The most consistent Fantasy Football players of 2013

fantasy-football-ringIt’s been two weeks since most Fantasy Football championships were handed out and bets were paid off (not that anyone would gamble), and now is a great time to look back at the season that was.

It’s always easy to look back and see which players scored the most points, but that doesn’t tell the whole story about which players helped their teams the most week-to-week throughout the season. Owners don’t necessarily want a player that scores 30 points one week and one the next. They want someone that will consistently contribute. When you know what to expect, it’s much easier to make lineup decisions and know how the team will perform. That’s why I decided to examine which players at all positions were the most consistent for their owners.

To do this, I came up with a relatively simple equation that seems much less simple when written out. (Yahoo standard scoring was used to compile results.)

  • For Quarterbacks, Tight Ends, Kickers and DSTs I ranked the top 15 scorers each week (paying no attention to how many points they scored other than to rank them among their peers). Once I did that for each week, I added up all their rankings, then how many weeks they were ranked.
  • For example, Aaron Rodgers was ranked in the top 15 a total of five times. Those five rankings were 4, 1, 14, 5 and 7. Added up, those equal 31.
  • Because there are 15 games (didn’t include the final game when many players sit out), I had to have a total for the unranked weeks to punish those who weren’t ranked as often. I chose 25 because it seemed like a fair total that’s relatively far outside the top 15. For Aaron Rodgers that meant adding 25 ten times for the unranked weeks, equaling 250.
  • Add 250 to the original 31 for a total of 281. Then, divide that by the 15 weeks and his average ranking is 18.7.
  • The equation for Running Backs and Wide Receivers is the same, but I ranked the top 30 instead of 15, and I added 40 for unranked weeks instead of 25.

With that out of the way, here are the most consistent players of the 2013 Fantasy Football season. (Their average ranking is listed with the name.)

  • Quarterbacks
    • 1. Peyton Manning: 7.4
    • 2. Drew Brees: 10.2
    • 3. Matthew Stafford: 12.1
    • 4. Nick Foles: 13.7
    • 5. Andrew Luck: 14.0
    • 6. Andy Dalton: 14.3
    • 7. Philip Rivers: 14.7
    • 7. Cam Newton: 14.7
    • 9. Colin Kaepernick: 14.9
    • 10. Russell Wilson: 15.0
    • Notables: 11. Tony Romo: 15.3; 15. Tom Brady: 16.1; 21. Aaron Rodgers: 18.7

As far as quarterbacks go, there couldn’t be a doubt that Peyton Manning would be the best of the bunch. Thirteen times he was ranked in the top 15, more than any other signal caller. Manning, Brees and Stafford were the only ones ranked 11 times or more.

  • Running Backs
    • 1. Jamaal Charles: 8.9
    • 2. LeSean McCoy: 11.7
    • 3. Matt Forte: 13.6
    • 4. Knowshon Moreno: 16.0
    • 5. Adrian Peterson: 17.4
    • 6. DeMarco Murray: 18.1
    • 7. Frank Gore: 19.3
    • 8. Alfred Morris: 19.7
    • 9. Fred Jackson: 19.8
    • 10. Ryan Mathews: 19.9
    • 11. Eddie Lacy: 20.1
    • 12. Chris Johnson: 20.4
    • 13. Reggie Bush: 20.7
    • 14. Le’Veon Bell: 21.9
    • 15. Zac Stacy: 23.1
    • 16. Joique Bell: 23.4
    • 17. Rashard Mendenhall: 24.2
    • 18. Giovani Bernard: 24.9
    • 18. Maurice Jones-Drew: 24.9
    • 20. Danny Woodhead: 25.9
    • Notables: 29. Arian Foster: 29.8; 30. CJ Spiller: 30.1; 33. Ray Rice: 30.6; 47. Doug Martin: 33.2

It wasn’t quite the slam dunk that the quarterback position was, but Jamaal Charles finished as the only running back averaging a top ten finish for the season. Interestingly enough, LeSean McCoy was the only player in all of football to be ranked every week throughout the season. Forte and Morris were the only ones ranked 13 times.

