Cleat Geeks

The Fantasy Consistency of WRs in 2017

The Fantasy Consistency of WRs in 2017

 

We all love boom games. We all hate bust games. But the reality is, not even the most transcendent NFL stars can provide us one without the other. In this series of articles I will try and illustrate the individual consistency of the top 20 players at each position (based on average ADP from ESPN.com).

 

So how have I attempted to do this? Using standard deviation I have mapped out the number of games each player performed above or below their personal average PPG (half point PPR). Standard deviation is a measurement of variance from their average within a group of data and can be a very useful tool. It can help to indicate how ‘boom’ or ‘bust’ a player was over the course of a season.

Image result for antonio brown catch

Just a quick note before we go any further; these consistency ratings are purely based on each player’s individual performance. For example, Antonio Brown was so unbelievably good that his consistency rating seems fairly low. This is because his base-level of fantasy PPG is so stupidly high he would have had to score 18+ points a game to receive a more generous rating.

 

Equally, Amari Cooper, who we all know; sucked this year, has a comparably impressive consistency rating. This is due to the fact that his base line was so low he required less fantasy output per game to be deemed a ‘consistent’ asset.

Image result for amari cooper

Photo by; ibabuzz.com

So what is the purpose of this? Good question. Although retroactively gathered, this data can show what you should expect from a player on a week to week basis. A high proportion of ‘Good’ or ‘Great’ games indicates you would be pleased with this receiver over the year. However, it may also indicate that the majority of their points were accumulated in just a handful of appearances. Furthermore, a player with a high number of ‘Bust’ games but an equal or greater number of ‘average’ games may show they are the perfect WR2/3.

 

Finally, a higher S.D. score is not a good sign. This initial stat can quickly show who is more consistent. A higher S.D. means a higher variance which of course, means less consistency. Reminder, this is a measurement of personal expectation and not a comparison between players.

 

The table below has been devised into 7 possible game scores. -1.5 S.D. scores below average results in a ‘Terrible’ Game; -1 S.D. is a Bad game; -0.5 S.D. is below average; games between -0.5 and +0.5 S.D. are deemed Average; +0.5 S.D. is above average; +1 S.D. is a Good game and +1.5 S.D. will be considered a Great game.

Name Games PPG S.D. Terrible Bad -Average Average +Average Good Great %  Busted %  Average %  Boom %  Positive
Antonio Brown 14 18.41 10.75 0 3 2 5 2 1 1 35.71 35.71 28.57 64.29
OBJ 4 15.18 8.02 0 1 0 2 0 1 0 25.00 50.00 25.00 75.00
Julio Jones 16 12.90 9.27 0 1 2 10 2 0 1 18.75 62.50 18.75 81.25
Jordy Nelson 15 7.38 6.87 0 1 5 6 0 1 2 40.00 40.00 20.00 60.00
Mike Evans 15 11.04 5.47 1 2 2 5 2 3 0 33.33 33.33 33.33 66.67
AJ Green 16 12.08 7.80 0 3 1 8 0 3 1 25.00 50.00 25.00 75.00
Michael Thomas 16 12.91 5.32 1 1 2 7 2 2 1 25.00 43.75 31.25 75.00
Brandin Cooks 16 11.42 7.39 0 2 4 6 2 0 2 37.50 37.50 25.00 62.50
Doug Baldwin 16 11.54 6.72 1 1 3 6 1 3 1 31.25 37.50 31.25 68.75
Amari Cooper 14 9.57 10.05 0 0 4 7 2 0 1 28.57 50.00 21.43 71.43
TY Hilton 16 9.32 9.13 0 0 8 5 0 1 2 50.00 31.25 18.75 50.00
Dez Bryant 16 9.64 4.25 0 3 4 3 2 4 0 43.75 18.75 37.50 56.25
DeAndre Hopkins 15 17.59 7.28 0 1 3 7 1 1 2 26.67 46.67 26.67 73.33
Demaryius Thomas 16 10.40 5.67 2 2 1 6 2 2 1 31.25 37.50 31.25 68.75
Terrell Pryor 9 4.44 4.71 0 0 2 5 0 1 1 22.22 55.56 22.22 77.78
Alshon Jeffery 16 10.09 6.26 1 1 3 6 3 1 1 31.25 37.50 31.25 68.75
Michael Crabtree 14 9.91 8.21 0 3 2 5 2 1 1 35.71 35.71 28.57 64.29
Keenan Allen 16 14.14 8.57 0 0 8 4 1 1 2 50.00 25.00 25.00 50.00
Larry Fitzgerald 16 12.88 7.89 0 3 3 5 1 2 2 37.50 31.25 31.25 62.50
Golden Tate 16 11.02 6.47 0 4 3 2 3 4 0 43.75 12.50 43.75 56.25

