Fantasy Football Consistency: Standard Scoring Differences – WR

Josh Brickner shows you the effect of Standard scoring versus PPR scoring when evaluating the Consistency of Wide Receivers in 2017. Who improved and who declined may surprise you! Give Josh a follow on Twitter @joshbrickner.

Fantasy owners of T.Y. Hilton were ecstatic this past season with the Colts WR’s Week 3 & 14 performances where he scored 28 and 34 PPR points respectively. However, these same owners were equally as deflated in their Week 6, 8, & 12 fantasy matchups when the Florida International product literally dropped the ball and was held to under four PPR points. Boom/Bust players like Hilton are destructive to the playoff chances of owners in H2H fantasy leagues where your overall record determines whether or not you get a seat at the table.

You want to draft players on your team who are consistent fantasy performers from week to week. If you’re unfamiliar with the Consistency Rankings and Clutch Reports over at Big Guy Fantasy sports, I recommend you take a look. You will not be disappointed. Bob Lung has been looking at consistency in fantasy football for 15 years, but from a mostly PPR scoring lense. Well, the times they are a changin. Last week, I took a look at the difference in RB consistency between PPR and Standard (non-PPR) scoring formats. Today, we will analyze the changes in the consistency of the WR position when the scoring changes from PPR to Standard. 

WR Consistency: PPR vs Standard Scoring

For my breakdown, I compared the Clutch Reports of 94 WRs in Standard and PPR scoring methods. Of the 94 WRs evaluated; 42 (45%) saw no change in their Clutch Rate (CR) even with the scoring format changed from PPR to Standard. The scoring change did have a considerable impact on WR consistency as 38 WRs (40%) saw a negative regression in their CR when switching from PPR to Standard scoring while 14 (15%) saw a CR increase when owners aren’t awarded a point per catch. It’s not surprising at a position like WR, where your #1 duty is to catch passes, that nearly triple the amount of WRs saw a decrease in their CR than WRs who saw a positive increase. The consistency rates of some of 2017’s most productive WRs were impacted in Standard scoring leagues.

The Positive

Results Sorted by Overall Fantasy Performance (FP Rank)

Name

Team

FP

FP Rank

CG

GP

CG Change

Standard CR

CR Change

Agholor,Nelson

PHI

125.5

22

9

16

1

56%

6%

Bryant,Dez

DAL

119.5

26

9

16

1

56%

6%

Goodwin,Marquise

SF

112.6

28

10

16

2

63%

13%

Benjamin,Travis

LAC

96.3

41

7

16

1

44%

6%

Cole,Keelan

JAX

92.8

42

5

15

1

33%

6%

Doctson,Josh

WAS

84.8

48

6

16

1

38%

7%

Grant,Ryan

WAS

81.3

50

5

16

1

31%

6%

Brown,Jaron

ARI

71.7

58

6

16

2

38%

13%

Golladay,Kenny

DET

66.6

62

3

11

1

27%

9%

Benjamin,Kelvin

CAR

59.5

67

6

8

1

75%

12%

Butler,Brice

DAL

49.7

80

3

13

1

23%

8%

Jones,T.J.

DET

45.9

86

3

14

1

21%

7%

Coleman,Corey

CLE

42.5

90

4

9

1

44%

11%

Moore,Chris

BAL

41.9

92

3

13

1

23%

8%


While not as many impact WRs saw a positive change in their CR, there are some notable exceptions. A pair of NFC East, low-end WR2/Flex plays, Dez Bryant and Nelson Agholor, both earned their Standard league owners an extra Clutch Game (CG) than their PPR counterparts. However, their lackluster 56% CR would not make them a consistency target on draft day.

