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The most consistent fantasy football players of 2017

Who was the most consistent fantasy football player this year?

Los Angeles Rams v Tennessee Titans Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

Consistency is king in fantasy football. What makes an elite fantasy football player is not a few gigantic performances, but rather a bunch of very good performances. It’s why Antonio Brown goes top five every year and why Todd Gurley is bound to be the number one pick this year. It’s also why I don’t think Julio Jones is worth a first round pick this year. If you’re not giving me consistent points week to week, you’re not worth a first round pick.

With consistency so important, I figured it’d be good to know who were the most consistent players at each position this year. I went through each player’s weekly scoring (ESPN standard) and gave every performance a rating of either Trash, Aight or Most Excellent. Here’s my threshold for the ratings for each position:

Rating key

POSITION TRASH AIGHT MOST EXCELLENT
POSITION TRASH AIGHT MOST EXCELLENT
QB less than 15 points 15 to 22 points more than 22 points
RB less than 10 points 10 to 17 points more than 17 points
WR less than 8 points 8 to 14 points more than 14 points
TE less than 5 points 5 to 10 points more than 10 points

The goal is to really differentiate between the elite fantasy starters and the blah, blarg, boring guys. To help create a final nice round number, I added each player’s Aight and Most Excellent rating to get what I deem as the number of worthwhile starts (WS) this season.

Let’s do it.

Quarterback

PLAYER GP TRASH AIGHT MOST EXCELLENT WS FPPG
PLAYER GP TRASH AIGHT MOST EXCELLENT WS FPPG
Philip Rivers 16 4 10 2 12 16.4
Russell Wilson 16 5 3 8 11 20.7
Tom Brady 16 5 7 4 11 17.8
Carson Wentz 13 2 5 6 11 20.7
Ben Roethlisberger 15 5 7 3 10 16.9

Holy shit Philip Rivers was the most consistent fantasy quarterback this year. Gonna be honest, when I set out to do this article I thought the most consistent guy for each position would be the highest scorer. That logic makes sense given that in order to lead the league in total fantasy points scored, you have to score a lot of points fairly regularly. But apparently not.

If you’re happy with your quarterback just operating in the 15-22 point range, then there is no better quarterback in the whole world of fantasy sports than Rivers this year. Well done Philip! This might be a bigger accomplishment for him than creating eighteen billion kids (I believe that is the number they’re currently at).

While Rivers amazingly sits atop this list, let’s not overlook Russell Wilson’s 2017 season. If you had and started Wilson, 50% of the time this season he got you over 22 points. That’s pretty amazing if you ask me, especially since the next best percentage over 16 games is 31% (belonging to Alex Smith and Kirk Cousins, which is equally amazing).

Meanwhile, waiting the weeds, had Carson Wentz a) played all 16 games and b) kept up his scoring pace, he easily would’ve passed Rivers and Wilson in worthwhile starts and possibly in Most Excellent games. Through his 13 games this season, 85% of them where worthwhile starts (15 or more points) which would’ve given him roughly 14 worthwhile starts in a 16 games season (I rounded up). DAMN YOU ACLS FOR NOT BEING STRONGER!! Oh, and if we’re talking about ACLs and quarterbacks who could have had amazing, mind-blowing, fantasy altering seasons, ummmmm Deshaun Watson, get healthy. Please. Watson has four Most Excellent games out of the seven that he played. Dude. Balls.

Running back

PLAYER GP TRASH AIGHT MOST EXCELLENT WS FPPG
PLAYER GP TRASH AIGHT MOST EXCELLENT WS FPPG
Todd Gurley 16 1 6 8 14 18.9
Leonard Fournette 13 2 7 4 11 14.1
Le’Veon Bell 15 4 5 6 11 16
Melvin Gordon 16 5 6 5 11 13.4
Alvin Kamara 16 6 4 6 10 14.1

Todd Gurley is a freak, but we already knew that. Gurley led every single NFL player in worthwhile starts with 14 and scarily, that number probably would’ve been 15 had the Rams not rested their starts in Week 17. It’s amazing to just scroll through Gurley’s numbers. The guy scored single digits once this season. ONCE. As someone stupid enough to doubt him, both leading up to fantasy drafts and during the tailend of the season, I officially apologize. 93% of the time this season, Gurley was going to get you at least 10 points. 53% of the time, he was getting you over 17.

With only 13 games under his belt this season, technically Leonard Fournette is more consistent than Le’Veon Bell and Melvin Gordon, all of whom had 11 worthwhile starts. Fournette certainly cooled down towards the end of the season but a lot of that was because of injury and silly behavior. Hopefully next year he’ll be healthy and able to play a full season. He had the most Aight games this season among running backs and I’d expect a similar output in his sophomore season.

Almost all the names on this list are sexy names that got plenty of buzz during the fantasy season. Then there’s Melvin Gordon. This is why consistency charts like this matter. Sure Gordon didn’t average the points that other backs on this list did, but he routinely put up good numbers. So when you see Gordon waiting for you at the end of the first or even in the second round, you’ll know exactly what you’re getting week in and week out from him.

Wide receiver

PLAYER GP TRASH AIGHT MOST EXCELLENT WS FPPG
PLAYER GP TRASH AIGHT MOST EXCELLENT WS FPPG
DeAndre Hopkins 15 3 8 4 12 13.8
Marvin Jones Jr 16 6 7 3 10 9.8
Michael Thomas 16 6 8 2 10 9.2
Antonio Brown 14 5 1 8 9 14.6
Doug Baldwin 16 7 5 4 9 8.9

We all knew DeAndre Hopkins was going to be atop this list but I wouldn’t have predicted Marvin Jones sitting right behind him. Jones wasn’t flashy this season, only three Most Excellent games, but he was amazingly consistent thanks to seven Aight games—second only to Hopkins.

Antonio Brown ’s 2017 can be described simply as: All or Nothing. There was no Aight in Brown’s game this year. He tied Wilson, Gurley and Rob Gronkowski for most Most Excellent games this season but was dead last across all positions in Aight games. Ultimately that’s what killed Brown in terms of consistency. Look, is this going to make you not draft Brown if you have the chance? Good lord no. If Brown is available, you take him. But it’s interesting to see that this year he either gave you a HUGE performance, or single digits. There was no inbetween.

Maybe Doug Baldwin didn’t get you a ton of points—he finished WR13—but he got those points regularly enough to warrant consistent starting. Brandin Cooks and Jarvis Landry also finished with nine worthwhile starts, but Baldwin beat them out in Most Excellent starts (4 to their 3).

Tight end

PLAYER GP TRASH AIGHT MOST EXCELLENT WS FPPG
PLAYER GP TRASH AIGHT MOST EXCELLENT WS FPPG
Rob Gronkowski 14 3 3 8 11 10.9
Zach Ertz 14 3 6 5 11 8.7
Jimmy Graham 16 5 7 4 11 6.7
Travis Kelce 15 5 5 5 10 9.5
Evan Engram 15 6 5 4 9 6.9

Rob Gronkowski is amazing and is worth drafting early.

Moving on...

The craziest story here is Jimmy Graham ending up third with 11 worthwhile starts, despite posting four games in which he didn’t score a single fantasy point. Let this also be a reminder that there is a big drop off between the elite tight ends and everyone else. It’s really Gronk, Zach Ertz and Travis Kelce with everyone else behind them. But I can now say that Graham will be someone I pay more attention to in 2018 drafts.