36) in 1963, Tittle set the still-standing NFL record for touchdown passes in a single game (7) in October of 1962. In his top three seasons with the Giants (61, 62, and 63), Tittle averaged a stellar 20.9 fppg.
Best Single Season: Y.A. Tittle, 1963, 334 fantasy points, 25.69 fppg
At 37 years old and in his second to last NFL season, Tittle enjoyed his best career NFL season, putting up 3,145 yards, 36 TDs, 14 INTs, and a QB rating of 104.8 He also added 99 yards rushing and two more scores on the ground.
Honorable Mention: Eli Manning – 17 fppg, Phil Simms – 16.6 fppg
Wide Receiver: 17.56 fppg, Del Shofner, 1961-1967
Someone had to be catching all of those passes thrown by Tittle, and that someone was Del Shofner. From 1961-1963, the 6’3 WR from Center, Texas caught 185 passes, 32 TDs and 3,439 yards: good for 720 fantasy points.
Best Single Season: Del Shofner, 1962, 258 fantasy points, 19.84 fppgIn just 13 games, Shofner caught 53 passes for 1,133 yards and 12 TDs.
NOT Best Single Season: Steve Smith, 2009, 271 fantasy points, 16.93 fppg
I know you were thinking it…but although Smith posted the most overall WR fantasy points for a Giant in 2009, he played 3 more games than Shofner, bringing his fppg below that of the old-timer’s.
Honorable Mention: Amani Toomer, 15.4 fppg
Running Back: 21.68 fppg, Tiki Barber, 1997-2006
If PWC’dO was factored in as a deductible statistic, than Tiki Barber would not have been inducted into the Hall of Fantasy. However, because Pregnant Wives Cheated On is not yet an official fantasy stat, Barber remains the greatest Giant fantasy football player of all time, and a top-25 all-NFL fantasy selection. During his top three fantasy seasons (02, 04, and 05), Tiki posted a redonkulous 1041 fantasy points, averaging almost 22 fppg.
Best Single Season: Tiki Barber, 2005, 359 fantasy points, 22.44 fppg
Starting all 16 games, Barber ran for a team-record 1,860 yards and nine TDs, while catching 54 passes for 530 yards and two TDs.
Honorable Mention: Joe Morris, 16.2 fppg
Tight End: 11.89 fppg, Mark Bavaro, 1985-1990
The beloved Bavaro narrowly edged out former Giant TE Jeremy Shockey by .14 points to earn his induction into the Hall of Fantasy. In addition to being the Giants all-time leading fantasy tight-end, he is the only Giant tight-end to catch for over 1,000 yards in a season, hauling in 1,001 yards in 1986.
Best Single Season: Jeremy Shockey, 2005, 196 fantasy points, 13.06 fppg
I can’t think of a nickname so I am just going to blurt out the first thing that comes to mind: This jackass had a great year as a tight-end in 2005, catching 65 passes for 891 yards and seven TDs.
Honorable Mention: Jackass, 11.75 fppg
Kicker: 9.25 fppg, Jay Feely, 2005-2006
Although Feely only played with the Giants for two seasons, me feely he was deserved of the Hall of Fantasy because he holds three notable Giant kicking/scoring records. In 2005, Feely set the record for total points in a season and tied the record for field goals in a season, booting 35 FG and 43 extra points. Feely also holds the record for highest field goal percentage over a two year period.
Best Single Season: Jay Feely, 2005, 148 fantasy points, 9.25 fppg
Honorable Mention: Pete Gogolak, sweet leg – sweeter name.
The New York Jets
Quarterback: 16.33 fppg, Ken O’Brien, 1983-1992
I’ll admit it: when I pressed the “=” sign on my calculator and realized that Ken O’Brien is the most productive fantasy quarterback in Jets history, I was a bit taken back myself. However, when you look at the statistics, which don’t lie, it is very cut and dry. Part of those statistics includes interceptions, which can kill fantasy production. In 1985, 1986, and 1988, Ken O’Brien put up 735 total fantasy points in 45 NFL games, averaging 16.33 fppg, with a bar over it. In 1966, 1967, and 1969, Joe Namath’s best three statistical seasons, Broadway Joe put up 676 total fantasy points in 42 NFL games, averaging 16.09 fppg.
