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Coffin Corner: Consistency is Elusive

Ray Flowers

Ray Flowers

The co-host of The Drive on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio (Sirius 210, XM 87: M-F at 5-8 PM EDT), Ray Flowers has spent years squirreled away studying the inner workings of the fantasy game to the detriment of his personal life. You can follow Ray on Twitter (@BaseballGuys), he never sleeps, and you can also find more of his musings at BaseballGuys.com.

Coffin Corner: Consistency is Elusive

Too often in the fantasy game we look at players as numbers. We say 'Player X has more points than Player Y' ergo Player Y is better. While that is sometimes obviously the case, there might be other scenarios where it isn't. Even more so than making the argument for players based on points earned, I thought it might be illuminating to take a look at the player week-to-week consistency. After all, scoring 29 points one week wins you a matchup, but if that same player falls to six points the next week he might cost you a win. Is it better to have those 35 points in a 29/6 split, or might you be better off with a 17/18 split? Just something to think about before we start breaking down players.

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BYE WEEK: Arizona, Denver, Detroit, Jacksonville, NY Giants, San Francisco

WHERE FOR ART THOU CONSISTENCY?

* NOTE: The following numbers are from a PPR setup with the following rules: 4 pts for passing scores, 6 pts for reception/run score, 1 pt PPR, 1 pt for 10 yards catch/run, 1 pt for 20 yards passing).

QUARTERBACKS

Quarterbacks score the most points in fantasy football. They are also the most consistent, from week-to-week, of any of the positions as well. Therefore, there's not a tremendous amount of up and down from most... unless you’re someone like Colin Kapernick or Eli Manning of course.

Peyton Manning had that massive first week of the season (462 yards and seven touchdowns) and he's averaging 33.2 points a game. Would it surprised you to learn that he's failed to reach that average in five of his eight games? Let's not bash the old guy needlessly. His low mark this season is 22 points in a game (Week 6). RGIII is averaging 22.0 points per game this season.

Matthew Stafford is second at the position in total points. However, in eight games he's failed to reach his season average of 26.2 points in a contest four times.

Drew Brees is third in total points and second in points per game at 28.5. He's failed to reach his average four times. At the same time he's gone for at least 20 points each time out so even in his “down” weeks he's been pretty darn consistent.

Andy Dalton has gone for at least 30 points in each of his last three games. Peyton Manning, Mathew Stafford and Drew Brees, to name but three, do not have a stretch this season in which they totaled 30 points in 3-straight outings. Alas for Dalton it's been boom or bust as he failed to record 13.2 points in the two preceding games before his streak started. He's been the classic example of a player who's been a top-10 option overall but one that has ridden the old roller coaster to get there.

Philip Rivers, everyone's darling at QB, had three games under 19 points this season as he checks in at 7th at the position in total points. Terrelle Pryor only has one such game this season and he's down at 25th at the position in points meaning he's actually been a bit more stable.

Colin Kapernick is 11th in points among QB, but from Week 2-5 he failed to record 17.5 points in a game. To compare, Alex Smith is averaging 19.7 points a game this season. Consistent has not been Colin K's middle name.

RUNNING BACKS

Jamaal Charles has posted at least 17 points in all eight of his games, a truly remarkable run of consistency. Matt Forte is oh so close behind with only a 15.5 point effort in Week 5 stopping him from nearly being as consistent from week-to-week as the best back in fantasy football. Just compare how other elite backs have fared.

Knowshon Moreno has two games under 10 points and four under 17. Let me go a bit further here because folks have lost their minds when it comes to Moreno. (1) He hasn't run for 100 yards in a game this season. (2) He's on pace for 914 rushing yards. (3) He's carried the ball for less than 45 in 3-straight games. Repeat --- his last three games he's averaged 15 carries for 42 yards. Seriously. (4) Alfred Morris has recorded an average of seven less points per game this season, a huge margin given that Morris is averaging 12.2 points a contest, but get this. Morris has just two games under 10 points meaning he's had as many stinkers as Moreno.

LeSean McCoy has had a rough go of it as the Eagles offense sputters with all the changes at QB. McCoy has three games this season under 17 points with all three falling below 15 points (it's happened the last two weeks).

Among the top-10 rushers, here are the only guys not to have a single-digit effort this season: Charles, Forte and McCoy.

Andre Ellington has the 16th most points in a PPR setup after his huge Week 8 effort (154 rushing yards an a score). He also has two games of less than four points and four games of 8.5 points or less. None of the top-15 players have more than one game under four points. Giovani Bernard is close though with a set of 3.7 and 4.0 point efforts.

Bilal Powell is averaging just 9.9 points a game but he's failed to reach double-digits in 4-straight games. Among top-25 runners in total points no other back has done that other than Joique Bell (Weeks 4-7).

