Targeting Consistency in Wide Receivers
Acquiring big numbers from a player is great, but I’ll trade some year-end production for week-to-week consistency. The fantasy season is about winning individual weeks, and the best statistical approach is to own players that offer solid performance on a weekly basis as opposed to game-breaking options that finish one week as the top overall player and another as a fringe starter. This may not be a ground-breaking idea, but you need to realize what you’re getting when you look at any expert’s Top Whatever players for 2014: those are the analysts best guess for who will finish the season with the best statistics. That’s all well and good, but it places no importance on consistency as these two samples would be treated as essentially equal performances.
Player A: 49.5 fantasy points (PPR scoring)
Week 12 – 4 catches for 41 yards and 1 touchdown
Week 13 – 3 catches for 106 yards
Week 14 – 7 catches for 88 yards and 1 touchdown
Player B: 48.8 fantasy points
Week 12 – 5 catches for 127 yards and 1 touchdown
Week 13 – 7 catches for 82 yards and 1 touchdown
Week 14 – 2 catches for 19 yards
The total fantasy point total is very close, but is there any doubt that you’d rather have Player A’s (2013 Demaryius Thomas) three week stretch over that of Player B (Mike Wallace)? The Dolphins wideout had two of the top three scoring games in this sample set, but he killed you with that final week, something Thomas’ owners didn’t experience. Are two big weeks really worth the risk involved here?
CONSISTENCY KING: Andre Johnson
The veteran receiver continues to produce at a consistent level, regardless of the lack of talent around him. Despite questionable quarterback play, Johnson has scored at least 10 PPR Fantasy points in 24 of his last 29 games. He is the rare combination of big-play potential (he is averaging one 28-plus PPR performance every 6.4 games in the last five seasons in which he has played at least eight games) and ultra limited downside.
HONORABLE MENTION: Marques Colston has recorded a PFF Wide Receiver Rating of at least 100 in every season since 2009, something only Wes Welker can claim. One could claim that that has as much to do with consistent quarterback play, but what about Colston’s three consecutive seasons with a Top 10 drop rate (fewest drops)? Colston owns a consistent role with a consistent skill set and a consistent pair of mits.
As far as season consistency goes, two receivers have proven to be remarkably consistent with their current quarterback.
Brian Hartline with Ryan Tannehill under center
2012: 74 catches on 128 targets for 1,083 yards
2013: 76 catches on 134 targets for 1,016 yards
Demaryius Thomas with Peyton Manning under center
2012: 94 catches on 141 targets for 1,434 yards
2013: 92 catches on 143 targets for 1,430 yards