Editor's note: The video above is from Sep. 15.
One of the most misleading pieces of information used by essentially everyone, including myself, in the fantasy football community is a player’s end of season ranking. Carson Palmer was the “fifth-best” quarterback. Todd Gurley was the “seventh-best” running back. Doug Baldwin was the “ninth-best” wide receiver. We use these designations because they are easily attained and understood, but in a weekly game like fantasy football, they are often misleading.
We can better understand how a player performed from week to week by looking at how often they posted starter-level games. Some analysts do this by looking at weekly finishes, which is a valuable method with plenty of strengths. I prefer to use statistical benchmarks to judge weekly performances because it helps remove variability from the equation.
A player may finish a given week inside the top 10 with an average score because it was a down week while another player may finish outside the top 10 in a higher-scoring week despite posting a good score. Does that mean the player who finished in the top 10 had a better game? I do not think so. The performance of a player as compared to others at the same position is important, which is why the weekly-finish method of analysis is valid and useful, but the benchmark method gives a better overview of week-to-week performance.
For running backs, the benchmarks based on a half-point per reception scoring format over the last three seasons are 21.1 points for an elite (top 5) performance, 16.6 points for an RB1 (top 10) performance, 11.5 points for an RB2 (top 20) performance, 8.25 points for a FLEX (top 30) performance and 5.75 points for a passable (top 40) performance.
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