2011 fantasy football consistency rankings: Average does not have to be mediocre

UPDATE: Apparently, this article confused some. I’m not advocating drafting average or mediocre players, but I am advocating drafting players who are average most often. Sometimes you can settle for mediocre players.

ORIGINAL POST: Fantasy football is played week-to-week. This is not rotisserie baseball. (But if anyone plays in a rotisserie football league and wants to add a player, ep(at)chinstrapninjas.com me).

As a fantasy owner, you want players that win every week, not players that win big one week and post nothing but big-mouthed tirades, fumbles and drops for two weeks before he posts another massive game.

The most consistently good players will help you maximize your weekly total.

In standard 12-team scoring leagues with standard rosters, you need about 80-85 points per week to win. Yes, there will be specific fluctuations week to week, but looking at the average losing scores in one of my standard 12-team leagues last year you needed, on average, 81.8 points to win each week.

If you started the worst fantasy starting lineup (No. 12 QB, two No. 24 RBs, etc.) every week in that same league, you would have posted an average total of 74.42 points.

Everyone knows that a weekly deficit of 7.4 points is more than enough for you to curse your leaguemates for all of their “good luck.” To make up the difference you’d need an extra kicker or a wide receiver. But if you think about it, the total is outstanding considering it is the “worst” starting lineup in the league.

If that team finds a way to add two points per week (just 20 more yards from receivers and backs) it would have beat the loser’s average in eight weeks of the league’s 13-game regular season.

A lineup that produced¬† average fantasy starter numbers (looking at final totals for QBs 1-12, RBs 1-24, etc.) in that league, would have produced 94.86 points per week. That’s a gain of more than 20 total points and puts the team well ahead of the overall needed-to-win average. The score would have topped every weekly average needed to win by at least eight points.

So, you don’t need the best quarterback, running backs, wide receivers and tight ends every week. That’s impossible. You need players to be as good as the average starter at their positions. In most cases, you can settle for just starting the worst starter at quite a few positions.

With that thought in mind, I reviewed 2010′s weekly performances by position.

Over the next week to 10 days, I’ll post results and analysis from the reviews. The quarterbacks are done and not surprisingly most of the studs are studs. But there are some shockingly interesting surprises.

Consistency primer | QB | RB | WR | TE

Do you worry about player consistency on draft day? Would you rather have a consistent player or a feast-or-famine player? Do you shoot for a combination of both types?







2 Responses to “2011 fantasy football consistency rankings: Average does not have to be mediocre”


  1. Sockonfl

    Intriguing concept EP. I am looking forward to your series on this.

  2. ep

    Thanks, Sockonfl.
    Thank the makers of spreadsheets because I can’t imagine how difficult it would be to do some of the things we do without them.