Is Week-to-Week Consistency an Illusion?
At RotoWire, I took a look at whether or not certain football players are really more consistent than others.
To track past rates of consistency, I looked at high-performing wide receivers over the past two seasons. Of receivers with more than 60 catches, I examined the top 25 and the bottom 25 in terms of yards-per-reception. My hypothesis was that, if weekly consistency exists and is fairly strong, we’d see players with low yards-per-catch totals have the most consistent play. Those players – think Wes Welker, Danny Amendola, Percy Harvin – typically have a much higher reception rate (and often times more targets) than the big-play threats like DeSean Jackson, Mike Wallace and Brandon Lloyd.
The fact is that the big-play receivers were actually slightly more likely to have consistent play than the low-YPC receivers. That’s after I adjusted for stat totals (the top 25 in YPC averaged 1,189 yards and 8.96 TDs per season, compared to 942 yards and 5.12 TDs for the bottom 25 in YPC). On average, the big-play receivers posted games with at least 6.0 percent of their final yardage total just over 9.5 times per year. For the low-YPC players – the ones who many consider to be very consistent on a week-to-week basis – the number was just under 9.5. The results are close enough to conclude that weekly receiving consistency, at least in terms of YPC, doesn’t exist.