Fantasy Consistency of QBs and Defenses vs. QBs

Editor’s Note:  This guest post was written by Phillip Caldwell — follow him on Twitter @DumpsterDiveFF.

Quarterback Consistency

As a Fantasy GM, the right team chemistry is a delicate balancing act. Unlike a real general manager, you don’t have to worry about personalities or media woes, but rather maximizing fantasy point potential while minimizing the risk of “bottoming out.” A key to this balance is knowing which players you can likely count on for high fantasy output.

This is why I took my background as an accountant to tackle the nebulous concept of “consistency” in fantasy football. We play a game, based on a game, played with an oblong ball made from leather. No science is going to be perfect. But I believe my mathematical look at a player’s fantasy output can give you better insight into a quarterback’s likely weekly outcome.

Fantasy Consistency Scores - QBs

My quarterback consistency score is based around a statistical measure known as the “Coefficient of Variation” or “CV.” According to, CV is a “measure of the dispersion of data points in a data series around the mean.” Without getting too far into the weeds on this, basically, it is a useful way to compare multiple, unrelated data sets to each other. In my experience, CV is most commonly used to compare different mutual funds. Using a fantasy player’s weekly scores, standard deviations, and CVs, I have tweaked the financial concept to work for the fantasy GM who wants more intimate insight into their players’ likely outcomes.

Fantasy consistency is tricky. A player who scores exactly five fantasy points every week is highly consistent, but not very good for your fantasy team. That is why my score weights higher actual fantasy output. So the higher the “Consistency Score,” the more repeatably that player scores a high level of fantasy points.

Data Telling Lies

There is a counter-argument to some of this information. Matt Ryan, for example, is ranked 9th according to these rankings. You can see that in Week 3 he scored 40+ fantasy points, something done by only one other Quarterback ranked higher Ryan (Drew Brees). Ryan’s score takes in the vast gap between his Week 1 dud of 8.84 fantasy points, as well as his studly Week 3 blow-up.

You will notice Ryan’s 8.84 is the second-lowest weekly output of all the eight quarterbacks listed ahead of him, giving Ryan a standard deviation of 12.78, which is the highest of the 12 top-ranked pigskin slingers.

There is an argument that the potential to have a week-winning performance is just as vital as anything else in your starting lineup. This model, however, looks at the gap between week-winning performances and week-losing performances, and weights negatively due to the spread.

Fantasy Consistency Scores - Defenses vs. QBs

I have also kept track of defensive points allowed to the quarterback position in the same manner, and when you pair both consistency measures together, it can highlight some great opportunities and some matchups you might want to avoid.

  • As if Jared Goff wasn’t hot enough, his upcoming schedule is very quarterback friendly. Three out of his next four games are top-12 matchups in terms of consistently giving up high scores. Goff’s receivers being banged up might worry some folks, but with Robert Woods and Todd Gurley still on the field, plus Sean McVay still calling the plays, you should have no concerns.
  • Andy Dalton has been a steal, as he is currently my eighth-ranked quarterback in terms of scoring consistency. That should continue to be the case leading up to Cincinnati’s bye week, as all those matchups are favorable. As a matter of fact, Kansas City is the most daunting matchup Dalton will face and their defense ranks seventh in consistently allowing points to passers.
  • Andrew Luck owners might want to see what is available to stream (Dalton perhaps?). The Colt’s next two opponents rank 20th (New York Jets) and 26th (Buffalo Bills) in terms of consistently giving up fantasy points to the position. With those matchups on deck and T.Y. Hilton banged up, I would look elsewhere, despite Luck’s top-10 ranking in consistency score.
  • Ben Roethlisberger is another top-12 quarterback I would look to peel away from. His next four weeks are rough: at Cincinnati (16th), bye, vs. Cleveland (30th), and at Baltimore (32nd). Add Roethlisberger as a “toss in” on a trade you’re trying to swing, and let him sabotage someone else’s roster for the next four weeks.

TwoQBs Guest

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