Portlis X wrote:37 points this week does not count return yardage or anything. It is purely based on DST TD's, INTS, Fumble Recoveries, sacks, and points/yardage allowed.
37 was the score that the bucs defense got in all cbs sportsline or nfl.com/fantasy leagues. These aren't weird scoring leagues. Pretty standard stuff. And I stand by my hatred for the bucs d.
I have only used Yahoo in my FF career and thier standard scoring doesnt value D/STs near as much as those leagues. I like it better that way because Defs are such a crap shoot for the most part I would rather them not make as much of an impact.
One of the biggest battles we face in fantasy sports is just how far we should go to parallel the real game. People have widely varying opinions on scoring systems, the makeup of rosters and lineups, and definitely the impact a team defense can play on a team's results. While there is no arguing that a defense can play as much or more of a role in an NFL team's success—see the 9-3 Ravens—we need to question if a defense should have as great of an impact on league results as key offensive players.
Let's use the Oval Office Fantasy League we play in here at Fanball for an example. The OOFL's scoring system leans towards 25/75, rewarding six points for rushing/receiving touchdowns, four points for a passing touchdown, -1 for an interception, and -2 for a fumble. Kickers get three points for field goals under 50 yards, four points for those above 50, and the obvious point for an extra point. Then there is the performance-based scoring system for the defense/special teams. First, it includes six points for touchdowns scored on blocked kicks or fumble/interception/kick/punt returns. Second, teams earn two points for interceptions, fumble recoveries, blocked punt/field goals, and safeties. They also earn one point per sack. Finally, teams earn 10 points for a shutout, five points for allowing one to seven points, three points for giving up eight to 13 points, and negative three points for allowing more than 30 points.
It became abundantly clear to me over the course of the OOFL season that there probably isn't another scoring system debate that is more hotly contested than the role of team defense. While I certainly won't apologize for benefiting from having the Bears defense all season, I think it's important to look at this issue with an objective mind, which is why I opened up a dialogue with league members and a couple other avid fantasy football owners I know.
Of the six responses I received, only one was in complete support of the scoring system above and thus, team defenses playing a significant role in fantasy football. The responses spanned the spectrum, but to sum up the common response, it was that if team defense is involved, it should be to a minimal extent, with one person suggesting that they shouldn't be equal to any player who falls in the top 10 at quarterback, running back, or wide receiver. For example, if a defense put up just one turnover, two sacks, and allowed 20 points that would be equal to four fantasy points or 40 rushing or receiving yards. The problem is, since fantasy owners are really relying on only the most productive players at each position, the team defenses used in the majority of leagues outscored this example.
I decided to dig deeper. I came up with the average fantasy score for each position, but ruled out quarterbacks with fewer than 20 pass attempts, running backs with fewer than 85 carries, and wide receivers and tight ends with fewer than 23 receptions on the season because they aren't likely guys that fantasy owners are relying on no matter the depth of league.
Positional Fantasy Point Averages Quarterback Avg Fpts Quarterbacks 11.143 Running Backs 13.537 Wide Receivers 11.260 Tight Ends 8.901 Kickers 6.497 Team Defense 7.781
If you glance at the numbers, it still doesn't provide a complete picture because of the difference of opinion. Some owners may think that a team defense scoring 70 percent of what quarterbacks do, 57 percent of what running backs do, or 69 percent as many fantasy points as wide receivers do is perfectly normal.
So I went a step further and looked at the number of games in which the top 30 fantasy players topped 16 fantasy points. Why is 16 the magic number? In the OOFL league, 16 points is equal to 100 yards and a touchdown or, with the century mark not being an attainable goal each week, a combo of yards, touchdowns, and receptions, because after all, this is a point-per-reception (PPR) league.
Top 30 Fantasy Players in OOFL (Non-Defenses) Player 16 Fpt Gms L. Tomlinson 10 L. Johnson 10 S. Jackson 8 B. Westbrook 10 C. Johnson 6 F. Gore 6 W. Parker 7 A. Johnson 8 M. Vick 6 R. Wayne 5 T. Owens 8 S. Smith 8 T. Holt 4 T. Barber 9 P. Manning 6 M. Harrison 5 D. Jackson 6 K. Jones 7 C. Taylor 6 D. Brees 7 D. Driver 6 J. Walker 3 R. Bush 5 Roy Williams 5 J. Addai 5 T. Housh. 5 D. McNabb 6 A. Boldin 5 L. Coles 6 M. Colston 5
Now consider how many 16-point games the top 10 defenses in the OOFL league have accumulated.
A few things stand out from those numbers. The Bears defense have as many 16 point games as Peyton Manning, Michael Vick, Frank Gore, and Chad Johnson. They have more 16 point games than Reggie Wayne, Marvin Harrison, Torry Holt, and T.J. Houshmandzadeh. That is remarkable considering all of those players are receivers and we're playing in a PPR league in which a receivers value is typically greater. Most importantly of all, they have over half as many 16 point performances as the most elite fantasy players, LaDainian Tomlinson and Larry Johnson.
With this data, I don't see how anyone can argue that the scoring system for defenses in the OOFL isn't greatly skewed. To be fair, this scoring system was thrown together quickly in an effort to reward defenses beyond just points allowed and I still support that decision, albeit with a significantly modified defensive scoring. Combining my thoughts with the suggestions obtained through my dialogue with my peers I propose the following rule changes. 1) Its team defense, not special teams. Eliminate all special teams' plays, including punt and kickoff returns, blocked punts or blocked field goals.
