Touchdown Dependency Rankings in Fantasy Football

Touchdown Dependency Rankings in Fantasy Football

At this point, everyone knows that I like to use “tendency-towards-the-norm” like metrics to forecast certain statistics likely to move in a certain direction. You can find the vast majority of these in Ryan Newman’s Fantasy Pros Articles, but today I am providing a new data point “Touchdown Dependency” rankings for the year.

Let me take a minute to explain: Fantasy Football output is mainly comprised of yardage and touchdowns. Touchdowns are much more sporadic than yardage (per touch). That is a player that is getting you 75 yards a game is much more predictably going to continue to do so. However, TDs come and go. Just look at a simple example: Player One has one touch for one yard and a touchdown, and Player Two has 10 touches, 50 yards, yet is outscored based on the fact Player One crossed the goal line. The moral of the story (excluding the Mike Gillislee’s of the world, who’s fantasy and reality play align almost exclusively with TDs) is, at this point in the season, its a fair assumption that productive players without much dependence on TDs (single, individual plays) are likely to start finding the end zone more, and productive players that have relied on TD heavy point values are likely to fall (all other things equal). The “old tendency towards the mean” again. This is also not to mention the “consistency factor” (you can find more in Fantasy Football Consistency Rankings) that comes along with a player who has been productive throughout the season without having to depend on touchdowns.

So here’s how it shaped up:

Note: QBs tend to be very TD-centric, so I chose not to include them (especially since they “control” 100% of their touchdowns, and don’t need someone to distribute them the ball)

*You can view the full data set by clicking here.

RBs

Touchdown Dependency Rankings in Fantasy Football

LeSean McCoy leading the way among studs isn’t much of a surprise, but I do like the upside from consistent guys like Gore and Crowell. Also, Bell may be in for a big finish the final few weeks.

WRs

Touchdown Dependency Rankings in Fantasy Football

WR as a position is where I think the most predictive value lies in this statistic. These are the players most likely to be affected by TD dependency, and therefore most likely to give you an edge going into the playoffs. Jones was no surprise, but there are a handful of heavy hitters like Brown, Thielen and the Thomas’s who could have monster playoffs with an additional TD or two above their first 12-week norm. On the flip side, it was interesting to see the 2 Green Bay stars at the backend, which could be a byproduct of QB inefficiency without Rodgers.

TEs

Touchdown Dependency Rankings in Fantasy Football

I’ll admit, TE was actually the position that led to creating this stat. Walker is a very interesting candidate for those trying to figure out who to go within a very murky 3-12 ranked TE setup. I also really like Doyle, and can see him having a big playoff season.

There you have it, use in good health.

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