Most Consistent Fantasy Players

Aug 4, 2020 at 5:02 pm ET

In my last article, I talked about the reliability of all the Top 12 players at each skilled position to finish the season as a Top 12 player. This time I'd like to look at the consistency of the top ranked players. We'll do this by looking at the standard deviation from each player's weekly PPR point total. A lower standard deviation means that the player is more likely to produce his weekly point total on a consistent basis. The higher the standard deviation, the more likely the player is to produce roller-coaster stats - big production one week and lower production the next.

Quarterbacks Consistency

PlayerStd DeviationAvg Weekly PPR
1.Carson Wentz, PHI5.4917.12
2.Josh Allen, BUF6.4218.91
3.Kyler Murray, ARI6.8317.75
4.Tom Brady, TB6.9916.67
5.Lamar Jackson, BAL7.4027.70
6.Dak Prescott, DAL8.0320.33
7.Jared Goff, LAR8.0714.83
8.Matt Ryan, ATL8.5116.72
9.Patrick Mahomes, KC8.7919.57
10.Russell Wilson, SEA8.9419.23
11.Deshaun Watson, HOU10.0920.83
12.Aaron Rodgers, GB10.3817.32
13.Matthew Stafford, DET11.8211.90
14.Daniel Jones, NYG12.3413.09
15.Drew Brees, NO13.2313.52

Quarterbacks routinely deliver a major portion of your weekly point total. Fortunately, the top 15 guys all tend to deliver consistency. Carson Wentz made it through 16 games last season for the first time since his rookie year. Hopefully he'll have some weapons to throw to. Lamar Jackson, Dak Prescott, and Pat Mahomes consistently deliver 20+ fantasy points, and if you want them, you'll need to draft them within the first few rounds. Given the minor point difference between Russell Wilson and Mahomes/Prescott, Wilson could be a consistently reliable pick at a small discount.

Running Backs Consistency

PlayerStd DeviationAvg Weekly PPR
1.Ezekiel Elliott, DAL5.9619.31
2.Joe Mixon, CIN6.5912.99
3.Todd Gurley, ATL7.3413.77
4.Leonard Fournette, JAC7.3717.66
5.Josh Jacobs, LV8.4811.97
6.Miles Sanders, PHI9.1114.16
7.Dalvin Cook, MIN9.1519.77
8.Austin Ekeler, LAC9.3419.84
9.Nick Chubb, CLE9.5216.92
10.Derrick Henry, TEN9.8917.03
11.Alvin Kamara, NO10.1515.22
12.Christian McCaffrey, CAR10.3229.20
13.Kenyan Drake, ARI10.9114.99
14.Saquon Barkley, NYG12.9114.85
15.Aaron Jones, GB13.8519.90

While Christian McCaffrey had bigger swings in his weekly point total, nobody came close to matching his fantasy contribution. Barkley had large swings in his weekly contributions. Hopefully a year with Daniel Jones will help normalize those numbers. As a Cowboys fan, Ezekiel Elliott is not just my favorite player, but he's also one of the most consistent fantasy running backs. He will no doubt be one of the first five players drafted in your league and with good reason. Alvin Kamara saw quite a few games where he roller-coastered with big games followed by disappointments. For example, his first three games last season saw 24 points, 7 points, and then 37 points. His consistency last year was not great. One name that has fantasy owners excited for 2020 is Miles Sanders who was one of the most consistently-reliable backs last year. He really turned it on after Jordan Howard got hurt averaging 16 points over the last nine games.

Wide Receivers Consistency

PlayerStd DeviationAvg Weekly PPR
1.Odell Beckham Jr., CLE6.3912.23
2.D.J. Moore, CAR6.9415.37
3.DeAndre Hopkins, ARI7.4317.62
4.Michael Thomas, NO7.6424.46
5.JuJu Smith-Schuster, PIT7.697.57
6.Allen Robinson, CHI7.8215.91
7.Kenny Golladay, DET8.5715.85
8.Adam Thielen, MIN9.847.63
9.Davante Adams, GB9.8812.56
10.Julio Jones, ATL9.9217.29
11.Cooper Kupp, LAR10.0516.51
12.Tyreek Hill, KC10.8910.84
13.Chris Godwin, TB11.6718.27
14.Amari Cooper, DAL11.8915.34
15.Mike Evans, TB13.9216.23

There's a reason why Michael Thomas is being drafted in the top 5 overall. He consistently delivered 24 points every week rivaling that of most quarterbacks. In fact, he was the only WR to average more than 20 points. He's a lock to be the first WR off the board. One of the most reliable guys in the NFL is one that many people don't often think of when it comes to being a top pick, but Allen Robinson was consistently effective and will likely be again in 2020. While he didn't put up the kinds of weekly production that he did when he was in New York, Odell Beckham Jr remained one of the most consistent wide receivers last year. Of the top ten guys, there's quite a bit of consistency to be found.

Tight Ends Consistency

PlayerStd DeviationAvg Weekly PPR
1.Hayden Hurst, ATL3.874.76
2.Travis Kelce, KC5.1416.84
3.Noah Fant, DEN5.236.36
4.Jonnu Smith, TEN6.567.09
5.TJ Hockenson, DET6.816.73
6.Mike Gesicki, MIA7.217.65
7.Darren Waller, LV7.5514.09
8.Jared Cook, NO7.6010.34
9.Tyler Higbee, LAR8.229.20
10.Zach Ertz, PHI8.2714.24
11.Hunter Henry, LAC8.308.87
12.Mark Andrews, BAL8.3913.81
13.George Kittle, SF8.5013.75
14.Austin Hooper, CLE8.7711.88
15.Evan Engram, NYG9.397.81

Travis Kelce is not just talented, he's consistently talented. When you draft him, you can reliably count on 16+ fantasy points each week. Another name that should pop out at you is Jonnu Smith who has an opportunity for an expanded role in the Titans offense with Delanie Walker. You can get Smith as a backup TE. Not bad for a guy with a chance at being a fringe TE1. If you miss out on one of the Top 4-ranked Tight Ends (Kelce, Kittle, Andrews, Ertz), target Darren Waller. He can consistently deliver double-digit fantasy points every week.

Join the Discussion

Geoguy CommentedAug 5, 2020 9:22 am

Do you see any value in comparing players by their average minus one standard deviation?

I have used this measure over the years as a way to compare player floors during the season.... it shows a score the player should meet or exceed 84% of the time... (Granted that assumes a normal distribution and the measure gains accuracy as the year goes on.)

My primary means of player selection is still the players match-up, and weekly projections, but in close calls, I'll lean on avg less one standard deviation to break ties. Thoughts?

julie_sanchez CommentedAug 5, 2020 5:10 pm

I like that idea and will take a look at the numbers this season.


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