It’s one thing to be consistent during one season in Fantasy Football. However, the consistently consistent players are the real Fantasy studs. These players are the ones that should be drafted in the early rounds of most drafts.
A consistently consistent player has also remained consistently healthy, which is just as important as their statistical performance.
Let’s look at the consistently consistent running backs!
The Top 40 most consistent running backs and the number of Quality Games Earned each year are listed below.
I’m going to break the Top 40 into four tiers, analyze each tier and provide some insight on the players within each tier.
2015 RB Rankings: Tier One – The Elite (Ranked 1 – 6 & 8)
First, let’s identify the Triple-Doubles group, which includes three of the top eight. They include Matt Forte, LeSean McCoy and Marshawn Lynch. These three can be and should be counted on every year (barring injury). Some elite running backs who just missed the Triple Double are DeMarco Murray, Jamaal Charles and Arian Foster. Each of the studs had an injury issue in one of the past three seasons that held them back. However, each of them are worthy consistent backs.
I’m sure it’s not too difficult to figure out why I included the eighth ranked player, LeVeon Bell and did not include the seventh ranked player, Alfred Morris. They are each heading in opposite directions. Only Matt Forte and DeMarco Murray have earned more Quality Games in the past two seasons than Bell. Morris is the lone star on the Redskins team that is in shambles right now. Morris is above average but he’s certainly not elite.
Tier Two – The Above Average (Ranked 7 and 9 – 15)
The second tier includes Frank Gore, Chris Johnson and Steven Jackson, who are at the end of their respective careers. While Gore may have some consistent life this coming season with the Colts, none of these players really should be considered an option in the Fantasy mainstream any more.
Joique Bell is a solid Fantasy back. He has have improved his consistency over the past couple of seasons with a double-digit Quality Game season last year. I like him as a sleeper as Reggie Bush is gone. The Lions may Theo Riddick and newly drafted Ameer Abdullah as their third-down backs, but as of right now, I really like Joique Bell as a RB2.
Adrian Peterson would have joined the elite group but his off-field issues kept him off the field last season. He’s back for 2015 and could regain his elite status again!
Fred Jackson may surprise many Fantasy owners, but he surprises no one who follows the Consistency path. He is one of only seven running backs with double digit Quality Games the past two seasons. C.J. Spiller is gone but now LeSean McCoy is in Buffalo and should greatly affect his Fantasy numbers. However, I’d make sure to handcuff Jackson to McCoy in your draft.
Eddie Lacy has vaulted to nearly the top of the consistency standings over the past two seasons and should be a top pick in PPR leagues in 2015. He is also only one of seven running backs with double digit Quality Games that past two seasons and should add his third in 2015.
2015 RB Rankings: Tier Three – The Average (Ranked 16–24)
This group is quite a menagerie of Fantasy players. First off, every player in this section has had one season in the past three years where they earned double digit Quality Games. So, it’s apparent that they can be Fantasy relevant, but what should we expect in 2015?
Let’s first look at those players with past and future injury concerns and trust me, there are quite a number of them. Reggie Bush, Doug Martin, Ryan Mathews and C.J. Spiller are very consistent, at least at getting injured that is. When healthy, these players can be excellent Fantasy players. All of them, except Martin, have changed teams and could regain that value. Health will be the issue, so keep an eye on them in camp this summer.
Trent Richardson is on Fantasy life support! It’s so bad now, that he even signed with the Raiders! Yikes! Stay far away! Darren Sproles is an undervalued PPR player, however, he now has DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews ahead of him on the depth chart. I still may draft him late in most drafts because we know that Mathews will get hurt and open up some playing time for him.
Ray Rice is in the same boat as Adrian Peterson. His off-field issues have kept him out of the game. He may be back but he’s not going to be on my teams. Knowshon Moreno may be back in 2015 after his injury but I’m not willing to take too many chances on him unless he looks 100% healthy in pre-season.
If there is any player that I believe will be greatly undervalued and will probably be on a number of my teams that will be Danny Woodhead. Woodhead was a Top 12 running back in PPR total points AND consistency in 2013! With Ryan Mathews gone and Branden Oliver as the main back, I can see Philip Rivers relying on Woodhead quite often, just like he did in 2013.
2015 RB Rankings: The Bottom Tier
The bottom tier includes players that need to be separated out and identified as top players from last season that should continue to improve on their 2014 success. These players include Andre Ellington, Lamar Miller, Mark Ingram and Justin Forsett. All four of these players earned double digit Quality Games in 2014 and should continue their success in 2015. Only Mark Ingram has any real threat from the newly signed C.J. Spiller, but Spiller’s injury history shows that Ingram could see much more playing time than expected.
The only other player who could break out from this group would be Shane Vereen, as he went to the Giants and could benefit greatly from the playing time as the third down back with Eli Manning.
There are your most consistent running backs over the past three seasons. Keep this information handy as you prepare for your 2015 Fantasy drafts. Consistency is good but consistently consistent is great!
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Bob has created a unique approach to the importance of identifying consistency in Fantasy players and has used that knowledge to dominate Fantasy leagues. This has led him to numerous Fantasy Football titles against other Fantasy experts and his local leagues.