Player Points - Aaron Rodgers
By Chase Stuart
April 27th, 2010

Aaron Rodgers sat on the bench for the first three seasons of his career as Brett Favre kept pushing off retirement. Once Favre left, Rodgers took off. In 2008, his first year starting, he was the #2 fantasy QB and had 97 points of VBD. Last season, Rodgers led all quarterbacks with 418 fantasy points and 124 points of VBD. This got me wondering: had Rodgers earned more points of VBD in his first two years starting than any other quarterback since 1970? It turns out he's #4 on the list. I defined a "season as a starting QB" as one where the player started at least half of his team's games.

Quarterback
VBD
Years
Career VBD
Randall Cunningham
269
1987, 1988
776
Greg Landry
234
1971, 1972
278
Dan Marino
234
1983, 1984
1,143
Aaron Rodgers
221
2008, 2009
221
Roger Staubach
200
1971, 1973
725
Kurt Warner
177
1999, 2000
398
Daunte Culpepper
168
2000, 2001
515
Jeff Garcia
163
1999, 2000
305
Boomer Esiason
162
1985, 1986
426
Donovan McNabb
158
2000, 2001
322
Joe Montana
147
1981, 1982
787
Ken O'Brien
144
1985, 1986
153
Don Majkowski
130
1988, 1989
130
Bert Jones
127
1974, 1975
367
Ken Stabler
126
1973, 1974
278
Mark Brunell
125
1995, 1996
197
Peyton Manning
111
1998, 1999
1,003
Aaron Brooks
108
2001, 2002
181
Tony Romo
107
2006, 2007
180
Dave Krieg
106
1983, 1984
252
Jim Everett
103
1987, 1988
403
Jim Kelly
103
1986, 1987
378
Steve Grogan
100
1975, 1976
312
Jeff Blake
98
1994, 1995
208
Steve McNair
96
1997, 1998
226
Kordell Stewart
90
1997, 1998
116
Jay Cutler
87
2007, 2008
87
Erik Kramer
84
1995, 1997
84
Archie Manning
82
1971, 1972
187
Tony Eason
80
1984, 1985
123

Rodgers is in pretty good company; most of the quarterbacks who produced big numbers early on remained good fantasy players for awhile. Rodgers, like Staubach, Warner, Garcia, and others, didn't start at a young age, giving him a leg up in this sort of statistic. I don't think it's controversial to recognize that if Rodgers' first two seasons starting came at ages 22 and 23, he wouldn't have 221 points of VBD in those years. On the above list, only Marino, Steve Grogan and both Mannings were their team's main starter at those ages. Only Daunte Culpepper and Bert Jones were starters at 23 and 24; everyone else on the list had their first season starting come at age 24 or later. So we should recognize that in this piece of trivia, Rodgers does look very good. But he had an advantage most quarterbacks don't have: he didn't have to play when he had no idea what he was doing.

Questions, suggestions and comments are always welcome to stuart@footballguys.com.