Who Are the Most Consistent Fantasy Football Receivers?

Who Are the Most Consistent Fantasy Football Receivers?

By John Paulsen (Senior Editor), last updated Jun 7, 2016

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John was named the Most Accurate Fantasy Football Expert by FantasyPros for the 2010 and 2014 seasons, finished as runner-up in 2011 and 4th in both 2012 and 2015 for a total of five Top 5 seasons in the last six years. Cumulatively, John was the most accurate expert from 2010-15 while also winning the 2011 Fantasy Sports Trade Association award for the most accurate draft rankings. 

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In an effort to identify the most consistent receivers, I’m using the same process as I used in the quarterback and running back studies. Utilizing the Coefficient of Variation (CV), which is the ratio of the player’s standard deviation to his per game average, I can calculate his overall consistency.

CV = standard deviation / PPG

Standard deviation measures the amount of variation within a data set, and dividing it by the mean allows us to compare two players with very different levels of production (e.g. DeAndre Hopkins and Willie Snead).

CV is typically expressed as a percentage, and the lower the CV the more consistent the player.

Below is a table with the top 90 wide receivers (according to their two-year PPG average in PPR formats), two-year CV and 2015 CV. I excluded Week 17 since teams often rest starters that week and I didn’t want that to throw off our numbers. Otherwise, all regular season games are included, including injury-shortened games since injuries/durability are part of a player’s overall consistency.

 

WR Consistency: 2014-15
Player Name Pos Team 2-YEAR PPG PPG RANK CV 2015 CV
Eric Decker WR NYJ 14.2 28 38% 21%
Jeremy Butler WR BAL 7.9 73 43% 43%
Alshon Jeffery WR CHI 17.3 9 44% 49%
Julian Edelman WR NE 17.2 11 45% 41%
Odell Beckham WR NYG 22.8 2 45% 43%
Antonio Brown WR PIT 23.4 1 45% 59%
Julio Jones WR ATL 21.9 3 46% 42%
Golden Tate WR DET 15.1 23 46% 47%
Kelvin Benjamin WR CAR 15.1 24 46% -
Jordy Nelson WR GB 20.9 4 47% -
Demaryius Thomas WR DEN 18.8 5 48% 34%
Randall Cobb WR GB 15.5 19 49% 61%
Brandon Marshall WR NYJ 17.6 8 50% 36%
Jarvis Landry WR MIA 14.4 26 50% 45%
Nick Toon WR STL 6.9 85 50% -
Brandin Cooks WR NO 15.4 20 51% 50%
Willie Snead WR NO 12.6 35 52% 52%
DeAndre Hopkins WR HOU 18.1 7 52% 42%
Jerricho Cotchery WR CAR 7.5 76 54% 61%
Rueben Randle WR NYG 10.9 44 54% 52%
Anquan Boldin WR SF 12.7 34 55% 59%
Emmanuel Sanders WR DEN 17.2 10 55% 69%
Marvin Jones WR CIN 11.0 43 57% 57%
T.Y. Hilton WR IND 16.0 16 57% 59%
Jeremy Maclin WR KC 17.1 12 57% 55%
Allen Robinson WR JAX 16.2 15 57% 53%
Marques Colston WR NO 10.3 51 57% 74%
Dez Bryant WR DAL 15.8 17 58% 64%
Michael Crabtree WR OAK 12.4 36 58% 48%
Larry Fitzgerald WR ARI 14.7 25 59% 50%
Martavis Bryant WR PIT 15.3 21 59% 53%
John Brown WR ARI 11.6 38 59% 43%
Mike Evans WR TB 15.2 22 59% 60%
Josh Gordon WR CLE 10.9 45 59% -
Pierre Garcon WR WAS 10.9 46 60% 40%
Stefon Diggs WR MIN 12.3 37 61% 61%
Cecil Shorts WR HOU 9.4 56 62% 56%
Calvin Johnson WR DET 16.2 14 63% 59%
Roddy White WR ATL 10.5 47 63% 64%
Vincent Jackson WR TB 11.4 41 64% 83%
A.J. Green WR CIN 16.8 13 64% 60%
James Jones WR GB 11.5 39 64% 75%
Amari Cooper WR OAK 13.9 30 64% 64%
DeSean Jackson WR WAS 12.9 31 65% 75%
Mike Wallace WR MIN 10.4 50 66% 94%
Malcom Floyd WR SD 9.3 58 66% 95%
Brandon LaFell WR NE 11.5 40 67% 40%
Justin Hunter WR TEN 7.2 82 67% 49%
Kendall Wright WR TEN 11.2 42 67% 75%
Jordan Matthews WR PHI 12.8 33 68% 62%
Doug Baldwin WR SEA 14.0 29 68% 63%
Allen Hurns WR JAX 12.8 32 68% 52%
Andrew Hawkins WR CLE 9.3 59 69% 53%
Harry Douglas WR TEN 8.1 72 70% 66%
Keenan Allen WR SD 15.5 18 70% 59%
Sammy Watkins WR BUF 14.3 27 71% 68%
Terrance Williams WR DAL 8.9 64 71% 61%
Corey Brown WR CAR 7.3 77 71% 71%
Victor Cruz WR NYG 10.5 48 71% -
Andre Johnson WR IND 9.2 60 71% 103%
Stevie Johnson WR SD 9.1 62 72% 61%
Robert Woods WR BUF 9.3 57 72% 73%
Jermaine Kearse WR SEA 7.8 74 73% 79%
Steve L Smith WR BAL 18.7 6 75% 75%
Kenny Britt WR STL 8.2 70 75% 80%
Jamison Crowder WR WAS 7.2 81 76% 76%
Percy Harvin WR BUF 10.1 52 76% 78%
Davante Adams WR GB 7.2 78 76% 70%
Michael Floyd WR ARI 10.4 49 76% 75%
Tavon Austin WR STL 9.2 61 77% 71%
Ty Montgomery WR GB 7.0 83 78% 78%
Nate Washington WR HOU 9.0 63 79% 83%
Eddie Royal WR CHI 9.9 53 79% 71%
Miles Austin WR PHI 6.8 87 80% 124%
Kenny Stills WR MIA 8.5 68 80% 102%
Mohamed Sanu WR CIN 8.8 65 81% 77%
Markus Wheaton WR PIT 8.7 67 82% 100%
Torrey Smith WR SF 9.5 55 83% 93%
Tyler Lockett WR SEA 9.8 54 87% 87%
Brian Hartline WR CLE 7.2 80 87% 84%
Kamar Aiken WR BAL 8.1 71 92% 59%
Travis Benjamin WR CLE 8.3 69 93% 64%
Donte Moncrief WR IND 8.8 66 95% 61%
Dorial Green-Beckham WR TEN 6.7 90 104% 104%
Andre Holmes WR OAK 6.7 89 105% 137%
Leonard Hankerson WR ATL 7.7 75 108% 97%
Seth Roberts WR OAK 7.0 83 109% 109%
Danny Amendola WR NE 6.8 88 109% 74%
Rishard Matthews WR MIA 6.9 86 110% 69%
Ted Ginn WR CAR 7.2 79 115% 72%

