Fantasy Football Consistency: Wide Receivers
Bob Lung breaks down which wide receivers are the most consistent.
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The NFL game is all about the pass! Therefore, it is top receivers who will now dominate the first round of the 2016 drafts. However, the old regime of the top consistent wide receivers is changing.
While some studs are still there like Julio Jones and Antonio Brown, there are many new faces, young and old. From the Jets’ combo of Eric Decker and Brandon Marshall to youngsters like DeAndre Hopkins and Allen Robinson.
I can’t emphasize enough to try and draft as many of these receivers listed below as you can. Having consistent receivers is crucial to your success, especially in a PPR format.
So, let’s review 2015 for the wide receivers and take a look at those players who were consistently good, just good and consistently not-so-good. We’re also going to look at this position for the expected and unexpected wide receivers within each tier, plus which wide receivers could be undervalued going into this year’s draft.
So, let’s start with the top tier of wide receivers as ranked by their Clutch Rating (CR).
While you’re rubbing your eyes to be sure that you’re seeing Decker’s name as the No. 1 clutch receiver last season, let me tell you why this is kind of expected. Over the past three seasons, Decker is fourth in total clutch games. He is tied with Marshall with 34. In fact, Decker was only one clutch game in 2014 from earning a triple-double from 2013-2015. The only three receivers ahead of him were Brown, Thomas and Green. Marshall is also expected to be here as I mentioned earlier about his consistency over the past three years between Chicago and New York Jets.
Some of the expected receivers also include Jones, Brown, Green and Thomas. I wouldn’t expect much change in the output of Jones and Green in 2016. However, I would expect Brown to improve back to his more perfect years of 2013 and 2014.
Thomas is another story. The uncertainty of the quarterback situation scares me to death and it should scare you as well. I’d let someone else draft Thomas in 2016.
Allen has historically been a Tier 2 or 3 receiver. However, he started 2015 on fire with an 88% Clutch Rating until injuries ended his season. He could be undervalued in most drafts this year. Keep an eye on his ADP this summer.
I have no problem admitting I’m wrong and I was definitely wrong on Hopkins last year. There is no question, he is a stud regardless of who is the quarterback. He is ranked sixth in total clutch games over the past two seasons. He’s certainly a first or second round pick in 2016.
The remaining three receivers (Robinson, Fitzgerald and Landry) are all unexpected for different reasons. Robinson is a surprise because he only earned six clutch games in 2014. There were high expectations but not this high.
Fitzgerald earned only five clutch games in 2014 and was practically written off by most fantasy owners. However, he looked like the Fitz of old last year. I’m a little concerned about a letdown in 2016, especially if his ADP gets too high.
I chose Landry as one of my top undervalued players last year, but I didn’t expect a top 11 finish in total points and tied for fifth in consistency. His value may also be a little too high in 2016 as well.
Edelman and Jeffery are normally Tier 1 receivers and they both would probably have been there if they didn’t fall to injuries. They both could be excellent value in 2016 at draft time.
Beckham is expected here. I know, he’s awesome! This is true. But he’s not a consistent stud….yet. He’ll still be drafted in the first round, but I’m sorry if I have a list of receivers that I would draft ahead of him. In fact, I could probably name at least five!
There are ton of unexpected receivers that can be of great value in 2016. Let’s start with Aiken on the Ravens. He came from practically nowhere in 2014 to a solid 75% Clutch Rating in 2015. He should be undervalued this year as his 27th overall ranking will be overlooked. He would be a great WR3 or WR4 this year.
John Brown did earn five clutch games in 2014 and was expected to improve in 2015. However, he surprised many fantasy owners with his 24th overall ranking in total points and 73% Clutch Rating. His ADP will dictate his value, but I’m expecting he will also be overlooked.
Bryant would have been a great receiver in 2016 but his year-long suspension put an end to that. Smith is too old to even worry about drafting, so please don’t.
Crabtree really kicked it up a notch last season. He’s on a good team with a good future. If he keeps his head on straight, he’ll continue to be an excellent value as your WR2 or WR3.
Watkins is due for a big breakout! His six of his nine clutch games over the last six games of the season with Tyrod Taylor at quarterback. However, he’s already overhyped in the ADPs. I’ve seen him ranked as high as ninth! Sorry folks, not on my teams.
Once again, I’d like to say I was wrong. This time it was Maclin. I did not expect him to do this well in Kansas City. However, with that said, I do expect to stay in this tier. He’s certainly a solid WR2 or WR3, preferably WR3.
Sanders has also always been very consistent but he falls into the same problem as Thomas with the concern at quarterback. Evans, Cooks and Jordan Matthews have good consistent tendencies. However, they did not meet the expectations of most fantasy owners in 2015. Can they improve in 2016? I would think so, but don’t set the expectations too high.
While many expected Robinson to break out in 2015, the same wasn’t true for Hurns. His six clutch games in 2014 were sporadic. However, Hurns earned 10 clutch games in 2015 and looks good to do it again in 2016. His current ADP is late fifth round/early sixth. He could be great value as your WR3/WR4!
Rishard Matthews has actually been in the league since 2012. He had a nice, yet short, season for the Dolphins and was quickly picked up in free agency by the Titans. I really don’t see him upholding his 64% Clutch rating in 2016. I’d let someone else draft him.
Baldwin was a huge surprise in Seattle. He’s always had around five to seven clutch games per year and ranked around 40th or higher in total points. Can he do this again? I’m doubtful.
On the bad side of unexpected was Hilton in 2015. He was a second or third round draft pick in most leagues. While he certainly has an “alibi” in Andrew Luck missing most of the season, Hilton still could have played better. His current ADP is right where it was last season, so if you believe he’ll perform back in the Tier 1/Tier 2 level, than by all means draft him. I’m going to pass on him this year.
It’s tough to predict where any of these players will be in 2016, but at least some these receivers were around the 50 percent QSR mark which is better than the remaining wide receivers that didn’t make the top four tiers.
There are young receivers who I believe will improve their consistency in 2016. They are Cooper, Jones and Moncrief. Be careful of these other receivers in 2016. Their lack of consistency may kill your chances.
Well, there is your quality game consistency rankings for the wide receivers in 2015. If you didn’t make the playoffs and you had Hilton or Cooks on your team and can’t understand why, I hope this helped clear things up.