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2015 Reliability Rankings

By Jared Smola 10:34am EST 2/9/16

We spend too much time looking at total season-long fantasy points. That’s a fine cursory look at player performance, but the data can be skewed by 1 or 2 big games — or games missed with injury. We need to take a more granular look at production to get a true gauge of player value.

Since fantasy football is a week-to-week game, it’s important to look at performance on a week-to-week basis. That’s why Reliability Rankings are part of our after-season debriefing.

To create Reliability Rankings, we want to find the percentage of weeks a player provided “starter-level production.” What it takes to finish in starter territory varies by league size and starting requirements. But we’re using a standard PPR-scoring, 12-team setup: top 12 QBs, top 24 RBs, top 36 WRs, top 12 TEs, top 12 Ks and top 12 DEFs.

To calculate the Reliability Rankings, we simply divide the number of “starter weeks” by the number of games played. The result is the percentage of weeks played that resulted in “starter-level production.”

Of course, the rankings would change if we used different starting baselines (i.e. top 10 QBs or top 24 WRs) and/or different scoring systems. But the results below give a good general idea of how reliable each player was on a weekly basis.

If you have any questions on this -- or are curious about Reliability data for different league types or sizes -- feel free to post in the comments below or shoot me an email at smola@draftsharks.com.

Below are the Reliability Rankings of the top 25 QBs, 50 RBs, 60 WRs, 25 TEs, 32 Ks and 32 DEFs in total fantasy points. I also included some notable players who didn’t finish inside those thresholds.


QBs

Fantasy Pts. Rank Player Starter Weeks Games Played Reliability Rating
1 Cam Newton 11 16 68.8%
2 Tom Brady 11 16 68.8%
21 Ben Roethlisberger 8 12 66.7%
3 Blake Bortles 10 16 62.5%
4 Russell Wilson 10 16 62.5%
5 Carson Palmer 10 16 62.5%
6 Drew Brees 9 15 60.0%
19 Andy Dalton 7 13 53.8%
7 Eli Manning 8 16 50.0%
9 Kirk Cousins 8 16 50.0%
10 Philip Rivers 8 16 50.0%
18 Tyrod Taylor 7 14 50.0%
25 Joe Flacco 5 10 50.0%
11 Ryan Fitzpatrick 7 16 43.8%
14 Derek Carr 7 16 43.8%
24 Marcus Mariota 5 12 41.7%
12 Aaron Rodgers 6 16 37.5%
16 Matt Ryan 6 16 37.5%
8 Matthew Stafford 5 16 31.3%
13 Jameis Winston 5 16 31.3%
22 Sam Bradford 4 14 28.6%
20 Jay Cutler 4 15 26.7%
15 Ryan Tannehill 4 16 25.0%
17 Alex Smith 4 16 25.0%
23 Teddy Bridgewater 4 16 25.0%
Other Notables:
28 Josh McCown 4 8 50.0%
27 Andrew Luck 3 7 42.9%
29 Blaine Gabbert 3 8 37.5%
30 Brock Osweiler 3 8 37.5%
26 Brian Hoyer 4 11 36.4%
33 Colin Kaepernick 3 9 33.3%
41 Tony Romo 1 4 25.0%
32 Nick Foles 2 11 18.2%
34 Johnny Manziel 1 9 11.1%
31 Peyton Manning 1 10 10.0%


Notes:

  • 41 different QBs posted a top-12 week in 2015. 31 had 3+ starter weeks.
  • Only 9 QBs finished among the top 12 in more than half of their games.
  • Russell Wilson was a top-12 QB in just 2 of his first 8 games. He closed the season with 8 straight top-12 finishes.
  • Philip Rivers ranked among the top 12 in 6 of 8 games with Keenan Allen but just 2 of 8 without his #1 WR.
  • Aaron Rodgers was a top-12 QB in just 6 of his 16 games. That 37.5% starter-week rate trailed guys like Marcus Mariota, Josh McCown and Joe Flacco.
  • Among QBs who played all 16 games, 3 tied for the few starter weeks (4): Alex Smith, Ryan Tannehill and Teddy Bridgewater.
  • Peyton Manning had just 1 top-12 week. Blaine Gabbert, E.J. Manuel and Nick Foles, among others, had more.


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