Most and Least Consistent Fantasy Football Players in 2016 (thus far)

ESPN, the NFL Network and plenty other fantasy football hosts have gone insanely analytical with the stats they give us.  Painstakingly providing all us fantasy owners with every possible metric we can stomach.  Yet, for some reason, I find next to nothing about consistency.  Shouldn’t how reliable a player’s weekly ceiling/floor be readily available to us?  In season long leagues, knowing how consistent your player is just as important their point totals.

So, I’ve taken it upon myself to apply an extremely fundamental application of statistics, to an incredibly vital aspect of putting together your team.  That is, everyone knows how to use a player’s average to determine value, but by applying standard deviation and something called a “coefficient of variation” (mean/standard deviation), you can get a clearer perspective on FULL quality of player.

Averages help us…obviously you want to start players with the highest means.  However, lets look at an example:

You’re choosing between

QB Roethlisberger 19.6 PPG
QB Cousins 17 PPG

*Seems like an easy pick, disregarding match-ups, remaining games SOS, etc.

Yet, take a look at their standard deviations (how far they typically skew from that average, from one game to another), i.e. their consistency:

QB Roethlisberger 10.01 points
QB Cousins 4.78 points

This tells us, although Ben gives you 20 points a game, he may get you 10 one day, 30 the next.  Whereas, Cousins will get you only 17 on average, but you can be relatively assured get you 12-21 points.

Look at is using a (Le’veon?) bell curve…

Most and Least Consistent Fantasy Football Players in 2016 (thus far)

If you’re not familiar, the middle is your player’s average, and then the distance between that point and the first sigma, both ways, (one standard deviation) is the average variation from one game to the next, from that player’s mean.

So, the more a player’s bell curve looks like the Sears Tower, instead of the Sears department store, the better.

With all that preamble, here’s this year’s Most Reliable players (regardless of position, min. 7.5 PPG):

Name, Team Position Average St. Dev. CV
Frank Gore, Ind RB 11.8 3.8 3.1
Colin Kaepernick, SF QB 17.0 4.0 4.3
Cole Beasley, Dal WR 8.1 4.0 2.0
Jamison Crowder, Wsh WR 9.8 4.2 2.3
DeMarco Murray, Ten RB 16.9 4.5 3.7
Joe Flacco, Bal QB 12.9 4.5 2.8
Demaryius Thomas, Den WR 8.8 4.6 1.9
Ryan Fitzpatrick, NYJ QB Q 9.1 4.6 2.0
Kirk Cousins, Wsh QB 17.0 4.8 3.6
Todd Gurley, LA RB 9.2 4.9 1.9

The Least…

Name, Team Position Average St. Dev. CV
Trevone Boykin, Sea QB 11.0 11.8 0.9
Drew Brees, NO QB 17.0 11.0 1.6
Jay Ajayi, Mia RB 11.5 10.7 1.1
Julio Jones, Atl WR 12.5 10.4 1.2
Blake Bortles, Jax QB 15.1 10.3 1.5
Jameis Winston, TB QB 13.6 10.3 1.3
Ben Roethlisberger, Pit QB 19.6 10.0 2.0
LeSean McCoy, Buf RB  Q 12.8 9.6 1.3
Le’Veon Bell, Pit RB 11.2 9.5 1.2

Then, to put everything in perspective, to find true quality, I took the ratio between average and standard deviation, which I’ll be honest, I called a power score, until I realized math folk call it Coefficient of Variation.  This very powerful number, alone, means nothing.  But, compared to other players its gives us a truer picture of how consistently good (not just good) a player is. (i.e. how tall/un fat their bell curve is).  A lot of folks you expect on the list, but some surprises too…

