It seems that fantasy football has officially hit the mainstream of American culture. For a long time, fantasy veterans like myself this takes a bit of getting used to.
I started playing fantasy football in 1989 at the tender age of 12. Back then, there were a hand full of fantasy magazines and that was about it. Leagues consisted of co-workers and neighborhood friends and scoring was done by way of box scores and pencils.
Maybe the grass roots beginning of fantasy football plays a role in the uniqueness of leagues all over the nation. There are auction leagues, keeper leagues, head to head leagues, rotisserie leagues, on-line leagues, heck I even play in a league in which every owner has a 53 man roster complete with punters and linemen.
And as non conforming as the leagues can be, the scoring systems can be tweaked in seemingly millions of ways making everything even more confusing. It always gives me a chuckle when fantasy "experts" like Matthew Berry give out trading or start/sit advice regarding some random league that he knows nothing about.
I mean, whether or not I'm trading Andre Johnson for Adrian Peterson has more variables than most people would want to wrap their head around. But here are just a few.
Is the league a point-per-reception league?
If so, Adrian Peterson does not have the same value as a running back in a PPR league as he does under old school scoring systems. After all, he only caught two passes for 15 yards last year, whereas Andre Johnson skyrockets in value based on his league leading 115 grabs.
Does the league reward kick and punt return yardage?
This seems to be the new trend. Rewarding for kick ad punt return yardage may make Devin Hester or Johnnie Lee Higgins more valuable, but it makes it less important to have a premiere wideout on your squad. Under that scenario, one wouldn't want to get rid of a highly valued running back to gain a watered down receiver.
So it's easy to see that it is probably best to go off of your own judgement before trusting your fantasy football season to these so called experts.
I have a proposal to help fantasy gurus do their job better, and that will unite the fantasy football world as one. What we need to do is come up with a fair, consistent, universal scoring system that allows the fellas at the Monday morning water cooler to know exactly how big your 42 fantasy points from Westbrook were the day before.
This scoring system would save thousands of fantasy expert man hours spent qualifying advice based on the ten thousand different scoring systems out there. Not to mention the number of trees we could save by having magazines without 30 different cheat sheets for all types of scoring.
Like I said before, I've been playing fantasy football for way too long now. I've seen the game go from touchdown only, to yardage based, to the fantasy world finally coming around on the point-per-reception scoring.
So without further delay, the worlds first Official Fantasy Football Scoring System. Alert your congressman.
Every player gets one point per 10 yards rushing, a point for every 25 yards passing, and a point for every ten yards receiving. All touchdowns are six points, and this includes QB's. Some leagues award four points for passing TD's which jumbles all the quarterbacks up statistically and devalues the leagues great passers.
Every player gets a point per catch. This makes wide receivers more valuable, makes versatile running backs fantasy relevant, and makes drafts a lot more interesting. Before PPR, wide receivers were a fantasy afterthought, and there were always 20 running backs taken in the first 25 picks of the average fantasy draft.
Sticking to this system makes all of the positions relatively close in value for fantasy purposes. To test this theory simply take a good game at each position and do the math.
Under this system a quarterback with a 300-yard game and two touchdowns, a wide receiver with eight grabs for 100 yards and a TD, and a running back with 100 yards with a couple of scores and catches all score about the same. In all of these instances, the player will get somewhere around 24 points.
As for defense, stick to team D's and stay away from individual defensive players. Allowing a few individual defenders opens up a fantasy Pandora's Box.
With only a few defenders taken by each team, all of these players are stars who will end up scoring around the same amount of points. This makes IDP's irrelevant in fantasy drafts, and the only way to prevent this is by going to a full defensive roster. So believe me, just stick to team defense and special team combinations.
Award points for sacks, interceptions, fumble recoveries, and blocked kicks and punts. Give six points for touchdowns on punt or kick returns, as well as turnovers returned by the defense. Don't forget to reward defenses based on allowing low amounts of points and yardage, for this is a great representation of a defense's performance.
Every Internet provider has slightly different allowances as far as scoring for defenses are concerned, but try to figure out what a good game is for a team defense and make that equal out to 24 points or so.
This is the easiest and most balanced scoring system that I have found in 20 years of fantasy football. And if the entire fantasy world decided to get on the same page, fighting our way through all of the endless statistical information and projections could be made much easier.
Let's do away with hokie distance bonuses for touchdowns, and bonuses for hitting yardage plateaus. This only leads to more confusion, meltdowns, and increases the cheese factor in a fantasy league.
I believe that we can come together and get this movement going. This is some change we truly can all believe in. We need a bipartisan effort to bring a sense of organization and unity to the world of fantasy football.
We can finally brag about our teams with people outside of our league, and have a mutual understanding of what exactly we're bragging about. Fantasy shows can show leaders based on fantasy points and not tons of different stats.
But most importantly, fantasy experts can finally pass out sound advice when we ask whether or not we should give up Andre Johnson for Adrian Peterson.