Fantasy Weekly: Your top players are your most consistent players

Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce (87) vaults over Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Rasul Douglas (32) during the second half of an NFL football game in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel)

In fantasy football, skill players are broken down as being 1s, 2s and flex plays.

The 1s are the elite. They are the must-start players every week and also viewed as being essential for a fantasy team to enjoy success.

So what is needed for a player to be considered a WR1, RB1 or TE 1?

Many owners like to look at season stats to determined this, but I have a different thought on this.

For me, it is all about consistency.

Which is why Kansas City Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce must now be moved down to TE2 following last week. I view a TE2 as a player who can provide elite production, but it cannot be counted on week to week.

I am sure that in the fantasy rankings you see on websites, Kelce is ranked No. 1 or 2 overall. He is considered a TE1.

But ask owners of Kelce if they agree with that after last week.

I myself, own Kelce and was rewarded with 1 point!

Folks, that is not even close to elite.

I expect a position player considered a 1 to be delivering a minimum of double digits every week.

I would argue there is only one tight end (and it's not Rob Gronkowski) in the NFL through three weeks who should be listed as a TE1 in fantasy - Philadelphia's Zach Ertz.

Here is his production in the first three weeks in a PPR setup:

Week 1-8 catches, 93 yards (17 points)

Week 2-5 catches, 97 yards (14 points)

Week 3-8 catches, 55 yards, TD (19 points)

Sure, Kelce delivered a huge Week 2 of 8 catches for 103 yards and a touchdown. But in the other two weeks he provided a combined 6 catches for 41 yards.

That is not going to cut it for a TE1.

In fantasy, it is all about consistent production every week.

Take the wide receiver position. Antonio Brown is the gold standard, not just because of his blow-up weeks when he gives an owner 30-40 points, but his worst week is still double digits. He consistently scores 10-15 points in a PPR.

I believe Tyreek Hill of Kansas City is starting to figure into this conversation. Through three weeks his lowest production was nine points. His other two weeks were 22 and 24.

Here's a name for you: Doug Baldwin of Seattle. He is ranked 18th out of receivers I total points through three weeks, but I would argue he is the second or third best receiver in fantasy right now. Even with Seattle's offensive struggles, Baldwin has put up weeks of 4-63 (10 points in PPR), 6-44 (10 points in PPR) and 10-105, TD (26 points in PPR). Anytime 10 points is your fantasy players' floor, you've got something special.

Others receivers who I believe are currently WR1 are Demaryius Thomas, Denver (12, 13, 16); Mike Evans (22, 14) and DeVante Parker (13, 21). Both Evans and Parker have only played two weeks after their Week 1 game was postponed because of Hurricane Irma.

As for running backs, only one should be called an RB1 and he also plays for the Kansas City Chiefs. Rookie Kareem Hunt has scored 22 points or more in a PPR setup each week.

Cha-ching!

Le'Veon Bell and Ezekiel Elliott were considered 1-2 once David Johnson suffered an injury (and pretending Elliott is not facing a potential suspension), but neither have produced consistent RB1 numbers, which is what it is all about.

Bell has produced 4, 9 and 15 points for his owner who took him with the No. 1 or No. 2 pick. Those are barely RB2 numbers, but Bell gets the benefit of the doubt due to past history.

Here is a name to think about: Chris Thompson from Washington.

Through three weeks he has scored 24, 22 and 11. When 11 points is the floor, an owner will take that every day.

Other running backs to think about as RB1 right now because of their weekly scoring consistency - Devonta Freeman, Atlanta (10, 22, 19); Todd Gurley, Los Angeles Rams (15, 25, 32) and Leonard Fournette (18, 12, 14).

In conclusion, do not be swayed by a player's total points in a season. Look for consistency and floor because that is what ultimately determined who makes the fantasy playoffs and wins a title.

