What If? Jerry Rice's 1987 Season

This is my sixth post for 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 1987 season for Pro Football legend Jerry Rice. I'm using the default scoring systems for Sporting News and Yahoo! to calculate the point totals.

Thanks to Lester Legends for the suggestion of Jerry Rice's 1987 season

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
-1 point 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 Jerry Rice in 1987 and fantasy points for the SN games:
Passing yards: NA
Passing touchdowns: NA
Incomplete passes: NA
Interceptions: NA
Rushing yards: 51 = 102 points
Rushing touchdowns: 1 = 60 points
Receptions: 65 = 130 points
Receiving yards: 1078 = 2156 points
Receiving touchdowns: 22 = 1320 points
Fumbles Lost: 1 = -45
Total points: 3723
Total points per game: 310.25
Note: Teams only played 12 games in 1987 due to strike-shortened season.

Here are the stats for Jerry Rice in 1987 and fantasy points for the Yahoo! game:
Passing yards: NA
Passing touchdowns: NA
Interceptions: NA
Rushing yards: 51 = 5 points
Rushing touchdowns: 1 = 6 points
Receiving yards: 1078 = 107 points
Receiving touchdowns: 22 = 132 points
Fumbles Lost: 1 = -2 points
Total points: 248
Total points per game: 20.67

Statistical source: pro-football reference

In a strike-shortened year, Jerry Rice set the record for receiving touchdowns in a season playing for the San Francisco 49ers. This was Rice's third season in the NFL, and he would go on to redefine the position of wide receiver. Although it's argumentative that he had his best season in 1995(122 catches, 1848 yards, 16 TD), there's no telling how many touchdowns he would have had if they played a full season in 1987. Jerry Rice had over 23,000 total yards in his career, and not only is he the best wide receiver ever but one the game's greatest of all-time.

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



Lester's Legends said...

Great job. That was an amazing year. Reggie White had 21 Sacks that year too. Thanks for profiling Jerry. He was one of my favorite players growing up.

David Funk said...

Yeah, it was some kind of year. Walter Payton retired after that season, too.

Thanks for coming by.

Lester's Legends said...

I know he's controversial, but O.J. 1975 season was off the charts. His 1973 was too, when he broke the 2000 yard mark, but he had a ton of TDs in '75.

David Funk said...

I actually thought doing O.J.'s 1973 season, but I can use his 1975 one instead.

Yes, he's controversial, but he put together some of the best seasons in NFL history.