Best Single Season: Vinny Testaverde, 1998, 306 fantasy points, 21.85 fppg
In 1998, despite starting in just 13 games, Testaverde threw up 3,256 yards, 29 TDs, and just seven INTs, adding a week 14 rushing TD to beat the Seahawks 32-31. On his way to taking the Jets to a 12-4 record and the AFC championship game, Testaverde posted a 101.6 QB rating. His next highest career full-season rating: 88.7 in 96’ with the Ravens.
Honorable Mention: Joe Namath – 16.09 fppg, Chad Pennington – 16.09 fppg.
Wide receiver: 19.34 fppg, Don Maynard, 1963-1972
This was a run-away. In 1965, 1967, and 1968, despite playing 14-game seasons, Hall of Famer Don Maynard averaged a Larry Fitzgerald-like 1,316 yards, 11.3 TDs, and 20.3 yards per catch, translating into 793 fantasy points.
Best Single Season: Don Maynard, 1967, 274 fantasy points, 19.57 fppg
In just 14 games, Maynard posted 71 receptions, 1,434 yards, and 10 TDs. Over a 16-game season, this would translate into 81 receptions, 1,639 yards, 12 TDs – 316 FP.
Honorable Mention: Al Toon – 15.67 fppg, Keyshawn Johnson – 14.95 fppg
Running back: 19.16 fppg, Curtis Martin, 1998-2006
One of the most underappreciated running backs of all-time, Curtis Martin was a premier NFL fantasy running back for nearly a decade. In 2000, 2001, and 2004, Martin averaged 307 fantasy points per season, posting an average of 19.16 fppg. No other Jet in history comes close to those marks.
Best Single Season: Curtis Martin, 2004, 318 fantasy points, 19.87 fppg
In 04’, Martin set career and team records for yards with 1,697, while adding 12 rushing TDs, 41 receptions, 245 receiving yards, and two TD receptions.
Honorable Mention: Freeman McNeil – 17.13 fppg, Thomas Jones – 14.33 fppg
Tight end: 12.06 fppg, Mickey Shuler, 1978-1989
Shuler, who holds career Jet tight-end records in pretty much every major category, averaged 189 fantasy points per season in 1984, 1985, and 1988.
Best Single Season: Mickey Shuler, 1985, 205 fantasy points, 12.81 fppg
In 1985, Shuler set career highs in catches (76), yards (879), and TDs (7)
Honorable mention: Richard Caster – 11.92 fppg
Kicker: 10.35 fppg, Jim Turner, 1964-1970
Turner holds Jets team records for points in a season, FGs in a season, and FGs in a game.
Best Single Season: Jim Turner, 1968, 145 fantasy points
Funny Caption Only a Football Fan Would Get:
“Get that camera out my face…..I’ll give your ass a cunncunction too.”
Week Six “Un-Googleable Trivia” Question
Which former New York Giant started a hunting resort in a mid-western US state while still playing in the NFL, but not with the Giants?
Answer: In 2007 while playing for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, former Penn State Nittany Lion and New York Giant wide receiver Joe Jurevicius co-founded Dismal River Outifitters, a hunting ranch a resort in Mullen Nebraska.
This week’s winner is Nicholas Gianntonio from Brick, NJ. A long-time Giants fan, not only did Nick get the answer correctly, he took this contest a step further by highlighting ANOTHER former Giant who has started a hunting ranch. However, I am storing this information for future contests…
Week Seven “Un-Googleable Trivia” Question
After playing for the New York Giants, what former Giant OTHER THAN JOE JUREVICIUS started a hunting resort in a mid-western US state?
If you think you know the “Un-Googleable” answer, email it to JCarrajat@wfan.com. The first respondent to answer correctly will receive a mention in next week’s article.