 

A few thoughts…

  • Like the running back and quarterback positions, productive players tend to be consistent. Eleven of the top 12 PPG receivers finished in the top 25 in two-year CV. The lone exception was Steve L Smith. Eight of the top 12 PPG receivers finished in the top 13 in two-year CV.
  • Over the past two years, no receiver has been more consistent than Eric Decker (38%). He was ridiculously consistent in 2015 (21%), posting 80-plus yards and/or a touchdown in each of his 15 games played. His teammate, Brandon Marshall (36%), wasn’t too shabby either as he registered the third-best CV of 2015.
  • I believe Golden Tate’s CV (46%) is a sign of good things to come since he’s likely to see WR1-type targets now that Calvin Johnson is retired. Over the last two seasons, in 11 games in which Johnson was questionable, doubtful or out, Tate averaged 6.6 receptions for 77 yards and 0.73 TD.
  • Julian Edelman is extremely consistent (45%) and has finished in the top 18 on a PPG basis in each of the last three years. Yet he’s the 19th WR off the board in early PPR drafts. Go figure.
  • Alshon Jeffery’s consistency numbers are encouraging. He’s a real threat to join the top 5 if he can stay healthy.
  • Considering his big-play ability and his terrible hands, it’s not surprising to see Ted Ginn coming in with the highest two-year CV in the league.
  • DeAndre Hopkins improved his consistency in 2015, posting the 7th-best CV last year. John Brown also made a big leap, consistency-wise.

Season-long owners in regular formats will want to favor more consistent players, while a higher CV may actually be more desirable in deep best ball formats since you can cash in on the big games without being hurt by the duds.

Filed Under: Preseason, 2015

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