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Better Than Average (BTA) Rankings
David Dorey
August 2, 2005

The Huddle has always presented Consistency Rankings since 1997 but last year we've added this new way to measure the effectiveness of players. While the consistency rankings measured how many times a player excelled offensively - topping 100 yards rushing, scoring twice in a game and so on, the Consistency Versus Defense measures how many times a player managed to turn in a performance that was either in the top eight, top four or the very best that was allowed by the particular defense the player was facing considering the entire season .

While gaining 100 yards receiving may be great for fantasy scoring, what is the reality there? Was it the only one the defense allowed all season or did every game produce as much? These rankings are intended to show how well players performed compared to each other since they measure how well they did against the specific defenses that they faced.

Remember - Consistency Rankings measure offensively how many games a player excelled. Better Than Average Rankings measure players from a defensive perspective - how many times a player turn in a Top 8, Top 4 or Top 1 (meaning the very best) performance against a defense considering all players that each defense faced within the entire season.

Top 8

The number of games which were within the top 8 are significant because it means that the player outperformed most of the others (in a 16 game season) that played against each NFL defense. For the most extreme example, Peyton Manning turned in an astounding 15 games which were better than the average quarterback did against the same defenses that Manning faced last year. In fantasy football, the only way to consistently win is to use players that score "better than average" so that you're chances of winning a randomly scheduled head-to-head game is increased.

Consider this rating as even more telling for the wide receivers. Consider that while each defense faced (in theory) only 16 opposing quarterbacks each season, they went against three or even four wideouts per game. So while a quarterback has 1:2 chance of being in the Top 8, a wideout has at least a 1:6 chance (3 receivers x 16 games = 48 and only 8 spots in the top 8).

Again, this counts how many performances by the individual player ended up being in the top 8 allowed by the defense that the player faced.

Top 8 Quarterback Top 8 Running Back Top 8 Tight End Top 8 Wide Receiver
15 Manning, Peyton 12 Alexander, Shaun 13 Gonzalez, Tony 9 Horn, Joe
13 Culpepper, Daunte 12 Dillon, Corey 13 Gates, Antonio 8 Muhammad, Muhsin
12 Green, Trent 12 Barber, Tiki 12 Witten, Jason 8 Walker, Javon
12 Favre, Brett 11 Martin, Curtis 12 McMichael, Randy 8 Moss, Randy
11 Bulger, Marc 11 Tomlinson, Ladainian 10 Crumpler, Alge 7 Owens, Terrell
11 Delhomme, Jake 10 James, Edgerrin 9 Wiggins, Jermaine 7 Holt, Torry
11 Brady, Tom 9 Davis, Domanick 8 Johnson, Eric 7 Johnson, Chad
10 McNabb, Donovan 8 Johnson, Rudi 8 Graham, Daniel 7 Wayne, Reggie
10 Plummer, Jake 8 Bettis, Jerome 8 Shockey, Jeremy 6 Chambers, Chris
10 Hasselbeck, Matt 7 Jones, Thomas 7 Shea, Aaron 6 Clayton, Michael
8 Harrington, Joey 7 Westbrook, Brian 7 Cooley, Chris 6 Stokley, Brandon
8 Brooks, Aaron 7 Lewis, Jamal 6 Clark, Dallas 6 Kennison, Eddie
7 Griese, Brian 6 Holmes, Priest 6 Franks, Bubba 5 Harrison, Marvin
7 Palmer, Carson 6 McGahee, Willis 6 Smith, L.J. 5 Evans, Lee
7 Vick, Michael 6 Droughns, Reuben 6 Stevens, Jerramy 5 Smith, Rod
7 Leftwich, Byron 6 Dunn, Warrick 5 Pollard, Marcus 5 Fitzgerald, Larry
7 Pennington, Chad 6 Goings, Nick 5 Jones, Freddie 5 Lelie, Ashley
7 Roethlisberger, Ben 6 Taylor, Fred 5 Putzier, Jeb 5 Driver, Donald
7 Brees, Drew 6 McAllister, Deuce 4 Campbell, Mark 5 Smith, Jimmy
6 Rattay, Tim 5 Portis, Clinton 4 Schobel, Matt 5 Burleson, Nate
6 Volek, Billy 5 Johnson, Larry 4 Mangum, Kris 5 Patten, David
6 Boller, Kyle 5 Pittman, Michael 4 Williams, Boo 5 Ward, Hines
6 Testaverde, Vinny 5 Suggs, Lee 4 Baker, Chris 5 Jackson, Darrell
5 Carr, David 5 Barlow, Kevan 4 Jolley, Doug 5 Bruce, Isaac
4 4 Players 5 Brown, Chris 3 12 Players 5 Mason, Derrick
3 2 Players 4 2 Players 2 14 Players 4 6 Players
2 7 Players 3 9 Players 1 21 Players 3 9 Players
1 11 Players 2 6 Players     2 15 Players
    1 22 Players     1 24 Players

Top 4

This listing shows the same concept but only counts when a player turned in a game that ended up being one of the Top 4 allowed by a defense to that particular position over the course of an entire season. That represents a great game by the player and a level of production that should be enough to make the weekly winning difference for your fantasy team.

