Wide Receivers are almost doomed to be less consistent than Running Backs.  In 2013, Calvin Johnson had five games where he had less than 10 targets, whereas Adrian Peterson was only held to less than 10 carries once (and that was due to injury).  Again, I said TARGETS for Calvin… not receptions.  Defenses have a variety of the tactics they can employ to prevent a particular receiver from even getting opportunities to make catches.  I’m pretty sure I saw Megatron out-jump a quadruple team this year to score a touchdown, but you know what I mean.  Teams routinely put 8 or 9 defenders in the box against Minnesota, but Adrian Peterson still gets the ball in his hands.  As long as defenders are required to lineup on the other side of the line of scrimmage, there’s very little a defense can do to intercept a handoff.

So, if the risk of a down week is greater for the WR’s, I’d argue that it’s even more important to consider their consistency.

Here are the top 5 fantasy WR’s from 2013, ranked by their standard deviation:

 Player  STDEV
 Brandon Marshall  6.54
 Demaryius Thomas  7.58
 A.J. Green  7.65
 Josh Gordon  11.08
 Calvin Johnson  11.80

Again, with standard deviation, low number wins.  Of the top 5 WR’s in fantasy football in 2013, Brandon Marshall was the most consistent.  Josh Gordon missed two weeks, so that hurts his score a little.  Calvin Johnson just has too many spectacular weeks (and missed two games) to get a good score here.  That should not deter you in any way from drafting him in the first round.  Here’s the next five:

 Player  STDEV
 Dez Bryant  7.10
 Antonio Brown  7.63
 DeSean Jackson  8.20
 Alshon Jeffery  9.39
 Eric Decker  10.93

Dez Bryant is the most consistent player among the 6-10 WR’s?  That’s why this study is so important.  I think of Dez Bryant as a guy with an occasional attitude problem, which falsely makes me feel that he’s less consistent than he actually is.  Antonio Brown is a great WR option who is a bit unheralded.  This stat will help his stature on my draft matrix.  And now, WR’s 11-15

 Player  STDEV
 Jordy Nelson  6.37
 Pierre Garcon  6.46
 Anquan Boldon  7.43
 Vincent Jackson  7.92
 Andre Johnson  9.40

These guys are all studs.  It’s a nice coincidence that Andre Johnson’s standard deviation was low and this year there’s so much uncertainty about his status in Houston.  I won’t draft him unless he falls significantly.  Finally, these guys ranked 16-25:

 Player  STDEV
 Torrey Smith  5.22
 Michael Floyd  5.95
 Wes Welker  6.33
 Mike Wallace  6.42
 Larry Fitzgerald  6.48
 Keenan Allen  6.56
 Julian Edelman  7.09
 T.Y. Hilton  8.83
 Marvin Jones  9.20
 Riley Cooper  9.38

I consider any score under 7 to be outstanding, so there’s a lot to like in this group of WR’s that were ranked 16-25 last season.  Don’t you just think of Wes Welker as the model of consistency?  These numbers confirm that.  I mentioned on my podcast that I like Michael Floyd going into this season.  His score validates that opinion.

Not only should you consider consistency when drafting players, but you should look at it when setting your lineup throughout the season.  I made the playoffs in 75% of the 24 leagues in which I participated last year.  Keeping an eye on consistency is certainly a component to my success.

Order Fantasy Football Playoffs Guaranteed today.  It comes with a DOUBLE your money back guarantee… if you buy the book or dvd, use the fantasy football draft matrix to draft your team, and use the projections found on this site to set your lineups every week, I guarantee you will make the playoffs, or DOUBLE your money back! – Steve Broadway, Author Fantasy Football Playoffs Guaranteed

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