Part 1: The Setup
Earlier this week I sent out this tweet-
Needless to say it has led to many opinions on my rankings. As was stated in the tweet, this was only my opinion. However, I genuinely was curious if the numbers would back up my feelings about how I personally ranked these Tight Ends. It was natural to factor in things such as injury, games, played, points per game, etc. But one thing remains true, it is hard to know for certainty who is a reliable Tight End in Fantasy Football.
So I am taking on this responsibility! After all I made the claim, I needed to see where the data lies. So I decided to take the top 36 Tight Ends in the League and see what the numbers showed and try to find a conclusive way to rank the Tight Ends on the season. I will be ranking these players in three areas:
1) Points Per Game
2) Consistency Metric
3) Above Average Percentage
*Disclaimer: All data was taken from fantasypros.com and will be calculated in .5 ppr.
Part 2: Points Per Game
This was probably the easiest part of the whole article. Afterall you just go to fantsaypros.com, go to the Tight Ends, and select Half for .5 ppr and the data is given to you right there. However, this data is not just going to be used to rank players based on their season averages. This will also help me create data points for the next two areas. Take a look at the top 12 rankings as of now.
What I did next was create a series of averages. I created an average for the top 12 average points per game and I also created averages for the top 24 and top 36. From there I was able to then create these new variables:
Top 12 Average PPG: 9.5
Top 24 Average: 8
Top 36 Average: 6.9
Total Average 8.1
The Total Average will play a part later but we can then take these new data points and find a consistency ranking.
Part 3: The Consistency Rankings
Creating the Consistency Rankings I felt was the most important part of this experiment. To create this I had to factor how players weekly fantasy points correlated to Top 12, 24, and top 36 so I assigned a points system to each data point:
Top 12 finishes (9.5 points and Higher) was awarded 4 Points
Top 24 finishes (8 - 9.4 points) was awarded 3 Points
Top 36 finishes (6.9 - 7.9 points) were awarded 2 points
All finishes under the top 36 were awarded 1 point.
There was also one other important factor, games played! Players like Waller, Dulcich, and Goedert had missed multiple games and for the data to be consistent the I had to factor in the number of games where players were active and on the field to create an impartial consistency ranking. After all of this here is the new top 12:
Part 4: Boom vs Bust Percentage
One thing that is hard to determine with Tight Ends is the number that is considered to be a boom or a bust? The number I used is the total average of the top 12, 24, and 36 finishes together which is 8.1 points. That number will determine players who boomed or busted that week. Again, games played was a factor. And after going through all 36 Tight Ends and their weeks I then calculated the number of games players performed above the average and divided it by their total games, and here is the top 12 for this data point:
Part 5: Creating a Final Ranking
Once you have the final numbers, creating a final ranking is pretty easy. Wherever the players finished in each category (except points per game) and averaged it out. The full rankings will be listed below but here is the final Top 12
Final Top 36 Rankings
Part 6: The Conclusion
One of the most consistent comments on my original tweet was the absence of Dallas Goedert on my list because of injury reasons. I had chosen 7 players who I felt were on the field more consistently throughout the fantasy season. It turns out I was wrong. Goedert, who missed 5 games this season is right behind Travis Kelce in terms of consistency and having a high boom percentage. This is also true for Dulcich and Waller to lesser degrees as they both also finished in the top 12.
In my original tweet I had said that I was out on Andrews and Kmet. While the data would say otherwise, I believe that if I was to do this same calculation after week 18 that Andrews would no longer be in the Top 12. When you look at his Top finishes, Andrews had 4 top 12 finishes, 2, top 24 finishes, 2 top 36 finishes, and 6 finishes below that. He has also boomed on 42.9% of his games this season. He is no longer the league winner people make him out to be.
Buy in on Greg Dulcich this offseason. In 10 games as a rookie Dulcich has been above average scoring a 2.4 out of 4 in his consistency rankings and booming in 50% of his games. While the Broncos offense has been struggling a lot this season, Dulcich has been one of the bright spots. He has all the talent to be the next young stud at the Tight End position.
Pat Friarmuth, in full transparency, one of my reasons for the original tweet was seeing Friarmuth at #6 at the position even though it could be argued, looking at his numbers, that he should be ranked much higher. Turns out this was true, Friarmuth needs to be in the conversation with Kelce and Goedert as one of the most stable and consistent Tight Ends in the league right now. He has a great consistency ranking and he also joined Kelce and Goedert as being the only ones to boom more than 60% of their games.
So, where does this leave my original tweet? My opinionated list was:
Goedert and Waller would rebound and I was out on Andrews and Kmet.
I would say that I mostly stand by that statement. While the numbers obviously change the order and Knox is out of the top 12, I think I mostly nailed the list, just not the rankings. But I would also say I am surprised and happy to see the numbers and the way they panned out! So when you’re asked questions on twitter, just do the work yourself and see what the data tells you!