Era-adjusted fantasy football player rankings: Brett Favre, Don Hutson leaders of the Green Bay Packers

To celebrate the 60th anniversary of the creation of fantasy football, The Athletic is reviewing the best fantasy players and fantasy seasons in NFL history.

A detailed overview of the system used to grade historical fantasy performance can be found in our greatest fantasy players of all-time introduction page, but here’s a quick summary.

Fantasy player performance is era-adjusted so that players who dominated during lower scoring eras can compete versus players who racked up huge point totals in higher scoring eras.

After these adjustments are made, players are then given credit for having a starter-caliber season (one point), a quality season (one point), an impact campaign (1.5 points) or being an elite starter (two points). These points stack and are measured in both non-PPR and PPR and serve as the basis for determining who are the best fantasy players in NFL history.

Now that we have the preliminaries out of the way, let’s look at the best fantasy players in Green Bay Packers team history!

(Note: the numbers listed below are for the player’s performance while on the Packers.)

All-time fantasy starting lineup

QB: Brett Favre

RB: Verne Lewellen

RB: Clarke Hinkle

WR: Don Hutson

WR: Billy Howton

TE: Paul Coffman

SuperFLEX: Aaron Rodgers


Quarterback—Brett Favre

starter Quality Impact Elite PPR Str PPR Qual PPR Impact PPR Elite Career Points
fifteen 7 6 two fifteen 7 6 two 60

Favre and Aaron Rodgers had a fierce battle for the top fantasy quarterback on the Packers. Favre’s 15 starter-caliber seasons are easily the most among Green Bay players and his 60 career points rank second in club history. Favre is one of only four quarterbacks to ever post three straight seasons as the No. 1 scorer at QB (Tobin Rote, Johnny Unitas, and Steve Young being the others). This was enough to give Favre the quarterback spot over Rodgers at the moment, but his two-point lead in career points indicates that it may only be one more year before Rodgers claims this spot and relegates Favre to the SuperFlex role.

Running back—Verne Lewellen

starter Quality Impact Elite PPR Str PPR Qual PPR Impact PPR Elite Career Points
6 5 7.5 8 6 5 7.5 8 53

A strong case can be made that Lewellen should be in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, as he was one of the best backs of his day. He may have been the greatest fantasy player in 1928-30, as Lewellen placed second in scoring twice in that span and was fourth in the other year. All totaled, Lewellen had five Top 10 finishes in fantasy scoring and four perfect 11-career point seasons, a production pace that easily landed him a spot on this roster.

Running Back—Jim Taylor

starter Quality Impact Elite PPR Str PPR Qual PPR Impact PPR Elite Career Points
8 5 4.5 two 8 4 3 two 36.5

Taylor and fellow Pro Football Hall of Famer Clarke Hinkle were neck-in-neck for this spot. Here are Hinkle’s numbers:

starter Quality Impact Elite PPR Str PPR Qual PPR Impact PPR Elite Career Points
9 7 3 0 9 6 1.5 0 35.5

Hinkle has the lead in starter- and quality-caliber seasons, while Taylor has the edge in impact, elite, and total career points. Taylor had a five-year stretch as a mid-to upper-tier RB1 and thus had a bit more scoring consistency than Hinkle, which was enough to give Taylor the tiebreaker in this one.

Wide receiver—Don Hutson

starter Quality Impact Elite PPR Str PPR Qual PPR Impact PPR Elite Career Points
eleven eleven fifteen 10 eleven eleven 16.5 12 97.5

It is difficult to overstate just how incredible Hutson’s fantasy numbers are. In 11 seasons, he never finished lower than fifth in non-PPR points and never lower than fourth in PPR points. In his final ten seasons, Hutson placed first or second in PPR scoring and placed first in PPR scoring for the final six seasons of his career. The final five years of his career were all perfect 11-career point seasons, and he led the league in PPR scoring in each of those campaigns.

To put his numbers into modern-day perspective, consider that Hutson scored 330.5 PPR points in an 11-game season in 1942. That total would have placed third in the 2021 season, just ahead of Justin Jefferson’s 330.4 points, and Jefferson’s numbers were posted in a 17-game season. To be fair, a lot of Hutson’s career was played in World War II (he was exempted from military service due to having three daughters) and kicking extra points spiked his fantasy numbers over his final five years, but even with those caveats, Hutson has a strong case as the greatest fantasy player of all time.

Wide receiver—James Lofton

starter Quality Impact Elite PPR Str PPR Qual PPR Impact PPR Elite Career Points
9 4 3 0 9 5 0 0 30

This was a toss-up between Lofton, who starred for the Packers from 1978-86, and Billy Howton, who was a terrific receiver for Green Bay from 1952-58. Here are Howton’s numbers:

starter Quality Impact Elite PPR Str PPR Qual PPR Impact PPR Elite Career Points
6 4 3 4 7 4 3 4 35

It might seem like Howton should win this based on a higher career points total, but 22 of his 35 points occurred when he led ends in fantasy points in 1952 and 1956. Lofton had a six-year stretch when he was a Top 8 fantasy WR in PPR and therefore had more consistent long-term value than Howton, who posted only five seasons in the Top 11 in PPR scoring among ends and only four in the Top 6. That was enough to earn Lofton the vote for the second wide receiver spot on this club.

Tight End—Paul Coffman

starter Quality Impact Elite PPR Str PPR Qual PPR Impact PPR Elite Career Points
6 one 1.5 0 7 one 1.5 0 18

The Packers haven’t generated much tight end production over the years, as Coffman is the only Green Bay tight end to post more than 10 career points (Mark Chmura is second with seven points). This shouldn’t take anything away from Coffman’s place on this roster, as he was a Top 7 tight end in PPR scoring in five of his seven seasons with the Packers.

SuperFlex—Aaron Rodgers

starter Quality Impact Elite PPR Str PPR Qual PPR Impact PPR Elite Career Points
12 9 6 two 12 9 6 two 58

As noted earlier, Rodgers should pass Favre for the top fantasy quarterback spot on this club as long as he posts an Aaron Rodgers-caliber campaign in 2022. To say that Rodgers has truly elite consistency probably doesn’t do him justice, as he has ranked first or second in QB fantasy scoring on eight occasions and in the Top 9 at the position on 12 occasions.


All-time best era-adjusted fantasy seasons

QB: Cecil Isbell, 1942 (163.1 points)

RB: Johnny Blood, 1931 (76 non-PPR, 76 PPR)

WR: Don Hutson, 1942 (256.6 non-PPR, 330.5 PPR)

TE: Paul Coffman, 1983 (146 non-PPR, 200.4 PPR)

SuperFLEX: Verne Lewellen, 1928 (58 non-PPR, 58 PPR)

(Top photo: Focus on Sport/Getty Images)

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