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Fantasy Football: History Of Clutch Games


The Head-to-Head (H2H) format in Fantasy football leads to the need for consistency.

If you have been playing Fantasy football for any length of time, you know how frustrating it can be to win by 30 points one week and then lose by two points the next. How many times have you been one of the highest scoring teams in the league, but you missed the playoffs by one or two games?


Many will call it “bad luck” and that’s partially true. Injuries to key players, bad weather, etc. are situations that affect our fantasy teams, but are uncontrollable. However, there is one aspect of fantasy football that you can control.  The consistency of your team!  If you’re scratching your head and asking, “How can you control consistency”, you’re not alone. The topic and its application are still fairly unfamiliar to Fantasy football world.

Reasoning and Methodology

It’s called Clutch Games.  Basically, it is the awarding of a Clutch Game to a player each week when they exceed the average points scored in your league for that position.  The more Clutch Games a player is awarded each year, the more consistent that player is and the more beneficial they are to your Fantasy team.

It is very similar to the Quality Starts concept used for pitchers in Fantasy baseball.  A pitcher earns a Quality Start every time they pitch more than six innings and give up less than three earned runs in a game.  The more Quality Starts a pitcher has in a year, the more consistent and more valuable they are to their team.  However, Quality Starts do not affect a Fantasy baseball team as much, since its roto-style with accumulative stats.  However, in a H2H fantasy baseball format, it can be very important.

So, during the 2002 season, I started to research the concept of consistency in Fantasy football.  I knew that just taking the average points (total points/number of games) for each player wasn’t really valid, because if two players each rushed for 1,280 yards, they both averaged 80 yards per game.  There appears to be no difference between the two players for valuation purposes.  BUT, if Player A rushes for exactly 80 yards every week and Player B rushes for 120 yards one week and 40 yards the next week, Player A will probably win you more Fantasy games in the long run.  Therefore, it was important to use a game-by-game basis for my valuations.

Next step was to set the Clutch Factor. This was the average points that a player needed to meet or exceed to be awarded a Clutch Game for that scoring method and the league size for that week.  This was very important as well since basing Clutch Games on just one typical scoring really only help those Fantasy owners using that method. Therefore, a Fantasy owner can input their scoring method into the Consistency Report (http://www.bigguyfantasysports.com/index.php/tools/clutch-report-intro) and determine who the most consistent players are based on their scoring method. Each Clutch Factor is calculated for each specific position (QB, RB, WR, TE), using a standard amount of players each season for consistency.

Clutch Rating (CR)

Once the factor is set, then your fantasy players will earn a Clutch Game for each week that they exceed the related Clutch Game factor.  Therefore, the more Clutch Games earned by a player, the more consistent the player is and then, finally, the more consistent the player is then the more beneficial that fantasy player is to your Fantasy team!

The average of the Clutch Games earned divided by the total games played equated to the Clutch Success Rate (CR).  A top consistent fantasy player will have a CR of more than 70%.  The elite studs of the fantasy world will normally be over an 80% CR.

Summary

By adding the Clutch Game Score system to your arsenal of Fantasy tools, you will see why it’s so important in a Head-to-Head format to have good AND consistent Fantasy players on your team.  This season start dominating your Fantasy league with consistency instead of luck!

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