Every fantasy football owner strives for consistency, but it remains difficult to master. Winning big one week and losing narrowly the next is not generally how a team positions itself to win a fantasy championship, so having reliable players who give you a baseline amount of points every week should be a goal. Anyone who’s played fantasy football for any length of time knows how maddening it is to have, say, a tight end who springs for 20-plus points one week and follows it up with three the next. The lack of bankable TEs beyond the very top tier in the rankings makes it a tough position to draft for most owners.
You can’t control injuries or weather, among other things, but you can control how much you factor past (and projected) consistency into your player evaluations.
At BigGuyFantasySports.com, we’re devoted to helping fantasy owners find more consistentcy during the draft and throughout the season with our “Clutch Report” section. Based on your scoring format and number of teams in your league, we figure out the “Clutch Factor” (CF) that a player must exceed each week to earn a “Clutch Game.” For instance, in 12-team PPR formats, a running back needs over 11 fantasy points in a week week to earn a “Clutch Game.”
From there, a player’s “Clutch Rating” (CR) is determined. A CR of 70 percent or above means a player is highly consistent. The elite players will normally have a CR between 80-90 percent.
The most consistent players aren’t always the top scorers — at least, not in the order of finish by total points — but lack of sub-five-point performances is arguably more valuable. Knowing this can help you on draft day. Here’s a sneak peek at my top-12 consistency-based rankings for TEs heading into the 2021 season.
2021 Fantasy TE Consistency Ratings, Rankings
A ranking of TE1A means I expect that player to earn at least a 70 percent CR in 2021. You can probably guess who the three TEs currently in that tier are: Travis Kelce, Darren Waller, and George Kittle. The remaining nine “TE1s” are all ranked as TE1Bs. Their CRs are expected to be between 55-70 percent. Obviously, the higher-ranked tight ends, such as Mark Andrews and T.J. Hockenson, are expected to earn much higher than 55 percent, but they probably won’t exceed 70 percent. The lower-ranked tight ends could exceed a 55-percent CR, but it’s less likely.
The big question for this year: Can Travis Kelce live up to his extremely high ADP? The answer is emphatically “yes.” His onsistency numbers last year placed him among the top-three wide receivers. So, drafting him in the first round is not a reach. You can always draft consistent, undervalued receivers later to fill the gap.
Let’s look at a couple of these tight ends and see which of them are undervalued or overvalued based on current ADPs.
Undervalued: Robert Tonyan, Packers
Tonyan came out of nowhere to take the fantasy world by storm. He ranked fourth in total points and seventh in consistency, and just like Logan Thomas, he’s not getting the respect he deserves. His current ADP is TE13 in Round 12. I would easily draft Thomas and Tonyan in Rounds 7 and 12 and be very happy with my tight end position.
Overvalued: Hunter Henry, Patriots
There was a ton of excitement when the Patriots signed Jonnu Smith this offseason. However, that excitement dropped drastically when the Patriots also signed Henry. Both are extremely talented, and while visions of dual Patriot TE domination from years past dance in our heads, it’s still Cam Newton at quarterback, not Tom Brady. I’m out. Henry’s current ADP is much higher than my TE19 ranking of him. He’s definitely a solid backup, but I’m not sure I can make him my TE1.
Factoring consistency into your draft-day decisions can help you avoid the curse of being the high-scoring team with a losing record. You have to make the playoffs to win a championship, and having a steady team is the best way to accomplish both.
For more consistency reports to help with your draft prep, go to Amazon and pick up the award-winning 2021 Fantasy Football Consistency Guide. You can also follow me on Twitter @bob_lung.
Don’t miss out on the 2021 Fantasy Football Expo on Sunday, Aug. 15, 2021, in Canton, Ohio! Go to The Fantasy Football Expo for tickets!