Fantasy football: Deebo Samuel, Mike Evans among players who will score fewer TDs in 2022

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

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Football statistics are extremely hard to predict, but history continues to show that projecting touchdown regression to the mean is significantly easier than you might imagine.

The 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2021 versions of this article provide overwhelming evidence.

There were 79 names listed in those six columns, and in 72 cases the player scored fewer touchdowns the following season. That's an absurd hit rate of 91.1%. Five exceptions came during the historically offensive 2018 and 2020 seasons (that includes Taysom Hill, who had four of his nine scores during his four unexpected starts at QB) and, despite the league playing an extra game last season, our only 2021 misses were Ryan Tannehill (matched his 2020 total) and Mike Evans (by one TD). Even if we cross off players who barely saw the field (David Johnson, Antonio Brown, Christian McCaffrey), the hit rate remains extremely strong.

This is far from surprising, as we've learned over the years that players simply cannot sustain extremely high scoring rates. It's not a knock on their talent. Scoring is simply more about opportunity.

You want proof? Good, I have it.