Top 4 Quarterback Top 4 Running Back Top 4 Tight End Top 4 Wide Receiver
10 Manning, Peyton 9 Alexander, Shaun 10 Gonzalez, Tony 8 Muhammad, Muhsin
9 Culpepper, Daunte 8 Dillon, Corey 9 Gates, Antonio 6 Holt, Torry
8 Bulger, Marc 8 Barber, Tiki 8 Witten, Jason 6 Walker, Javon
8 Brady, Tom 7 Martin, Curtis 7 Crumpler, Alge 5 Owens, Terrell
7 McNabb, Donovan 6 Tomlinson, Ladainian 7 McMichael, Randy 5 Johnson, Chad
7 Green, Trent 6 Davis, Domanick 7 Shockey, Jeremy 5 Stokley, Brandon
7 Delhomme, Jake 6 McGahee, Willis 6 Johnson, Eric 4 Bennett, Drew
5 Vick, Michael 5 Holmes, Priest 5 Graham, Daniel 4 Kennison, Eddie
4 Favre, Brett 5 Johnson, Rudi 5 Clark, Dallas 4 Ward, Hines
4 Hasselbeck, Matt 5 Johnson, Larry 4 Wiggins, Jermaine 3 Harrison, Marvin
4 Brooks, Aaron 4 James, Edgerrin 3 Campbell, Mark 3 Porter, Jerry
4 Pennington, Chad 4 Droughns, Reuben 3 Cooley, Chris 3 Horn, Joe
4 Roethlisberger, Ben 3 Portis, Clinton 3 Pollard, Marcus 3 Moss, Randy
4 Garcia, Jeff 3 Green, Ahman 3 Schobel, Matt 3 Wayne, Reggie
3 Griese, Brian 3 Jones, Thomas 3 Heap, Todd 3 Evans, Lee
3 Collins, Kerry 3 Westbrook, Brian 3 Tuman, Jerame 3 Fitzgerald, Larry
3 Plummer, Jake 3 Pittman, Michael 3 Franks, Bubba 3 Driver, Donald
3 Palmer, Carson 3 Jones, Julius 3 Jones, Freddie 3 Jackson, Darrell
3 McCown, Josh 3 Bettis, Jerome 3 Williams, Boo 3 Bruce, Isaac
3 Harrington, Joey 3 Lewis, Jamal 2 6 Players 2 15 Players
3 Brees, Drew 3 Brown, Chris 1 21 Players 1 21 Players
3 Testaverde, Vinny 3 Blaylock, Derrick        
2 Rattay, Tim 2 7 Players        
2 4 Players 1 10 Players        
1 9 Players            

Top 1

Solid Gold. This is a listing of the players that gained more fantasy points against a defense than any other player in their position. Each position has only 32 times it could possibly happen. Each one of these represent a player that gave a defense their worst game of the year. Any player that did it more than one lucky time deserves considerations this summer in fantasy drafts.

Top 1 Quarterback Top 1 Running Back Top 1 Tight End Top 1 Wide Receiver
5 Culpepper, Daunte 4 Alexander, Shaun 5 Gonzalez, Tony 4 Muhammad, Muhsin
4 Manning, Peyton 4 Holmes, Priest 3 Gates, Antonio 3 Owens, Terrell
4 McNabb, Donovan 3 Johnson, Rudi 3 Witten, Jason 2 Holt, Torry
2 Green, Trent 2 Martin, Curtis 3 Crumpler, Alge 2 Harrison, Marvin
2 Bulger, Marc 2 Portis, Clinton 2 McMichael, Randy 2 Bennett, Drew
2 Griese, Brian 2 Green, Ahman 2 Johnson, Eric 2 Porter, Jerry
2 Collins, Kerry 1 Dillon, Corey 2 Campbell, Mark 2 Bryant, Antonio
1 Favre, Brett 1 Barber, Tiki 1 Graham, Daniel 1 Horn, Joe
1 Delhomme, Jake 1 Tomlinson, Ladainian 1 Shockey, Jeremy 1 Walker, Javon
1 Brady, Tom 1 James, Edgerrin 1 Shea, Aaron 1 Moss, Randy
1 Plummer, Jake 1 Davis, Domanick 1 Cooley, Chris 1 Johnson, Chad
1 Palmer, Carson 1 Jones, Thomas 1 Clark, Dallas 1 Wayne, Reggie
1 Rattay, Tim 1 Westbrook, Brian 1 Pollard, Marcus 1 Chambers, Chris
1 Volek, Billy 1 McGahee, Willis 1 Schobel, Matt 1 Clayton, Michael
1 Bledsoe, Drew 1 Droughns, Reuben 1 Heap, Todd 1 Evans, Lee
1 McCown, Josh 1 Johnson, Larry 1 Heiden, Steve 1 Smith, Rod
1 Gannon, Rich 1 Pittman, Michael 1 Lewis, Chad 1 Williams, Roy
1 Holcomb, Kelly 1 Duckett, T.J. 1 Tuman, Jerame 1 Robinson, Marcus
    1 Jones, Julius 1 Manumaleuna, B. 1 Johnson, Andre
    1 Morris, Sammy     1 Moss, Santana
    1 Davenport, Najeh     1 Givens, David
            1 Carter, Tim