2017 Wide Receiver Consistency Report

Ryan Cearfoss
@fntsyfbconnect

We’ve already taken a look at the running back position and their Real Consistency Value. If you missed that article, click here. Now breaking down the receiver position it’s far more volatile but incredibly telling of the depth and volatility of the position. This season Deandre Hopkins exploded putting himself squarely into the conversation as the best receiver in the league as well as the most consistent.

Consistency break down

To break down the receiver performances this year I took the scoring of the top 50 players in the position on a weekly basis and broke them down. Being that most consistency performances are based on just finishing in the top 12 or 24 I gave these a number value so weeks wouldn’t be deceptive in player scoring.  Each weekly score was a set point amount with a bonus point added to the RB1 total for games over 30 points because those can single-handedly win a week. This broken down on a weekly basis give an RCV score or real consistency value.

Here is a breakdown of the scoring

Position rank WR1 WR2 WR3 Week Losing Week Winning
Scoring 16+ 10-15 6-10 5 or less 30+
RCV 3 2 1 -1 +1

Here is an example of how the scoring worked with DeAndre Hopkins thru the first 8 weeks because it had a little bit of everything minus week losing scores because he was just too good this season to do that.

Week 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Total Weekly AVG
Score 18.5 14.3 14.6 26.7 27.2 9.9 bye 36.4 147.6 21.00
Performance WR1 WR2 WR2 WR1 WR1 WR3 bye WR1+elite
RCV 3 2 2 3 3 1 bye 3+1 18 2.5

Thru the first 8 weeks of the season, Hopkins was an absolute force with half of his performances being a WR1 or better with on being a game-winning performance. He also had two WR2 performances and his only WR3 performance on the season.

RCV Results

The final standings of the season there ended up being 11 receivers who averaged being a WR2 or better every single week. This group was led by Deandre Hopkins who had unreal consistency compared to the rest of the position due to his huge target share. Majority of the receiving group came in fairly expected with a few newcomers who ended up being far more consistent than expected being led by Juju Smith- Schuster. So here’s a look at the top tier or most consistent receivers.

Player RB1 week RB2 Week RB3 Weeks League Loser League Winner RCV Score
Hopkins 12 2 1 0 2 2.86
Brown 9 2 2 1 3 2.5
Allen 7 6 3 0 3 2.43
Landry 7 7 2 0 0 2.31
Fitzgerald 6 6 4 0 1 2.18
Smith-Schuster 5 3 5 0 2 2.15
Hill 7 4 3 1 1 2.13
M. Thomas 6 8 1 1 0 2.12
Adams 7 2 4 1 1 2.07
J. Jones 5 8 2 1 1 2.06
Diggs 5 4 3 1 1 2

When taking a look at the receiver position, it came pretty clear that consistency is very synonymous with market share with 7 of the top 11 most consistent receivers finishing in the top 10 in targets in the league. The only outliers being Smith-Schuster, Adams, Hill, and Diggs. Of the 4 leftovers, they either had a nice red-zone presence or had some big plays.

Boom/Bust Rates

Having consistent players on your team like the above list or that section in the running backs allows for taking chances on some players who have a bigger Boom Rate or percentage of time they score 16 or more points making them a WR1.  The higher the percentage the more chance they have of helping your team. The column next to it is the RCV score which is what we looked at above, the higher it is the more consistent a player is. Putting these together it allows weighing the reward vs the risk of the player

Highest Boom Rates

Boom Rank Player Boom Percent RCV Score
1 Theilen 43.75 1.93
2 Tate 43.75 1.87
3 Woods 41.66 1.83
4 Jeffrey 40.0 1.93
5 Evans 40.0 1.86
6 M. Jones Jr. 37.5 1.87
7 Crabtree 33.33 1.93
8 Goodwin 33.33 1.73
9 Kupp 33.33 1.66
10 Baldwin 31.5 1.81
11 D. Bryant 31.5 1.81
12 Green 31.5 1.75

A few of the guys on here came as a little bit of a surprise where they landed. Adam Thielen and Robert Woods both had huge years that weren’t truly expected this season putting up WR1 performances over 40% of their games and finishing just outside of the top of the most consistent WR. Kupp being on this as well shows how well that the Rams spread the ball around and that anyone was capable of having a WR1 performance in that offense.