Pierre Thomas is averaging 13.1 points a game, just behind teammate Darren Sproles who checks in at 13.8 points a contest. Sproles has had three games in single digits, Thomas four. The Saints have played a total of seven team games meaning there have been 14 games played by the duo. Literally half of those 14 outings have resulted in single-digit fantasy efforts. It's pretty hard to consistently trust Saints' runners.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Calvin Johnson leads the way with 171.1 points. Fully 31 percent of those points game in Week 8. He's actually had two games with less than eight points this season. Tavon Austin is averaging 8.1 points a game this season. The next wideout on the total point list with two games of less than eight points is... Vincent Jackson who is 12th overall in points. He had two games in Weeks 3 & 4 in which he failed to record seven points.

Wes Welker is second in overall points and he doesn't have a single game under 15.9 points meaning that he's been more consistent, substantially, than even Calvin. In fact, there is no other wideout in football who can match Welker's consistency. Dez Bryant who is third in points has two games under nine points this season, and Demaryius Thomas has three games of less than 11 points though he's at least managed to score 10 points in all three of those contests so as not to totally kill his fantasy team that week.

Jordy Nelson is 6th in total points and his low game for the season was 13.2 points in Week 5. Of the five men above Nelson in points only Welker can match that 13.2 point total as the worst mark of the season (A.J. Green comes in 5th in total points and he's had three games under 12.2 points).

Larry Fitzgerald is 13th in fantasy points, but boy has he been hit or miss. In three games he's failed to record eight points. Torrey Smith, whom everyone seems to rag on incessantly, has only two games in single digits this season. His high's haven't been as high though so he comes in at 24th in points.

Pierre Garcon isn't getting into the end zone as hoped but he's still recorded the 16th most points at wide receiver. He's also reached double-digit points in all seven of his games. Wideouts above him in the overall rankings who have failed to match the feat of double-digit points each time out include Calvin Johnson (two times), Dez Bryant (2x), DeSean Jackson (3x), Victor Cruz (2x), Eric Decker (2x), Vincent Jackson (2x), Larry Fitzgerald (3x) and Alshon Jeffrey (3x). So, just how disappointing has Garcon been again?

Julian Edelman averaged 19.6 points in his first four games this season. In his next four games he's averaged a mere 7.3 points a contests failing to record more than 10.7 points in a game. His two rookie teammates haven't fared much better. Aaron Dobson has four games of 12 or more points but also three games under seven. Kenbrell Thompkins has two games of at least 19 points but he's also been held to under five points in three of his last four games. Fellow rookie DeAndre Hopkins of the Texans has four games of 11 points but three of his last four games he's failed to record eight points. So is the life of young receivers in the NFL.

TIGHT ENDS

Poor Jimmy Graham. If not for the zero point effort in Week 6 he would have hit at least 14.5 points in every game this season.

Jordan Cameron has recorded at least 11.4 points in seven of his eight contests (6.6 points in Week 5).

Julius Thomas has two games of 28 or more points. Julius Thomas has two games of less than 8.5 points. Julius Thomas also got two others under 13 points. Add it up and Julius Thomas, the #3 overall point producer at tight end this season has averaged 16.5 points a game this season, has failed to reach his per game average in five of his eight contests.

Tony Gonzalez is 6th in points. He's been all over the place like he was running from a pack of wild dogs in a cemetery under a full moon. In his seven games played he's recorded 95.5 points with 58.6 of those points coming in Weeks 4 & 5. In his other five games he's recorded 36.9 points for an average of 7.4 points a week. Tyler Eifert is averaging 7.4 points a game this season.

Check out some of the random efforts by tight ends this season. After a handful of players it's been a total up and down effort for nearly every player at the position.

Jason Witten has appeared in eight games. Five times he's failed to reach 9.5 points.

Jared Cook is 11th in points. He's had one game of 10 points this season (33.1 points in Week 1 which accounts for 42 percent of his season long point total).

Kyle Rudolph continued the trend he started last season of being here and then not there (the Invisible Man would be proud of his disappearing acts). Rudolph has hit double-digits this season just twice in seven games. Hell, Brent Celek has hit double-digits twice.

Finally... there isn’t a single TE in the top-20 in overall points who has reached at least 10 points in all of his games this season. The closest are: Jimmy Graham and Jordan Cameron who both failed just one time. Every other tight end has been unable to reach 10 points on at least two occasions.

Ray Flowers can be heard daily on Sirius/XM Radio on The Fantasy Drive on Sirius 210 and XM 87, Monday through Thursday at 7 PM EDT & Friday's at 9 PM EDT. For more of Ray's analysis you can check out BaseballGuys.com or the BaseballGuys' Twitter account where he tirelessly answers everyone's questions.