Fantasy Football Consistency Rankings & 2023 Draft Takeaways
Looking at end-of-season stats and seeing where players finished is second nature to most of us football fans. However, FantasyPros’ consistency rankings are a useful tool to break down exactly how a player ended up where they did. They’ll often validate those feelings of – “Man, Player X really did NOT feel like a top-15 RB this year.” Well, there’s a good chance that’s because they posted some wildly inconsistent performances.
Below I break down some highlights and lowlights from a deep dive into 2022’s consistency rankings.
2022 Fantasy Football Consistency Rankings
Quarterbacks (Poor: <15.3 points, Quality: 15.3-23, Great: >23)
- Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen, and Jalen Hurts posted a triumvirate of consistency. Each had 10 “great” performances, and all three finished with 88%+ of their starts finishing as “quality” or “great” fantasy scores. I don’t expect this to change next season. Going forward, we can feel comfortable taking these three players pretty much wherever in redraft leagues, and it won’t hurt your team. Would I recommend you take Josh Allen over Justin Jefferson in the first round of a PPR four-point passing TD league? No. But if you wanted to reach in the second, I wouldn’t call you crazy.
- Taking a quarterback early this year wasn’t an awful strategy. Of the top six quarterbacks per FantasyPros preseason ECR, only one of them (Justin Herbert) turned in more than three “poor” performances. Josh Allen, Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson, Jalen Hurts, and Kyler Murray all proved to have generally high floors when they played.
- If you don’t splurge for a big-name quarterback in your draft next year, take two of them. Tom Brady, Russell Wilson, Aaron Rodgers, Matthew Stafford, and Ryan Tannehill all posted at least seven “poor” fantasy scores this season. It was not uncommon for people to exit their drafts with one of these guys as their only quarterback. Get a top-tier guy or take two and play the matchups.
Running Backs (Poor: <10.4 points, Quality: 10.4-17.5, Great: >17.5)
- You know that clear triumvirate of consistency at the QB position I mentioned? Go ahead and throw that out the window now. Only Christian McCaffrey posted fewer than four “poor” performances. Austin Ekeler and Nick Chubb had six “poor” scores. Josh Jacobs and Joe Mixon had seven. Dalvin Cook, Alvin Kamara and Jamaal Williams had eight.
- Derrick Henry led all RBs in “great” performances. If you want to fade the soon-to-be-30-year-old, feel free. But he’s a generational talent, and even in the face of his worst team in years, he produced. He’ll likely be discounted again next season because of his age and uncertainty in Tennessee. I’m taking the discount if I can find it.
- Rhamondre Stevenson, Aaron Jones, Miles Sanders, and Najee Harris all finished as top-15 RBs this season. They also each posted at least NINE “poor” performances. People will surely be clamoring for at least a few of these guys heading into this year’s drafts, but don’t forget their inconsistency. The moral of this story, to me, is that timeshares stink. Aaron Jones is a great running back, and even great running backs are bound to have games where they play less great than their large-quadded counterpart (ahem, AJ Dillon). Sure, Damien Harris will likely leave the Patriots, but Stevenson still has two 2022 draft picks (Pierre Strong and Kevin Harris) chomping at the bit behind him. If New England brings another RB in, especially one who can catch, I’m taking a long hard look at where Stevenson is being drafted. For Sanders, the touchdowns in that offense are simply going to revolve around Jalen Hurts. Whether Hurts is throwing them or running them, the touchdowns go through him first. The only exception to my skepticism here is Najee Harris, who projects as the lead back in an offense that looked as though it really started to gel with rookie Kenny Pickett as the year progressed.
Wide Receivers (Poor: <8 points, Quality: 8-13.7, Great: >13.7)
- Similar to the RB position, even the best receivers displayed their fair share of inconsistency. Justin Jefferson posted five “poor” scores. Stefon Diggs posted six, Davante Adams seven, Amon-Ra St. Brown nine, you catch my drift. That being said, the “great” scores were extremely top-heavy. Outside of Jefferson, Adams, Diggs, and Tyreek Hill, not one receiver posted more than seven “great” scores.
- Relating to my last point, there appears to be a tad more consistency at the WR position than with RBs. I would not be surprised at all if that leads to more WRs going in the first round than we’ve seen in years. In a 12-team PPR league, you could make the case for Justin Jefferson, Tyreek Hill, Davante Adams, Stefon Diggs, A.J. Brown, Cooper Kupp, Ja’Marr Chase, and CeeDee Lamb as first-round picks. With the best offenses manufacturing touches for their playmakers at all costs, is WR the new RB?
- Tyreek Hill went from being synonymous with fantasy WR inconsistency to Mr. Consistent. A.J. Brown and he were tied for the fewest percent of their starts (24%) that finished as “poor” performances.
Tight Ends (Poor: <6.5 points, Quality: 6.5-11, Great: >11)
- Let’s get the obvious out of the way first. Travis Kelce‘s quality + great game percentage was 76%. Not a single TE topped 64%. One other TE topped 54% (Taysom Hill). Two other TEs topped 50%. Travis Kelce is a first-round pick in all formats in 2023.
- Other than Kelce, Hill, George Kittle, and Mark Andrews, not a single TE had more than three “great” fantasy scores. I’m doing whatever I can to get my hands on one of the big three next year – preferably Andrews or Kelce because of their guaranteed involvement in the offense by way of lack of other weapons.
- Here is a list of TEs with MORE THAN ONE “great” performance not named Kelce, Hill, Kittle, or Andrews: Dalton Schultz (3), Evan Engram (3), Cole Kmet (3), T.J. Hockenson (2), David Njoku (2), Gerald Everett (2), Darren Waller (2), Hunter Henry (2), Juwan Johnson (2) and Brock Wright (2). Six of those players were drafted outside of the top-twelve TEs in 2022. The position, after a few big names, really is a dart throw.
If you want to dive deeper into fantasy football, check out our award-winning slate of Fantasy Football Tools as you navigate your season. From our Start/Sit Assistant – which provides your optimal lineup based on accurate consensus projections – to our Waiver Wire Assistant, which allows you to quickly see which available players will improve your team and how much – we’ve got you covered this fantasy football season.
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