It is often said that fantasy football is a weekly game, yet we keep using season total or season average stats when referencing a player’s past performance. Season averages often smooth out the peaks and valleys of a player’s performance and distort their real value One week can even completely skew a player’s total stat line. For example, Eric Decker’s week 17 performance accounted for 22.3% of his total fantasy points in 2014. Consistency matters.
Using season totals and averages is easy- and also lazy. Whereas, looking at player’s game logs provides a better understanding of their statistical journey throughout the year. However, sifting through game-by-game data of hundreds of players is tedious. Luckily, we did that for you.
The following link contains tables and charts of all the games of relevant fantasy producers of 2014. This is in ESPN standard scoring. We’ve compared each players performance to their replacement level. Please read the legend tab for further more context.
I’m finding that I am really enjoying this type of evaluation. For example, DeMarco Murray averaged 19pts/game last year vs. LeVeon Bell who averaged 18pts/game. Looking strictly at season long averages, there is very little separation between these two players. However, if you look at the game logs of these two players, DeMarco Murray was by far the superior producer last year, and it’s not close.
Here are some other interesting nuggets that I found from this data.
- Martellus Bennett is very steady year long compared to the rest of the TE field. The narrative that he only produces early on does have some merit but he is a solid choice if you are looking for a high floor TE throughout the season.
- Larry Donnell bursted on the scene last year with some multi-touchdown games and gained a lot of press. While he may have won some games for a lot of owners, his consistency is very suspect. More often than not, he will disappoint you.
- Lamar Miller quietly had a very good 2014 season. He is one of the few running backs that you could count on week to week to produce competitive numbers. In terms of start-able games last year he had 11. That is better than Jamaal Charles, LeSean McCoy, Justin Forsett, and Alfred Morris. Reliability is not sexy but it’s what wins you games.
- Mark Ingram only had 3 games where he performed under the replacement level running back. He also missed 3 games due to injuries. A starting Mark Ingram will deliver competitive points week to week 75% of the time. I’ll roll that dice any day of the week.
- CJ Anderson had the second best 8 game spans in football last year. He only started 8 games.
- Jamaal Charles should have an injury prone label on him. He was a boom or bust player last year. When he’s bad he’s really bad and he was terrible in the playoffs last year.
- Aaron Rodgers had 4 bad games, 3 of which were absolutely terrible. Those terrible games were away games and came against top defensive teams (Seattle, Detroit, Buffalo).
- Andrew Luck had 14 start-able games and 2 bad games. While Rodgers finished ahead of Luck in total points, Luck was the most consistent QB in 2014.
- Peyton Manning was still very much elite. Even with the drop off due to his quad injury late in the season, Manning still finished with 9 good to great games. Only Andrew Luck and Aaron Rodgers had more.
- Mike Wallace is a lot more consistent in 2014 than a lot of people gave him credit for, myself included. After the top tier of wide receivers, there a very few consistent wide receivers. Mike Evans, Jeremy Maclin, Kelvin Benjamin were as consistent as Mike Wallace.
- There are only 9 quarterbacks with 9+ start-able games. Quarterbacks with 9+ startable games: Romo, Brady, Wilson, P. Manning, Ryan, Brees, Big Ben, Luck, Rodgers.
- Roddy White finished 1 spot behind Sammy Watkins in total fantasy points. Sammy Watkins only had 6 start-able games. Roddy White had 9. Roddy also missed two games due to injuries.
What interesting conclusions did you draw from this?