2022 Fantasy Football Draft Strategy: The Most Consistent/Volatile Quarterbacks


We’re continuing our series with a look at the most and least consistent players in fantasy football last year. We’ve already reviewed WRs (most consistent here, most volatile here) and RBs (most consistent here, most volatile here).

Today, we’re taking a look at the least and most consistent QBs from last year. 

Continuing with the theme of this research series so far, the QB study shows that being “volatile” is better than being consistent.

Let’s dive back in to the FTN Data to find the most and least consistent fantasy QBs from last year (more on the methodology below).


Methodology Explainer

“Consistency” is easy to generally define, but nailing down a methodology for fantasy football purposes requires arbitrary decisions that aren’t easy to defend. So instead of picking something random, I used standard deviation, which measures how far apart all of the data points in a set are from the set’s average.

Lower standard deviation means all the individual data points in a set are close to the average. Higher means more spread out.

We found a group of 29 QBs to analyze for this study by taking all QBs who played at least 12 games. Then we ranked those 29 QBs from most consistent to least consistent/most volatile.

Here are the 5 most volatile QBs in fantasy football.

1. Lamar Jackson, Baltimore Ravens

Lamar Jackson 2021 Fantasy Football Volatile Quarterbacks
  • Points per game: 20.0 (8 of 29)
  • Standard deviation: 10.6 (1 of 29)

Even if we remove Lamar Jackson’s 1.2 points from Week 14, he still would have finished as the most volatile fantasy QB last year (but he would have moved into fifth in fantasy PPG). Jackson, who usually goes as the fourth QB in drafts, is a great value given his league-winning upside. Jackson likely has the highest single-week upside of any QB in fantasy football.

2. Justin Herbert, Los Angeles Chargers

Justin Herbert 2021 Fantasy Football Volatile Quarterbacks
  • PPG: 22.1 (2 of 29)
  • SD: 9.1 (2 of 29)

Justin Herbert spent a significant portion of his games in the 12-17 PPG range, but he spent a nearly equal number of games with 25-plus points, including an incredible ceiling of 42-plus. Herbert can run, but he doesn’t do it that much, otherwise he’d be worthy of consideration as the first QB off draft boards.

3. Tom Brady, Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tom Brady 2021 Fantasy Football Volatile Quarterbacks
  • PPG: 21.9 (3 of 29)
  • SD: 9.0 (3 of 29)

The GOAT never slows, apparently. Tom Brady had five games with fewer than 15 fantasy points but nine with at least 24.4 points. Only two of his games landed in the 15-to 24-point range, which is wild to think about, considering how big that range is and considering his average PPG (21.9) landed in that range. 

4. Patrick Mahomes, Kansas City Chiefs

Patrick Mahomes 2021 Fantasy Football Volatile Quarterbacks
  • PPG: 21.0(6 of 29)
  • SD: 8.9 (4 of 29)

Patrick Mahomes showed an extremely low floor las season, scoring fewer than 15 points in five games and fewer than 10 points in two. But he had his usual high ceiling, topping 30 points (when rounding) four times. In between these stud and dud games, however, Mahomes was fairly consistent within his standard deviation band, landing within it in 7 games. 

5. Josh Allen, Buffalo Bills

Josh Allen 2021 Fantasy Football Volatile Quarterbacks
  • PPG: 23.7 (1 of 29)
  • SD: 8.7 (5 of 29)

The lower band of Josh Allen’s standard deviation is so high — and the upper band is at nearly 30 points! No player hit their ceiling as consistently as Allen did last year, but he had enough flop games to still land in the top five most-volatile fantasy QBs from last year. 


The 10 Most Consistent Fantasy QBs in 2021

Instead of going into deep detail on the most consistent QBs from last year (based on the math), we’re just going to show you the list. You’ll quickly see that the “most consistent” appears to be mostly synonymous with “do not draft.” There are some good streaming options here, however. Here’s the top 10 list:

Most Consistent

The names to circle from the list above if you like to wait on QBs in the draft: Cousins, Carr, Stafford. 

Previous NFC South Division Winners: Can Anyone Challenge Tom Brady and the Bucs? Next The Fantasy Optimist: What Are the Highest Ceilings Among the Second Tier of Fantasy WRs?