What If? Charley Hennigan's 1961 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 1961 season for former Houston Oilers star Charley Hennigan. 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
-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 Charley Hennigan in 1961 and fantasy points for the SN games:
Passing yards: NA = NA
Passing touchdowns: NA = NA
Incomplete passes: NA = NA
Interceptions: NA = NA
Rushing yards: 0 = 0 points
Rushing touchdowns: 0 = 0 points
Receptions: 82 = 164 points
Receiving yards: 1746 = 3492 points
Receiving touchdowns: 12 = 720 points
Fumbles Lost: 0 = 0 points
Total points: 4376 points
Total points per game: 312.57
Note: Teams only played 14 games in 1961.

Here are the stats for Charley Hennigan in 1961 and fantasy points for the Yahoo! game:
Passing yards: NA = NA
Passing touchdowns: NA = NA
Interceptions: NA = NA
Rushing yards: 0 = 0 points
Rushing touchdowns: 0 = 0 points
Receiving yards: 1746 = 174 points
Receiving touchdowns: 12 = 72
Fumbles Lost: 0 = 0 points
Total points: 246 points
Total points per game: 17.57
Note: Teams only played 14 games in 1961.

Statistical source: pro-football reference

In his second year in the AFL, Hennigan set the record for receiving yards that stood for over 30 years when both Issac Bruce and Jerry Rice broke it in 1995. The high-powered Oilers offense had Hall of Fame quarterback George Blanda as well as then-All Pro halfback Billy Cannon in the backfield. So there were plenty of weapons that fantasy owners would have feasted on for the Houston football team. Hennigan would have boosted any receiving unit on fantasy teams in 1961 after the year he had. His best games came in Week 5 against the Boston Patriots and against Buffalo two weeks later. He had 13 receptions for 272 yards and touchdown against the Patriots in a 31-31 tie. Against Buffalo, Hennigan had nine receptions for 232 yards and two touchdowns. The Oilers won the 1961 AFL Title in large part because they led the league in total offense that year. Hennigan went on to become a five-time Pro Bowler as well three-time first All-Pro in his career. He also became the second player in NFL history to record 100 receptions in a season three years later in 1964 for Houston. Hennigan had a nice career in football, and would have been one of the first receivers taken in fantasy football drafts. And yes, his name on the football card picture is misspelled.

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
Beattie Feathers' 1934 season

Reactions:

1 comments:

Ryan said...

Nice job spotlighting one of the forefathers of the game.