 


 

PLAYERS TO THINK ABOUT STARTING IN WEEK 3

(Each week, I will provide some players to consider based on matchups). These are not the normal plug in and forget it kind of guys, but players who should be able to take advantage of a good matchup. Reminder: These plays are for point-per-reception leagues).

 

RUNNING BACKS

Jonathan Stewart, Carolina (at New England) — The Patriots have allowed 335 yards rushing and 2 TDs thus far. Stewart will get the ball on the goal line and could be in line for 10-15 carries. Prediction: 50 yards, TD

Alex Collins, Baltimore (vs. Pittsburgh) — This is just a gut feeling. Terrence West was benched after fumbling last week and Buck Allen hasn't exactly set the world on fire. The Steelers were torched last week by two Bears running backs, so even if Collins doesn't start, he could be in for a good day. Prediction: 63 yards rushing, 3 catches fro 27 yards

 

WIDE RECEIVERS

Brandon Marshall/Sterling Sheppard ( at Tampa Bay)—Through two weeks, the Bucs have allowed opposing receivers to total 486 yards and 4 TDs against them. Odell Beckham Jr. receives the headlines, but Sheppard leads the team in targets and receptions. Marshall is coming off a good game last week. Both will benefit from extra attention paid to ODB. Prediction: 100 yards receiving, 2 TDs combined for the 2 players

Tyrell Williams, Los Angeles Chargers (vs. Philadelphia)—He is coming on this season and now gets an Eagles defense that has already allowed 556 yards and 3 TDs. Prediction: 6 catches for 69 yards, TD

 

TIGHT ENDS

Jesse James, Pittsburgh (at Baltimore)—This has to do more with who the Steelers are playing. Last week the Ravens gave up 3 receiving TDs to Jacksonville's Marcedes Lewis, who prior to that had caught a combined one touchdown in the past two seasons. The Ravens are allowing tight ends an average of nearly 15 fantasy points per game. James got a little banged up last week, but this matchup is just too juicy to overlook. Prediction: 5 catches for 62 yards, TD

 

How Did I Do Last Week?

WR Ricardo Louis, Cleveland (at Indianapolis) — Prediction: 4 catches for 52 yards, TD. Reality: Targeted 6 times, but only 1 catch for 10 yards. Big time fail on this one.

WR Devin Funchess, Carolina (vs. New Orleans) — Prediction: 6 catches for 76  yards. Reality: Targeted 10 times with 4 catches for 58 yards. Push. Nearly what I thougth and would've been more if Cam Newton could complete a pass (was 17 of 26 for 167 yards and 3 INTs).

RB Chris Johnson, Arizona (vs. Dallas)—Prediction: 75 yards rushing, TD and 2 catches for 16 yards. Reality: Dallas delivered it's best run defense this season, holding Johnson to 17 yards and one reception. Big time miss on this one, but all signs points to CJ2K having a big night.

RB Theo Riddick, Detroit) vs. Atlanta—Prediction: 5 catches for 61 yards, TD. Reality: 4 catches for 38 yards, 0 TD. It was kind of a weird game in which Detroit got a defensive TD, so didn't need Matt Stafford and the short passing game as much. The Falcons turned it over so much, Detroit did not have to use the receiving skills of Riddick, but I see him as a flex play every week in PPR leagues.

TE Jack Doyle, Indianapolis (vs. Cleveland)—Prediction: 8 catches for 110 yards, TD. Reality: If I would've picked a lock for the week it would've been this one. An inexperienced QB going against a defense that struggles to cover the tight end. That did not happen at all. Jacoby Brissett only completed 2 passes for 16 yards to Doyle. This was a lock and it didn't happen. I might be inclined to stay away from Doyle until Andrew Luck returns.

Oh Well.

Good Luck in Week 4!

-- Chris Parry is a staff writer for the Tyler Morning Telegraph and has been an avid fantasy football player for decades. His fantasy football column appears each Thursday. To contact him, email to cparry@tylerpaper.com or tweet to @CParryETFS

Sports Reporter

Recommended for you