A few weeks ago, I did a study on QB consistency.  I used standard deviation as the measure of consistency, and broke up the players into groups of 5 based on their total scoring.  I’m applying this same method to this analysis of the RB’s.  I’ll take the top five running backs by overall points and rate them against each other to see who was the most consistent.

After all, if I were to rank the entire field against each other, I’m not sure how valuable it is to know that Rashard Mendenhall (retired) was a more consistent producer in 2013 than Adrian Peterson, Jamaal Charles, and LeSean McCoy.

One important note: I counted injuries as a “zero” for that week, which would hurt a players standard deviation.  I believe that part of reliability is a player’s ability to be healthy.

Here’s how the top 5 RB’s compare:

 PLAYER  STDEV
 Matt Forte  6.76
 Knowshon Moreno  7.88
 LeSean McCoy  8.17
 Marshawn Lynch  8.71
 Jamaal Charles  10.46

That’s what you get, Jamaal Charles, for putting up 50+ points in a week.  His score would have been an outstanding 6.22 without that one monster week.  Also, I was surprised to see that Marshawn Lynch wasn’t more consistent.  Don’t you just think of him as a guy who puts up 14-16 points EVERY week?

RB’s 6-10…

 PLAYER  STDEV
 Frank Gore  5.62
 Chris Johnson  6.81
 Eddie Lacy  7.46
 DeMarco Murray  8.06
 Adrian Peterson  10.46

Perfect.  Frank Gore was a major part of my success last year, as I identified him as a value pick who was going too late in th draft.  I took him on 5 of my 24 teams.  Don’t be spooked by Adrian Peterson.  He missed a couple of games and that counts against his score.  The big take away with this group of players is Eddie Lacy’s strong showing.  I believe this validates him as a bonafide 1st round pick.

RB’s 11-15…

 PLAYER  STDEV
 Alfred Morris  4.19
 Fred Jackson  5.50
 Ryan Mathews  5.69
 Giovani Bernard  6.10
 Reggie Bush  8.48

You know I’m a big Alfred Morris fan, and this number makes me feel better about taking him early second, maybe even late first round.  Gotta love Fred Jackson, but the guy has to get too old to play at some point, no?

RB’s 16-25…

 PLAYER  STDEV
 DeAngelo Williams  3.03
 Rashard Mendenhall  3.86
 Le’Veon Bell  4.74
 Maurice Jones-Drew  5.19
 Danny Woodhead  5.93
 Andre Ellington  6.32
 Pierre Thomas  6.51
 Joique Bell  7.39
 Zac Stacy  7.44
 Rashad Jennings  8.14

Ok, everybody.  Don’t draft Rashard Mendenhall.  He’s retired.  That said, what excites me about this list is the strong showing of Le’Veon Bell and Andre Ellington.  Zac Stacy deserves a second look.  He didn’t play much in the beginning of the year, obviously hurting his output.  But from week 5 on, Stacy’s standard deviation scored a 6.64, which would have moved him up a few spots, and I consider any score under 7 to be pretty good.

I love stuff like this, because I lean towards consistent players when it comes to the draft AND my weekly lineups.  Give me the guy who you know will score 10 points every week, as opposed to the guy who scores 20 points one week, and zero the next.

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