Player to Watch this Offseason- Marquise Goodwin

With the scoring format changed from PPR to Non-PPR, Marquise Goodwin earns two additional CGs and his CR jumps from a mediocre (50%) to Good  (63%). However, it’s Goodwin’s performance in the back-nine of the season that caught my attention. In Standard scoring, Goodwin produced a CG in seven of his final eight games (88%) for an Excellent Clutch Rate. The popular fantasy football narrative is how much Jimmy Garoppolo taking over at QB for the 49ers in the final five games greatly benefited the fantasy prospects of Goodwin. While this is true, it should be noted Goodwin posted Standard CGs in both Weeks 10 & 12 (with an impressive 16 point performance in Week 10) with the uninspiring C.J. Beathard at the helm for the 49ers. 

In reality, Goodwin showed this WR1 promise and stepped up for his team to fill the void left at the WR position after Pierre Garcon was placed on IR in Week 9. For 2018, keep an eye on what SF elects to do with Garcon; if they cut/trade him, Goodwin would immediately vault up draft boards. Even if Garcon remains with the 49ers, pay attention to the early news coming out of training camp/preseason as I envision SF passing the WR1 torch from the ten-year veteran to Goodwin. 

The Negative

Results Sorted by Overall Fantasy Performance (FP Rank)

Name

Team

FP

FP Rank

CG

GP

CG Change

Standard CR

CR Change

Allen,Keenan

LAC

182.2

3

10

16

-3

63%

-18%

Hill,Tyreek

KC

166.2

4

10

15

-1

67%

-6%

Jones,Julio

ATL

163.9

6

12

16

-1

75%

-6%

Thomas,Michael

NO

154.5

8

13

16

-1

81%

-7%

Thielen,Adam

MIN

152.8

10

8

16

-2

50%

-13%

Landry,Jarvis

MIA

152

11

12

16

-3

75%

-19%

Fitzgerald,Larry

ARI

151.6

12

9

16

-3

56%

-19%

Baldwin,Doug

SEA

146.3

14

9

16

-3

56%

-19%

Anderson,Robby

NYJ

137

15

8

16

-1

50%

-6%

Smith-Schuster,JuJu

PIT

133.7

17

8

14

-1

57%

-7%

Jeffery,Alshon

PHI

132.9

18

9

16

-1

56%

-7%

Tate,Golden

DET

132.5

19

9

16

-1

56%

-7%

Funchess,Devin

CAR

132

20

9

16

-1

56%

-7%

Evans,Mike

TB

130.1

21

9

15

-3

60%

-20%

Kupp,Cooper

LAR

116.9

27

8

15

-1

53%

-7%

Kearse,Jermaine

NYJ

111

29

6

16

-2

38%

-12%

Cooper,Amari

OAK

110.4

30

6

14

-1

43%

-7%

Crabtree,Michael

OAK

109.8

31

7

14

-2

50%

-14%

Sanu,Mohamed

ATL

107.9

33

9

15

-1

60%

-7%

Watkins,Sammy

LAR

107.3

34

7

15

-1

47%

-6%

Richardson,Paul

SEA

106.3

36

7

16

-1

44%

-6%

Matthews,Rishard

TEN

103.2

37

6

14

-1

43%

-7%

Crowder,Jamison

WAS

101.4

38

7

15

-1

47%

-6%

Wallace,Mike

BAL

99.2

39

8

15

-2

53%

-14%

Williams,Tyrell

LAC

96.8

40

4

16

-2

25%

-13%

Cobb,Randall

GB

91

43

6

15

-2

40%

-13%

Jackson,DeSean

TB

88.6

45

7

14

-1

50%

-7%

Shepard,Sterling

NYG

85.5

46

4

11

-2

36%

-19%

Nelson,Jordy

GB

84.2

49

4

15

-1

27%

-6%

Hogan,Chris

NE

75.6

53

5

9

-1

56%

-9%

Humphries,Adam

TB

69.7

59

4

16

-1

25%

-6%

Maclin,Jeremy

BAL

62

65

4

12

-1

33%

-9%

Taylor,Trent

SF

55

71

3

15

-1

20%

-7%

Lewis,Roger

NYG

53.6

75

3

15

-1

20%

-7%

Garcon,Pierre

SF

50

79

3

8

-2

38%

-25%

Westbrook,Dede

JAX

39.9

95

3

7

-1

43%

-14%

Gordon,Josh

CLE

39.5

97

3

5

-1

60%

-20%

Marshall,Brandon

NYG

15.4

134

1

5

-1

20%

-20%


