Over 20,000 Plays Later: NFL Quarterback Grades from 2016

FATstats presents their full-year QB evaluations from the 2016 regular season

2016 Regular Season top 5 QBs — created by FATstats

Unbias. Objective. Fair. In-depth. These are terms FATstats set out to uphold and maintain when building their very own QB grading system. Five months ago, the team sat around a flat screen TV, projecting a spreadsheet that would eventually contain every possible action a QB can make throughout the duration of a single play. The goal was, and still is, to evaluate every play and track every action (good or bad) so that, at the end of a game, they could calculate a grade representing the QB’s overall performance.

After tweaking the points per action and building out the calculations in to a spreadsheet template, they began watching film. That was seventeen weeks ago. Since then, FATstats has watched over 300 hours of film, over 20,000 plays on 265 regular season games and graded over 50 unique QBs. The large amount of detailed data the team has collected allows them to normalize QB grades to evaluate QBs on an equal playing field. Also, they take into account the amount of plays the QB was scored on (“scorable play count”) so that a QB with a large amount of pass attempts, or opportunities, does not get an advantage over a QB supporting a run-heavy offense.

(You can find the week 17 and the overall 2016 regular season QB grades and rankings below.)

FATstats has made their rankings available on Tableau Public. The dashboards will allow you to filter by week and see how each QB performed throughout the entire 2016 regular season.

Our Week-Seventeen NFL QB FAT Grades

After grading week 17 of the 2016 season, here’s the NFL QB FAT Grades for the week 17 games:


  • FAT Score is the the total points for that QB for that week’s game.
  • FAT Grade is a normalized version of our FAT Score divided by the QB’s “scorable play count” for that week’s game.
Week 17 NFL QB FAT Grades

Overall 2016 NFL Regular Season QB Rankings by FAT Grade

Now that we have some data, we compiled the overall performances of all QBs that have played at least four games. Check it out and let us know what you think!

Overall QB Performance in 2016

Why FAT?

Here’s a recap: a group of us that grew up together in sunny South Florida developed what began as an idea into a living, breathing football entertainment and analysis platform. Our goal is to bring fun to an audience that may be skeptical or intimidated by the thought of using numbers and analytics to evaluate the unpredictability of sports. We’re not some suit and tie folks with a calculator. We eat, breathe, and sleep the spirit and community of sports — football in particular.

We’ve been working on a Quarterback grading system that goes beyond the post-game stat-line. It’s an evaluation tool that reviews every single play of every single quarterback (that plays) from every single game. At the end of the day, we all know what matters most are wins and losses. But, we want to help fans become more knowledgeable about why these outcomes are occurring and what they can expect going forward by providing a more thorough evaluation on a game-by-game basis.

FAT Team Thoughts

“Grading the entire 2016 season was a great accomplishment. It showed us that we can do this and that FATstats is a legit football analytics platform with a unique grading system. We worked hard to perfect our grading system and after 17 weeks we are almost there. After grading over 100 QBs personally, I feel confident in my grading and believe that our numbers represent the QBs gameplay perfectly.” — Alec
“I’m so incredibly amazed and proud of what we’ve accomplished. To take a simple idea, transform it into a measuring scale for all NFL quarterbacks, and to watch and grade every single play of the entire 2016 season was really big for us. We may be small now, but I’d still like to thank everyone that stuck with us. In one way or another, directly or indirectly, you’ve all helped us become the FATstats that we are today. I heavily look forward to the 2017 season.” — AP

The Football Analytics Today Takeover!

Austin Paolillo , Mike Papa , Keith Rabinowitz , Alec Depofi, Bobby Souza , Kyle Tyson

Although our regular season evaluations are in the books, we will continue to build our player-grading system, looking for ways to improve our Player Actions and the way we capture data. We truly would appreciate your feedback as our goal is not only to fairly evaluate NFL players but to involve the football community from the ground up.

We’re always looking forward to hearing your feedback.

-FAT Team

Twitter and Instagram: @FAT_TeamStats