The Correct Guide to Scoring Settings in Fantasy Football

Let’s face it. The vast majority of men, or even football fans in general have at the very least one fantasy football team. It is estimated that over 19 million people have a fantasy football team. The only problem is, everything is so scattered across multiple websites such as, Yahoo!, ESPN, and CBS Sportsline, that somewhere along the line the standard system of scoring gets lost in the plot. Fantasy managers will argue until the end of time how a league should be scored and what makes the most sense, but I am here to enlighten you on how the league standard should be.

You should aim for 12-14 teams in a league. 10 is too small, and 16 is too much. In a 12 team league, the top six should make the playoffs with no playoff byes. In a 14 team league, the top eight should make playoffs with the top two receiving playoff byes.

To begin, fantasy football is an offensive game. It is about scoring points, racking up yards, and using skill positions to reward good players with points that help their team at the very least compete in real life. The primary objective in football is to score a lot of points, just like in fantasy. As such, the way that points are scored (touchdowns hopefully) should always carry the most weight. Like it or not, in order to create a fantasy version of the game it needs to bear an approximation to how scores are created in the reality version. You win by scoring touchdowns, not by throwing for just 400 yards. The touchdown is almighty, and will always be six points universally. Also, all bonus points for long plays or X amount of yards after a certain amount get thrown out. Those simply do not make sense.


1 QB Slot per team

1 Point for 30 yards passing – A good quarterback should generally have three times the passing yards as a good running back has rushing or three times the passing yards as a good receiver has catching. Just as a 150 yard receiving or rushing game is good, so is a 450 yard passing game.

1 Point for every 10 yards rushing – Universal.

6 Points for Touchdowns – Universal. Even with quarterbacks. Yahoo! standard is 4 points just to balance out quarterbacks with other players, but let’s be honest here.  You have one field marshal on your team, the guy who is calling the plays and reading the defense. He is going to be the most valuable player if your team wins consistently. He should be rewarded in such a way.

-3 Points for Interceptions and Fumbles Lost – Turnovers are killer. Even though some fumbles can be the fault of the offensive line, some interceptions can be the fault of the wide receiver. A 2 TD 3 INT game should not be rewarding. That’s simply not a good (or a standard Jon Kitna) performance.

-2, 0, 2 Points for Completion Percentage Below 50%, between 50 and 70, and above 70 – completion percentage is HUGE and never scored. Although some of it relies on the receivers drops, if you complete less than 50% of your passes, or you complete above 70%, you should be penalized and rewarded accordingly.

2 Points for 2 Point Conversion – Universal.

Wide Receiver

2 Slots, flex option. It’s hard to find teams outside of one that Peyton Manning or Drew Brees is on that uses more than either three wideouts, or two wide receivers and a tight end on a consistent basis. Our settings will be similar.

1 Point for 10 yards receiving – Universal.

6 Points for Touchdown – Universal.

0.5 Points per reception – You have to reward wide receivers for catching the ball, simple as that. One point is simply too much, and can drastically alter the game, especially with running backs. Half a point is a perfect medium.

-.05 Points per drop – Just as catching giveth, dropping taketh away.

1 Point for 10 yards rushing – Universal.

-3 Points per fumble lost – WR fumbling is inexcusable.

2 Points for 2 Point Conversion – Universal.

Running Back

2 Slots, no flex option. A team hardly utilizes more than two running backs in a game unless one is injured. Your team should follow suit.

1 Point for 10 yards rushing. – Universal.

6 Points per Touchdown – Universal.

1 Point for 10 yards receiving – Universal.

.5 Point per Reception – Universal.

-.05 Points per drop – Universal.

-3 Points per fumble lost – You simply cannot put the ball on the ground.

2 Points for 2 Point Conversion – Universal.

Flex Position (WR/TE)

We go one flex position that is receiving only and no tight end slot. Generously, one-third of the NFL has a good consistently receiving tight end. The value in the tight end is not just their pass catching skills, but blocking skills just as much, which are not measured in our offensive style of scoring. This cannot warrant a standalone tight end slot, but for those that wish to take a chance and grab a premier end, there’s still room to stick them in. Otherwise, just go with a third wide receiver.

Scoring the same as Wide Receiver


You must have one kicker in fantasy football, bar none. The kicker is essential to scoring plays, and is on some occasions in reality, the leading scorer on the team. Drafting kickers is also rather fickle, because although you want a kicker from a good team that puts points on the board, you also want one that kicks the most field goals because they are the most valuable. Scoring should be as follows

1 Point for Extra Point

3 Points for field goals 0-39 yards

3.5 Points for field goals 40-49 yards

4 Points for field goals 50+ yards

-1 Point for PAT missed (not blocked)

-2 Points for field goals under 29 yards missed (not blocked)

2 Points for Game Winning Field Goal

Defense/Special Teams

This is where it gets the most complicated. The defense and special teams (minus kickers) are units, and as units should be a little more involved in scoring than individuals. It’s like a pitcher in baseball or goalie in hockey. Prevention of scoring is held in the utmost regard, especially when it comes to a unit like a defense in football. Drafting individual players on defense is foolish, because since we do not draft entire 11 man offenses individually, we should not do the same for defense. Because a defense (and Special Teams) is a team effort instead of a skill position effort, they will be displayed as so. Yards against should not be counted for or against a defense. Touchdowns, as I said earlier, rule supreme (as should winning the game as the unit). You can leak like a sieve on defense, but if you limit the amount of scores you have done your job well.

6 Points for Touchdowns – On Defense or Special Teams

2 Points for blocked kicks

2 Points for kick returns into opponent territory

2 Points for punts inside the opponent 15

4 Points for Team Win

2 Points for Safety

3 Points for INT or Fumble Recovery

1.5 Points Per Sack

12 Points for Shutout

7 Points for 1-9 Points Allowed

4 Points for 10-19 Points Allowed

0 Points for 20-29 Points Allowed



 Agree or disagree with how I think fantasy leagues should be scored? Comment and let me know!