How Fantasy Football Game Play Is Scored

To win in fantasy football, your team needs to score more points than any other team in your league. A fantasy team scores points based on each player’s performance and personal stats, in addition to the standard NFL point system for touchdowns, field goals, safeties, and extra points; fantasy scoring is not affected by the NFL teams’ win-loss records.

As a result, the stud offensive players who can run, catch, and pass for big yards and not just score are the elite players in the fantasy world. In essence, fantasy rewards a player for playing a good game even if he doesn’t score lots of touchdowns. Scoring touchdowns isn’t easy in the NFL, and just because an offensive player can’t reach the end zone doesn’t mean he’s having a bad game.

Fantasy football also awards points to kickers who kick field goals and extra points and to team defenses that can score fantasy points by not giving up points and creating turnovers, in addition to scoring touchdowns and safeties. Basically, anything from fumble recoveries to receptions to field goal distance can add up for your fantasy team.

Every league provider has a default setting for the stats that will convert to fantasy scoring, but any NFL stat can translate into fantasy points — only your league commissioner can make the decision to change any defaults.

To know your league’s scoring default, make sure you check out your league’s scoring system when preparing for your season. The scoring rules of your league may affect your draft strategy and will affect the outcome of each game during the season.

Fantasy football simulates the real deal by using a performance-based scoring system. A touchdown is worth 6 points for an NFL team and 6 fantasy points for a player on a fantasy team (in most leagues). Fantasy players are also awarded points for yardage gained, such as 1 point for every 10 yards gained rushing or receiving.

Bad NFL plays often count as negative fantasy points; sacks can be worth –1 or interceptions worth –2. In general, every statistic can be used to rate a player’s achievements, good and bad, depending on your fantasy league.

Your fantasy team’s final score each week is the sum of all your starting players’ fantasy points. The following table shows an example of fantasy scoring for one week in a league with fractional and negative points. Don’t worry about having to calculate all this each week. Your league provider does the math for you.

A Good Week for Your Fantasy Team
Position Actual Performance Fantasy Points Scored Fantasy Point Total
Quarterback 240 yds passing
2 touchdowns
1 interception
240 ÷ 20 = 12
2 x 6 = 12
1 x –2 = –2
22
Wide receiver 110 yds receiving
1 touchdown
110 ÷ 10 = 11
1 x 6 = 6
17
Wide receiver 85 yds receiving 85 ÷ 10 = 8.5 8.5
Wide receiver 40 yds receiving
1 lost fumble
40 ÷ 10 = 4
1 x –2 = –2
2
Running back 140 yds rushing
35 yds receiving
3 touchdowns
140 ÷ 10 = 14
35 ÷ 10 = 3.5
3 x 6 = 18
35.5
Running back 80 yds rushing
75 yds receiving
1 touchdown
2 lost fumbles
80 ÷ 10 = 8
75 ÷ 10 = 7.5
1 x 6 = 6
2 x –2 = –4
17.5
Tight end 0 yds 0 0
Kicker 2 field goals
2 extra points
2 x 3 = 6
2 x 1 = 2
8
Team defense 14 points allowed
2 sacks
1 fumble recovered
1 interception
14 points = 1
2 x 2 = 4
1 x 2 = 2
1 x 2 = 2
9
_____________ _____________ _____________ 119.5

To know your fantasy football league’s scoring default, make sure you check out your league’s scoring system when preparing for your season. The scoring rules of your league may affect your draft strategy and will affect the outcome of each game during the season.

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