The true key to fantasy football championships comes in the depth of your roster and the later rounds of drafts. Marvin Jones’ Consistency Score says he should be drafted far higher than his current draft price and the Detroit Lions receiver is a high-value target in drafts.
Marvin Jones is a Consistency Score Stalwart
Marvin Jones’ Consistency Score (CS) of 4.89 was good enough for 13th among all receivers in 2019, even though he finished 27th at his position in total points at the end of the year. A big part of that discrepancy was missing the final two games in the fantasy season. What is even more impressive is that his CS in 2018 and 2017 were actually higher, at 5.19 and 5.45, respectively. Considering he had his starting quarterback for those entire seasons, it’s no surprise that he was a more consistent fantasy asset.
But even with the drudgery of backup quarterback play in 2019, Jones proved he can deliver for fantasy lineups, averaging 12.5 fantasy points per game. Despite the likes of David Blough and Jeff Driskel starting half of the season, Jones still accumulated 779 receiving yards and 9 touchdowns. That was on pace for 959 yards and 11 touchdowns for the season.
One part of the equation that lifted Marvin Jones’ Consistency Score was the fact that he raised his ceiling by 7.6 fantasy points from the year before. In Week 7, Jones was the top receiver in all of fantasy and the second-highest scoring player of any position, posting an impressive 93 yards and 4 touchdowns for 38.3 fantasy points in half-PPR scoring. Not many receivers prove they have a ceiling that high, especially when they aren’t even considered the number one on their team.
But Jones’ ceiling has been among the elite season after season. In 2018, he posted a ceiling of 30.7. In 2017 it was 29.7, and even going all the way back to 2016, he had a ceiling of 38.5. With that kind of week winning potential, Jones should always be a draft day target.
We can’t ignore that Marvin Jones has a wider range of outcomes than one would like for consistency purposes. His ceiling might be a lovely 30+ fantasy points. But his floor in 2019 was a measly 2.7. This is clearly his Achilles heel and why I am not saying he should be the top receiver on your team. If he can raise that floor in the 2020 campaign with Matthew Stafford back on the field, though, his value is going to increase even more.
But his standard deviation of 9.81 isn’t outlandish. Fantasy football’s first-round pick, Tyreek Hill, had a 2019 standard deviation of 8.92. Chris Godwin (FleaFlicker ADP of 18) and Cooper Kupp (ADP 39) had 2019 standard deviations of 9.73 and 8.97, respectively. This is a concern but by no means a “deal-breaker.”
Jones continues to be a fantasy draft day value
Jones’ Consistency Score clearly shows his value to a fantasy roster, but the real value for Jones is in the fact that his ADP is not currently reflecting that. According to the Fantasy Football Calculator, his current half-point ADP on FleaFlicker is 97, and he is the 38th receiver being taken.
Examining advanced stats, we can see that Jones’ consistency numbers aren’t the only impressive numbers in his favor. Jones racked up 684 total air yards in 2019, making him 24th among all receivers in that category. In addition, his 2.11 fantasy points per target tied him for 11th at his position. Let’s reiterate again that he was doing this without Matthew Stafford for half the year.
Over the past four years, he has averaged 62.6 receiving yards and 1.07 touchdowns per game. The Lions didn’t draft a receiver until the fifth round and didn’t sign anyone of note in free agency either. There is no reason to worry about Jones’ share of production on the field.
There are reasons for optimism regarding Jones’ fantasy outlook
Ahead of the injury, Stafford was on pace for 582 attempts, 4,998 passing yards, and 38 touchdowns, and he increased his AYA from 6.7 in 2018, to 9.1 in 2019. Owning 20% of that target share meant Jones was in line for one heck of a season as well. In 2019, three out of four of Jones’ top 10 fantasy performances came while Stafford was healthy, including his monster Week 7 performance. Getting a healthy top tier QB back to lead this offense again means good things for all Lions pass catchers, but especially someone who consistently garners nearly a quarter of the target share.
The teams’ offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell is also returning for his second year in Detroit. All of the offensive pieces are going to be more familiar with his system and should be more efficient at running it in year two. But more importantly, in the last three seasons we’ve seen Bevell calling plays, his teams have consistently thrown the ball at least 550 times a year. With an average of 20% of the target share, that translates to 100+ targets going Jones’ way.
With a healthy Stafford back under center, a pass-happy OC, and no real threat to his position opposite Kenny Golladay, all arrows are pointing up for Jones continuing his underrated fantasy success.