Entering another year in fantasy football, 50% of your league will be composed with players who are either new to playing or trying to rebound from a losing season. A fantasy football draft is vital to a winning team. You don’t need to hit on every selection, but you have to come away with several blue chip talent. It is much easier to win on a consistent basis when you have a few standout, top of the position player. For example in the 2011 season, a team can have Drew Brees and Calvin Johnson in the starting lineup and even if the talent around them is minimal, there is a strong likelihood that team won at least 7 regular season games.
MOST IMPORTANT FANTASY STAT
Why is that? What statistical category do those two players possess that helps win games? In fantasy football, whether it be a catch, pass, or reception one play can garner 4 or more points on a single play. That is the touchdown. In the 2011 season, Drew Brees produced 47 touchdowns, 46 passing and 1 rushing. Calvin Johnson was dominant at his position with 16 receiving touchdowns.
MARION BARBER III VERSUS JULIUS JONES 2006 SEASON
Of course in most leagues, a passing touchdown is worth 4 points while receiving and rushing touchdowns are worth 6 points. Because of the frequency of touchdown throws, most leagues devalue this particular touchdown scoring metric. That said as you can see from Brees, an elite quarterback can more than overcome the 2 point differential in touchdown scoring, which is why now it is no longer absurd to select a QB as a top five fantasy selection… even in standard leagues! To prove the value of the touchdown further, let’s go further back in time. The year is 2006 and the Dallas Cowboys had primarily used two young running backs. They had a 1,000 yard rusher, Julius Jones and a running back who came close to a 700 yard season, Marion Barber III. In standard leagues 10 yards equals 1 fantasy point. So with Barber at 654 yards, he compiled 65 points, while Jones with 1,084 compiled 108 points. Seems to be an easy call right? Now let’s factor in touchdowns. Neither back caught a lot of passes, so we’ll throw out receiving yards. Marion Barber scored a total of 18 rushing and receiving touchdowns, while Jones totaled only 4. With touchdowns weighted, the comparison tilts the other way very quickly, Barber had 173 fantasy points in this scenario, while Jones had 140. So while yards are important, touchdowns is overwhelmingly the most important stat to look at.
FANTASY FOOTBALL ORIGINALLY TOUCHDOWN ONLY SCORING FORMAT
The origin of fantasy football predate apps, fantasy football platforms, and even predates the internet. In those ‘archaic days’, a lot of the scoring was manual, hand done. It would involve a newspaper, some math skill, and a pencil. Because of that scoring systems were much more simplified and out of that simplification was the ‘touchdown only’ leagues, which was a popular scoring format in that era. They are still around or at least has evolved into what is called a touchdown heavy scoring format. But keep in mind, although fantasy scoring systems has branched out to various other iterations (PPR, 50/50, etc.), the core of every scoring system is still rooted in the touchdown. Get guys who score touchdowns. Its as simple as that.