John T. Georgopoulos
Fantasy Forecast: The Best Damn Draft Theory

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This Fantasy Forecast will deal with a question that is becoming more and more relevant these days. With the explosion of Individual Defensive Player (IDP) leagues, many owners are confused as to the appropriate time to draft a defensive player. Should Navorro Bowman be taken ahead of Tony Gonzalez? Should J.J. Watt be grabbed ahead of your WR3? Heck, where should any position be drafted as compared to any other position?

To answer that question, I’ll draw on one of the industry innovations I implemented almost 15 years ago: Consistency Rankings. Let’s take a look at how consistent every position player is (excluding kickers, since many studies have proven that kickers should be drafted last, period), the range of their scoring and their relative value. In order to gauge the relative value of positions, for this data sample we’ve chosen to look only at players who started at least eight games (so we’re essentially looking at players who would likely be chosen in the early-to-middle rounds of most fantasy drafts):

Table 1: Consistency Ratings (“CR”) by Year and Position

Note: The lower the CR, the more consistent the position

A couple of things to note:

  • While I don’t have the formula listed here (I’ll do so in an upcoming column), this is a statistically derived definition of consistency. Unlike some other hack fantasy football writers (if you email me I’ll be happy to link you to such culprits) who define “consistency” as scoring a minimum number of points in a game or as having “good” games, I use math, folks.
  • The two most “stable” positions in 2012 were quarterback (offense) and defensive back (defense) while the least stable were tight end and linebacker.

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