Fantasy All-Consistency Team
Following the NFL Draft, fantasy football owners are furiously looking for the next big thing. That rookie that finds himself with the perfect blend of ability and opportunity. But, it’s also important to remember the players that you know you can rely on; those that consistently rank among the league’s best at their respective positions. The ever-changing world of fantasy football doesn’t lend itself all that well to consistency, so players that have proven themselves reliable over a number of years can be all the more valuable. With that in mind, here are quarterbacks, running backs, and wide receivers that have been members of the All-Consistency Team over the last three seasons.
In measuring consistency at the quarterback position, I looked at passing yards alone and in combination with rushing yards. I also analyzed passing touchdown ranks on their own, as well as in combination with rushing scores. The bar for the All-Consistency Team was set at the top 10 for yardage and touchdowns in each of the last three seasons.
New Orleans Saints
When it comes to quarterback consistency, Brees is really in a league of his own. He ranked number one in terms of passing yards and passing touchdowns in 2011 and 2012, and fell all the way to second in both categories last season. You can pretty much pencil him in for a minimum of 5,000 yards and 40 touchdowns every year.
While his numbers aren’t nearly as prolific as Brees’, Ryan is the only other quarterback to rank in the top 10 in passing yards and touchdowns thrown in each of the last three seasons. That is all the more impressive when you think about the status of the Falcons’ receiving corp for much of 2013. Ryan ranked 8th, 5th, and 4th in passing yards over the last three years and 6th, 5th, and 9th in touchdown passes.
The following quarterbacks ranked in the top 10 in passing yards in each of the last three seasons, but did not manage the same distinction in terms of touchdown passes.
- Matthew Stafford, DET (3rd, 2nd, and 3rd)
- Tom Brady, NE (2nd, 4th, and 6th)
Finding the Endzone
While failing to consistently rank in the top 10 in terms of passing yards, the following quarterbacks have been in the top 10 for touchdowns thrown in each of the last three seasons.
- Philip Rivers, SD (8th, 9th, and 4th)
- Tony Romo, DAL (5th, 6th, and 5th)
The only quarterback whose consistency rankings over the last three seasons were materially impacted by the inclusion or exclusion of rushing stats was Cam Newton. When considering combined passing and rushing touchdowns, Newton was among the top scorers at his position in each of the last three seasons, ranking 5th, 10th, and 7th respectively from 2011 through 2013.
For running backs, I looked at total rushing and receiving yards, as well as combined touchdowns from the last three seasons. The list of those placing in the top 20 in terms of total yards and total touchdowns in each of the last three seasons is a short one.
Despite missing four games in 2011, Peterson has ranked 20th, 1st, and 9th among running backs over the last three seasons in combined rushing and receiving yards. He’s also been a top-5 touchdown scorer at the position every year. While there are a lot of miles on the tires here, AP is about as reliable as it gets.
In his three full seasons in Seattle, Lynch has been the epitome of consistency. He’s the only rusher in the NFL to be in the top 10 for combined rushing and receiving yards in each of the last three years, and he’s ranked 3rd, 5th, and 2nd in touchdowns scored by a running back for 2011 through 2013. Lynch may be nearing the end of his career as a Seahawk, but he should have at least one more year as a fantasy cornerstone.
San Francisco 49ers
Gore might be the least sexy fantasy football anchor, but all he’s done over the last three seasons is finish 14th, 10th, and 14th among running backs in terms of yardage and 15th, 10th, and 11th in touchdowns. Despite being long in the tooth for an NFL running back – he’ll be 31 when the 2014 season kicks off – Gore should continue to be a reliable fantasy option in San Francisco’s run-heavy offense.
The following running backs ranked in the top 20 in combined rushing and receiving yards in each of the last three seasons, but did not manage the same distinction in terms of scoring touchdowns.
- LeSean McCoy, PHI (4th, 18th, and 1st)
- Matt Forte, CHI (7th, 11th, and 3rd)
- Chris Johnson, NYJ (9th, 9th, and 11th)
- Reggie Bush, DET (12th, 15th, and 6th)
Finding the Endzone
In addition to the Anchors listed above, Mike Tolbert is the only other running back to rank in the top 20 at the position in total touchdowns scored over each of the last three seasons. From 2011 through 2013, Tolbert ranked 11th, 20th, and 19th, respectively.
Receivers were analyzed strictly in terms of receiving yards and touchdown catches. The list of those placing in the top 20 at the position in both categories during each of the last three seasons is shorter than you might think.
Green has completed three seasons in the NFL and he’s been among the best receivers in the league in each of them. After ranking 15th at the position in receiving yards as a rookie, Green improved to 10th in 2012 and 5th last year. He barely made the top 20 in terms of receiving touchdowns in 2011 (he was 18th), but has been in the top five in each of the last two seasons. As a young receiver that has already earned All-Consistency Team honors, Green is one of the safer fantasy receivers out there.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
I have to admit being surprised that Jackson was the only other receiver to rank in the top 20 for yards and touchdowns in each of the last three years. During his last season in San Diego, Jackson ranked 14th in receiving yards at the position and he tied for 4th in touchdown catches. In two seasons with the Buccaneers, Jackson’s yardage (5th and 14th) and scoring (12th and 18th) have cemented him as one of the more consistent receivers in the league in terms of total production.
The following wide receivers ranked in the top 20 in receiving yards in each of the last three seasons, but did not manage the same distinction in terms of touchdown receptions.
- Calvin Johnson, DET (1st, 1st, and 3rd)
- Brandon Marshall, CHI (8th, 3rd, and 11th)
Finding the Endzone
While failing to consistently rank in the top 20 in terms of receiving yards, the following receivers have been in the top 20 at their position for receiving touchdowns in each of the last three seasons.
- Dez Bryant, DAL (4th, 3rd, and 2nd)
- Eric Decker, NJY (9th, 2nd, and 5th)
- Jordy Nelson, GB (2nd, 17th, and 13th)
Self-described fantasy degenerate that has been participating in fantasy sports leagues since the spiral notebook scoring era. If you can make a fantasy league out of it, I’m in.