Standard League Consistency – 2018 Consistency Awards - RB

Josh Brickner picks the Consistency Award winners for Standard Leagues in 2018.  Follow him on Twitter @joshbrickner.

It’s the heart of Awards Season in the entertainment industry as the stars of Hollywood gather in a decadent theater, wear designer clothes that cost more than my car, and recognize all of the outstanding work from the past year. Now, you won’t find any red carpets or elegant meals in these awards, only those most reliable, consistent fantasy contributors of the 2018 season in standard leagues. Now, without further ado...

WORST VALUE

This award goes to the running back that had the highest ADP at the beginning of the season and ended the season with the worst combination of total Fantasy Points and consistency. Thus, making him the worst value at running back in 2018.

And the winner is….

LeSean McCoy

Many a fantasy footballer were left with a worthless top five pick during Le'Veon Bell’s Norma Rae routine this past season. Yet, when you invest an early third round pick (ADP: 26) on a veteran player you expect better than a RB4 finish (RB40) and a dreadful 36% Clutch Rate. Enter LeSean McCoy.

McCoy earned career worsts in both total touchdowns (3) and rushing yards (514) in his tenth season. Father Time remains undefeated, and he looks to have Shady McCoy in his cross hairs. Avoid McCoy in your 2019 draft like the plague.

 

BEST VALUE

This award goes to the running back that had the lowest ADP at the beginning of the season and ended the season with the best combination of total Fantasy Points and consistency. Thus, making him the best value at running back in 2018.

And the winner is….

James Conner

Le’Veon Bell’s fantasy value had to die in 2018 so James Conner’s could be born. The Pitt product solidified himself as both the Steelers and a fantasy RB1 on the heels of a 192 total scrimmage yards, two touchdown kickoff weekend performance. Conner’s production this season highlights two important fantasy football lessons; ALWAYS handcuff your stud running backs and use the last round of your draft to pick a high upside player.

Acquiring the non-PPR RB6 with an Excellent (85%) Clutch Rate at the 153rd overall pick (or on Labor Day waivers) should be felony larceny. Believe it or not, there’s a chance the cancer survivor might be undervalued next season due to the Steelers hiring Jaylen Samuels old collegiate RB coach to the same position. Draft James Conner with no hesitation next season as he should be the workhorse running back for the Steelers we saw in the first 12 weeks of the season.

 

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR

This award goes to the rookie running back that had ended the season with the best combination of total Fantasy Points and consistency.

And the winner is….

Saquon Barkley

Just like on the PPR side, it’s easy to pick a player with an elite and damn near perfect Clutch Rate (94%) who finished as the RB2 overall in standard leagues. Saquon Barkley ranked third in the league in touches per game (22) and became just the third rookie (Eric Dickerson and Edgerrin James) to tally over 2,000 yards from scrimmage. Expect the Giants to continue to force-feed the 2018 number two overall pick making him an easy top three fantasy pick in August.

 

CLUTCH-LESS

This award goes to the running back that ended the season with a high ranking in total Fantasy Points, but his consistency was lower than expected. Therefore, making him look more valuable (due to high points rank) than he was worth to his Fantasy teams.

And the winner is….

Derrick Henry

On the surface, drafting the RB13 at the price of the RB18 in the August appears to be great value. However, a deeper dive into Derrick Henry’s week-to-week performance tells a much different story. The Bama alum could not be counted on by his fantasy owners each week as he scored 80.1% (142) of his total fantasy points in just eight of his 16 games for an unappealing 50% CR.

Henry hit the Clutch Factor in eight of his final ten games; including 47.8 and 29 point explosions during the first two rounds of the fantasy playoffs in weeks 14 and 15. Thus, if you started the Titan power back in these weeks you likely made the ‘Ship. However, if you started Henry the first six weeks of the season (0% Clutch Rate) you likely had a difficult time even making the playoffs. Let one of your fellow leaguemates draft the inconsistent Tennessee running back this summer.

 

CLUTCH-MORE

This award goes to the running back that ended the season with a low ranking in total Fantasy Points, but his consistency was higher than expected. Therefore, making him look less valuable (due to high points rank) to his Fantasy teams, when he was actually worth MORE!

And the winner is….

Dalvin Cook

Injuries were the only thing to slow down Dalvin Cook as his low end of season ranking in fantasy points (31st) was due to missing five games. Cook’s Very Good (73%) CR definitely aided those with his fantasy shares this past season, particularly down the stretch. The former Seminole recorded five consecutive Clutch Games from weeks 12 through 16 highlighted by a 28.3 point performance in the fantasy semifinals in week 15. Yet, I agree with Bob as I’d be uber cautious in investing one of my first two 2019 picks on a player with a checkered injury past. 

 

CLUTCH COMEBACK PLAYER OF THE YEAR

This award goes to the running back that ended the 2017 season with a poor ranking in total Fantasy Points and consistency. However, in 2018, he had the greatest improvement in both categories making him very valuable to his Fantasy teams.

And the winner is….

James White

Stuck at fourth on the depth chart behind Dion Lewis, Mike Gillislee, and Rex Burkhead in 2017, James White was simply not on the radar for non-PPR leagues as RB47 with a pathetic 21% CR. What a difference a year makes for the Wisconsin alum. White, long considered only a satellite back, finished as a RB1 (RB11) in standard leagues with a Good (69%) CR.

The New England running back finished second at the position to CMC in targets (123) this past season. While fake footballers in standard leagues didn’t get the 87 points for White’s receptions, his average of 74 scrimmage yards per week (along with 12 total touchdowns) helped propel him to this unlikely non-PPR RB1 finish. The biggest aid to James White’s fantasy prospects this season was Rex Burkhead’s eight game absence. Look for the New England backfield to become muddied again next season with White and Burkhead sharing scat back duties.

 

CLUTCH MVP

This award goes to the running back that ended the 2018 with the best combination of total Fantasy Points and consistency.

And the winner is….

Todd Gurley

Despite playing two less games than runner-up Saquon Barkley, Todd Gurley is both your non-PPR RB1 and standard league clutch MVP. Gurley filled up the stat sheets in 2018 producing 1,831 total yards and 21 (!) total touchdowns on 22.5 touches per game.

The former Bulldog missed the last two games of the season with a knee injury and only received five touches in an NFC Championship game win. Pay attention to reports on Gurley’s health leading up to the Super Bowl and in the off-season. If the 2018 Clutch MVP doesn’t see much action in the Super Bowl then his price could drop going into Augusts drafts presenting a value-laden buying opportunity.

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