What If? Beattie Feathers' 1934 Season

Welcome to another entry of the What If? Fantasy Football edition. This is where I look back at a season long before fantasy football became prominent among us in our society as figure how the fantasy numbers would look if the fantasy game existed then. Today, we look back at the 1934 season of former Chicago Bears player Beattie Feathers. I'm using the default scoring systems for Sporting News and Yahoo! to calculate the point totals.

Here's the point scale for SN(default configuration):
60 points for every touchdown
2 points for every rushing, receiving, and punt return yard gained
1 point for every kickoff return yard gained
2 points for every reception
1 point for every passing yard
-10 points for every kickoff return attempt
-45 points for lost fumble and interception
-2 points for incomplete pass

Here's the point scale for Yahoo!(default configuration):
6 points for every rushing, receiving, and return touchdown
4 points for passing touchdown
1 point for every 10 rushing and receiving yards
1 point for every 25 passing yards
2 points for every two-point conversion
-1 point for every interception
-2 points for every fumble
No points are given for receptions or return yardage in the default configuration.

Here are the stats for Beattie Feathers in 1934 and fantasy points for the SN games:
Passing yards: 41 = 41 points
Passing touchdowns: 2 = 120 points
Incomplete passes: 8 = -16 points
Interceptions: 2 = -90
Rushing yards: 1004 = 2008 points
Rushing touchdowns: 8 = 480 points
Receptions: 6 = 12 points
Receiving yards: 174 = 348 points
Receiving touchdowns: 1 = 60 points
Fumbles Lost: NA
Total points: 2963 points
Total points per game: 269.36
Note: Feathers played 11 games in 1947.

Here are the stats for Beattie Feathers in 1934 and fantasy points for the Yahoo! game:
Passing yards: 41 = 1 points
Passing touchdowns: 2 = 8 points
Interceptions: 2 = -2 points
Rushing yards: 1004 = 100 points
Rushing touchdowns: 8 = 48 points
Receiving yards: 174 = 17 points
Receiving touchdowns: 1 = 6 points
Fumbles Lost: NA
Total points: 178 points
Total points per game: 16.18

Statistical source: pro-football reference

Some of you are likely asking, "Who was Beattie Feathers?" And, "Why did you choose him?" Well, he's notable for a few things. First, he's in the College Football Hall of Fame for his play at Tennessee between 1931-33. He later became head coach at such schools as Wake Forest, NC State, and Texas Tech. But most importantly, he became the first player in NFL history to rush for over 1,000 yards in a season, doing so in his rookie year of 1934. He still holds the record with an 8.4 average yards per carry during a season for running backs(Michael Vick holds the overall record set in 2006). He was a solid college player, and would have likely went in the first few rounds of a fantasy draft which would have paid off well for all his owners in 1934. Feathers never came close to achieving anything remotely close to his 1934 numbers for the remainder of his career. In fact, he rushed for over half of his yards(1980 total rushing yards) in 1934 and exactly half of his rushing touchdowns(16). He played his first four years with the Chicago Bears followed by two with the Brooklyn Dodgers and one with the Green Bay Packers retiring after the 1940 season. No, he's not a Hall of Famer, but the 1934 season was a statistical achievement in the NFL that would have had fantasy owners feeling grateful for selecting Feathers that year.

If anyone wants to suggest a past player, then you can do so in the comments section. The only thing I ask is that the player and year be before 1990 because fantasy football wasn't as prominent then.

Past What If? posts:
Walter Payton's 1977 season
Gale Sayers' 1965 season
Eric Dickerson's 1983 season
Jim Brown's 1963 season
Dan Marino's 1984 season
Jerry Rice's 1987 season
O.J. Simpson's 1975 season
Johnny Unitas' 1959 season
Sid Luckman's 1943 season
Sammy Baugh's 1947 season



Lester's Legends said...

I hadn't heard of him. Nice job. Learn something new every day.