Fantasy Football Stat of the Day: QBs who scored outside the pocket


(Leading up to the 2021 NFL season, FTN’s Tyler Loechner will dive into the fantasy football numbers to bring you his Fantasy Stat of the Day, five days a week.)

A few days ago, we took a look at which QBs travel out of the pocket on drop backs most often.

The list featured a mix of elite talent and major disappointments, showing that only the best can pull it off successfully. Unsurprisingly, superhuman Russell Wilson topped the list.

Today’s Stat of the Day piece will take a look at which QBs make the most happen — based on TDs — when they do travel out of the pocket.

Be sure to check out FTN’s Out of Pocket QB stats tool to explore more of the data yourself!

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TD rates jump nearly 50% when the QB goes out of the pocket, and Russell Wilson leads the way

The chart below shows the top 15 QBs (minimum 150 drop backs) from the 2020 season based on the percentage of their total drop backs that saw the QB trail out of the pocket (OOP).

Player Att OOP Att. TDs OOP TDs TD % OOP TD %
Russell Wilson 424 134 28 12 6.6% 9.0%
Deshaun Watson 441 104 22 11 5.0% 10.6%
Aaron Rodgers 421 104 37 11 8.8% 10.6%
Josh Allen 464 108 26 11 5.6% 10.2%
Patrick Mahomes 458 131 28 10 6.1% 7.6%
Ryan Tannehill 419 62 26 7 6.2% 11.3%
Baker Mayfield 380 106 20 6 5.3% 5.7%
Lamar Jackson 294 82 20 6 6.8% 7.3%
Mitchell Trubisky 221 76 10 6 4.5% 7.9%
Justin Herbert 521 74 25 6 4.8% 8.1%
Kyler Murray 488 70 21 5 4.3% 7.1%
Matthew Stafford 475 53 21 5 4.4% 9.4%
Tom Brady 583 27 35 5 6.0% 18.5%
Drew Lock 345 98 11 5 3.2% 5.1%
Kirk Cousins 417 100 30 5 7.2% 5.0%

A few notes from this study:

  • Russell Wilson is the league’s top QB playmaker out of the pocket. Not only does Wilson spend more time than any other QB out of the pocket, but he also makes the most happen. His 12 out-of-pocket TDs led the league last year.
  • TD rate increases by nearly 50% when the QB goes out of the pocket. Among these top 15 QBs, their TD rate on all pass attempts was 5.7%. When they go OOP, the TD rate increases to 8.4% — a jump of nearly 50%. It’s OK to perk up every time your QB gets out of the pocket.
  • Baker Mayfield has a big chance to jump in this category. Mayfield had 106 OOP dropbacks last year, fourth-most among the QBs on this list, but his overall TD rate and OOP TD rate were roughly equal. If he can make more happen out of the pocket, Mayfield could see about 3-5 more total TDs just from improving in this one category.
  • It’s doubtful to happen more often, but Tom Brady is magic out of the pocket. Brady has always been elusive in the pocket, but he rarely travels out of the pocket. Indeed, his 27 OOP pass attempts last season were far, far lower than every other QB on this list. However, he threw a TD on a ridiculous 18.5% of those attempts — easily the best rate in the league. Is it small sample magic, or Brady magic? The Bucs are unlikely to design plays that brings their 44-year-old QB into harms way, but he’s the clear statistical outlier of this study.

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