Best Value in League
Name, Team Position Average St. Dev. CV
Tom Brady, NE QB 25.5 5.7 4.4
Colin Kaepernick, SF QB 17.0 4.0 4.3
DeMarco Murray, Ten RB 16.9 4.5 3.7
Kirk Cousins, Wsh QB 17.0 4.8 3.6
Matt Ryan, Atl QB 22.4 7.0 3.2
Frank Gore, Ind RB 11.8 3.8 3.1
Aaron Rodgers, GB QB 21.4 7.1 3.0
Jimmy Garoppolo, NE QB 17.0 5.7 3.0
Philip Rivers, SD QB 16.3 5.5 3.0
Joe Flacco, Bal QB 12.9 4.5 2.8
Matthew Stafford, Det QB 18.0 6.8 2.7
David Johnson, Ari RB 19.7 7.6 2.6
Tyrod Taylor, Buf QB 18.9 7.5 2.5
Andrew Luck, Ind QB 19.4 8.1 2.4
Melvin Gordon, SD RB 17.2 7.3 2.4
Jamison Crowder, Wsh WR 9.8 4.2 2.3
Dak Prescott, Dal QB 17.5 7.5 2.3
Ezekiel Elliott, Dal RB 18.8 8.5 2.2
Eli Manning, NYG QB 14.3 6.5 2.2
LeGarrette Blount, NE RB 14.8 6.7 2.2
Carson Palmer, Ari QB 14.7 7.2 2.0
Cole Beasley, Dal WR 8.1 4.0 2.0
Mike Evans, TB WR 14.5 7.2 2.0
Derek Carr, Oak QB 18.1 9.0 2.0
Ryan Fitzpatrick, NYJ QB Q 9.1 4.6 2.0

Least Valuable (at least 7.5 PPG Average)

Name, Team Position Average St. Dev. CV
Tevin Coleman, Atl RB  Q 8.7 9.7 0.9
Trevone Boykin, Sea QB 11.0 11.8 0.9
Josh McCown, Cle QB 8.0 8.5 0.9
C.J. Anderson*, Den RB  IR 8.0 8.3 1.0
Marvin Jones, Det WR 8.4 8.6 1.0
Stefon Diggs*, Min WR  O 7.6 7.6 1.0
Carlos Hyde, SF RB 9.1 8.8 1.0
Latavius Murray, Oak RB 9.8 9.3 1.1
Brian Hoyer*, Chi QB IR 9.8 9.3 1.1
Jay Ajayi, Mia RB 11.5 10.7 1.1
Theo Riddick, Det RB  Q 8.7 8.1 1.1
Brandin Cooks, NO WR 9.6 8.8 1.1
Willie Snead, NO WR 7.6 6.9 1.1
Tyreek Hill, KC WR 7.6 6.8 1.1
Jordan Reed, Wsh TE  Q 8.1 7.1 1.1
Mark Ingram, NO RB  Q 9.9 8.6 1.2
Terrance West, Bal RB 8.2 7.1 1.2
A.J. Green*, Cin WR  O 10.5 8.9 1.2
Le’Veon Bell, Pit RB 11.2 9.5 1.2
Spencer Ware, KC RB 10.1 8.5 1.2
Jordan Howard, Chi RB 9.7 8.1 1.2
Julio Jones, Atl WR 12.5 10.4 1.2
Cody Kessler, Cle QB 8.8 7.3 1.2
Ryan Mathews, Phi RB  Q 9.4 7.7 1.2
Christine Michael, GB RB 9.0 7.2 1.2
A lot jumps out to me, but most of all Jamison Crowder. Number 1 rated WR based on this metric.  At first, that caught my eye, but then look at what he’s done:

W1 W2 W3 W4 W5 W6 W7 W8 W9 W10 W11 W12
5 9 13 2 9 11 10 16 9 16 8

^ Take out 1 game, hes produced 5-16 points every week.  2 games, and you have 9-16 points…pretty solid.  There’s plenty more to analyze about this data, but I’ll leave that to you.  I’m just the messenger today.

*You can find all the data, to manipulate and update as you see fit by clicking here.

**Coming Soon (subscribe to get these sent to your email):
-Career Consistency
-Sensitivity towards Strength of Schedule (position and player)

And yes, this thing is quite crude, and needs a lot of polish…but this isn’t my day job.  The numbers are what matter.

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