Fantasy football is a weekly game. So bulk season-long stats and rankings don’t tell the whole story of how valuable a player truly was. The data can be skewed by 1 or 2 big games — or games missed with injury.
Take Raiders WR Amari Cooper, for example. He ranked 16th among WRs in PPR points. But he finished among the top 36 WRs in only 8 of his 16 games. He hurt your fantasy squad just as often as he helped it. 24 WRs posted more top-36 weeks than Cooper.
That’s where Reliability Rankings come in. We’re looking at how often a player provided “starter-level production.”
What constitutes “starter-level production” varies by league size and starting requirements. Here, we’ll use a standard 12-team, PPR-scoring setup. So the top 12 QBs, top 24 RBs, top 36 WRs and top 12 TEs each week are considered starters.
To calculate the Reliability Rankings, we simply divide the number of “starter weeks” by the number of games played.
Of course, that number doesn’t tell the entire story either. A #1 weekly finish by a WR counts the same as a 36th-place finish. Reliability Rankings are a measure of each player’s floor, rather than ceiling. But it’s another useful piece of information as we digest this past season.
I scored the top 25 QBs, 40 RBs, 50 WRs and 25 TEs in total PPR points -- and also included some other notables. If you're curious about someone who isn't shown below, comment below or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Without further adieu, here are your 2016 Reliability Rankings:
* Aaron Rodgers was a top-12 QB in just 2 of his first 5 games -- and then 10 of his last 11. His only time outside the top 12 over those final 11 came in Week 15 at Chicago, when he finished 19th.
* Cam Newton tied for the league lead with 11 top-12 QB weeks in 2015. He posted just 6 in 2016.
* 49ers QBs Blaine Gabbert and Colin Kaepernick combined for 8 top-12 weeks. Only 6 individual QBs had more.
* Blake Bortles finished 9th among QBs in raw fantasy points but turned in just 4 top-12 weeks. 18 QBs had more.
* 40 different QBs posted at least 1 top-12 week.
* The only time David Johnson didn't finish as a top 24 RB was Week 17, when he left early with a knee injury. Outside of that game, his worst finish was RB15. He posted 6 RB1 weeks.
* Falcons RBs Devonta Freeman and Tevin Coleman combined for 20 top-24 weeks and both finished inside that territory in the same week 4 different times.
* Jordan Howard was a top-24 PPR RB in 12 of the Bears' final 14 games.
* 89 different RBs posted at least 1 top-24 PPR week.
* Jordy Nelson's only time outside the top 36 WRs was Week 7 at home for the Bears. He finished that week 100th.
* Mike Evans finished 3rd in PPR points among WRs but just 12th in percentage of weeks among the top 36 (62.5%).
* Doug Baldwin ranked 8th in total PPR points among WRs but just 20th in percentage of top 36 weeks (56.3%).
* Only 15 WRs tallied more top 36 weeks than Kenny Stills. He ranked top 36 in 6 of his final 8 games.
* Alshon Jeffery's 66.7% Reliability Rating ranked 11th best among WRs.
* 130 different WRs posted at least 1 top-36 PPR week.
* Kyle Rudolph posted 6 straight top-12 weeks to close the season.
* Delanie Walker ranked top 12 in 6 of his first 9 games but then just 2 of his last 6. He turns 33 this August.
* Per usual, Zach Ertz got hot down the stretch, finishing top 12 in 7 of his final 9 games.
* Charles Clay didn't have a single top-12 finish through Week 13. He tallied 3 of them over the final 4 weeks.
* Healthy from Weeks 8-14, Tyler Eifert finished among the top 12 TEs in 5 of 6 games.
* 56 different TEs posted at least 1 top-12 week.