The negative impact the change from PPR to Standard scoring has on WR consistency cannot be overstated as 14 of the Top 24 WRs, and 7 of the Top 12, saw a decrease in their CR with the scoring change. Keenan Allen, Jarvis Landry, Larry Fitzgerald, Doug Baldwin, and Mike Evans all produced three fewer CGs in Standard leagues as opposed to PPR. PPR stalwarts Allen and Landry took a huge hit to their CRs as Allen drops from an Excellent (81%) to a Good (63%) CR while Landry’s CR craters from Elite (91%) to Very Good (75%). Doug Baldwin & Larry Fitzgerald go from a Very Good CR (75%) in PPR scoring to dropping below the Mendoza Consistency line with a 56% CR in Non-PPR scoring. Standard owners who spent a first round pick on Mike Evans expected the big-bodied WR to use his 6-5 frame to catch double-digit TDs. Instead, the Clutch-more WR award winner in PPR rewarded his Standard owners with a measly 5 TDs and barely a Good (60%) CR for their high investment.

Top 10 Standard league WRs Tyreek Hill, Julio Jones, & Michael Thomas all lost a CG with the change from PPR to Standard. Both Tyreek Hill and Julio Jones drop down a Consistency tier with the scoring format change; Hill drops from a Very Good (73%) to Good (67%) CR while Julio slides from an Excellent (81%) to Very Good (75%) CR. Despite the one game CG reduction in Standard leagues, Saints WR Michael Thomas still maintains an Excellent CR rating (88% to 81%). Clutch WR Rookie of the Year JuJu Smith-Schuster joins the WR2 group of Alshon Jeffrey, Golden Tate, & Devin Funchess who lost a CG and saw their CR drop from Good to mediocre.

Conclusion

A significant dip in WR consistency is expected when switching to a non-PPR scoring format. However, when the majority (58%) of the Top 12 WRs saw their CR decline, Standard league owners must take notice, but not overreact. DeAndre Hopkins (100%), Antonio Brown (79%), A.J. Green (75%), Marvin Jones Jr. (69%), and Brandin Cooks (63%) all finished in the Top 12 of scoring in Standard leagues and saw their Clutch Rating remain consistent in both PPR & Standard leagues.

Of those five, I’m hesitant on recommending Jones Jr. and Cooks as both have a ton of competition for targets as it stands right now on their respective teams (Julian Edelman should return to the Patriots WR corps next season). Additionally, as much as I love both the consistency and upside of AB84 (ADP 1.05), if I’m forced to choose between he and an Elite CR RB in the Top 5 like Zeke, Gurley, or Lev Bell I’ll take the Clutch RB every time. I would never fault a Standard owner who swoops up Hopkins (ADP 1.08) and his perfect Clutch Rate in the Top 8 of drafts. Though again, if the choice is between him and a RB with an Excellent CR like Alvin Kamara/Melvin Gordon, I’ll take the latter.

As mentioned in the RB comparison article, it is imperative for a Standard league owner to draft one of the uber-consistent, stud RBs in the first round. An owner who takes Kamara or Gordon late in Round 1 could come back on the turn and take A.J. Green (ADP 2.04) or Michael Thomas (ADP 2.04). Similarly, drafting Zeke or Bell in the Top 5 over Brown still leaves the Standard owner with Julio Jones’ Very Good CR in the mid-late second round (2.07) or Davante Adams (ADP 3.06) and his Good (64%) CR in round three. While the switch from PPR to Non-PPR scoring causes a greater negative regression for WR consistency than RBs, the WR position is still deep with (potential) Clutch performers in the mid to late rounds of Standard drafts for 2018, unlike the RB position. Standard owners who do not prioritize the RB position early in drafts, do so at their own peril.         

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