 

A number of players (Julio, Jordy, Amari, Hilton, Pryor and Crabtree) had such a high S.D. (Cooper’s was higher than his average PPG) that they did not qualify for ‘Terrible Games.’ This is a very bad sign. This occurs only when the variation is enormous.

 

Main Takeaways

 

Keenan Allen – WR- Los Angeles Chargers

 

Height: 6’2” Weight: 211lbs  Age:25 years Experience: 6 seasons

2017 Production: 102 catches on 159 targets for 1393 yards and 6 TDs

 

Image result for keenan allen 2017

Photo by; Arrowhead Addict

In my opinion, one of the greatest comeback seasons of the last decade. Falling just behind the likes of Pat P’s battle with diabetes and Eric Berry’ superhuman resilience in the face of Hodgkins Lymphoma. Allen’s personal struggles were of a different breed but his return to form was nothing short of spectacular.

After missing a total of 23 games between the 2015 and 2016 seasons, Keenan Allen played a full 16 games for the first time in his already surprisingly long career. At just 25 years old (26 in April), let us hope this is the start of a new trend for the world class wide receiver.

His best-in-the-league route running led him to nearly 1400 yards and 6 TDs. One such TD game against the Cowboys in week 11 where he single-handedly dismantled their entire secondary, putting them all on skates and making them look foolish. This came in the midst of an historical run for a WR. Between weeks 10-12, Allen AVERAGED 11 catches, 145 Yards and 1.33 TDs.

This ridiculous run of productivity probably attributed largely to his ‘poor’ consistency score. According to the metrics set above, you would have only been happy starting Keen a mere 50% of the time. Now, as previously mentioned that is entirely relative to his own production and is based on expectation rather than a league-wide comparison.

Even in his 8 Below Average games he would have netted you around 6 catches for 50 yards- a PPR stalwart Keenan certainly is, with league topping upside. Keenan Allen and Michael Thomas (see below) remind me of one another. Not so much in their playing style but in their almost pathological inability to ruin your week. They are both incredible talents, valued members of their team and should both be considered amongst the best players in the NFL.

He never had a terrible or bad game. Outside of the big 3 WRs, Keenan is making a name for himself as one of my favourite fantasy pick-ups, especially in any PPR scoring formats.

 

Michael Thomas – WR – New Orleans Saints

 

Height: 6’3” Weight: 212lbs Age: 25 years Experience: 3 seasons

2017 Production: 104 catches on 149 targets for 1245 yards and 5 TDs

Image result for Michael Thomas 2017

Photo by; Eleven Warriors

There is not a lot left to be said of Michael Thomas. When you own the NFL’s record for most catches by a played in their first two seasons you are doing something right. Now, these receptions aren’t those akin to Jarvis Landry’s (no offence Jarvis), no, Thomas is a one man third down conversion machine.

3rd and 12? No problem. Thomas is your man. Perhaps Drew Brees’ biggest regret from his career will be not being able to play with Thomas for a further 10 seasons. He is the receiver QBs dream about, much like Keenan or the immortal Larry Fitz.

Hopefully, now he has back-to-back 1,000 yard seasons the league will stop under appreciating how truly gifted this young man is. Just like Keenan (and yes I will continue to compare these two), Thomas is a PPR machine, only recording fewer than 5 catches twice on the season , one of which resulted in his only truly poor fantasy game.

The purpose of calculating the Standard Deviation of a set of data is to produce a beautifully symmetrical bell curve, which encapsulates all relevant data, excluding any outliers. Michael Thomas would have produced the most exemplary of all bell curves. He is as consistent as they come.

He netted you fewer than 50 yards just twice (once against the Vikings in week 1-not an easy D) or more than 100 yards twice also. This reality and lack of enormous Boom games makes him a less attractive fantasy option for most people. But to me, this makes him a fantastic option in the second round.

