Go to any mock draft site you like to use. Enter a mock draft or two and then go look at the Average Draft Position (ADP) board. You will see two receivers consistently going in the Top 2, Andre Johnson and Calvin Johnson, in that order. Athleticism, size and dominance at their position are obvious. However, they might not be the consistent wide receivers you are looking for to help you get to the playoffs and ideally win the championship.
Luck is a huge factor in fantasy football. However, by drafting a solid team and making strong moves during the season, you can lower the luck factor. Trends exist every year in fantasy football. Trends such as, 3-5 undrafted wide receivers will crack the Top 20 for points scored every year, without fail. Other trends emerge, like consistency.
My definition of consistency is as follows – please understand I am using a one point per 10 yards and six points for each touchdown, standard scoring system – a wide receiver that can get seven points or more in a week. This can be any combination of 70 yards or touchdowns plus yardage. I use different definitions for consistency for each player position. I am a firm believer that in a 12-team league format you want to make sure that your team averages above 80 points a week. If you stay above that average you will have a winning team by record and make the playoffs in most cases.
Based on my consistency ratings criteria, here is the list of the most consistent wide receivers last year (number denotes total games with seven or more points):
1. Roddy White – 14
2. Greg Jennings – 13
3. Brandon Lloyd – 12
4. Mike Wallace – 11
4. Larry Fitzgerald – 11
4. Reggie Wayne – 11
4. Mike Williams (Tampa Bay) – 11
8. Calvin Johnson – 10
8. Hakeem Nicks – 10
10. Andre Johnson – 9
10. Stevie Johnson – 9
10. Dwayne Bowe – 9
By no means is it surprising to see White at the top of the class. However, Jennings quietly sneaks in the Top 4 nearly every year, and that production will help win games. In addition, he is the fifth receiver drafted on average right now.
Lloyd had either a breakout or a fluke season depending on your point of view. I know there is a lot of skepticism surrounding him right now. With the Denver offense likely to change, Tim Tebow possibly taking over and the idea that it was a one-year wonder for Lloyd are all looming. Considering my consistency criteria, Lloyd had seven points or more (13.9, 11.1 and 13.3 points) for the last three games of the season that Tebow was starting. Lloyd is being drafted right now between 16th-18th for wide receivers (late fourth round) which means you are getting great value on him.
At the bottom of the list sits Bowe and Johnson tied for 10th (nine games). Bowe was second in fantasy football points scored as a wide receiver last year. However, he had several dismal performances, and Kansas City runs the ball a lot. He is not the model of consistency. He is a player that can and will put up massive games, just not every week. Johnson battled injury problems last year, and I truly believe that is the reason he didn’t have at least two more games to boost him to at least fourth on this list. Be cautious that the Houston offense is becoming more balanced with the emergence of Arian Foster and Owen Daniels coming back from injury this year.
The point is, name, athleticism and past performance help to find a player with less risk. That said, it doesn’t ensure consistency. This is why I, 100 percent believe in drafting the best player on the board. If you see a running back that will get 20 carries a game and is a lock for the goal line carries, don’t draft a wide receiver with the mindset of, “I’m not sure which wide receiver will be available 24 picks from now.” The Stevie Johnsons, Brandon Lloyds, Mike Williams, Wes Welkers and the undrafted studs are still lurking in the weeds. Don’t draft on name alone. Find the trends and make the best decisions you can.