Welcome to Learning from History, where I dig into every fantasy season since 1985 to find historical comparisons for modern players.
Today, we look at Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers is one of the most productive fantasy quarterbacks the league has ever seen. (He's not too shabby as a real-life quarterback, either.) In fact, despite the late start to his career, only Peyton Manning, Drew Brees, Tom Brady, and Brett Favre have produced more points above replacement since 1985, though Dan Marino would also jump Rodgers if we went back two more seasons. This despite the fact that Rodgers has started just 158 career games and each of those other five quarterbacks started a minimum of 240. Only Steve Young can match Rodgers' 1000 career points over replacement with fewer career starts.
But one important rule for fantasy football is you don't get points for the past, so the question becomes what does Rodgers have left in the tank. And to answer that question, it's helpful to look at some of the all-time greats who have come before.
Comparison #1: The Best Fantasy QBs since 1985
Let's start simple and straightforward. I mentioned that Rodgers was one of the best fantasy quarterbacks we've seen. How did the others in that rare company fare as they aged? Here's every quarterback sorted by points above replacement (since 1985) through age 35. I've also included their average per-year (APY) fantasy value from ages 36-38 and total remaining career value. (Bear in mind that Drew Brees and Tom Brady can still potentially add to their totals there.)