  • Wide Receivers
    • 1. Josh Gordon: 18.7
    • 2. Demaryius Thomas: 19.2
    • 3. AJ Green: 19.5
    • 4. Calvin Johnson: 19.6
    • 5. Antonio Brown: 20.1
    • 6. Brandon Marshall: 20.7
    • 6. Dez Bryant: 20.7
    • 8. DeSean Jackson: 22.7
    • 9. Alshon Jeffery: 23.9
    • 10. Larry Fitzgerald: 24.9
    • 11. Andre Johnson: 25.5
    • 12. Jordy Nelson: 25.7
    • 12. Eric Decker: 25.7
    • 14. Wes Welker: 26.0
    • 15. Vincent Jackson: 26.3
    • 16. Keenan Allen: 26.4
    • 17. Cordarrelle Patterson: 27.1
    • 18. Pierre Garcon: 27.3
    • 19. Julian Edelman: 27.7
    • 20. Torrey Smith: 28.0
    • Notables: 21. Mike Wallace: 28.3; 27. Victor Cruz: 30.1; 27. Marques Colston: 30.1; 48. Julio Jones: 32.5; 51. Greg Jennings: 33.1; 55. Stevie Johnson: 34.0; 58. Steve Smith: 34.4

As you can see, the wide receiver position is much less consistent. When the top player was suspended two weeks and had an average 10 spots worse than the top running back, it becomes clear why running backs are more highly coveted. You probably assumed Calvin Johnson would be the best, but remember, it’s not about who’s the best. Matthew Stafford’s inconsistency in targeting him hurt his productivity at times this year, knocking him down the list.

  • Tight Ends
    • 1. Jimmy Graham: 8.1
    • 2. Vernon Davis: 11.1
    • 3. Julius Thomas: 11.7
    • 4. Tony Gonzalez: 14.3
    • 5. Jordan Cameron: 14.5
    • 6. Charles Clay: 15.3
    • 7. Greg Olsen: 15.5
    • 8. Antonio Gates: 16.2
    • 9. Jason Witten: 16.5
    • 10. Martellus Bennett: 17.0
    • Notables: 12. Rob Gronkowski: 17.5; 14. Tim Wright: 17.9; 19. Joseph Fauria: 19.3

There’s no doubt about it that Jimmy Graham is the class of the Tight End field, even more so when Rob Gronkowski misses much of the season with injuries. Speaking of Gronk, he was ranked in five of the seven weeks he played and was the best tight end overall in the time. A look at this list also shows new blood with the emergence Julius Thomas, Jordan Cameron and Charles Clay.

  • Kickers
    • 1. Stephen Gostkowski: 10.9
    • 2. Adam Vinatieri: 11.5
    • 3. Steven Hauschka: 12.1
    • 4. Matt Prater: 12.7
    • 5. Justin Tucker: 12.9
    • 6. Phil Dawson: 13.1
    • 7. Nick Novak: 13.7
    • 8. Blair Walsh: 13.8
    • 9. Caleb Sturgis: 14.0
    • 10. Nick Folk: 14.1
    • Notables: 15. Mason Crosby: 15.4; 21. Sebastian Janikowski: 16.9

Gostkowski was ranked as the top kicker at draft time, and he ends the year in the same spot. One big reason was because of the Patriots struggles to score touchdowns for parts of the year. That allowed him to attempt more field goals. A little bit surprising: Gostkowski’s predecessor, Adam Vinatieri, was second on the list.

  • Defense and Special Teams
    • 1. Seattle: 9.6
    • 2. Kansas City: 9.7
    • 3. San Francisco: 12.0
    • 3. Carolina: 12.0
    • 5. Cincinnati: 12.5
    • 6. New England: 14.3
    • 7. Chicago: 14.6
    • 8. Arizona: 14.7
    • 9. Philadelphia: 14.8
    • 9. Denver: 14.8
    • Notables: 11. Baltimore: 14.9; 20. Pittsburgh: 16.5; 26. Houston: 18.1; 32. Atlanta: 20.9

There’s little surprise that Seattle is at the top, and after the way they turned it around, Kansas City isn’t a shock at number two. You can really see a drop off after the top five, especially when you get Philly and Denver into the back of the top ten. In the notables, you see some defenses that have been good but aren’t this year. Atlanta ranked as the worst Fantasy defense this season.

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