The other major surprise on here was that Dez Bryant, a huge portion of the fantasy football community is in sell mode on Bryant but he was surprisingly consistent with some upside this season. No, he did not perform like the number one WR that we are all used to seeing but he averaged just a little less RCV score than the other top guys and still had a WR1 performance just shy of every three games. A healthy offense or change of scenery could work wonders for Dez in the next couple years and he’s able to be bought extremely cheap. While this is not saying go buy him immediately it could be worth a cheap pick up.

The next part to look at is the Bust rate. This is the number of times a player scores less than 5 points in a game. Scoring this low of a percentage can kill a fantasy team. Out of the top 36, WRs here are all of the ones who busted over 20% of their games.

Highest Bust Rates

Bust Rank Player Bust Rate Percentage
1 Hilton 43.75
2 Wallace 26.66
3 Funchess 25.0
4 Stills 25.0
5 Cooper 23.07
6 Watkins 21.42
7 Richardson 20.0

The Bust rate actually contains a ton of big-name players starting with T.Y. Hilton. Hilton was taken in the majority drafts in the first two or three rounds and absolutely let teams down. He finished as WR 36 and busted 43% of the time which is almost 20 percent more than any other receiver in the top 36. A lot of this can be attributed to having Jacoby Brissett as his quarterback, whereas he always seemed to be a boom or bust type player that gap swung way more to the bust side this season.

The other really big names who were on this list are Devin Funchess, Amari Cooper and Sammy Watkins who all were considered their teams’ number one receiver and went early in drafts. Each one of them had games game’s scoring less than 5 points every 4-5 games which is unacceptable as a team’s number one or two receiver.

Late Risers

With wide receivers sometimes a new team or change in the system can lead to a slow start building chemistry with their quarterback. A lot can go into this and a lot can cause a slow start so taking a look at how the receiver finished the last half of the season is huge as well. Here is a look at some of the biggest risers of the second half compared to their season totals.

Player Full Season RCV Last 8 weeks RCV Last 8 Boom Rate Pct. Last 8 Bust Rate Pct. Last 8 RCV Rank Full Season RCV Rank Ranking

Improvement

Wallace 1.26 2 14.28 0 13 39 26
Cooper 1.30 2 25 0 14 37 23
Goodwin 1.73 2.33 50 0 9 22 13
Crowder 1.3 1.85 28.66.6 0 19 36 17
Woods 1.83 2.33 33.3 0 10 17 7
Cobb 1.64 2 50 0 15 24 9
Kupp 1.66 2 42.8 16.6 16 23 7
M. Jones Jr. 1.87 2.14 16.6 0 11 14 3

A lot of the receivers on this list rated pretty highly on the Boom percentages that seemed to have an increase in usage during the last half of the season. Robert Woods and Marquis Goodwin finished the season in the top ten for RCV scores over the second half of the season after being free agent pickups in most leagues.  Goodwin can be mainly attributed to a change in quarterback whereas Woods and Kupp correlate with an increase in chemistry with Jarred Goff.

Amari Cooper had a horrendous start which stuck with fantasy players but really turned around his consistency over the last half of the season. Jamison Crowder also picked up the slack, returning to the production we were used to seeing. Unfortunately, he could be having a QB change which could affect his production in a number of ways.

Conclusion

The receiver position is incredibly inconsistent at the top compared to running backs when it comes to games over 16 points in a game with only 3 receivers who topped that happening 50% of the time or more when compared to the running back position. What separates receivers is the depth of the position. Last season there were 28 receivers who put up WR1 numbers over 30% of their games played. On the flip side running backs had only 18 over 30% and 25 over 20%.

From a team building perspective this promotes running backs early and wide receivers late because of the fantastic amount of depth at the position, especially with its high volatility of bust rates for top players. Either way, though building a solid foundation with players who are consistent allows for you to take chances in other places.

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