 

Mike Evans – WR – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Height: 6’5” Weight: 231lbs Age: 25 years Experience: 5 Seasons

2017 Production: 71 catches on 135 targets for 1001 yards and 5 TDs

 

Image result for mike evans 2017

Photo by; FantasyAlarm.com

Much like his former team mate and current Oakland Raider Doug Martin, Mike Evans appears to be entering a career pattern of fluctuation. Perhaps not to the same extent as Doug Martin but specifically in the TD category. Mike Evans has exceeded 1000 yards in each of his first 4 seasons but his TD totals are much less consistent. If the pattern continues he is due 12 TDs in 2018 as his previous TDs catches have been as follows; 12,3,12,5. Madness.

My biggest concern however is his posted his second lowest catch total (68 in 2014) and second lowest Yards per Catch aver (13.8 in 2016, 14.1 in 2017). Much of this could be attributed to Tampa’s up and down QB situation in 2017. That is likely the reason as there is no denying Evan’s talent. Perhaps his baseline of expectation simply needs to be lowered slightly. If Evans isn’t a top 5 fantasy receiver option year-to-year, maybe we should stop treating him as one.

Despite his production being on the down turn, the fist 6 weeks of the season were more than serviceable: 5.67 catches for 76.5 yards and 0.67TDs on average. Unfortunately he did post weeks of 1 for 13; 2 for 33 and 2 for 25yards- absolute stinkers!!

Overall, Mike Evans did have a comparitively bad year. But bad for him. Not bad in general. He’s a top 10 receiver in the league, so everyone breath. Continue drafting him in the 2nd round and continue starting him often and willingly.

 

 

DeAndre Hopkins – WR – Houston Texans

 

Height: 6’1” Weight: 210lbs Age: 26 years Experience: 6 Seasons

2017 Production: 96 catches on 176 targets for 1378 yards and 13 TDs

Image result for deandre hopkins 2017

Photo by; The Sports Fan Journal

Enough is enough. DeAndre ‘MF’ Hopkins is a top 5 receiver in the league and a top 3 receiver in fantasy. Show some respect. No other top flight receiver has had to deal with such a poor slew of QB play in their career. He is the Joe Thomas of WRs -congratulations on the retirement by the way, what a career!.

All Hopkins did in 2017 was dominant in every sense of the word. Being the 13th WR off the board proved to be extremely lucky for fantasy owners everywhere. He truly was the steal of the draft, perhaps behind LA’s prodigal son- TG3.

I’m not going to waste everyone’s time with 400 words of prose about how incredible Hopkins is. Draft him, draft him high, draft him before someone else gets the chance. He is bust proof, QB proof, coverage proof (see him dismantle Pat P) and slander proof.

Outside of Julio, no one climbs the ladder of a Cornerback like Hopkins. The man who manages to stop him deserves to pay raise.

Oh, finally, one last note: his WORST week game versus the Browns in which he only managed 2 catches for 19 yards…but….he added a TD for good measure, just to stop you panicking.

 

 

Doug Baldwin – WR – Seattle Seahawks

 

Height: 5’10” Weight: 192lbs Age: 29 years Experience: 8 seasons

2017 Production: 75 catches on 117 targets for 991 yards and 8 TDs

 

Image result for doug baldwin 2017

Photo by; Fansided

Once again, Doug Baldwin is underrated. A somewhat underwhelming season in terms of yardage but that is where the disappointment ends. After all, he only posted 10 fewer yards than Mike Evans and tacked on 3 additional TDs.

Add on perhaps 200 more yards (a measly 12 extra yards per game) and people’s perception of him would be changed greatly. In fairness Baldwin did have some shocking games (for fantasy) but on 11 separate occasions Baldwin achieved either 50 yards and/or a TD. That’s a solid, solid baseline and ideal for your WR2 or a flex option.

In my opinion the most disappointing factor of Baldwin’s season is Russell Wilson’s dominance. Russell was slinging the ball here, there and everywhere and someone Doug didn’t reap the benefits as much as he previously has.

My only hope for Doug moving forward is he continues to be undervalued. Simply so I can pick him up at the top of the 3rd round or later each year.

 

 

As always, thanks for reading! Any feedback is much appreciated and all comments are welcome. My second IDP articles and Part 2 of DB acquisitions should be up in a couple of days, so keep an eye out.

You can follow me here and follow @cleatgeeks for all your sports itches to be scratched.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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