2) Reduce fumble recoveries and interceptions from two points to one.
3) Reduce sacks from one point to half a point.
4) Reduce touchdowns scored by the defense from six points to four. On paper this sounds suspect, but the fact of the matter is you have 11 players who have a shot at scoring on any given play which is better odds than just one player.
5) The root of how defenses earn points in fantasy football should be the points they allow. I wouldn't change the fantasy points earned for the points allowed and I recognize that this won't be well received by some of my colleagues. However, with the revised changes above, the Ravens (the top ranked defense with the other four scoring edits) would fall in behind Arnaz Battle and ahead of Jason Witten, Reggie Williams, and Chris Henry in terms of year-to-date fantasy points. I don't see how we should have a major problem with that.
The other main issue my peers had beyond the scoring system was the unpredictability of defenses. You need only look at the Ravens over the last three years to see how tough it is for fantasy owners to predict how viable a defense will be. This year, they're the No. 1 defense in football, but in 2005 they were fifth, in 2004 they were sixth, and in 2003 they were third. I'd argue that football as a whole is unpredictable, but do we let that be reason to lose interest? You can argue that there is a greater degree of unpredictability with defenses and I wouldn't suggest you're wrong in that assumption, but I just am not ready to believe that because something is unpredictable, it should be eliminated or reduced to a role that essentially means we've gone to the other extreme of where the OOFL scoring currently sits. I think if you look at three-to-five year trends on takeaways and review the individual players on a defense, you can select a defense based on their playmakers. At least then you are putting yourself is a position for success by employing players renown for causing turnovers and shutting down the opposition. It's not a perfect solution, but its part of the reason why I "reached" for the Bears defense in the ninth round of the OOFL's 16-round draft last August.
Relating to the unpredictability of defense is a quirky rule such as when an offense recovers a fumble, but the same team's defense gets credit for the recovery. An example of this occurred late in the first half of last week's game between the Cowboys and Giants. Quarterback Tony Romo was sacked and lost the ball in the process. Giants defensive lineman Matthias Kiwanuka recovered it, proceeded to fumble it, and Cowboys offensive tackle Marc Colombo recovered the fumble. The NFL rule states that once the ball changed possession the first time, the Cowboys became a "defense," which is why, despite their defensive personnel being on the sidelines, they still got credit for a fumble recovery. The rule may work in regular football, but we need to evaluate whether or not it works in fantasy football. Unfortunately, only a couple solutions come to mind. Either you eliminate fumble recoveries from the scoring system, or switch your league to using individual defensive players (IDP), which considering fantasy sports is player based anyway, would seem to be the ideal solution. The scenario I described above was the difference between a win and a loss this week in the OOFL and if that is a big enough deal in the eyes of your league owners, you may be forced into eliminating team defense. Again, I suggest you explore IDP, but that's a topic for another Buzz article.
I disagree with the fanball article. I personally don't like yardage counting for or against D/ST scoring, so I will just use standard ESPN scoring. A D/ST getting 30 points is extremely rare. A RB or QB or WR in PPR, not so rare. I think that someone that owns the Bears D/ST should be able to enjoy the points of Hester running like a wild child towards the end zone. So many NFL games come down to special teams, why should it be any different in Fantasy? Especially considering how hit or miss the D/ST slot is. In my league, including this week, the Vikings are the highest scoring Fantasy D/ST at 171 points. They have had some incredible games this year and don't even make the top 45 of scoring in my league. The Vikings are sandwiched between Donald Driver and Jason Campbell, neither of which I think any of you would classify as studs. At 171 points, they have been a great D/ST and I believe have compensated their owners appropriately.
To continue the argument above (I also like ESPN scoring of DEF), There is not another position in Fantasy that can burn you like a DEF, either. Today, a normally stout Steeler's DEF was worth -2 points. As for the BUCS, I specifically picked them up 5 weeks ago for the matchups these 2 weeks of the Playoffs-- Today was Atlanta, next week is SF. Tennessse was the team I decided to drop and i couldn't be happier as I'm only down 3 with Minny's kicker to go!
RCR wrote:To continue the argument above (I also like ESPN scoring of DEF), There is not another position in Fantasy that can burn you like a DEF
Like when Favre threw a pick, hurt his arm/hand, and left the game with -1.74 points? Or yesterday when Romo was worth 3 points... Or that time AP had a whopping 3 yards and probably cost a lot of people their playoff game... Or for me, one week, when Santonio Holmes hurt himself during warmups and without warning missed the entire game and then some (0 points, better than negative)... I could probably name 100 instances of 3rd degree burn-age pretty easily, about 20 of which were inflicted upon me. My point is that any position can be a non-producer any week for about a million reasons. That's the nature of fantasy football, I guess. We've got to take it, or leave it.
My experiences with defense have been pretty positive: if you look at match ups and think about things like "Who will get the most sacks/picks and allow the fewest points?" then you will generally have a productive game. I started TB yesterday expecting a good game, but it just so happened to be one of those rare 30-pointers. Most of the time I'll get an average game out of defense, but just like any other player on the field, D/ST can light it up or suck it up. I usually play defense week to week, picking up the free agent with the most promising match up, and it's been a solid strategy for me.
I like how D/ST is scored in my league (pretty standard Yahoo!) and I think defenses should continue to play a significant role in fantasy football.